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Wintersemester 2021-2022

10:00–12:00 s.t.

• online (via ZOOM)


Architecture, Archive, Activism

This lecture series proposes to think of archives and archival work as potential forms of activism in the realm of architecture production, architecture discourse and its intersections with art. Activism implies a political demand if we understand the political as a communicative and conflictual space in which we all decide as a society how to act together. Archives are neither neutral nor stable institutions. They are historical and political entities themselves. They preserve, legitimize and shape both production and consumption of histories and theories of the built environment. Going beyond but not excluding records preserved in architectural collections, this lecture series tackles the historical and political processes of institutionalization, memory-making practices and socio-cultural legitimation of knowledge in architecture and urbanism.

What is an archive or what can it be? And can we look at the city as an archive? Bringing into view that every archive represents a particular and curated perspective, the lecture series not only addresses how, why and through whom archives are being constructed, it also wants to explore ways to critically interrogate and maybe even deconstruct existing archives and ask whether decolonial, feminist, social and anti-racist approaches to working with and through archives can be considered forms of activism. Our efforts are to shift from a panoramic historical perspective on architectural research and to propose a platform for the exchange of situated positions, propositions and narratives.

This lecture series will take place online (ZOOM link). It is part of the teaching focus “Architecture, Archives and Activism”, in which a series of events and activities around this topic, including seminars organized by Dr. Daniela Ortiz dos Santos, Dr. Sarah Borree, Dr. Frederike Lausch and Dr. Lena Holbein as well as a workshop organized by Prof. Dr. Carsten Ruhl will be taking place through the Winter Semester 2021–2022 at the Art History Department of the Goethe University Frankfurt.

The teaching focus is also an initiative by the Center for Critical Studies in Architecture (CCSA) and the Architectures of Order research cluster (AO). The CCSA reflects upon the history, theory and mediality of architecture as an intellectual and aesthetic challenge. The Center seeks to afford undergraduate and graduate students the skills to link theory and research expertise with interdisciplinary issues. This is based on the awareness that the access to certain historical topics is always accompanied with a specific interest in the present, while substantial architectural research can barely be conducted without knowledge of the history of ideas.

Language of the Lecture Series: German and English

REMBERT HÜSER »Wasser im Archiv«
Institut für Theater-, Film- und Medienwissenschaft, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

SAMUEL BURGUM »This City is an Archive! Squatting History and Urban Authority«
Lecturer in Sociology (Birmingham City University) and Visiting Researcher (Urban Institute, University of Sheffield)

KNUT EBELING »Toute la mémoire du monde. Vom Archiv der Stadt zur Stadt des Archivs«
Professor für Medientheorie und Ästhetik, Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee

HANA GRÜNDLER »Action or Retraction? Prague as an Im/material Archive, 1950–1980«
Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Florenz

ANNE HULTZSCH »Writing Her Own Archive«
Assistant Professor, ETH Zürich

SAMIA HENNI »Illegal or Secret? On France’s Classification of Declassified Archives«
Albert Hirschman Chair for Identity Passions between Europe and the Mediterranean at the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Marsailles

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