Montreal, Canada, 13-11-2013 -
The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) presents How architects, experts, politicians, international agencies, and citizens negotiate modern planning: Casablanca Chandigarh from 26 November 2013 to 20 April 2014. The exhibition suggests a new historiography of modern urbanism based on two major urban experiments from the early 1950s: new residential neighbourhoods in Casablanca, Morocco planned by Michel Écochard and a team of young French and Moroccan architects, and Chandigarh, the new capital of Punjab in northern India conceived by a team consisting of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Maxwell Fry, Jane Drew and local architects and planners.
The exhibition aims to foster fresh discussions on modern urbanism as rooted in multiple locations out of western geo-political and cultural boundaries. Chandigarh and Casablanca represented two new and innovative architectural perspectives vis-à-vis modernity that still have some relevance for our contemporary thinking and practice. They invite us to locate the essence of the modern city in its everyday fabric, not only in its exceptional places and monuments, and to regard architecture and urban planning as a collective work that is the result of a negotiation among a variety of actors.
Curated by Tom Avermaete and Maristella Casciato, this exhibition revisits the relationship between local conditions and the international language of modern architecture in the context of Cold War politics and of the growing economic and political cooperation promoted by the United Nations (UN). The exhibition also embodies CCA’s interest in the possibility of apparently clashing ideologies – coming from different times and geographies and arising from multiple motivations – not only to coexist but, more interestingly, to produce a genuine and productive third way.
The exhibition is partly based on the Pierre Jeanneret fonds recently donated to the CCA by Jacqueline Jeanneret alongside loans from important international institutions including the Fondation Le Corbusier, la Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine, Gta / ETH Zurich, Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Architectural Association Archives, Avery Library Archives, Columbia University, Archives diplomatiques de Nantes, University of Bologna and TU Delft.
The exhibition and accompanying publication include a series of photographs commissioned by Yto Barrada and Takashi Homma whichoffer a contemporary reading of these two cities and illustrate this capacity to allow for change, adaptation and transformation.
The exhibition shows nearly 400 objects, consisting of more than 150 historic photographs, models, drawings, maps, and publications comprising experts’ reports from international organizations.
“This exhibition is the result of many years of research and collective efforts that show that these encounters with other urban realities not only challenge and disrupt the normative, but also are productive; they are ‘the affirmation of a new world, a way of seeing and thinking this world differently’, explained Maristella Casciato. According to Tom Avermaete, “Casablanca, together with cities like Chandigarh, belongs to a new league of modern cities. While the new capi¬tal of Brasilia (planned at the same time by Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer) offers a static model of an ideal modern city, the plan¬ners of Casablanca and Chandigarh thought of an urban model that was more dynamic and open.”
ABOUT THE CO-CURATORS
Tom Avermaete is a Professor of Architecture at the TU Delft with a special research interest in the public realm and the architecture of the city in Western and non-Western contexts. He is the author of Another Modern: the Post-War Architecture and Urbanism of Candilis-Josic-Woods (2005) and editor of Architectural Positions: On Architecture, Modernity and the Public Sphere (2009), Colonial Modern: Aesthetics of the Past, Rebellions for the Future (2010), and Structuralism Reloaded: Rule-Based Design in Architecture and Urbanism (2011). Avermaete is a co-editor of OASE Journal for Architecture. He was editor of OASE’s themed issue L’Afrique C’est Chic and co-creator of the research and exhibition project In the Desert of Modernity: Colonial Planning and After (Berlin 2008, Casablanca 2009). His current projects include a contribution to the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2014. Maristella Casciato is Associate Director of Research at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. She is a former Associate Professor of the History of Architecture at the University of Bologna, a Fulbright Fellow (1992), a Chercheuse Associée aux INHA, Paris (2004), a Mellon Senior Fellow at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (2010), and Chair of DOCOMOMO International (2002-2010). Her scholarly studies focus on the history of twentieth century European architecture with an emphasis on the Dutch contribution, Italian domestic culture and the architecture of post-WWII reconstruction, and the theory of the conservation of the architecture of our recent past. Since the late 1990s Casciato has been researching the work of Pierre Jeanneret and his involvement in the construction of Chandigarh. On this topic she previously curated the exhibition Twilight of the Plan: Chandigarh and Brasilia at the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio (2007).
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHERS Yto Barrada is a photographer and visual artist living and working between Tangier, Morocco, and New York City. She studied history and political science at the Sorbonne in Paris and photography at the International Center of Photography in New York. She is the founder and director of the Cinémathèque de Tangier, and a member of the Arab Image Foundation. Her work has been recognized by the Deutsche Bank's Artist of the Year 2011 award. Takashi Homma studied photography at Nihon University in Tokyo and is guest professor at the Graduate School of Tokyo Zokei University. After a period of apprenticeship in an advertising company and working in London for a fashion design magazine, he has developed most of his work in Tokyo. In 1994 he received the 24 Ihei Kimura Photography Award for Tokyo Suburbia. In 2008 he published Tokyo, a photographic documentation of the changing everyday experience of the city from the viewpoint of children.
Tokyo based firm Atelier Bow-Wow, specialized in architectural design and urban planning, has collaborated with the CCA curatorial team to develop a conceptual approach to the design of the exhibition around its three central themes: Exploring, Planningand Designing the civic fabric. Graphic design of the exhibition is by FEED.
EXHIBITION PUBLICATION How Architects, Experts, Politicians, International Agencies, and Citizens Negotiate Modern Planning: Casablanca Chandigarh is accompanied by a publication of the same title, to be released in English and French editions in February 2014. Co-published by the CCA and Park Books (the architectural imprint of Scheidegger & Spiess, Zurich), the book follows the themes of the exhibition within a broader interpretive narrative, and is illustrated by color and black and white archive images of drawings, photographs and maps.Price: 42 $CAN, 35 EUR.
ABOUT THE CCA The CCA is an international research centre and museum founded on the conviction that architecture is a public concern. Based on its extensive Collection, exhibitions, programs, and research opportunities, the CCA is a leading voice in advancing knowledge, promoting public understanding, and widening thought and debate on architecture, its history, theory, practice, and role in society today.
The CCA gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Ministère de la Cultureet des Communications, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, Le Corbusier Foundation, Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Japan Foundation and Hydro-Québec. Invitation to the public
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Photo de groupe du Bureau d’architecture, avec Jane Drew (rangée arrière, deuxième à gauche) et Maxwell Fry (rangée arrière, deuxième à droite), Secteur 19, Chandigarh, 1953.Architects’ Office, group photograph including Jane Drew (back row, second from left) and Maxwell Fry (back row, second from right), in front of Chandigarh grid, Sector 19, Chandigarh1953
Crédit photo :
RIBA Library Photographs Collection
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Michel Écochard survolant le territoire en avion pour étudier le terrain « d'en haut »1949Écochard Collection/Aga Khan Trust for CultureMichel Écochard as experienced pilot on one of his surveys “from the air”1949Écochard Collection/Aga Khan Trust for Culture
Crédit photo :
Écochard Collection/Aga Khan Trust for Culture
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Service de l'urbanismePopulation densities in the different neighbourhoods of Casablancac. 1950Photothèque, École Nationale d’Architecture de Rabat, MoroccoService de l'urbanismeDensité de population dans les différents quartiers de Casablancavers 1950Photothèque, École Nationale d’Architecture de Rabat, Maroc
Crédit photo :
Photothèque, École Nationale d’Architecture de Rabat, Maroc
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