The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)’s new curatorial strategy looks to move beyond the Western canon into histories and territories that have been overlooked, underrepresented, or downright ignored. The museum describes this new approach and their new, Diller Scofidio + Renfro–designed galleries, as offering “a deeper experience of art through all mediums and by artists from more diverse geographies and backgrounds than ever before...recognizing that there is no single or complete history of modern and contemporary art.” One of the more exciting shows in the MoMA’s upcoming fall season will center black architects and the ways that architecture has configured sensibilities around blackness in the U.S. MoMA associate curator Sean Anderson, Columbia GSAPP professor Mabel O. Wilson, and MoMA curatorial assistant Arièle Dionne-Krosnick are organizing Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America, opening October 17. The show is described by the team as “an investigation into the intersections of architecture, Blackness and anti–Black racism in the American context.” How can we understand contemporary architecture through a lens of systemic racism and the violent, discriminatory histories it has fostered in the United States? This exhibition will be the fourth iteration of the ‘Issues in Contemporary Architecture’ series, which began in 2010 with Rising Currents: Projects for NY’s Waterfront (March 24 through October 11, 2010), followed by Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream (February 15 through August 13, 2012) and Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities (November 22, 2014, through May 25, 2015). Reconstructions will feature a series of ten newly commissioned works that will, according to the MoMA “explore how people have mobilized Black cultural spaces, forms, and practices as sites of imagination, liberation, resistance, and refusal.” Engaging with public policy, city planning, and architecture, these projects will respond to narratives and conditions found in Atlanta, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Syracuse through consideration of the impacts on African-American and African diaspora communities. The exhibition will include the work of black architects, designers, and artists such as: Emanuel Admassu, Germane Barnes, Sekou Cooke, J. Yolande Daniels, Felecia Davis, Mario Gooden, Walter Hood, Olalekan Jeyifous, V. Mitch McEwen, and Amanda Williams. As with previous exhibitions in the series, community workshops and panel discussions will be held that will inform the works on view from each contributor. April workshops in New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles will engage students from local architecture schools who will collaborate on a set of public forums and workshops with the curatorial team and the 10 architects, designers, and artists. A “field guide” publication will feature newly commissioned photographs from artist David Hartt and the book will be designed by Brooklyn-based Morcos Key. Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America will be on view from October 17, 2020, through January 18, 2021.
Posts tagged with "Sean Anderson":
Pratt Institute's May symposium will explore the relationship between theory and practice in modern placemaking
The Pratt Institute Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment is putting together a day of discussions this May 13 to dive deeper into the theory and practice of placemaking. This symposium, titled "Making Sense of Place: Place Theory and Placemaking in Practice," will focus on the intersections of academic theory and practical urban placemaking across four sessions led by current practitioners and theorists of place and placemaking, including:
- Eve Baron, chairperson of Pratt's Center for Planning and the Environment Grad Center for Planning
- David Burney, director of Pratt's Urban Placemaking and Management program
- Tim Cresswell, dean of the faculty, vice president for academic affairs, and professor of American studies, Hartford, Connecticut's Trinity College
- Setha Low, professor, The Graduate Center at the City University of New York
- Sean Anderson, associate curator, Museum of Modern Art
- Kim Dovey, professor of architecture & urban design, Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne
As a part of Detroit's Wasserman Projects exhibition, Desire Bouncing, a panel discussion addressed the future of architecture and art in Detroit. The panel was moderated by Reed Kroloff, principal of Jones Kroloff and former director of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum. The panel included exhibiting artist Alex Schweder, associate curator at MoMA's Department of Architecture and Design; Sean Anderson, architectural critic; Cynthia Davidson, Venice Biennale U.S. Pavilion co-curator; and Mitch McEwen, assistant professor of Architecture at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at University of Michigan. Detroit is physically changing. Some of its architectural treasures and thousands more of its abandoned homes have been demolished. But now that Detroit is undergoing the slow process of rebuilding, what kind of architecture will replace it? This and other questions were discussed among an expert panel of architects and critics that gathered last Friday at Wasserman Projects, a gallery and event space in a renovated fire truck maintenance facility in Detroit's Eastern Market. Around 50 guests attended the panel discussion, called "Architecture By Any Means Necessary." Kroloff began by asking the panelists, "What are things architecture can do beyond creating a city environment?" "Structures are receptacles for stories, for meanings," said Alex Schweder, an artist who often combines performance and architecture in his work. "The structures in Washington D.C. are a manifestation of stories we tell about our country." "Buildings can perform things we never thought were possible," said Mitch McEwen, a founding partner at A(n) Office and Principal of McEwen Studio. Her example of Le Corbusier's Carpenter Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which changed her conception of architecture, lead to an argument about the interaction between a building and its visitors. Cynthia Davidson described her distaste for Detroit's Renaissance Center, the headquarters of General Motors, often criticized for its confusing walkways and lack of synergy with downtown. "[Designer John] Portman makes you realize how controlling architecture can be," she said. In response to a question about what new architecture in Detroit should do, Schweder advocated architects and city managers give up some control. "Our roles can be collaborative with client and users," he said. "People want voice and agency in the look and use of their city." The discussion took a turn towards political issues and actual implementation of these ideas. Sean Anderson, acknowledged the difficulty Schweder's proposal. "History is often not recognized by developers that come and rebuild cities." During the audience question portion of the panel, someone mentioned that vast areas of Detroit that have no architecture, but "only the ghosts of architecture." He then wondered if this "absence" was worth preserving. "Detroit is a city of single family homes," answered McEwen. She felt that memorializing vacancy was the wrong approach. "I hope the city rebuilds, but with respect for the logic of the single family home." Desire Bouncing will be on show through April 9th at the Wasserman Projects at 3434 Russell Street, #502, Detroit, Michigan 48207. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScgU9lB3Ves
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York has selected Sean Anderson as its new associate curator in the department of architecture and design. Anderson will work alongside fellow department employees to create collections, exhibitions, and public programs that focus on contemporary architecture. Anderson will also assist in managing MoMA's Issues in Contemporary Architecture exhibition series and the Young Architects Program, as well as serve as the main contact for both local and global architecture communities. He holds degrees in architectural design and the history of architecture and urban development from Cornell University, a master’s degree in architectural design from Princeton University, and a PhD in art history from the University of California, Los Angeles. Anderson most recently served as the senior lecturer of design and history and undergraduate program director at the University of Sydney in Australia, and he has worked as an architect in Afghanistan, India, Morocco, Sri Lanka, and the United States. "As both an architect and an academic, Sean brings a unique and global perspective to contemporary architecture. He has the capacity to balance the experience of practicing architecture with an intellectually rigorous inquiry into the field, framing contemporary issues in a fascinating and engaging way. We are excited to have him expand our curatorial understanding of contemporary architecture," Martino Stierli, Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, said in a statement. Anderson’s appointment will be effective on November 30, 2015.