April 14, 2017 - SCI-Arc - The Duck and the Document: True Stories of Postmodern Procedures
e-flux Architecture
April 14, 2017
April 14, 2017


David Graham, BEST Company, Oxford Valley, PA, 1981.

The Duck and the Document: True Stories of Postmodern Procedures
April 14–May 28, 2017

Opening: April 14, 7pm

960 East 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Curated by Sylvia Lavin
Associate Curator: Sarah Hearne
Exhibition Design: Besler & Sons

The Duck and the Document features a series of fragments, from handrails to façade panels, salvaged from canonic buildings of the late 20th century. Typically associated with drawing and the circulation of media images, postmodern architecture is generally understood to have been largely a matter of style and surface ornament, freed from the exigencies of political and technical systems by the force of architectural autonomy. The Duck and the Document challenges this view by embedding the expected imagery of postmodernity within materials that demonstrate the dense tangle of regulations, production specifications and technologies that constrained architectural design rather than liberated it. While these true stories of postmodern procedures describe a less heroic and autonomous architect, they also produce a more persuasive account of architectural ingenuity as it sought to survive the bureaucratization not merely of the architectural profession but of the very idea of architecture.

Featuring artifacts from the buildings and archives of Peter Eisenman, Deborah Sussman, Charles Moore, Mike Reynolds, SITE and others.

Sylvia Lavin is an internationally known critic, historian and curator whose work explores the limits of architecture across a wide spectrum of historical periods. She is Professor, Director of PhD Programs and former Chair of the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA and has taught at Princeton, Harvard, Columbia among other schools. She is a frequent contributor to journals such as Artforum, Perspecta and Log and among her books are titles such as Form Follows Libido: Architecture and Richard Neutra in a Psychoanalytic Culture, Kissing Architecture and Flash in the Pan. Recent exhibitions include Everything Loose Will Land: Art and Architecture in Los Angeles in the 1970s, The New Creativity and The Artless Drawing.

Research, curatorial and design assistance provided by the UCLA Curatorial Project Team.

This exhibition originated as Salvage at the Princeton University School of Architecture Gallery in spring 2016. A new and expanded iteration of the show will be on view at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in spring 2018

SCI-Arc exhibitions and public programs are made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs.

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