Lecture, 25 January 2022, Online, 18:30 Uhr CET
In the early 1960s, a highly self-reflexive architectural avant-garde emerged in Israel. A group of architects converging at the faculty of architecture at the Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa aimed to defy the solidity and authority of the autonomous object with a flux of random clusters, self-replicating and ever-mutating space modules, casbah-esque mats and ziggurats, polyhedral matrices, collapsible space frames, cybernetic contraptions, and various other crossbreeds of system theories and biomorphisms.
What could be portrayed in retrospect as a highly derivative local dialect of international structuralist trends was occasionally referred to as a symptomatically Israeli, or even Jewish, compulsion. Indeed, statistically speaking, a relatively large number of structuralist buildings and compounds materialized in Israel in the 1960s and several of them were remarkable enough to draw international attention. Critically speaking, the phenomenon of a counterculture recruited to the national building project and often sponsored by the State apparatus bewildered protagonists and antagonists alike and fueled media hype.
In this lecture, I will return to the sites of 60’s architectural experiments, disrupt their self-referentiality and re-locate them in their actual urban, civic and ethical context.
Prof. Dr. Zvi Efrat, Architect and Architectural Historian, is a partner at Efrat-Kowalsky Architects and was Head of the Department of Architecture at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem. His book, The Israeli Project: Building and Architecture 1948-1973, was published in Hebrew in 2004 by the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. His book The Object of Zionism, The Architecture of Israel was published by Spector Books, Leipzig, in 2018.
Link to the video conference:
(Zoom, Meeting-ID: 674 5997 0613, Code: 575515, Phone dial-in: +49(0)6971049922)