Museum of Modern Art
Feb 20–May 31, 2021
“Our exhibition, more than two years in the making, began as a question about how we can repair ourselves and our histories while observing the histories of architecture and urbanism in the United States,” said Anderson. “[It has] since evolved into 11 important conversations with architects, artists, and designers, each of whom has established new forms and methods elevating who and what makes architecture today. Their individual meditations, embedded within newly commissioned projects, observe the spatial evolution of American cities while speaking to the past, present, and future as intersectional narratives. Working across drawing, models, films, video, and installation, the projects seek to un-build those systems that contain and imperil BIPOC communities.” — from The Architect’s Newspaper
Exhibition description, MoMA.org
How does race structure America’s cities? MoMA’s first exhibition to explore the relationship between architecture and the spaces of African American and African diaspora communities, Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America presents 10 newly commissioned works by architects, designers, and artists that explore ways in which histories can be made visible and equity can be built.
Centuries of disenfranchisement and race-based violence have led to a built environment that is not only compromised but also, as the critic Ta-Nehisi Coates contends, “argues against the truth of who you are.” These injustices are embedded in nearly every aspect of America’s design—an inheritance of segregated neighborhoods, compromised infrastructures, environmental toxins, and unequal access to financial and educational institutions.
Each project in the exhibition proposes an intervention in one of 10 cities: from the front porches of Miami and the bayous of New Orleans to the freeways of Oakland and Syracuse. Reconstructions examines the intersections of anti-Black racism and Blackness within urban spaces as sites of resistance and refusal, attempting to repair what it means to be American.
Reconstructions features works by Emanuel Admassu, Germane Barnes, Sekou Cooke, J. Yolande Daniels, Felecia Davis, Mario Gooden, Walter Hood, Olalekan Jeyifous, V. Mitch McEwen, and Amanda Williams, as well as new photographs by artist David Hartt.
Organized by Sean Anderson, Associate Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art, and Mabel O. Wilson, Nancy and George E. Rupp Professor, Columbia University, with Arièle Dionne-Krosnick, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art.
Nov 13, 2020 - The Black Reconstruction Collective works to dismantle systemic racism within art, design, and academia | The Architect’s Newspaper
Nov 17, 2020 - Carl M. Sapers Ethics in Practice Lecture: Black Reconstruction Collective, “Black Reconstruction” at Harvard GSD
Dec 3, 2020 - Black Futures: The Black Reconstruction Collective at MIT