• Architecture is the fiction of the real world.

    —  Bjarke IngelsWorldcraft, 2014

  • The city is never completed. It has a beginning but it has no end. It’s a work in progress, always waiting for new scenes to be added and new characters to move in.

    —  Bjarke IngelsWorldcraft, 2014

  • Constantin Brancusi, Adam and Eve, 1921 (via archiveofaffinities)

  • Every good building is the illustration of a passing conviction. It has a civilizing effect on its environs. To illustrate means to civilize, to use the construction of an imaginarium to explain an unattainable state of completeness. Illustrations help us build a fuzzy story about their subject. ‘There it is again,’ we hear time after time… So, contrary to popular belief, an illustration is effective if it becomes the multiplication of an object’s fiction - its memory-, firing the story towards other scenarios that initially seem inexplicable, like a great archaeological discovery that changes history in an unforeseen way… Then, like Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Tower of Babel, the image gets attached to the text and becomes its shadow: breathing its air, sharing its scale, occupying the same area, flirting with its time for a while. The task of architecture is to achieve that sliver of credibility.

    —  Smiljan Radic, Illustration as Wasteland, c. 2013

  • It is a mistake to fancy that horror is associated inextricably with darkness, silence, and solitude. I found it in the glare of mid-afternoon, in the clangour of the metropolis, and in the teeming midst of a shabby and commonplace rooming house with a prosaic landlady and two stalwart men at my side.

    —  H.P. Lovecraft, “Cool Air,” 1926

  • Jaume Plensa, Semen-Blood / Sex-Religion / Love-Hate / Saint-Sinner / Matter-Spirit, 1999-2005

  • Jaume Plensa, Lady Macbeth, The Traitor and the Porter, 2000

  • Carsten Höller, Vitra Slide Tower, Weil am Rhein, Switzerland, 2014 (via ummhello)

  • Company No. 508, Dragon River Bridge, Da Nang, Vietnam, c. 2009-13 (via met)

  • Adrian PaciThe Column at Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France, 2013 (via vimeo)

  • Smiljan Radic, Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, London, England, 2014

  • El LissitzkyAbout 2 Squares, c. 1928 (via claeswar)

    (Source: mmg62ui35gyu24, via rosswolfe)

  • The art of hanging pictures, to steal a phrase from Kerry James Marshall, is a bit like the craft of using words to make sentences, which in turn cohere into paragraphs, which accumulate in the service of an idea. It is part didactic instruction, part ineffable feeling about what things work well together. Both rely on the principle that the space between pictures is not neutral, that the pictures themselves are not autonomous (unless they are placed in a way to suggest that), and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Historically, in Western museums, arrangements of works thus took the form of curated rooms that were frequently nationalistic in nature; often they were teleological, championing some linear narrative of cultural progress. And these are the aspects of museology that came under justifiable scrutiny during the days of institutional critique and identity politics.

    But the arrangement of pictures, to steal another phrase, this time from Louise Lawler, wasn’t bound up with master narratives alone. It was also inextricably tied to the primary methodology of art history: that of “compare and contrast.” Famously extolled by art historian Heinrich Wölfflin (1864–1945), compare-and-contrast was the binary system of looking at any two works of art simultaneously (made possible by the advent of the slide lantern), which led, from the nineteenth century onward, to the establishment of art history’s fundamental categories—stylistic shifts, early and late styles, nationalist movements, ideological differences. However it was deployed, the underlying idea was that meaning is built through syntax, that syntax requires difference, and that difference is something to be staged or spatialized or, at the very least, invoked through the act of adjacency.

    True, this binary logic tended toward old sawhorses like “progress,” the “canon,” and “genius” (all contrast and no comparison). But I fear we may have thrown the baby out with the bathwater when we sought to debunk and eliminate all forms of binary thinking. In the end, wasn’t what was wrong with binary logic its unthinking production of hierarchies, almost all of which were designed to maintain the status quo? And yet today’s status quo is virulent pluralism. Too many recent exhibitions have taken their installation cues from art fairs and the like, more prone toward leveling than toward difference, more inclined toward the presentation of opinion than toward the dexterity of argumentation. Is there no way that we can imagine holding on to the productive syntactic function of compare-and-contrast? Is there no way we can imagine opening up the binary nature of the gesture to encompass the Barthesian third term? Have we totally given up on art history as the governing methodology, or even the deep structure, of museum exhibitions?

    —  Helen Molesworth, “Review of the Whitney Biennial" for Artforum, 2014(via grupaok)

  • Gentrification is violence. Couched in white supremacy, it is a systemic, intentional process of uprooting communities… [Its] central act of violence is one of erasure…. In an appallingly overwritten New York magazine article with the (I guess) provocative title “Is Gentrification All Bad?,” Justin Davidson imagines a first wave of gentrifiers much the way I’ve heard it described again and again: “A trickle of impecunious artists hungry for space and light.” This is the standard, “first it was the artists” narrative of gentrification, albeit a little spruced up, and the unspoken but the understood word here is “white.” Because, really, there have always been artists in the hood. They aren’t necessarily recognized by the academy or using trust funds supplementing coffee shop tips to fund their artistic careers, but they are still, in fact, artists. The presumptive, unspoken “white” in the first round of artists gentrification narrative is itself an erasure of these artists of color.

    —  Daniel José OlderGentrification’s Insidious Violence: The Truth About American Cities, 2014 (via wakie)

    (via shellypolitik)

  • Martin VlachUntitled, c. 2014