The stories of architects have historically been portrayed and understood through singular figures and monographic narratives. However, the human and logistical edifices behind each of these individual figures is oftentimes less singular and more homogenous than usually depicted. What is the portrait of the collective body of architects building globally today?
On March 31st, 2015, Storefront for Art and Architecture will host an exhibition featuring The Architects, a film by artist Amie Siegel originally commissioned by Storefront as part of OfficeUS, the United States Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale of Architecture. The Architects examines and analyzes the drivers, protocols, and implications of architectural production in an era marked by globalizing forces. The film embodies the efforts made by OfficeUS towards the understanding of practice and accountability within architecture.
The Architects cuts transversally through the city of New York, producing a continuous image of the global architecture office today. Moving through several architecture studios—from Fifth Avenue to Downtown to Brooklyn—the film depicts the operational territories and landscapes of worldwide architectural production from New York. As a singular unfolding visual, the film deploys silent conversations among the architectures, locations, objects and characters that inhabit its frames, raising questions of scale, agency, and power.
Parallel tracking shots through the working offices chart their typologies of sameness and difference, revealing reappearing elements of the spaces of architectural production: long horizontal desks, screens, renderings, and models. The film frames a wide spectrum of practices, from large firms to smaller studios in a collective new whole. It positions itself from a vantage point that places the lens of the camera between the spaces of production and the world, which is always, and only, just outside the window.
The Architects was made possible through the generous support of Storefront's Board of Directors and Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown.
Ranging from photographs, video, film installations, performance and feature films for the cinema, American artist Amie Siegel's work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions including Amie Siegel: Provenance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, as well as solo and group exhibitions at MoMA/PS1, NY; MAXXI, Rome; Hayward Gallery, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Walker Art Center, MN; CCA Wattis, San Francisco; Kunstmuseum Stuttgart and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin. Her films have screened at the Cannes, Berlin, New York and Toronto Film Festivals, The Museum of Modern Art, New York and The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. She has been a fellow of the DAAD Berliner-Künstlerprogramm, Guggenheim Foundation, and the recipient of a Sundance Institute Film Fund award and Berlin Film Festival award.