In the Aftermath of Violence, Forensic Architecture Reconstructs the Truth

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An expansive show at the ICA in London demonstrates how the activist research group uses spatial reconstructions to uncover human rights violations.


“On January 1, 2016, while the rest of the world was ringing in the new year, team members of Forensic Architecture were busy assembling  a crude pavilion in the Negev-Naqab desert in southern Israel. Built in collaboration with Bedouin and anticolonial organizations to be used as a civil forum, the pavilion comprised a simple wooden frame lined with black tarpaulin. This enigmatic pavilion is the only built structure on display at Counter Investigations, Forensic Architecture’s (FA) new exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in London.

For those familiar with the work of the multidisciplinary research agency led by architect Eyal Weizman of Goldsmiths, University of London, this will come as no surprise. Far from artisans of built form or typological exploration, FA deals with reconstruction, discursive space, and memory, often through journalistic and investigative methodology. As nebulous as this may sound, FA is probably having more of an impact than any self-defining architect working in the field today…”

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