Promiscuous Rooms brings to the fore Bool’s current research on a series of erotic drawings made by Le Corbusier in Algeria during the 1930s. These coincided with the initial stages of the architect’s urban plan designs aimed at transforming Algiers into a modern imperial capital, thus asserting the French presence in North Africa.
Bool’s remarkable work raises several questions that must today challenge us.
Questions on the practice of architecture and urbanism: is the control of bodies not an important aspect of the (modern) practice of architecture and urban planning? In our area of #MeToo and “nudging” must we take a critical look at these architectural and urban practices?
Questions on the work of Le Corbusier: how did the champion of architectural modernism assimilate the orientalist tradition and in particular Islamist architecture? How did the specular fascination for the racialized bodies of colonial women influence the architect’s thinking. And how was the heterotopia of the brothel articulated within the Corbusean city?
We invite you to a dialogue between professors Christelle Taraud (author of Sex, Race and Colonies, and professor at Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne University and Columbia University) and Zeynep Celik (professor at Columbia University, specializing in the history of urban planning in the Orient) around the Shannon Bool exhibit Promiscuous rooms. Exchange hosted by Véronique Bouruet, curator and visual arts specialist.