The political potential of architecture was one of the founding credos of the avant-garde in the early 20th century. Yet today it is commonly believed that this potential has been overwhelmed by economic realities and by the sense that architecture, by its very nature, is symbiotic with existing power structures. Such a perception, however, is belied both by the rise of a neo-avant-garde in the 1960s and 70s, and by emerging practices that bear witness to a rebirth of social and political engagement as an assertion of architecture’s relevance. This installation of architectural works from MoMA’s collection offers a series of fresh perspectives on the ways in which, over the last half century, architects have responded actively to the ever-evolving conditions of the polis. The display engages a range of media in MoMA’s collection, putting architectural stances in dialogue with the works of other urban practitioners: artists, photographers, and designers. Divided into nine sections, plus a special performance piece by Andrés Jaque Arquitectos (at MoMA PS1 on September 16 and 23), the exhibition presents a variety of critiques, from radicalism, institutional critique, and iconoclasm, to the blurring of social borders and the examination of public space.
Organized by Pedro Gadanho, Curator, and Margot Weller, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design.