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Thomas Huber, Rede in der Schule (Talk in the School), 1983, mixed media. Installation view.

Thomas Huber

Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain

Thomas Huber, Rede in der Schule (Talk in the School), 1983, mixed media. Installation view.

Some years ago at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, I saw an exhibition of architectural maquettes depicting buildings and cities that in some strange, spectral sense were instantly familiar, though they didn’t approximate buildings from real life; instead, they were modeled from the architectonic worlds of literary classics. The show’s premise was unique yet not unfamiliar. The singular relationship between language and architecture might be distilled by the most common term for a poetic unit or grouping of lines: the stanza, which means “room” in Italian. This relationship can also be located in Emily Dickinson’s oeuvre, in which the domestic rooms of an unearthly house delineate every physical encounter, every psychological flight that her lines limn.

As I moved through Thomas Huber’s capacious survey at MAMCO, I thought of that affecting show (sensibly called “The Architecture

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