MADA Talks: Architectural images of the U.S. “military-industrial complex”
Join us for “Hidden in Plain Sight”, a free public lecture by Claire Zimmerman, an Associate Professor in History of Art and the Architecture Program at the University of Michigan, and the Director of Doctoral Studies.
Professional architectural photographs often conceal as much or more than they show. Among the things that can be easily hidden by the screen of a successful image: buildings (those that remain unpublished or unphotographed); specific characteristics or qualities of buildings; the effects of buildings in society; the political forces that bring them into being.
Considering the capacity of photography to hide things in plain sight while making them appear transparently visible, this talk reviews U.S. Cold War architecture in photographs produced in the years leading up to and following WWII. With a particular focus on the “military-industrial complex” highlighted by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1961, the talk examines major industrial installations photographed by Hedrich-Blessing and others, and the representational buildings that accompanied them in US and international publications.
Claire Zimmerman is the author of Photographic Architecture in the Twentieth Century (Minnesota, 2014), co-editor of Neo-avant-garde and Postmodern: Postwar Architecture in Britain and Beyond (New Haven, 2010), and author of a Taschen monograph on Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (2006). Current projects include a book manuscript with the working title Invisible Architecture, a historical analysis of the impact of US industrialisation on architecture through the Kahns of Detroit, and continuing work on the impact of photographic architecture on producers and users of buildings worldwide.
Presented by the Critical Practices Research Lab at Monash University.