Writing and Photography

Upcoming event at the MAK Center (Los Angeles)

Added on by Wendy Cheng.

Arquitectura Contemporánea

Temporality in conceptual photography and architectural guidebooks

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

7 PM

MAK Center for Art and Architecture

at the Schindler House

835 North Kings Road

West Hollywood, CA 90069

Admission is free

Please join us for Arquitectura Contemporánea, a discussion that takes a critical look at the representation of architecture and the changes in urban landscapes: specifically in terms of architectural guidebooks, and more generally with the interconnection between architecture and photography through time-based documentary and art works.

Artists Christoph Draeger and Heidrun Holzfeind will present their conceptual photo project Arquitectura Contemporánea, a remake of an architectural guidebook of the same name that chronicles 20th century architecture in Mexico City. The project will be published as a book later this year with editor Lorenzo Rocha, an architect and critic from Mexico City, who at the panel will speak about the intersection between photography and architecture in relation to the different ways a building can be contemporary. Photographer and writer Wendy Cheng will discuss A People's Guide to Los Angeles (University of California Press, 2012), focusing on the historical, geographic, and political implications of guidebooks and how they inform how we interact with everyday landscapes, with specific reference to Los Angeles. She'll also touch on some of the visual and aesthetic challenges involved in the production of A People's Guide. Artist Alex Slade will discuss his photographs documenting sites of transformation across the US where the defining characteristics of today's American city are actualized.

MAK Center director Kimberli Meyer will moderate the panel.

Each panelist will make a fifteen-minute presentation, followed by a roundtable discussion.



Lorenzo Rocha Cito is an architect and critic based in Mexico City, and former architect-in-residence at the MAK Center. All of his projects have been built in Mexico City and its hinterland. Editor of [ESPACIO] magazine since 2005 and regular contributor to Milenio newspaper for 8 years. He is the author of four books, the most recent: Essays on Photography and Architecture, published by Diamantina in 2011.

Wendy Cheng is a writer and photographer. She is Assistant Professor of Asian Pacific American Studies and Justice & Social Inquiry in the School of Social Transformation, at Arizona State University. She is the author of The Changs Next Door to the Díazes: Remapping Race in Suburban California (University of Minnesota Press, 2013) and coauthor and photographer of A People's Guide to Los Angeles (University of California Press, 2012). Her essays and articles have appeared in publications including American Quarterly, Journal of Urban History, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Cheng is a past recipient of the Dorothea Lange Fellowship for documentary photography and the George Peabody Gardner Traveling Fellowship.  

Christoph Draeger is an artist who has been working with themes of disaster and destruction for over twenty years. His projects take form in installation, video, and photo-based media to explore issues pertaining to catastrophe and media-saturated culture. His work has been the focus of solo exhibitions at Kunstzeughaus Rapperswil (Switzerland), OK Centrum (Linz), Kunsthaus Zurich, Roebling Hall (New York), Center for Contemporary Art (Warsaw); and included in group exhibitions at the Whitney Museum, Brooklyn Museum, New Museum, MoMA, P.S.1, Van Abbe Museum Eindhoven, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil (Mexico City), Centre Pompidou, Paco das Artes (Sao Paulo), Museum der Moderne (Salzburg), KW Institute (Berlin), as well as biennials in Gwangju, Havanna, Liverpool, Moscow, and Venice.

Heidrun Holzfeind is a current artist-in-residence at the MAK Center, interested in how architecture interacts with people's everyday life. She questions immanent architectural and social utopias of modernist residential buildings, exploring the borders between history and identity, individual histories and political narratives of the present. Her work has been shown at the Maldives Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, BAWAG Contemporary (Vienna), Mumok (Vienna), MoMA, Camera Austria, (Graz), CCS Bard, Lentos Museum (Linz), Manifesta 7 (Italy), SAPS (Mexico City),Center for Contemporary Art (Warsaw), Artists Space (New York), and other venues. She is the recipient of the Camera Austria prize for contemporary photography (2011), the Gerhard and Birgit Gmoser Prize for Contemporary Art, Secession Vienna (2011) and the Outstanding Artist award for photography (2012) of the Austrian Arts Council. 

Alex Slade is an artist working in both photography and sculpture. His work has been included in exhibitions throughout the US and internationally. Exhibition venues include Edward Cella Art + Architecture (Los Angeles), Santa Monica Museum of Art, MoMA, MOCA Miami, Liverpool Biennial, Prague Biennial, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), and the San Francisco Art Institute. Slade is a graduate of CalArts, and currently resides and works in Los Angeles where he is the Assistant Chair of the Fine Arts Department at Otis College of Art and Design.

Image: Christoph Draeger and Heidrun Holzfeind, Arquitectura Contemporánea, 2007.


The MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House is located at 835 North Kings Road in West Hollywood. Public hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 AM-6 PM. Regular admission is $7/$17 with the guidebook, Schindler By MAK; students and seniors, $6/$16 with book; free for Friends of the MAK Center and on Fridays, 4-6 PM. Parking is available at the public structure at the northeast corner of Kings Road and Santa Monica Boulevard.

For further information, please visit MAKCenter.org or call (323) 651-1510.

The MAK Center 835 North Kings Road | West Hollywood | CA | 90069