Exhibitionism by definition connotes a display that acts, conflict as productive, and an aberrant mode of behavior. It embodies the profaned and the evidentiary, a category of things that collide in the quasi-object in which use-value and aesthetic-value are often conflated. Could this aberrance and conflict as a performative act provide a way forward for curating architecture? Could aberrance suggest categorizations for collecting architecture that no longer rely on the pure, autonomous, modernist divisions of media such as painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, architecture, and film to posit a spatial aesthetics that is implicitly, qua concept, propositional, political, and instrumental; that is appropriate for a local context in which multiculturalism, transnationalism, and globalization are central? Could it address and propose alternate categories, those of the spatial environment, through weather, contagion, catastrophe, accident, institutional critique, spatial tactics, border crossings, heterotypologies, choreographic objects, that are best articulated through things, those quasi-objects, that now maintain a hybrid status – part art, part architecture, no longer representational, but presentational, propositional? Could 1:1 bastard objects command a value equal to that of other objects? Could these things be considered, collected as unstable discursive elements – those things through which others speak, that form an excuse for discourse – enable a sort of curatorial agency as part of a collective spatial practice? Could they be collected relationally, archivally as such? Could they suggest the gallery as a place of experimentation, an alternative form of looking as productive, that exposes instead of displays, that acts, proposes? Could such a method and forum suggest a practice that is both documentary and propositional, performative and productive as architecture?
Exhibitionism as a method and open project proposes a mode of praxis involved in the creation of the sensible. It proposes architecture and the architecture curator as a spatial practitioner within a broader spatial aesthetic discourse; that as architecture, the exhibition should not represent architecture within the space of the gallery but should presence or produce architecture within the space that is architectural; and that architecture is often best presenced through its alterity or other. It considers where and how the political enters as a common stage to hear the low man speak, in Ranciere’s terms, be it to elevate the value of architecture through reconceiving the thing akin to that of painting and sculpture, or to consider the exhibition and curator as somehow instrument and agent, beyond branding or even knowledge production. To look at architecture in this way is to posit architecture as part of a broader spatial-social-political-aesthetic discourse, at once inside and outside itself. It is also a reflexive position that argues the display of architecture should be congruent with the most recent practices. To say as much means that the exhibition is no longer contained in space, but is constitutive of, and constituted by, space. Exhibition as architecture, architecture as exhibition. A reflexive mirror that proposes what Foucault calls a heterotopic space. (Excerpted)