Sex and the So-Called City
SEX AND THE SO-CALLED CITY
Andrés Jaque / Office For Political Innovation in collaboration with Miguel de Guzmán / Imagen Subliminal
February 2nd – April 3rd, 2018
97 Kenmare Street, New York, NY
February 1st Exhibition Opening:
Press and Members Preview: 6 pm – 7 pm
Public Opening: 7 pm – 9 pm
#sexandthesocalledcity @storefrontnyc @andres_jaque @imagensubliminal
What are the social, environmental, and political consequences of our urban lifestyles?
This year, Sex and the City, New York City’s most influential archisocial manifesto, turns twenty. The series, an often prescient telling of the cultural trends that have played out in the two decades since its release, follows the glitz and un-glamour of its four main characters through a tumultuous period of transformation for our beloved city: the late 1990s and early 2000s.
For Sex and the So-Called City, Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation in collaboration with Miguel de Guzmán / Imagen Subliminal, make use of lifestyle forensics to unveil and present the underlying themes of Sex and the City, unblackboxing New York City’s obvious (and therefore invisible) blueprints. These investigations collectively offer a groundbreaking – and sometimes shocking – understanding of the outcomes and impacts of contemporary urban life.
The exhibition dives deeply into issues such as real estate development, energy generation, reproduction, the hypercapitalization of society, and of course, sex, opening up conversations about the relationship of these issues to design, architecture, and the production of the city. In a time when our experiences and our surroundings are highly designed, what does New York City, the ultimate capital of choice, offer us? How many degrees of separation from questionable ethical practices do we feel comfortable with? How has the contemporary image of the city created new forms of design thinking and practice?
This forensic study of the city’s contemporary culture is presented in the form of a transmedia studio with 360-degree videos capturing interior and exterior landscapes that play host to the narratives and issues the series explores. Alongside the media room is an installation of evidentiary objects comprising the complex network of materiality that occupies and animates our urban context. A public program with two major events will utilize the space and the items to stage and film four new episodes on particular themes, capturing the objects, bodies, and actions of our lived experiences in the city.
Allowing for sometimes uncomfortable reflections about the consequences of our choices and designs, Sex and the So-Called City portrays snapshots of a new urban lifestyle, provoking us to contemplate the depths beneath the images that inundate our fictional – and real – imaginary of New York City.
ABOUT THE EPISODES:
The exhibition will present two public events, a series of presentations and conversations from experts in different fields that further expand upon the seminal urban themes of the series. These include:
Tuesday, February 27th: Marathon of Scales
Marathon of Scales will look at the way Columbus Circle became the location where International Fertilization, as a transurban way to simultaneously redesign the biology, the image and the political status of new humans was invented. Starting from the scale of the the spermatozoon, the session will explore the participation of interior, building, urban, territorial and environmental design in this invention and the political implications this process comprises. In this process, the marathon will make emphasis in the way New York apartments have become the ultimate location of sexual desire, the communication techniques used to sexualize them as a commercial and branding tool, but also the way they have become the default scenario for porn and the way they attract hookup apps users.
Wednesday, March 28th: Marathon of Sections
Marathon of Sections will connect the project of purifying New York air and waters (and the relocation of NY’s toxicity) with the project of rebranding the city as a location for billionaires. It will also interrogate the development of high-end residential condominium towers in NY, the narrative that supported that development and the NY’s evolution from the 2000s as the result of an accumulation of transformations in the way to construct collective ways to perceive and produce images. The development of specific forms of windows (helicopter views), surveillance, tracking mapping and monitoring. From the skies to the underground, the marathon will deal with a great variety of innovations that transformed NY, New Yorkers, its territorial dimension and the neighboring states underground mineral dimension.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Office for Political Innovation
The Office for Political Innovation, a Madrid/New York based practice directed by Andrés Jaque, develops architectural projects that bring inclusivity into daily life. All of the practice’s architectures can be seen as durable assemblages of the diversity that comprises ordinary life.
The practice received the Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts in 2016 and the Silver Lion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, and has designed award-winning projects such as Plasencia Clergy House (Dionisio Hernández Gil Prize), House in Never Never Land (Mies van der Rohe European Award Finalist), Tupper Home (X Bienal Española de Arquitectura y Urbanismo), and Escaravox (COAM Award 2013). In 2015, Andrés Jaque was the winner of MoMA PS1’s Young Architect Program, with the project Cosmo.
The Office for Political Innovation’s work has instigated crucial debates for contemporary architecture. In 2012, the Museum of Modern Art of New York (MoMA) acquired the project IKEA Disobedients as the first architectural performance to be part of its collection. In 2013, the practice presented Superpowers of Ten at the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Different Kinds of Water Pouring into a Swimming Pool at RED CAT / CalArts Center for Contemporary Arts in Los Angeles, and Hänsel & Gretel’s Arenas at La Casa Encendida in Madrid. In 2012, the practice unblackboxed Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion with the intervention PHANTOM: Mies as Rendered Society. In 2011, the research and prototype-making project Sweet Parliament Home was presented at the Gwangju Biennale, and in 2010, the installation Fray Home Home was displayed at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennial.
The Office for Political Innovation is the author of the publications PHANTOM: Mies as Rendered Society, Different Kinds of Water Pouring into a Swimming Pool, Dulces Arenas Cotidianas, and Eco-Ordinary: Codes for Everyday Architectural Practices and Everyday Politics. Their work has been published in many key media outlets, including A+U, Domus, El Croquis, the New York Times, and Vogue, among others.
Miguel de Guzmán / Imagen Subliminal
Imagen Subliminal Architectural Photography + Film was founded by architect and architectural photographer Miguel de Guzmán. The firm, comprised of Miguel de Guzman and Rocío Romero, is a New York and Madrid-based practice whose work is commissioned by many internationally renowned architecture, construction, and real estate firms.
Imagen Subliminal’s photographs have been published worldwide in print magazines such as Architect, Dwell, El Croquis, Arquitectura Viva, A+U Japan, Domus, Casabella, Mark, C3, and many other books and newspapers. The practice also collaborates with online media as Archdaily, Dezeen, Designboom, and Divisare.
Imagen Subliminal’s film work has been displayed at MAXXI Rome, Centre Pompidou Paris, and architecture film festivals in New York, Los Angeles, Budapest, Santiago, and Seoul.
Research: Andrés Jaque, Paola Pardo
Fact Checking: Paola Pardo
Object Collection: Paola Pardo, Roberto González
Coordination: Roberto González
Design: Laura Mora, Felipe Arango, Ayushi Drolia, Roberto García, Marta Jarabo, Pablo Maldonado, Solé Mallol, Valentina Marín
Cinematography and Video Installation: Miguel de Guzmán / Imagen Subliminal
Music Art: Emiliano Caballero
Video Art (Episodes): Óscar Espín
Voice Overs: Elizabeth Sanjuan
Sound Editing: Robin Groove
Text Editing: Walter Ancarrow
Video Projection System and Installation: Integrated Visions
Fabrication and Installation: Asa Pingree
Executive Director and Chief Curator: Eva Franch
Associate Curator: Carlos Mínguez Carrasco
Director of Strategic Development: Jinny Khanduja
Programs Producer: Max Lauter
Pro-bono support for this exhibition is kindly provided by Integrated Visions.
Storefront’s programming is made possible through general support from Arup; DS+R; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Knippers Helbig; KPF; MADWORKSHOP; ODA; Rockwell Group; Tishman Speyer; the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; The Greenwich Collection Ltd.; the Lily Auchincloss Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Peter T. Joseph Foundation; and by Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.