Forensic Architecture: Towards an Investigative Aesthetics
This exhibition presents the work of the architects, artists, filmmakers and investigative journalists who make up the Forensic Architecture agency at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, as well as that of its collaborators and guests. Established in 2010, Forensic Architecture uses architectural analysis, models and animations as investigative tools, primarily for the production and presentation of spatial evidence in the context of armed conflict and political struggles. This evidence is presented in political and legal contexts, including international courts, truth commissions, and human and environmental forums.
Both ‘forensics’ and ‘architecture’ refer to well-established disciplinary frames. Brought together, they shift each other’s meaning, giving rise to a different mode of practice. While architecture adds an essential method of investigation, forensics demands that architects pay the closest attention to the materiality of the built environment and its media representation.
This exhibition spans part of the museum’s second floor. The one-hundred-metre-long back wall, traversing the entire exhibition across three galleries, has been conceived of as an extended essay that echoes the investigations included in the galleries, presenting the kind of theoretical and methodological reflection that contemporary investigative aesthetics demands today. The investigations are arranged according to scale, beginning with the human body and moving through rooms, buildings and cities to territories and oceans, from micro-analysis to the scale of the planet – the ultimate forensic object, which human-induced climate change has transformed into both a construction site and a ruin.
While exploring the development and transformation of the investigative practice that bears its name, the exhibition challenges us to consider how contemporary artistic practices and media technologies can be geared up to engage this reality of post-truth.
Exhibition co-produced by MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona and MUAC, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City.