In summer 2011 Fake Industries Architectural Agonism was invited to participate in the exhibition The Street, part of the upcoming Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture. The show, curated by Terence Riley as an iteration of the famous La Strada Novissima part of the 1980 Venice Biennale, not only included interviews with the participants of the 1980 exhibition. It also reiterated the original commission to a new set participants, that is, the design and construction of a 10x4m façade and an installation of their works in the space behind. ARTIFIZI has collected the exhibition text with permission of its authors, and presented it within a new immediate context, surrounded by a series of relevant articles, as well as within the new political context that has emerged, 6 years later.
There is not original work on this installation.
Not in the façade.
Not on the table.
The slide-show on the right screen shows the evidence.
The four façade panels were stripped out from Ai Weiwei’s studio the night before it was demolished.
The question is: What is the architectural value of this façade?
Is it the fact that the fragments belong to a building of cultural relevance that was polemically demolished?
Is it the fact that they display traditional vernacular Chinese construction in the context of an international biennale?
Is it the fact that they have their place in the art market profitable business surrounding Weiwei’s public persona?
Is it the fact that they refuse traditional notions of authorship assuming that to copy entails a radical reformulation of architectural imagination?
(copies allow a radical renunciation to form-making – since form is defined a priory – in order to focus on architectural knowledge yet to be explored)
The models on the table appropriate despised typologies of the real estate bubble and re-visit their potential.
The excess of architectural production generate knowledge that the speed of consumption condemns to oblivion.
In this context, architectural knowledge can be public, yet undiscovered, if independently created fragments are logically related but never retrieved, brought together, and interpreted.
We call them Domestic Dreams.
They exist in an architectural unconscious, somewhere between the desire for forever-lost modes of inhabitation and the repressed pleasures of utopian typologies.
(The revision of despised typologies enables the identification of issues that can be publically contested, fostering advancements in the field)