The Eighth Way Architecture Can Be Political

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Hyperallergic contributor Anna Ficek (via Salon) takes a stroll through the MoMA exhibit, 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design. She goes through all 10 ways of being political, pausing at the eighth.

The eighth way of being political, “Occupying Social Borders: 1974–2011,” is the highlight of the exhibition. In particular, it was the video of San Diego–based Teddy Cruz’s “Radicalizing the Local: 60 Linear Miles of Trans-Border Urban Conflict” project that captured my imagination and kept sending my mind back to East 53rd Street and Berlin. The simple and poetic way in which Cruz’s team managed to allude to the ongoing border conflict on either side of the Rio Grande reminded me of the naive words innocently painted on Berlin’s East Side Gallery that read, in childishly colorful letters, “No More Wars, No More Walls, A United World.” When a potent symbol of division like the Berlin Wall is erased, it’s easy to forget the boundaries that still partition key areas of the world and delineate territory in an almost arbitrary way, such as the San Diego/Tijuana border, which was surveyed by Cruz and his associates.


The exhibit runs through June 9, 2013. 

Speaking of border, the BORDERS issue of MAS Context is now online. 

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