I was absolutely shocked by the name of this expo. Why would anyone say F*** Architects? All architects? I didn't see the title of it until we got there. I just knew the artist was Mounir Fatmi.
We stepped inside the open space, wood floor, black barred iron ceiling, walls of glass giving a panorama of the Ill river, it was like a box trapping light and heat, sauna hot. We were greeted by a young blue-eyed lad getting up from behind a desk. It was so quiet. We're the only ones.
I look at the boy, he looks at me. I smile, wondering if he wants to say something. He has papers in his hand. Does he want to say something, or should I start looking around? We stand there like two morons smiling at each other. Daniel's wondered away. Confused, I ask the young man, "Can I take a look around?"
"That's what it's made for, Eva!" Daniel's voice echoed.
So I start to walk away and the boy says, still standing there,
"Do you at least want a program and a floor plan?"
I grab it. Daniel sits on the floor, bored and yawning.
I act interested, but I'm not. VHS tapes are partly unwound, adhered to wall. Hard hats with names of great thinkers taped on them sit in a mound on the floor, "Gandhi, Simone de Beauvoir, Genet, Deleuze." And then a projector sends shadows of books on a table onto an adjacent wall that resemble skyscrapers. The titles of the book-skyscrapers: What Bush Wanted, The Americans, 9-11-What Really Happened and Osama.
I don't understand the exhibit. Is it too deep for me? Maybe I feel uncomfortable because I am an American? Maybe I should have guessed from the title of the expo that it wasn't for me. But one thing I loved about my favorite art history teacher of all time, Dr. David Parrish, was his interest in all forms of expression, his curiosity, his love of that creative element in humanity taking limitless forms. I'll adopt his viewpoint and say this expo was "coming from a place of hurt?" That's the best I can do.
As an afterthought: I just realized that maybe the stifling heat was part of the Expo. Maybe it was supposed to add to the visitors irritation, making them so uncomfortable that after all, they just have to scream, "F*** Architects!" and then they realize that they were all along in agreement with the artist.