Oliver Elser & Sylvia Lavin in Conversation

Friday, Nov 17, 2017 5 – 7 pm

Chicago Architecture Biennial Partner Program 

Friday, November 17, 5 p.m.

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Join us for a conversation about architectural exhibition making with Sylvia Lavin and Oliver Elser. As the director of the Critical Studies MA and PhD programs in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA, where she runs The Curatorial Project, Sylvia Lavin will reflect on Super Models, her installation in the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial and the simultaneous show Exhibition Models at Princeton School of Architecture. These exhibitions are based on a photograph taken in 1984 of architectural models in the Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt. Today this museum features exhibitions curated by Oliver Elser, whose most recent shows there include: ARCHITECTURAL MODEL – Tool, Fetish, Small Utopia (2012), MISSION: POSTMODERN – Heinrich Klotz and the Wunderkammer DAM (2014), and the forthcoming SOS BRUTALISM – Save the Concrete Monsters! (2017). We bring these two figures together in Chicago to discuss historical and contemporary importance of photographs and models to architectural collecting and exhibition making.

Oliver Elser is a curator at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) in Frankfurt, Germany. His practice includes criticism, teaching, and archival based exhibition making. After studying architecture at the Technical University of Berlin, Elser worked in Vienna as an architecture critic and journalist, publishing often in Der Standard, Architectural Digest, and profil. He has taught scenography at the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz and has shown work at the 2013 Venice Biennale in the exhibition Il Palazzo Enciclopedico. Exhibitions that he has curated include: The Architecture Model: Tools, Fetish, Small Utopia, DAM (2012); The 387 Houses of Peter Fritz, Venice Art Biennale (2013); Mission: Postmodern. Heinrich Klotz and the Wunderkammer, DAM (2014); Making Heimat. Germany, Arrival Country, German Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale (2016); and SOS BRUTALISM – Save the Concrete Monsters!, DAM (2017).

Sylvia Lavin is a 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, and Columbia among other schools. She is a is a frequent contributor to journals such as Artforum, Perspecta and Log and among her books are Form Follows Libido: Architecture and Richard Neutra in a Psychoanalytic Culture, Kissing Architecture and Flash in the Pan. Curated 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. She is currently working on The Duck and The Document: True Stories of Postmodern Procedures, an exhibition that originated at the Princeton School of Architecture Gallery as Salvage, will be opening at the SCI-Arc Gallery in 2017 and in an expanded form at the Canadian Center for Architecture in 2018.

This program is presented in partnership with the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.