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MoMA’s Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America

MoMA’s Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America

The Museum of Modern Art in New York has presented the exhibition Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America as his fourth installment of the Issues in Contemporary Architecture series, that focuses in timely topics in contemporary architecture.

The exhibition presents an investigation into the intersections of architecture, Blackness and anti–Black racism in the American context.

Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America at MoMA New York on show until the end of May

Eleven projects explore how people have mobilized Black cultural spaces, forms, and practices as sites of imagination, liberation, resistance, and refusal.

For each of the projects in this exhibition, the potential for repair and for reconciling past with present, confronts the magnitude of anti-Black narratives and practices.

Throughout the United States, discriminatory housing laws and predatory lending segregated urban areas and denied Black Americans access to homeownership. State-sponsored “urban renewal” schemes systematically dismantled communities of color. The impact of these racist strategies can still be seen today in neighborhoods, infrastructures, the environment, and institutions large and small.

Germane Barnes
Collages 10, 2020
Digital Collage printed on Vellum and Photo Satin Paper 15” x 21.25”

This exhibition takes up the unfinished project of Reconstruction (1863– 77) —the brief period following the American Civil War when attempts were made to redress the injustices of slavery— and extends its ambitions to the twenty first century and beyond. Transcending the inequitable conditions that have historically bounded African American and Diasporic communities, the assembled projects envision transformative spaces that galvanize Black life, from the kitchen and the front porch to the street and the spaceship. Reconstructions centers Black cultural forms and amplifies Black life and joy while imagining community, care, knowledge, refusal, and, ultimately, liberation.

Issues in Contemporary Architecture is an ongoing series of architecture and design exhibitions at MoMA that focus on timely topics in contemporary architecture, with an emphasis on the urban dimension, in order to increase public dialogue around major issues in the field. Reconstructions will feature 10 newly commissioned works by the selected architects, designers, and artists: Emanuel Admassu, Germane Barnes, Sekou Cooke, J. Yolande Daniels, Felecia Davis, Mario Gooden, Walter Hood, Olalekan Jeyifous, V. Mitch McEwen, and Amanda Williams. Individual projects will respond to narratives and conditions found in Atlanta, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Syracuse. In addition, the exhibition will also present David Hartt’s new film, On Exactitude in Science (Watts) which seeks to reconstitute the dimensions of Black life and spaces in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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