Striped, mirrored, alienated – on the critical function of the ornament and deception in postmodernist architecture
Lecture by Dr. Gabrielle Schaad (in German)

Tuesday, July 5, 2022
7 PM

Salon des Amateurs, Grabbeplatz 4, Düsseldorf

The art and architecture theorist Gabrielle Schaad will trace the function of illusion, optical deception and ornament in different architectural practices since the 1960s. While craft and ornament have often enough been instrumentalized by nationalist, reactionary, and religious movements, more recent architectural practices have used material alienation and illusionistic alteration of space and built structures as explicitly critical tools to disrupt normative ways of seeing or to question spatialized power structures in architecture. Starting from the exhibition title COL SPORCAR SI TROVA borrowed from Giovanni Battista Piranesi, the lecture touches on the concept of “Manierismo Critico” coined by the architect couple Trix and Robert Haussmann in the 1970s, as well as Beatriz Colomina's reflections on mediality, the public sphere, and architecture.

The lecture will be followed by a talk between Gabrielle Schaad and Kathrin Bentele, which will contextualize the presented within the current exhibition COL SPORCAR SI TROVA by Yuki Kimura.

Dr. Gabrielle Schaad is a postdoc at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and a lecturer in the Bachelor Fine Arts program at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). She earned a PhD from ETH Zurich for her studies on the promises and pitfalls of technology optimism in Japanese post war art and architecture. Her current research focuses on the imagery of space and body in transcultural art and design practices since the 1960s as well as on the spatialization of power and gender relations. Her publications include the monograph Shizuko Yoshikawa (Lars Müller Publishers, 2018). She’s the co-editor of the recent ARCH+ issue Zeitgenössische Feministische Raumpraxis [Contemporary Feminist Spatial Practice] (2022), the forthcoming issue of gta papers titled CARE (2022), and of the anthology archithese reader. Critical Positions in Search of Postmodernity (Triest, 2022).

View of Shopville/S-Bahnhof Museumsstrasse, Zurich main station, 1993, designed by Trix and Robert Haussmann (1991-1994).