“Montage and the Metropolis: Architecture, Modernity, and the Representation of Space”
Interlocutor: Brigid Doherty
Monday, November 9, 2020 @5pm
Online Event [register here or stream here]
Montage is omnipresent in modern culture and discourse. Rooted in industrial production and popular image practices in the nineteenth century, and achieving its recognizable form in the avant-garde movements of the 1920s, the juxtaposition of (photographic) elements became, through adaption and analogy, a primary compositional principle in all artistic media. A direct consequence and function fo what Walter Benjamin termed “the age of technological reproducibility,” montage addresses the mode of perception specific to the mechanized metropolis. Engaging history and theory of architecture, photography, film, literature, historiography, and popular visual culture since the late nineteenth century, Montage and the Metropolis reassesses the category of montage as not only a dominant modernist compositional principle but also a way to think about embodied moving through space more generally—a key strategy for the production of meaning, adopted by multiple constituencies.
Martino Stierli is The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern art (MoMA), a role he assumed in March 2015. Stierli oversees the wide-ranging program of special exhibitions, installations, and acquisitions of the Department of Architecture and Design. He is the author of Montage and the Metropolis: Architecture, Modernity and the Representation of Space (Yale University Press, 2018) and Las Vegas in the Rearview Mirror: The City in Theory, Photography, and Film (Getty Research Institute, 2013). He has organized and co-curated exhibitions on a variety of topics, including the international traveling exhibition Las Vegas Studio: Images from the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, and The Architecture of Hedonism: Three Villas in the Island of Capri, which was included in the 14th Architecture Biennale in Venice in 2014. At MoMA; he has curated, with Vladimir Kulic, the exhibition “Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980,” and, with Ann Temkin, “From the Collection: 1960-1969”. Together with the other chief curators, he was also responsible for the reconceptualization of the collection installations in the new and expanded MoMA, which opened to the public in October 2019. He is currently working on a large exhibition on the architecture of South Asia in the post-independence period.
Brigid Doherty is an associate professor in the Departments of German and Art & Archaeology at Princeton University.