Eyal Weizman: Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of Detectability (2017)

6 December 2018, dusan

“In recent years, a little-known research group named Forensic Architecture began using novel research methods to undertake a series of investigations into human rights abuses. Today, the group provides crucial evidence for international courts and works with a wide range of activist groups, NGOs, Amnesty International, and the UN.

Beyond shedding new light on human rights violations and state crimes across the globe, Forensic Architecture has also created a new form of investigative practice that bears its name. The group uses architecture as an optical device to investigate armed conflicts and environmental destruction, as well as to cross-reference a variety of evidence sources, such as new media, remote sensing, material analysis, witness testimony, and crowd-sourcing.

In Forensic Architecture, Eyal Weizman, the group’s founder, provides, for the first time, an in-depth introduction to the history, practice, assumptions, potentials, and double binds of this practice. The book includes an extensive array of images, maps, and detailed documentation that records the intricate work the group has performed.

Included in this volume are case studies that traverse multiple scales and durations, ranging from the analysis of the shrapnel fragments in a room struck by drones in Pakistan, the reconstruction of a contested shooting in the West Bank, the architectural recreation of a secret Syrian detention center from the memory of its survivors, a blow-by-blow account of a day-long battle in Gaza, and an investigation of environmental violence and climate change in the Guatemalan highlands and elsewhere.

Weizman’s Forensic Architecture, stunning and shocking in its critical narrative, powerful images, and daring investigations, presents a new form of public truth, technologically, architecturally, and aesthetically produced. Their practice calls for a transformative politics in which architecture as a field of knowledge and a mode of interpretation exposes and confronts ever-new forms of state violence and secrecy.”

Publisher Zone Books, New York, 2017
ISBN 9781935408864, 1935408860
355 pages

Reviews: Regine Debatty (We Make Money Not Art, 2017), Adam Rothstein (New Scientist, 2017), Sława Harasymowicz (Journal of Visual Culture, 2017), David Huber (Artforum, 2017), Joseph Confavreux (Mediapart, 2017, FR), Felix Bazalgette (New York Review of Books, 2018), Martina Tazzioli (Radical Philosophy, 2018), Noah Chasin (Springerin, 2018), Bernard Hay (Review 31, 2018), Anna Altman (n+1, 2018), Viktoriya Yeretska (BauNetz, 2017, DE), Erick Villagomez (Spacing, 2017), Andreas Petrossiants (Brooklyn Rail, 2018).

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Evidentiary Realism: Investigative, Forensic, and Documentary Art (2017)

5 December 2018, dusan

Evidentiary Realism aims to articulate a form of realism in art that portrays and reveals evidence from complex social systems. The truth-seeking artworks featured explore the notion of evidence and its modes of representation.

Evidentiary Realism reflects on post-9/11 geopolitics, increasing economic inequalities, the erosion of civil rights, and environmental disasters. It builds on the renewed appreciation of the exposure of truth in the context of the cases of WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden, the Panama Papers, and the recent efforts to contend with the post-factual era.”

The exhibition was held at Fridman Gallery, New York, 28 February-31 March 2017, and Nome Gallery, Berlin from 1 December 2017-17 February 2018.

Curated and organised by Paolo Cirio.
Artworks by Nora Al-Badri & Nikolai Nelles, Amy Balkin, Sadie Barnette, Josh Begley, James Bridle, Ingrid Burrington, Hans Haacke, Khaled Hafez, Jenny Holzer, Harun Farocki, Navine G. Khan-Dossos, Thomas Keenan & Eyal Weizman, Mark Lombardi, Kirsten Stolle, Suzanne Treister.
Texts by Jaroslav Anděl, Sampada Aranke, Giulia Bini, Nijah Cunningham, Heather Davis, Blanca de la Torre, Lauren van Haaften-Schick, Natasha Hoare, Aude Launay, Susanne Leeb, Susette Min, Mary Anne Redding, Susan Schuppli, and Nicola Trezzi.

Publisher NOME, Berlin, 2017
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND License
ISBN 9780244342739, 0244342733
171 pages

Project website
Curator, exh. reviews
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Forensic Architecture (ed.): Forensis: The Architecture of Public Truth (2014)

20 June 2017, dusan

“Forensics originated from the term ‘forensis’ which is Latin for ‘pertaining to the forum.’ The Roman forum was a multidimensional space of negotiation and truth-finding in which humans as well as objects participated in politics, law, and the economy. With the advent of modernity, forensics shifted to refer exclusively to the courts of law and to the use of medicine, and today as a science in service to the law. The present use of forensics, along with its popular representations have become increasingly central to the modes by which states police and govern their subjects.

By returning to forensis this book seeks to unlock forensics’ original potential as a political practice and reorient it. Inverting the direction of the forensic gaze it designates a field of action in which individuals and organizations detect and confront state violations.

The condition of forensis is one in which new technologies for mediating the “testimony” of material objects—bones, ruins, toxic substances, landscapes, and the contemporary medias in which they are captured and represented—are mobilized in order to engage with struggles for justice, systemic violence, and environmental transformations across the frontiers of contemporary conflict.

This book presents the work of the architects, artists, filmmakers, lawyers, and theorists who participated directly in the “Forensic Architecture” project in the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths University of London, as well as the work of associates and guests. It includes forensic investigations undertaken by the project and its collaborators aimed at producing new kinds of evidence for use by international prosecutorial teams, political organizations, NGOs, and the UN. It also brings together research and essays that situate contemporary forensic practices within broader political, historical, and aesthetic discourse.”

With contributions by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Nabil Ahmed, Maayan Amir, Hisham Ashkar & Emily Dische-Becker, Ryan Bishop, Jacob Burns, Howard Caygill, Gabriel Cuéllar, Eitan Diamond, DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency), Anselm Franke, Grupa Spomenik, Ayesha Hameed, Charles Heller, Helene Kazan, Thomas Keenan, Steffen Krämer, Adrian Lahoud, Armin Linke, Jonathan Littell, Modelling Kivalina, Model Court, Working Group Four Faces of Omarska, Gerald Nestler, Godofredo Pereira, Nicola Perugini, Alessandro Petti, Lorenzo Pezzani, Cesare P. Romano, Susan Schuppli, Francesco Sebregondi, Michael Sfard, Shela Sheikh, SITU Research, Caroline Sturdy Colls, John Palmesino & Ann Sofi Ronnskog / Territorial Agency, Paulo Tavares, Füsun Türetken, Robert Jan van Pelt, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss / NAO, Eyal Weizman, Ines Weizman, Chris Woods.

Publisher Sternberg Press, Berlin, and Forensic Architecture, 2014
ISBN 9783956790119, 3956790111
744 pages

Reviews: Léopold Lambert (The New Inquiry, 2014), Martin Howse (Mute, 2014), Gaston Gordillo (Society and Space, 2015), John Beck (Radical Philosophy, 2015).
Exh. review: Harry Burke and Lucy Chinen (Rhizome, 2014).

Exhibition
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