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Post- THE CURATION OF THINGS— blank page is never ‘empty’ because

Post- A CONVERSATION WITH you approach it with the full weight of

Post- SARAH HEARNE what has come before.
Post- In the end, the show was
Post- Anna Tonkin & Beatrice Myatt oriented to the relationship of
Post- practicing architects to their study
Post- and use of history. We invited 140
Post- architects with an artistic statement,
Post- which was pretty open. The list
Post- included a cohort of Johnston
Post- Marklee’s peers that were identified
Post- as engaging with diverse aspects of
Post- ‘history’.
Post- (AT) How did the overarching
Post- theme translate into what
Post- work was included and then
Post- how it was exhibited?
Post- (SH) I would say that there were two
Post- big moves; the first was a spatial idea
Post- about site specific transformations
Post- of the Chicago Cultural Centre
Post- venue into viewing typologies like
Post- arcades, hypostyle halls, salons,
Post- and lounges. We invited different
Post- artists and architects to engage
Post- with these typologies so we had
Post- BLESS customising a lounge of
Post- artek furniture, or AGENdA making a
Post- marbled velvet arcade of curtains.
Post- Curatorially, alongside
Post- the invited pieces from various
Post- firm’s existing work, there were
Post- two collective projects where we
Post- invited two groups to respond to
Post- shared briefs. The first brief was the
Post- Vertical City project that invited new
Post- takes on the 1922 Chicago Tribune
Post- Tower competition. These were
Post- built as huge 18 foot models that
Post- were laid out in a grid that created
Post- a hypostyle hall of model tower
Post- ‘columns’. The other collective project
Post- was Horizontal City that invited 18
Post- architects to choose and respond to a
Post- photograph of a canonical interior as
Post- Anna Tonkin (AT) and Beatrice (AT) You were the associate a large scale model, which inverted
Post- Myatt (BM) caught up with Sarah curator of the 2017 Chicago many of the interests that were in the
Post- Hearne (SH) over coffee when Architecture Biennial which other collective room.
Post- she was in Sydney late last year. ended in January this year.
Post- Shifting between the historical Could you tell us about (AT) Who would you say was
Post- and the contemporary, the that experience and the the audience of the Biennial?
Post- conversation covered the information processes behind making
Post- infrastructures of Architecture event? (SH) The interesting thing about the
Post- Biennials to the production and use of Biennial is that it’s held in the former
Post- architectural drawings in the 1970s. (SH) Yes I was working with the Chicago Public Library building,
Post- Whilst the scale and temporality of artistic directors Sharon Johnston which since the 1990s has been the
Post- a biennial seems disparate to the and Mark Lee (Johnston Marklee) main free-entry Cultural Centre for
Post- physicality of an historical drawing, and joined the team in November the city. It’s very well used, it has a
Post- Hearne’s interest and specific last year. They borrowed the title big lobby with tables and chairs and
Post- approach to unpacking the systems from an Ed Ruscha art book that you have people meeting in there,
Post- that inform architectural production was published in 2009. It’s this thick kids getting tutored after school, it’s
Post- draws them together. What follows brick-like book, but all 600 pages an important day time shelter for
Post- is an edited transcript of the are blank. The point was to invite a people who live homeless in the city.
Post- conversation: contribution but also that of course, a In some way it does bring a public
Post- audience (who we like to imagine in (SH) I don’t think they’re mutually if there’s a relationship with Post- and circulation. Right now I’m circulated, were stored, exhibited collaboratively produced often with
Post- architecture that we’re engaging with) exclusive. In fact, the better works the PR agency, the ‘event’ Post- looking mostly at the 1970s when or collected. What you start to anonymous contributions. Maybe
Post- in contact with the Biennial. In fact, I managed to convey disciplinary almost began when Sharon Post- architectural drawings became very see post-war was the category of what’s more interesting about the
Post- would say after the vernissage that interests in very unexpected ways. Johnston and Mark Lee Post- visible with a series of exhibits, and ‘working drawings’, meaning those 1970s is that because of the sudden
Post- many people who passed through I would also say this about a biennial were first announced as Post- many people were writing about that were developed for building attempts to make drawings valuable
Post- the Biennial never specifically came as a format; One thing that surprised the curators. Post- the market around selling drawings. production becoming increasingly as sale items the need to re-attach an
Post- to the Cultural Centre to see it, me was how much emphasis the Post- The drawings that were exhibited problematic. There were studies artful authorship became a priority.
Post- but bumped into it on their way to participant list had, and the fact that (SH) Absolutely. Post- are kind of a mixed bag as everyone into working practices that claimed The re-assertion of value
Post- municipal offices or perhaps just to a lot of reviews of the show were Post- tries to sort out the new context. architects were effectively mimicking in drawing which tended to involve
Post- avoid the cold. coming out before we’d even opened (AT) And how do you make Post- Some of them are intermediary, or the shop drawings that fabricators arguments around the artistic
Post- – the reviews were based on the list it an exciting exhibition if you Post- sometimes quite elaborate drawings. were also making, and adding extra autonomy of work on paper,
Post- (BM) That seems to be the alone. have to set something up so Post- They weren’t necessarily operating aesthetic touches like hatching that is a disciplinary throwback to
Post- criticism of every Biennale I think there is an expectation early and be consistent and Post- to communicate to an audience or needn’t be there. So there was some architectural intellection over the
Post- – that it’s not speaking to with the biennial format that one of accurate with it, even though Post- toward a building, so some of them consternation about what information more manual aspects of building.
Post- enough people. Yet critics most important things is the group things might change? Post- were (to use Eisenman’s term a little needed to be on the drawings that But I would argue, that if you start to
Post- will say that the role of an of people you bring together. The Post- later) more project oriented. There’s a is more endemic to the organization look at the tools you’ll get stationery
Post- exhibition is for architecture list was also groomed over by the (SH) Consortia was dealing with that. Post- sense that working in this way would of labour behind the building stores, the tool manufacturers, paper
Post- to speak to a wider audience. PR for metrics and stats. There was They were basically planning out Post- have been closer to some idea of production. types that allowed for certain types
Post- an incredible sense of stocktaking aspects of the exhibition or particular Post- ‘architectural autonomy’ in that they of drawings. Or if you look at the
Post- (SH) Yes, in this case we had the or accounting. The first Chicago architects’ projects that they could Post- were not to connect with the world of (AT) So in a way, elements institutional side of things, you’ll see
Post- audience but perhaps that led to Biennial in 2015 took the form of a publish and the PR kept asking, Post- real estate and development per se. of these functional working the drawing training, the professional
Post- some criticism about the insularity survey of contemporary architecture. “What can we announce?” (laughs). Post- Drawings for drawings sake… but I’m drawings were actually regulation of drawing types and
Post- of the work – which was by nature I think the question there is how do And the catalogue which I was Post- also looking at ‘working’ drawings in more useless than say the their marks and templates. So you’ll
Post- discipline-oriented. you represent ‘everybody’, which is working on, also had to go to print in Post- that time as well, and the ways that ‘useless’ (non productive) start to see, it’s just as embedded
Post- what a survey promises. What does it four months, which is an incredibly Post- the artful and production drawings exhibition drawings and absolutely entangled with the
Post- (AT) The critique might also mean to set the survey up as a format tight turn-around to begin so as you Post- diverged. And the anxiety in offices themselves? so-called real world, as everything
Post- come from the context of for architecture? How does one put can imagine it had to go out before Post- about these useless (non productive) else. You know, it’s a fantasy that it
Post- what’s happening politically together this list? There was – rightly the work that we were showing was Post- drawings. (SH) Absolutely. The problem at was somehow otherwise.
Post- in America right now. There’s so – a lot of scrutiny if you claim even confirmed. So even the format Post- that time was that the regulation And that’s why the 1970s is the
Post- so much going on, it seems to represent everybody. Whereas of a catalogue, which traditionally Post- (AT) That’s really interesting and organization of building perfect time then, because these
Post- like so many people are ‘Make New History’ two years later documents the event and the work Post- – these different types of production became more and more guys are investing in the idea that
Post- engaging with political issues got some heat for repeating many had to be reconsidered to fit with the Post- drawing sets being produced fragmented and complicated – you you could produce a drawing and
Post- and the push for architects participants from the 2015 list, temporality of a biennial. I suppose Post- for different audiences and had to communicate to more and that it somehow is autonomous.
Post- to consciously engage with because perhaps the first edition what this all points to is the difficulty Post- the links between them. In more distributed groups of people. Architecture for architecture’s sake.
Post- politics is greater than ever. had set an expectation for the survey of finding the limits of the biennial Post- terms of renderings that were Drawing sets ended up larger and
Post- Despite this context, the and therefore a whole new list of as an event, exhibition, and the Post- produced for commercial larger. There’s an idea that every Sarah Hearne is an architectural
Post- Chicago Biennial seemed participants. But I think the idea was information infrastructures of them. Post- reasons and then the more audience needed a little bit of historian, curator and educator
Post- isolated and that there was not to survey but to take on some There was an almost Post- artful drawings that were different information. So on the one currently based in Los Angeles.
Post- no relevant political position. common interests already seen in provisionary nature to information Post- produced for a disciplinary side there’s a lot of discussion in Hearne graduated from UTS and then
Post- the first biennial and push it toward a in this environment because it Post- audience, do you think the period around use; the use of practiced at Ateliers Jean Nouvel
Post- (SH) Definitely and I think it has more thematic focus. had to get out at a speed that was Post- there was anyone crossing the drawings, or the uselessness in Copenhagen and Paris. She is
Post- something to do with the artistic Perhaps along similar lines immediate, so there were media Post- between these types? Or in the case of those that floated currently completing her doctorate
Post- directors’ position that these real as the critiques before the show rooms for instant online reporting. All Post- were they too separate? off into the gallery context. If you at UCLA while also teaching and
Post- world problems are more systemic opened, the temporality of a biennial the reviews – as someone pointed Post- look at the reviews in the 1970s working on curatorial projects. She
Post- than our disciplinary agency. Which is a curious one. It seems to begin out – had at least one error, almost Post- (SH) Yes, well, renderers or you have someone like Reyner has particular interest in alternate
Post- perhaps is an idea that is being long before the doors open and is every one; people getting left off, Post- illustrators. But also it’s probably just Banham looking at the proliferation forms of architectural production.
Post- challenged right now in many ways. very much related to the ‘content misattribution, spelling, little things. Post- about how the architects divided of exhibitions around architectural Her research focuses more broadly
Post- Funnily enough the biennial we got managers’ who are not often seen The mentality seems to be that you Post- and managed the drawings that drawings at that time, and pointing on the procedures and protocols of
Post- compared to the most was Aravena’s but who (largely) before the event correct and edit after you publish Post- were circulated – the way you saw out that even though the production art and architectural production, and
Post- ‘From the Frontlines’ in Venice which regulate the lines of communication. rather than checking before. You’d Post- them and how you then associated of architecture no longer necessarily technologies of representation.
Post- was very much oriented toward real We had Consortia who consult on really want to start thinking about Post- that back to their signature. On that required architectural drawings, Anna Tonkin and Beatrice
Post- world problems and architectural web content. There was the PR firm what this means for the permanent Post- note, one important aspect of my the architects kept going through Myatt are Architectural Graduates
Post- agency. In some ways one might who were connecting the architects record or documentation of the show, Post- research is looking at the terminology the motions of making drawings and Masters of Research students at
Post- question the biennial format as well with journalists more directly. So it speaking of making new history! Post- of how drawings were labelled and regardless. It’s sort of a very similar UTS School of Architecture.
Post- if the two poles can fall to the same was really unlike any other exhibition Post- organized into a sequence. In the lament to today with BIM and so on.
Post- criticism. that I have worked on with just the (AT) Could you discuss your Post- most traditional tellings, you’d have ■
Post- enormity of managing content. There current research, particularly Post- the sketch on a napkin (if you’re a (BM) That’s interesting Image (reverse): Post-
Post- (AT) Do you think it’s seemed to be a constant need for us in terms of the construction Post- modernist), it’s immediate, you are though. With the shop
Post- important that the exhibition to feed information, which was like a of the image in relation to Post- putting down your first idea. And then drawers, and the need to Issue 05 (July 2018)
Post- engages a wide audience full time thing in and of itself. architecture? Post- there would be design development, have authorship over the FREE
Post- through addressing broader Post- where the drawing would then march drawing in order to legitimise
Post- concerns or is there value in (AT) But that’s also (SH) My interest in drawing is to Post- towards becoming construction the profession. Post- is an independent publication
Post- presenting work that is more interesting because you provide a counter history of the ways Post- drawings in a sense. Right now I’m on the periphery of ‘architecture’.
Post- introspective towards the have the biennial as the that authority was constituted and Post- looking at how those phases were (SH) I guess the biggest point to be
Post- discipline? event itself, and if people are managed through the architectural Post- determined, and how their labelling made would be that architectural post-post.co
Post- critiquing it beforehand and drawing set and its reproduction Post- starts to shape the ways that they drawings have always been @post.publication