A Clockwork Jerusalem, the exhibition showcased in the British Pavilion at last year's Venice Biennale, will make it's UK debut at London's Architectural Association (AA) next month. Commissioned by the British Council and curated by Sam Jacob, co-founder of FAT, and Wouter Vanstiphout, partner at Dutch practice Crimson Architectural Historians, the exhibition shines a light on the large scale projects of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s by exploring the "mature flowering of British Modernism at the moment it was at its most socially, politically and architecturally ambitious - but also the moment that witnessed its collapse."
From Stonehenge to council estates, from Ebenezer Howard to Cliff Richard, from ruins and destruction to back-to-the-land rural fantasies, A Clockwork Jerusalem explores how the international influences of modernism became mixed with long standing British sensibilities.
A variety of large scale projects, images, objects and artefacts offer insights into the way architecture was central to manufacturing a new vision of society at a scale inconceivable today. The modern future of Britain was built from an unlikely combination of interests and these projects have changed our physical and imaginative landscapes. Through architecture, records, books and adverts, A Clockwork Jerusalem examines how traditions of the romantic, sublime and pastoral, as well as interests in technology and science fiction, were absorbed to create a specifically British form of modernism.
To those with knowledge of the UK's architectural heritage, this cultural and social history is delivered in a way which feels strangely familiar while uncovering a series of fascinating hidden histories behind British modernity that continue to resonate in the 21st century.
The (slightly reconfigured) exhibition will run in the AA Gallery from the 9th May to the 6th June 2015. Exhibitions are open Monday to Friday 10:00–19:00, Saturday 10:00–15:00.
Read ArchDaily's interview with Sam Jacob and Wouter Vanstiphout on A Clockwork Jerusalem here:
Sam Jacob & Wouter Vanstiphout on Curating "A Clockwork Jerusalem"