Beyond Delirious

Architecture in Selected Photographs from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection

CIFO Art Space, Miami │ November 30, 2005 - February 3, 2006


Curated by Christopher Phillips.


Architecture and urbanism have become inescapable points of reference in contemporary art. Beyond Delirious, a selection of photographic works from the Ella Fontanals Cisneros Collection, suggests some of the reasons why this is so. The works shown here range in scale from the intimate to the monumental, and vary in mood from the coolly objective to the poetically expressive. Yet they all portray architectural space as one of the decisive features of the cultural life of our times.Although these works often provide precise observations of architectural form, their most striking characteristic is an extraordinary sensitivity to the social and psychological nuances of the buildings and cityscapes that are pictured. Recent decades have seen a growing artistic fascination with the ways in which the built environment embodies not only the public aspirations but also the unavowed preoccupations of the society that calls it into being. The works in this exhibition reflect an acute awareness that in every architectural space can be discovered a distinct worldview.


A number of pieces here testify to the contemporary evolution of urban form around the world. This is a moment marked by the sudden growth of mega-cities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, often arising from a whirlwind of demolition and new construction. These developments are stretching traditional ideas of urbanism and architecture almost beyond recognition.


The works in Beyond Delirious call attention not only to the classical harmony of Venice's Piazza San Marco but also to the labyrinthine urban sprawl of Mexico City and the intoxicated science-fiction towers of Shanghai. Can we find in these latter settings, which seem at once exhilarating and terrifying, the first signs of an expanded vision of twenty-first-century urbanism?


Through their arrangement in the cifo exhibition spaces, the works on view are meant to raise questions about the relations between civic and private space, between planned and spontaneous urban growth, and between reasoned and imagined architectural form. The result is an open dialogue of images and ideas, in which the viewer is an indispensable participant.


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Olivo Barbieri, Uta Barth, Rochelle Costi, Stan Douglas, Olafur Eliasson, Carlos Garaicoa, Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Sabine Hornig, Sze Tsung Leong, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Ryuji Miyamoto, Atelier Morales, Gabriel Orozco, Stephan Pascher, Caio Reisewitz, Thomas Ruff, Ed Ruscha, Doris Salcedo, Shi Guoui, Melanie Smith, Heidi Specker, Thomas Struth, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Frank Thiel, Massimo Vitali, Wang Qingsong, Sharon Ya’ari, Yang Zhenzhong, Tsukasa Yokozawa.

Exhibition Highlights: 
  • Start Date: Wednesday, 30 November 2005
  • End Date: Friday, 03 February 2006

Image Gallery