MoMA Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America / Black Reconstruction Collective

04/21/21, 6:00PM

  • Thursday, April 21, 2021

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Photo Credit: African American Homesteaders (Exodusters), Nickodemus, Kansas, Library of Congress

In conjunction with the upcoming exhibition Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America at The Museum of Modern Art, join us for a two-part public event: A conversation with Dean Milton S. F. Curry and the exhibition organizers, followed by a presentation and discussion with the exhibitors. The event will highlight ongoing research that comments on and questions how gentrification and displacement, industry, technology, and other forces affect African Americans and People of Color in the built environment. This program is presented in collaboration with the USC School of Architecture.

Part I. The conversation on the exhibit: Milton S. F. Curry, dean of USC Architecture and the exhibition organizers, Sean Anderson, Associate Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art, and Mabel O. Wilson, Nancy and George E. Rupp Professor, Columbia University.

Part II. The presentation by the Black Reconstruction Collective (the exhibitors): Emanuel Admassu, Germane Barnes, Sekou Cooke, J. Yolande Daniels, Felecia Ann Davis, Walter Hood, Mario Gooden, Olalekan Jeyifous, V. Mitch McEwen, and Amanda Williams. Theme: Black Awe

USC Architecture Student Moderators:

Bettina Brown, M.Arch '21; Alternate Student Representative, USCA Public Events Committee
Chaila Johnson, B.Arch '21; Past Vice President, Student Association for Women in Architecture (SAWA)
Chizoba Ibeanusi, M.Arch '22; Vice President, GASA
Jameel Marsden, M.Arch +2 '22; President, NOMAS (AY 2021-22)
Ashley Onyeador, B.Arch '23


Sean Anderson is associate curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art. He has practiced as an architect and taught in Afghanistan, Australia, India, Italy, Morocco, Sri Lanka and the U.A.E. His second book, In-Visible Colonies: Modern Architecture and its Representation in Colonial Eritrea (2015), was nominated for an AIFC Book Prize in Non-Fiction. Earlier this year, he co-curated the exhibition On Muzharul Islam: Surfacing Intention at the Dhaka Art Summit. At MoMA, he has organized the exhibitions Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter (2016-17), Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age, 1959-89 (2017-18), four iterations of the annual Young Architects Program (YAP) at MoMA PS1 as well as collaborative collection displays including Surrounds (2019), Inner and Outer Space (2019-20) and Building Citizens (Present). Organized with Mabel O. Wilson, Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America opened in February 2021.

Mabel O. Wilson is the Nancy and George E. Rupp Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and a professor in African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University. She has authored Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture (2017) and Negro Building: African Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums (2012). With Irene Cheng and Charles Davis, Wilson co-edited the recently published volume Race and Modern Architecture: From the Enlightenment to Today (2020). With her practice Studio &, she is a collaborator in the architectural team that recently completed the Memorial to Enslaved African American Laborers at the University of Virginia. She’s a founding member of Who Builds Your Architecture? (WBYA?) a collective that advocates for fair labor practices on building sites worldwide.

The Black Reconstruction Collective (BRC) provides funding, design, and intellectual support to the ongoing and incomplete project of emancipation for the African Diaspora. The BRC is committed to multiscalar and multidisciplinary work dedicated to dismantling systemic white supremacy and hegemonic whiteness within art, design, and academia. Founded by a group of Black architects, artists, designers, and scholars, the BRC aims to amplify knowledge production and spatial practices by individuals and organizations that further the reconstruction project.

The BRC engages the public through an annual process of reviewing proposals and providing critical and financial support to projects that have been selected by the committee. This work will manifest in built commissions, research funding, exhibitions, events, and publications, that will collectively imagine transformations to the built environment in the Black Radical Tradition.

Sean Anderson and Mabel O. Wilson
Sean Anderson and Mabel O. Wilson