MIAMI, Dec. 17, 2019 – Museum of Art and Design (MOAD) at Miami Dade College (MDC) presents Forensic Architecture: True to Scale, the first major U.S. survey of the research agency’s extraordinary work uncovering evidence of state and corporate violence around the world. The exhibition explores a new understanding of architecture, a new evidentiary aesthetic, and a new form of coalition activism. Forensic Architecture: True to Scale will be on view from Feb. 20 through Sept. 27, 2020.
Comprising architects, software developers, filmmakers, journalists, lawyers, artists, and scientists, Forensic Architecture is a research agency that uses architectural software and an architectural sensibility to investigate human rights violations. Their work has been used as evidence in a variety of tribunals, parliamentary inquiries, United Nations assemblies, and publications. They consider exhibitions crucial forums in which to expose and contemplate their research, as well. Founded by director Eyal Weizman in 2010 and based out of Goldsmiths at the University of London, Forensic Architecture is also an emergent academic field that focuses on how evidence relating to the built environment enters legal and political processes.
Forensic Architecture: True to Scale displays the evidence and explains the methodologies behind more than a dozen Forensic Architecture investigations. While providing an overview of how advanced techniques such as photogrammetry, audio analysis, augmented reality, 3D modeling, machine learning, and crowd sourcing support their findings, the exhibition considers the complex relationship between a material fact and its representation in the public realm. Amidst what Founding Director Weizman refers to as the “dark epistemology” of a post-truth media environment, their meticulously researched, carefully analyzed, and conscientiously presented evidence demonstrates that it is both possible and imperative to verify what is really happening in the world around us.
Among other investigations, the exhibition will include all six videos of The Killing of Harith Augustus (2019), an investigation of the Chicago Police Department’s claim that a police shooting was a “split-second” decision. Each video examines what happened within a different timeframe, literally starting with the “split second,” followed by the seconds, minutes, hours, days, and years leading up to the fatal event. MOAD MDC will also debut Hebron: Testimonies of Violence (2018–20), the first Forensic Architecture investigation in which virtual reality (VR) is used to assist, record, and represent witness testimony. The investigation is co-produced by MOAD and advances an approach that will be practically and theoretically explored through the museum’s public programming.
In addition to a panel discussion featuring experts on the architecture of border walls and refugee camps, MOAD will host a series of events that teach Forensic Architecture’s methodologies while laying the groundwork for an investigation of the alleged crimes occurring within a nearby child migrant detention center. Including a coalition of journalists, activists, architects, and MDC students, the series will bring critical attention to the humanitarian crisis at our borders and the architectural forms that evince devastating social policies.
“This exhibition offers an opportunity to rethink the agency of design museums,” said Sophie Landres, MOAD’s Curator of Public Programs. “Forensic Architecture teaches us what tools are available to verify truth claims amidst our currently murky and disorienting media environment. They inspire us to take an active role in the pursuit of social justice.”
Organized by MOAD, Forensic Architecture: True to Scale is curated by Sophie Landres. It is made possible by the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of its Immersive Technologies in the Arts initiative; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.
About Forensic Architecture
Forensic Architecture was established in 2010 with the help of a European Research Council (ERC) grant given to Professor Eyal Weizman. The team began to engage in case work and investigations while developing their research culture through a series of seminars at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. Forensic Architecture develops, disseminates, and employs new techniques for evidence gathering and presentation in the service of human rights and environmental investigations, and in support of communities exposed to state violence and persecution. It presents its investigations in international courtrooms, parliamentary inquiries, and UN assemblies, as well as in citizens’ tribunals and truth commissions. Its work has also been presented in keynote lectures, seminars, publications and exhibitions in art and cultural institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2019 Biennial, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Lisbon, and the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel.
About Museum of Art and Design at MDC
Located in Miami’s National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower, the Museum of Art and Design (MOAD) at MDC offers groundbreaking exhibitions and programs that aim to foster a reimagined Miami. Exploring the challenges and opportunities we face locally and globally, MOAD convenes artists, designers, and thinkers to address the urgent questions of our time. As the flagship museum of Miami Dade College, MOAD strives to be a catalyst for action and a place that empowers people to remake their city. MOAD follows the College’s lead in operating across Miami with its Museum Without Boundaries initiative, which takes place in city neighborhoods and invites everyone to be a part of the conversation.
WHAT: Forensic Architecture: True to Scale
WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 20 through Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020,
Opening reception on Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 6–9 p.m.
WHERE: Museum of Art and Design at MDC, Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Boulevard, Second Floor
Hours: Wednesday: 1-6 p.m., Thursday: 1-8 p.m., Friday–Sunday: 1-6 p.m.
Museum admission: $12 adults; $8 seniors and military; $5 students (13–17) and college students (with valid ID); free for MOAD members, MDC students, faculty, and staff, and children 12 and under.
Admission fee includes access to MDC Special Collection Galleries on the 1st Floor of the Freedom Tower.
Accessibility challenges: please call 305-237-7710 for details.
For updates and a full schedule of events, please visit http://www.mdcmoad.org/.
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