Exactly how the so-inclined architect (as “master builder”) was to honor the human propensity to experience space via a melange of sensory perceptions was bound in the tenets of a new professionalism: the heroic destruction of universalist junkspace hiding beneath an “individuated” armature. If “anarchitectonics” would purport to classify all activities, structures, and interactions in the developed world as irrational, regionalism then set out to tackle the collusive forces of postmodernity via stratagems which today retain an oddly elegiac currency. Natural light falling on a sculpture trumps its commodification. Geographic features are augmented, not flattened. Structural elements organically form interior spaces. Flora is the only acceptable facade. Air-conditioning is out. Locally abundant materials are preferred. These techniques would result in a spatial poetics utterly at odds with today’s proliferation of Green Building stemming from the programmatic application of codes, ratios, and use-scenarios. One imagines, perversely, Dupont’s “Corian” as regionalism’s totemic apotheosis.
Neither a show about Los Angeles, nor a thematic on the local, this exhibition borrows from the regionalism debate the notion of an apologetic interlocutor who intervenes in the proliferation of placeless spaces. As progenitor of authentic culture, can the regionalist artist (as “minor builder”) readily engage in a-tectonics, or is this simply an anthropology of the nearly available? 10 artists have created works in response to this prompt: Diana Al-Hadid, Sam Anderson, Constance Armellino, Nathan Azhderian, Darren Bader, Erik Frydenborg, Miles Huston, Fawn Krieger, Lisa Lapinski, and Jacques Vidal.