On February 27, the Museum of Modern Art opened the fourth part of its series “Issues in Contemporary Architecture” – Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America. The exhibition, along with the accompanying publication, examines the intersections of architecture, blackness, and anti-black racism, as well as contemporary architecture, in the context of how systemic racism has fostered violent stories of discrimination and injustice in the United States
The ten commissioned projects in the exhibition show how people have mobilized black cultural spaces, forms and practices as places of imagination, resistance and rejection. Emanuel Admassu, Germane Barnes, Sekou Cooke, J. Yolande Daniels, Felecia Davis, Mario Gooden, Walter Hood, Olalekan Jeyifous, V. Mitch McEwen, and Amanda Williams respond to narratives and conditions. The architects, designers and artists involved concentrated on their individual projects in Atlanta, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Syracuse. The exhibition also features David Hartt’s new film On Exactitude in Science (Watts), which explores the dimensions of black life and spaces in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.
The accompanying publication contains articles by the curators, the advisory board and the invited scholars as well as new photographs by the artist David Hartt commissioned for the exhibition. The publication was designed by Morcos Key of Brooklyn and contains texts and images – photographs, reproduced drawings, digital renderings, images of models – from each of the ten exhibitors.
If you’d like to see Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America in person, it’s on view on the third floor of MoMA until May 31st. Appointments can be made online.
Installation photos: Robert Gerhardt