• Seeking Zohn
    Lake Verea, Onnis Luque, Sonia Madrigal, Zara Pfeifer, Studio Fabien Cappello, and Adam Wiseman
    Mimi Zeiger and Tony Macarena
    MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, at the Schindler House, West Hollywood
    Apr 01, 2023 to Jul 23, 2023
    MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, at the Schindler House

View of Archivo Del Estado De Jalisco by Alejandro Zohn, 1989.

Seeking Zohn is about translations and triangulations across time and space, through the codependent mediums of architecture and photography. Curated by Mimi Zeiger, with collaboration and exhibition design by Tony Macarena, the exhibition presents public buildings designed by Austrian-Mexican architect and engineer Alejandro Zohn (1930–2000) via new photography by contemporary Mexican and Austrian artists, with the intent to capture the social, cultural, and material lives of these robust structures. A Holocaust survivor, Zohn was born in Vienna, Austria and immigrated to Mexico postwar. He studied engineering and architecture in Guadalajara, Mexico, where many of his most notable designs are located. Zohn’s work falls within discussions of late modernism, a period that’s recently come under reevaluation.

Lake Verea is an artist duet formed by Francisca Rivero-Lake and Carla Verea. They have been working together since 2005. Lake Verea’s work revolves around experiments with photographic techniques and formats to create intimate and personal portraits of architecture. In previous projects, the artists explored the archives of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, architect Luis Barragán, as well as German émigrés Josef and Anni Albers. Lake Verea’s Paparazza Moderna project began in 2011: they create poetic portraits of single-family houses designed by renowned modernist architects (Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Richard Neutra, Rudolph M. Schindler, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Philip Johnson). The artists work with two pairs of identical analogue cameras, exchanging these during the shoot in order to blur questions of authorship and to highlight their combined identity.

Trained as an architect, architectural photographer Onnis Luque graduated from the School of Architecture at UNAM. His work has been published in various magazines such as Domus, Arquine, MONU, Architectural Digest, and PLOT and has been included in several architectural biennials and competitions. His book, USF / DF Appropriation Tactics (CONACULTA / Ediciones Acapulco 2014), documents several years photographing the Santa Fe Housing Unit in Mexico City, from which he is a native.

Sonia Madrigal lives and works in Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl. Her work explores different visual narratives to reflect, personally and collectively, on the body, violence and territory, focusing mainly on the East of the Metropolitan Zone of Mexico City. She is part of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte National System of Art Creators (FONCA). In 2018, she participated in the XVIII Biennial of Photography of the Centro de la Imagen. She was a fellow of the Jóvenes Creadores of the Fondo para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA) 2013-2014. She was awarded a residency at the Encuentro de Colectivos de Geografía Crítica y Geografías Autónomas (Ecuador, 2019) and at the Encuentro de Colectivos Fotográficos Iberoamericanos (Brasil, 2014). She’s participated in exhibitions in Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, France, Italy, Canada, Spain and the United States, and published her work in Harper's, Aperture, and The Guardian.

Zara Pfeifer studied Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Photography at the Friedl Kubelka School for Artistic Photography Vienna. Her long-term project—Du, meine konkrete Utopie—about the Viennese modernist housing project Alterlaa was awarded and exhibited in Europe and the US, published among others in ZEITmagazin, Monocle, DUMMY, TANK, and premiered as a short film at Diagonale–Festival of Austrian Film. The photobook Du, meine konkrete Utopie was published by Kerber Verlag in 2017. For her ongoing work Good Street! Pfeifer accompanies truck drivers on their routes across Europe. Pfeifer was invited by art galleries, architecture and photography institutions, museums, and universities throughout Europe and the US to present her work in exhibitions and lectures. She received a studio grant at ISCP New York by the Austrian Federal Government.

Tony Macarena is a design queeratorial duo comprised of Tony Lorena Canales and Macarena Alejandro Olávarri. They make exhibitions, occasions, and lend services. Their practice transits the intersection between hegemonic aesthetics, the commercialization of culture and the production of identity politics. They undress neocolonizing and decolonizing dynamics, national representation and self-exotization tics. Lorena Canales makes text. She is an editor, interviewer, and critic from Guadalajara. She explores culture and identity construction through text, objects, and pedagogical insinuations. She has a bachelor’s in industrial design from ITESM, Guadalajara and a master’s degree in design research, writing, and criticism from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Alejandro Olávarri makes images, he is a designer, graphist, and painter from Mexico City. He translates socioeconomic phenomena through graphics, objects, and post-disciplinary illusions. He is former assistant curator at Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura, and obtained a bachelor’s degree in visual communication at CENTRO, Mexico City, with honors, and studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

Studio Fabien Cappello is a spatial and furniture firm based in Mexico City and Guadalajara. The studio first opened in 2010 in London, to produce work in different contexts; from commercial objects to specific editions and public environments. All works share a high consideration for both, craft techniques and industrial production, reflecting design through people and their interactions with space, environment and material culture.

As a graduate of the International Center of Photography in New York and a former printer at Magnum Photos, Adam Wiseman's career has been marked by his relationship to photojournalism. His subjects are clearly interposed with an understanding of image as something between document and intersubjectivity. Wiseman is a Senior Lecturer at the University of East London. He divides his time between Mexico City and London giving lectures, workshops and developing new work.

Mimi Zeiger is a Los Angeles-based critic, editor, and curator. She was cocurator of the 2020-21 cycle of Exhibit Columbus and of the US Pavilion for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Curatorial projects include Soft Schindler at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture and Now, There: Scenes from the Post-Geographic City, which received the Bronze Dragon award at the 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, Shenzhen. Zeiger has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Architectural Review, Metropolis, and Architect. She is an opinion columnist for Dezeen and former West Coast Editor of The Architects Newspaper. Zeiger is the 2015 recipient of the Bradford Williams Medal for excellence in writing about landscape architecture. She is faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and in the Media Design Practices MFA program at Art Center College of Design.

The MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, founded in 1994, is a contemporary, experimental, multidisciplinary center for art and architecture headquartered in three significant architectural works by the Austrian-American architect R.M. Schindler. Offering a year-round schedule of exhibitions and events, the MAK Center presents programming that challenges conventional notions of architectural space and relationships between the creative arts. It is headquartered in the landmark Schindler House (R.M. Schindler, 1922) in West Hollywood; operates a residency program and exhibition space at the Mackey Apartments (R.M. Schindler, 1939) and runs more intimate programming at the Fitzpatrick-Leland House (R.M. Schindler, 1936) in Los Angeles. Unique in its role as a constellation of historic architectural sites and contemporary exhibition spaces, the MAK Center develops local, national, and international projects exploring the intersection of art and architecture.