Thinking on realism and its affinities to architecture as the theme for Bezalel Papers stemmed from our interest in an idea once experimented with in Israeli art; that is, that estranging modernization can be challenged by a social[ist] realism, which would imagine and intertwine itself with the people for the representation of new publics. From another angle, realism appeared relevant to us as an approach that places the reaction to actual conditions at the base of its operation.
These ideas, that architecture can play a role in affecting publics we well as working in an unmediated way in the world, were cast in new light in the sweep of events we are recently witnessing. From Bahrainís demolished Pearl Square statue, to Benghaziís reappropriated modernist spaces, architecture was pushed to the fore and became both the battleground and the weapon in rethinking the political. It was forced, in other words, into the real.
This dramatic moment, we felt, sending shockwaves into the cultural and geopolitical realms, could not be overlooked in a magazine that seeks to question and argue for the capacity of spatial practices to operate in both. Risking a certain lack of critical distance and knowingly exposing ourselves to claims on opportunism and subjectivity we have decided to shift our debate to the question of spatial realpolitik: that is, what happens once cities and publics are forged and fought against through architecture? How is space used in these processes and what might be the role of speculation and projection in a moment of great change?
We invite designers, writers and artists to contribute previously unpublished texts or image-based statements to the upcoming issue of Bezalel Papers, to be published online this summer. Text pieces are limited to 1,200 words and five images. Image-based submissions can accommodate up to 12 images with short captions and introduction. Submissions due June 1st, 2011.
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