052-0816-21L  Seminar Architectural Criticism: The Other Institution - About Criticism and Emancipation

SemesterSpring Semester 2021
LecturersA. Stahl
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman

AbstractThe seminar investigates the potential and the limitations of architectural criticism. The course comprises theoretical reflection, discussions of architectural objects, as well as work on texts.
ObjectiveThe aim of the seminar is to develop the basics of architectural theory and to apply it in joint field research. Students are therefore expected to take on different research tasks, short presentations and a series of text contributions. At the end of the academic year we plan on realizing a publication and an exhibition, that both needs to be conceptualized and organized.
ContentSince the late 1960s it has become accepted practice among artists to fire critique at the institutions historically dedicated to them. In one of many examples, Hans Haacke famously asked visitors of the Museum of Modern Art in his 1970 MoMA Poll whether they would vote again for Nelson Rockefeller as governor of the state of New York, knowing that he was in favor of the Vietnam War. The Rockefellers were among the founding members of MoMA and at that time served on the MoMA Board, the group of people that help steer the artistic direction of the institution. No wonder they requested to shut the Haacke show down shortly after the opening. Thanks to John Hightower, the museum director at the time, the "freedom of artistic expression" won – and so-called “institutional critique” was born, which to this day questions the conditions of art production and therefore art itself. For the upcoming academic year 2021, we will take this “institutional critique” as a starting point for our studies and aim to implement it within the ETH discourse.
Lecture notesWill be handed out at the beginning of the semester.
LiteratureEssays and reviews from architectural journals, magazines and other media.
Prerequisites / NoticeEspecially for students from the 5th semester Bachelor.