PRINT July/August 2020


Exterior view of “Countryside, The Future,” 2020, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. From left: Industrial tomato-grow container; Deutz-Fahr TTV Warrior tractor. Photo: David Heald.

“COUNTRYSIDE, THE FUTURE” opened at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on February 20, 2020. On March 13, the show prematurely closed, joining the ranks of exhibitions and public events interrupted by the spread of Covid-19. Organized by Rem Koolhaas, Troy Conrad Therrien, Samir Bantal, and an army of collaborators, the expansive exhibition is dedicated to the “radical changes” ostensibly taking place in “rural, remote, and wild territories . . . or the 98% of the Earth’s surface not occupied by cities.” Framed as a corrective to architects’ enduring habit of privileging the urban, the show traces a path through countrysides across the globe, presented here not as bucolic outsides or compensatory alternatives to the havoc or violence of capitalist urbanization but as wellsprings of “exciting and innovative solutions to modernity.” Defined by technology and phenomena such as

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