New York

Elizabeth Diller And Ricardo Scofidio

MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art

Museums generally present architecture in a predictable, acquiescent fashion. Drawings, photographs, and models are the usual fare. The relationship of the host institution to the visiting architecture installation seldom excites real chemistry or dialogue: the two remain independent and critically unengaged. For their installation here, entitled para-site, 1989, Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio restructured this relationship aggressively, intelligently, and cogently. The artists, as both members of and dissident presences in the cultural establishment, played with the treachery of language and the chameleonic quality of architecture, creating a deeply disorienting and puzzling space. Their project explored a wider use of the museum as a surrogate site for new architecture.

This challenging, ambitious installation strayed beyond the perimeter—and conventions—of the projects room. Some

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