Call for Papers: Architectural Exhibitions. Bitácora Arquitectura Journal, issue 44
In this issue, the editors of Bitácora aim to explore architectural exhibitions as cultural artefacts that have fostered critical reflection and have established aesthetic canons, social patterns, and cultural policies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is often overlooked that some noteworthy architectural works achieved this status thanks to exhibitions and that some works were even produced only for exhibition purposes. Influential exhibitions advanced polemical proposals that guided critics and gave rise to canonical works and debates of the past century.
Exhibition spaces such as galleries and museums condition the development, reception, and presentation of architecture. In these spaces, architecture leaves behind its place in the practical world of the built environment to enter the world of representation. In galleries and museums, architectural exhibitions have fundamentally been photographic shows. Some have presented and adapted architectural languages and practices; used sketches and blueprints; incorporated fragments of buildings, and even built small structures or scale models to communicate their complexity to the public. With these strategies architectural exhibitions entered the world of fairgrounds. At the same time, in museums and galleries, architecture becomes a work of art; as well as a national, regional and international symbol; a tool of the elites; an apparatus of social and economic development and of sectioned cultural policies. Exhibitions become an arena where curatorial strategies negotiate aesthetic, political, and cultural values, and a stage were disciplinary projects and professional practices reach a general public that has been often kept at the margins of such discussions.
This issue of Bitácora aims to present significant and little-known case studies in which architecture has entered exhibition spaces. the journal is interested in the analysis of ideas, objects, and techniques, as well as in curatorial strategies and tactics that mediate their transition. The editors seek papers that explore the determining role of both private and public cultural institutions; that examine exhibitions as part of a discourse of culture and power; that explore the order and definition of what was considered to be national architecture, as well as the processes of stylization and stylistic labelling that arose as a result. We invite essays that study transnational networks; that question and break with the framework of the nation-state, as well as study regional and international cultural, aesthetic, technological, and social imaginaries.
This Call for Papers can be downloaded here.