L’Abékédaire is a multilingual architectural manifesto by WAI Architecture Think Tank (Cruz García and Nathalie Frankowski) spoken in English, French, and Spanish, translated by SCI-Arc students into eight languages. “Anti-capitalism articulates anti-racist actions . . . Brutalisme basculement banalisé brutal . . . Critical continuously confused, changing concept . . .” L’Abékédaire (French for “ABC”) is delivered in the form of a tautogram in which every word of each of the 26 alphabetical sections begins with the same letter. Sustaining this language game from A to Z, García and Frankowski exhaustively dissect the disciplinary, global, political, cultural, social, historical vocabularies that define the apparatus of contemporary architecture. Like the “lectores leyendo literatura liberadora, lecciones lingüísticas, lideraron legiones, logrando luchas liberadoras,” García and Frankowski perform as multilingual “loudreaders” who both indict and celebrate the histories and futures of architecture as a radical practice. SCI-Arc’s own radical multilingualism as a community multiplies the play of words through a student collaboration between WAI Architecture Think Tank, translating L’Abékédaire into Arabic (Sophie Akoury), Chinese (Qingyang “Karl” Zong), French (Sophie Akoury), Marathi (Shraddha Kemse), Spanish (Jorge de Ovando), Turkish (Ayse Eda Tarakci), and Russian (Maria Kuraeva, Marusia Popova, and Jessica Skitalinsky), displayed as an array of eight simultaneous subtitle layers.
Conceptualization: John Cooper and Hou, Chi-Chia
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