Open Lecture on Architecture: Mark Wigley

EKA suur auditoorium A101

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The next lecturer of the Open Lecture Series this spring will be Mark Wigley – New Zealand-born architect, author, and from 2004 to 2014 Dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture. He will be stepping on the stage of the main auditorium of the new EKA building on the 28th of March at 6 pm to talk about his latest book that discusses the works of Gordon Matta-Clark.

Mark Wigley is a Professor of Architecture at Columbia University. He is a historian, theorist and curator who explores the intersection of architecture, art, philosophy, culture, and technology. His books include: Derrida’s Haunt: The Architecture of Deconstruction; White Walls, Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture; Constant’s New Babylon: The Hyper-Architecture of Desire; Buckminster Fuller Inc. – Architecture in the Age of Radio; and Are We Human? – Notes on an Archaeology of Design (written with Beatriz Colomina when they co-curated the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial). He has also curated exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, The Drawing Center and Columbia University in New York, the Witte de With in Rotterdam, and the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal. His most recent exhibition was The Human Insect: Antenna Architectures 1997-2017 at Het Nieuwe Instituut (2018).

Wigley will give a lecture entitled “Cutting Matta-Clark: The Anarchitecture Investigation” on the occasion of the publication of his new book with the same title. This major book, based on a wealth of previously unpublished images and documents, completely rethinks the transgressive building cuts by Gordon Matta-Clark, the legendary cult figure in both the art and architecture worlds.

The work of Gordon Matta-Clark (1943–1978) fundamentally changed our understanding of the role of architecture in everyday life. Matta-Clark is best known for site-specific installations in abandoned houses scheduled to be demolished in New York, Paris, Antwerp and elsewhere. He revealed the chaos behind the seeming orderliness of the urban space and exposed the conflict between living spaces and architectural structures. Matta-Clark belonged to an artistic community that conceptualised the idea of “anarchitecture” (a conflation of the words “anarchy” and “architecture”). “Anarchitecture” referred to the creative practice that paid attention to the shifts, voids and non-places in the urban space.

Wigley’s lecture coincides with the joint exhibition of Gordon Matta-Clark and Estonian artist Anu Vahtra in Kumu Art Museum. The exhibition is called Gordon Matta-Clark: Anarchitect. Anu Vahtra: Completion through removal. On Friday, March 29th at 12:00 a joint exhibition visit with Mark Wigley and Anu Vahtra will take place in Kumu.

The architecture and urban planning department of the Estonian Academy of Arts has been curating the Open Lectures on Architecture series since 2012 – each year, a dozen architects, urbanists, both practicing as well as academics, introduce their work and field of research to the audience in Tallinn. All lectures are in English, free and open to all interested.

The series is funded by the Estonian Cultural Endowment. Mark Wigley’s lecture and the exhibition visit on Friday is organized in cooperation with Kumu Art Museum.

Curators: Sille Pihlak, Johan Tali

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Architecture and Urban DesignFaculty of Architecture Open Lectures