The Duck and the Document: True Stories of Postmodern Procedures features a series of fragments, from handrails to façade panels, salvaged from canonic buildings of the late 20th century. Typically associated with drawing and the circulation of media images, postmodern architecture is generally understood to have been largely a matter of style and surface ornament, freed from the exigencies of political and technical systems by the force of architectural autonomy. The Duck and the Document challenges this view by embedding the expected imagery of postmodernity within materials that demonstrate the dense tangle of regulations, production specifications and technologies that constrained architectural design rather than liberated it. While these True Stories of Postmodern Procedures describe a less heroic and autonomous architect, they also produce a more persuasive account of architectural ingenuity as it sought to survive the bureaucratization not merely of the architectural profession but of the very idea of architecture.
Featuring artifacts from the buildings and archives of Peter Eisenman, Charles Moore, Mike Reynolds, and SITE.
Sylvia Lavin is an internationally known critic, historian and curator whose work explores the limits of architecture across a wide spectrum of historical periods. She is Professor, Director of PhD Programs and former Chair of the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA and has taught at Princeton, Harvard, Columbia among other schools. She is a frequent contributor to journals such as Artforum, Perspecta and Log and among her books are titles such as Form Follows Libido: Architecture and Richard Neutra in a Psychoanalytic Culture, Kissing Architecture and Flash in the Pan. Recent exhibitions include Everything Loose Will Land: Art and Architecture in Los Angeles in the 1970s, The New Creativity and The Artless Drawing. She has been recognized by many grants and awards, most recently from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Getty Research Institute and the Graham Foundation.
Research, Curatorial and Design assistance provided by the UCLA Curatorial Project Team.
This exhibition originated as Salvage at the Princeton University School of Architecture Gallery in Spring 2016. A new and expanded iteration of the show will be on view at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Spring 2018.
SCI-Arc exhibitions and public programs are made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles. The SCI-Arc Gallery is open daily from 10am–6pm.