The skyscraper is a spatial manifestation of the sociological and psychological experiences exacted upon the modern individual within the territory of the contemporary metropolis. It is no longer simply a visual expression of late capital.
If the early modernist skyscraper proposals of Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe were attempts at utopian urbanity and aesthetic prowess, then today’s towers reflect a darker, more nihilistic attitude toward spatial democracy. Packed with every experience and function, and produced in almost every shape and material finish imaginable, the contemporary skyscraper has become a disaffected breeding ground for neoliberal proposals, which reject the optimism of the discipline’s postwar engagement with egalitarian social reforms.
Hot On the Heels of Love: Sensational Speculations presents five polemical stories about the modernist skyscraper and its dystopian adventures within the space of late capital.
Produced by architect John Southern and his firm Urban Operations, the works illustrate the inherent contradictions between the skyscraper as a seductive architectural type and the sinister properties it embodies in regard to the space of the global city. The result is a tactical fiction, which is not an escape from the psychological terrors of the post-9/11 metropolis, but instead a mirror held up to society and writ large.
11.05.16-01.06.17 at the Jai & Jai Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
All photographs by Josh White Studio unless otherwise noted.