Curated by Mimi Zeiger (M. Arch ‘98)
This is a playlist of women: designers, architects, theorists, artists, historians; and—perhaps more importantly—a playlist representing feminist thought and dialogue at SCI-Arc.
Throughout the decades, with varying degrees of amplification in-between, there has been a steady interest in the powerful ways that feminist outlooks shape our work and our world. From a 1974 lecture by graphic designer Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, who cofounded the Women’s Building in Los Angeles, to Beatriz Colomina’s breakthrough rereading of the battle between Le Corbusier and Eileen Gray, to Esther Choi’s use of a cookbook to undermine art and architecture’s sacred cows, these videos communicate bold design principles that go beyond gender: collectivity and creativity, equity and humor.
Mimi Zeiger is a Los Angeles-based critic, editor, and curator. She was co-curator of the US Pavilion for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale and curator of Soft Schindler at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture. She has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Architectural Review, Metropolis, and Architect and is an opinion columnist for Dezeen.
Cecilia Fajardo-Hill (Guest Curator – Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985) and Theresa Sotto (Assistant Director Academic Programs - Hammer Museum) discuss the exhibition Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985. The exhibition focuses on the artistic practices of women artists working in Latin America and US-born women artists of Latino heritage between 1960 and 1985, providing insight into this important period in Latin American history and in the development of contemporary art.
Spheeris describes her discovery of punk, the production of her first “Decline of Western Civilization” movie (1981), and her feature “Suburbia” (1984).
Marcelyn Gow introduces artist, architectural historian and writer Esther Choi.
Choi describes how discovering the menu for a banquet given for Walter Gropius in 1937, to mark his departure from London for the USA, suggested a new perspective on a historical figure she thought she knew. Food not only provides an index of status, taste, lifestyle, and class privilege, but has provided a medium for socially-engaged artists (Carol Goodden, Tina Girouard and Gordon Matta-Clark’s Food restaurant, projects by Womanhouse, Haus-Rucker-Co, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Alison Knowles’ “Identical Lunch”),
Izaskun Chinchilla [Principal, Izaskun Chinchilla Architects] reflects on the role of ecology in radically transforming architectural practice and the potential of changing mobility patterns in relation to ‘caring activities’ in cities. Chinchilla’s projects address gender issues and work with design-hacking everyday, industrial objects to create a broader architectural engagement.