Rem Koolhaas, Elia Zenghelis, Madelon Vriesendorp, Zoe Zenghelis. Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture: The Strip (Aerial Perspective). 1972

Rem Koolhaas, and Elia Zenghelis, Madelon Vriesendorp, Zoe Zenghelis Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture: The Strip (Aerial Perspective) 1972

  • Not on view

This drawing, part of a series of eighteen drawings, watercolors, and collages, pictures a walled city within the city of London. In this series, tall barriers cut through the urban fabric, an intervention designed to create a new urban culture invigorated by architectural innovation and political subversion. The dense pictographic storyboard, reflecting Koolhaas’s earlier stints as journalist and screenwriter, is intended to be read as a factual and fictional scenario for the contemporary metropolis. The title of the project alludes to West Berlin’s situation during the Cold War as a restricted enclave within East Germany, encircled by a forbidding wall—in effect, a prison on the scale of a metropolis, in which people sought refuge voluntarily. Koolhaas and his collaborators used collage to create vivid scenes of life within the dystopian urban confines. The project was the catalyst for the founding of the collective architectural practice O.M.A. (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) in 1975.

Gallery label from 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design, September 12, 2012–March 25, 2013
Cut-and-pasted paper with watercolor, ink, gouache, and color pencil on gelatin silver photograph (aerial view of London)
16 x 19 7/8" (40.6 x 50.5 cm)
Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Takeo Ohbayashi Purchase Fund, and Susan de Menil Purchase Fund
Object number
© 2018 Rem Koolhaas
Architecture and Design

Installation views

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