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Eyal Weizman in L.A.: The first U.S. exhibition by Decolonizing Architecture. Dec 7, 2010 – Feb 6, 2011: The conflict over Palestine as main case study


DR. EYAL WEIZMAN

 

Dr. Eyal Weizman is director of the Centre for Research Architecture at the University of London and the EU-funded research project Forensic Architecture.   He completed his PhD at London Consortium, Birbeck College.  Dr. Weizman has formerly taught at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and at the Technion School of Architecture.  Since 2007, Dr. Weizman has been a member of the architectural collective “Decolonizing Architecture in Beit Sahour, Palestine.”   He has delivered the Edward Said Memorial Lectures before.  His books include The Lesser Evil, Hollow Land, A civilian occupation, Territories 1, Territories 2, Territories 3, and Yellow Rhythms. 

 

Dr. Weizman is a member of the B’tselem Board of Directors.  According to NGO Monitor, “B’tselem has faced serious criticism for its misrepresentation of international law, inaccurate research, and skewed statistics.”   B’tselem regularly minimizes Israeli security concerns and deliberately chooses to not report on human rights violations that happen within mainland Israel.   The executive director of B’tselem, Jessica Montell, believes that the situation in the West Bank is worse than apartheid and one former employee of B’tselem, Lizi Sagie, compared Israel to Nazism, claimed that Israel exploits the memory of the Holocaust for political gain, and called Israel’s Memorial Day a “pornographic circus of glorifying grief and silencing voices.”  

 

In September 2010, Dr. Weizman gave an anti-Israel lecture at the School of Architecture at the University of Technology in Sydney, where he spoke about the “Elastic Architecture of Occupation” and “Decolonizing Architecture in the West Bank.”    

      

 

Sources:

 

http://roundtable.kein.org/user/3

http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/b_tselem

http://www.israel-academia-monitor.com/index.php?type=large_advic&advice_id=7874&page_data[id]=4338&cookie_lang=en

 

 

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http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/09/seeing-things-decolonizing-architecture/?src=twrhp

 

Seeing Things | Decolonizing Architecture

Amina Bech. All images courtesy of Decolonizing Architecture/Art Residency.A photomontage from “The Red Castle and the Lawless Line” visually highlights a building that rests along the West Bank’s political dividers.

In a new exhibition at the Gallery at REDCAT in Los Angeles, the Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency (DAAR) looks at ways to use architecture to investigate and speculate about the future of sites that have been evacuated, or decolonized, by Israel in Palestine’s West Bank. DAAR — a Bethlehem-based research studio and residency program led by Alessandro Petti, Sandi Hillal and Eyal Weizman — envisions a “detoured world,” in which political, legal and architectural approaches can be employed to reuse both physical and organizational structures in new, and often unorthodox, ways.

Putting a new spin on the idea of adaptive reuse, “Return to Nature” proposes to transform the former Israeli army barracks in Oush Grab into an observatory for migrating birds, turning the empty concrete buildings over to nature. “The Red Castle and the Lawless Line,” the studio’s most recent project, focuses on a wealthy Palestinian businessman’s newly constructed mansion, which happens to sit on the line that divides the West Bank into three zones. In the map that resulted from the 1993 Oslo Accords, this line was drawn with red ink. The architects propose to transform the “red line” into an extraterritorial space that falls under neither Israeli nor Palestinian jurisdiction,  and which can be used as a powerful site for intervention and appropriation.

Sara PellegriniA photomontage from “Project: Return to Nature” shows the abandoned Israeli military base at Oush Grab and the migratory crows that rest there.

DAAR believes that these small tears or gaps in the territorial system, like a seam that has come unsewn, may allow the entire system of divisions in the West Bank to be opened up and torn down. The exhibition, the first American presentation of DAAR’s work, provides not only a window onto a world that most of us know only from news that focuses on politics and conflict, but also offers innovative and imaginative approaches to the reuse of architecture and urban infrastructure that could be adopted in our own cities.

 


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http://www.e-flux.com/shows/view/8883


Decolonizing Architecture
December 7, 2010 – February 6, 2011

Opening:
Sunday, December 5, 4-7pm
Opening talk with Eyal Weizman and Steve Fagin

REDCAT
631 West 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
www.redcat.org


REDCAT is pleased to present the first U.S. exhibition by Decolonizing Architecture. 

Initiated by Alessandro Petti, Sandi Hilal and Eyal Weizman in 2007, Decolonizing Architecture is a project set up as a research studio and residency program in Beit Sahour, Bethlehem. The studio examines architecture to articulate the spatial complexities of decolonization, taking the conflict over Palestine as their main case study. Collaborating with a range of individuals including artists, filmmakers, activists, academics, and non-profit organizations to embark on a broad spectrum of critically-engaged and highly-focused research projects, the studio works within a spatial reality that Weizman describes as "the politics of verticality" in his riveting study of the Occupied Territories titled Hollow Land. Offering new possibilities for insight and engagement, the studio aims to inaugurate an "arena of speculation" that incorporates varied cultural and political perspectives as interventions within the political, legal, and social force fields that exist there.

For REDCAT, Decolonizing Architecture will develop an exhibition that builds on their work over the last three years. Comprised of research material, photography, architectural models, video/film works, and a series of books, the exhibition brings together three core projects (De-Parcelization, Return to Nature and The Red Castle and the Lawless Line) to recast the largely discredited term decolonization and to consider how the transformation of financial, military and legal infrastructures in the area can lead to what the architects have called "the construction of counter apparatuses that find new uses for the abandoned structures of domination." 

De-Parcelization deals with a fundamental question of how Israeli-built structures can be reused, recycled or re-inhabited by Palestinians. Taking Psagot in Ramallah, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, as a case in point, the project turns the "geography of occupation" against itself by superimposing pre-settlement maps. Return to Nature attempts to transform former army barracks in Bethlehem into a bird observatory for migrating birds, working with the Palestinian Wildlife Association. Their most recent project The Red Castle and the Lawless Line takes the 5-meter band, the literal ink line drawn on the map of the 1993 Oslo Accords, as extraterritorial space unlegislated by Israeli or Palestinian control, and as a critical site for architectural appropriation and intervention.

Assembled together for the first time at REDCAT, the three projects represent the visual products of research initiated by the studio and its collaborators including Michael Baers, Amina Bech, Suzanne Harris-Brandts, Nadav Harel, Armin Linke, Francesco Mattuzzi, Sara Pelligrini, and Diego Segatto. The studio was recently re-established as the Decolonizing Architecture/Art Residency Institute to capture its full range of activities and programs. 

In conjunction with the exhibition, a panel co-presented with the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House will convene a group of individuals from diverse disciplines and backgrounds, including Iain Boal, Teddy Cruz, Alessandro Petti, Geoff Manaugh and Kimberli Meyer on Wednesday, January 26 at 7:30pm at REDCAT.

Decolonizing Architecture was originally conceptualized and its pilot stage produced in dialogue with Eloisa Haudenschild and Steve Fagin, partners in the haudenschildGarage, Spare Parts projects.

The exhibition is funded in part with generous support from the Nimoy Foundation, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the haudenschildGarage.


Gallery at REDCAT aims to support, present, commission and nurture new creative insights through dynamic projects and challenging ideas. The Gallery presents five exhibitions every year, often of newly commissioned work, that represents the artist's first major presentation in the U.S. or Los Angeles. The Gallery also maintains an active publishing program producing as many as two major monographs per year. Proceeding from the geographic and cultural specificities of Los Angeles, its program emphasizes artistic production of the Pacific Rim—namely Mexico, Central and South America and Asia—as regions that are of vital significance to California. The Gallery aims to facilitate dialogue between local and international artists contributing to a greater understanding of the social, political and cultural contexts that inform contemporary artistic practice.

Gallery at REDCAT is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 6:00pm or until intermission. It is closed Monday and major holidays. Admission to the Gallery at REDCAT is always free. 

REDCAT is located at the corner of W. 2nd and Hope Streets, inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles (631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.)



 

Eyal Weizman is a writer and architect; director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, and of the EU funded research project Forensic Architecture. Since 2007 he is a member of the architectural collective Decolonizing Architecture in Beit Sahour/Palestine. www.decolonizing.ps which has received the 2010 Prince Claus Award for Architecture. Weizman has taught, lectured, curated and organised conferences in many institutions worldwide. His books include The Lesser Evil [Nottetempo, 2009, Verso Books forthcoming 2011], Hollow Land [Verso Books, 2007], A Civilian Occupation [Verso Books, 2003], the series Territories 1,2 and 3, Yellow Rhythms and many articles in journals, magazines and edited books. Weizman is a regular contributor and an editorial board member for several journals and magazines including Humanity, Cabinet and Inflexions. He has worked with a variety of NGOs world wide and was member of B'Tselem board of directors.www.btselem.org. Weizman is the recipient of the James Stirling Memorial Lecture Prize for 2006-2007 and has recently delivered the Paul Hirst and the Edward Said Memorial Lectures. He studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London and completed his PhD at the London Consortium/Birkbeck College.


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