Spanning utopian works from the 1960s to a performance piece examining present-day domestic spaces, the exhibition 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design at the Museum of Modern Art offers a critical look at modern architecture's activist potential. The show, organized by curator Pedro Gadanho (featured in "In Living Color," June 2012) and curatorial assistant Margot Weller, posits that there's currently a rebirth of political engagement in architecture that hearkens back to the early 20th century avant garde. The exhibition, open until March 25, features works grappling with radicalism, iconoclasm, social borders, public space, and the politics of shelter. "This is not an exhibition about protagonists, movements, buildings, or specific designs; it is, rather, about a cultural practice that reacts to and comments upon the conditions of its time," states the introductory text. If you can't make to MoMA, spy six of the featured works in the following slideshow and catch a video of the performance piece Ikea Disobedients here.
Jason Crum (American, 1935–2004). Project for a Painted Wall, Hartford, Connecticut. Perspective. 1969. Gouache on photograph. 13 3/4 x 16 7/8″ (34.9 x 42.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase, 1969.
Hans Hollein. Aircraft Carrier City in Landscape, project. Exterior perspective. 1964. Cut-and-pasted printed paper on gelatin silver photographs mounted on board, 8 1/2 x 39 3/8″ (21.6 x 100 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Philip Johnson Fund, 1967
Hans Hollein. Highrise Building, Sparkplug, project. Exterior perspective. 1964. Cut-and-pasted printed paper on gelatin silver photograph, 4 3/4 x 7 1/4″ (12.1 x 18.4 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Philip Johnson Fund, 1967
Rem Koolhaas (Dutch, born 1944) and Elia Zenghelis (British, born Greece 1937) with Madelon Vriesendorp (Dutch, born 1945) and Zoe Zenghelis (British, born Greece 1937) Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture The Reception Area, project 1972 Gelatin silver photograph with color ink 10 1/2 x 14 1/2″ (26.7 x 36.8 cm) Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Takeo Ohbayashi Purchase Fund, and Susan de Menil Purchase Fund
Didier Faustino (French, born Portugal, 1968). Stairway to Heaven. 2002. Photograph on baryt paper. 22 1/16 x 29 1/2″ (56 x 75 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist and Galerie Michel Rein, 2012.
Ai Weiwei (Chinese, born 1957) Study of Perspective – Tiananmen Square 1995-2003 Gelatin silver print 15 5/16 x 23 1/4″ (38.9 x 59 cm) Acquired through the generosity of the Photography Council and the Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art