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Full text of "John Hejduk: The Riga Project"

JOHN HEJDUE: 

THE RIGA PROJECT 



The University of the Arts 



This pro|ect, jointly organized by 
the Exhibitions Program and 
Department of Architectural 
Studies of The University of the 
Arts, was supported in part by 
grants from the National 
Endowment for the Arts and the 
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, 
and with contributions from 
Realty Engineering Associates, 
Berwyn, Pennsylvania, Laurie 
Wagman and Irvm J. Borowsky, 
Philadelphia; and The Andrew 
Corporation, Orland Park, Illinois 



JOHN HEJDUE: 

THE RIGA PROJECT 



November 20- 
December 22, 1987 



@ The University of the Arts 

The Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery 
and The Great Hall 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 




John Hojduk 

Ob)ect/Subiect, from the RIGA book 

watercolor on paper. 1985 

8%"x 10 '/2" 

Photo. Kim Shkapich. 



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John Hejduk /^ "/Pf^ JJ^VlO 



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Preparatory drawings 

by John Hejduk tor this project 










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Photographs by Helene Binet 



10 



FOREWORD 



Eleni Cocordas When we were in it — the process of building a part of Riga at The 

Director of Exhibitions University of the Arts — , each of us had his )ob and knew exactly 

what had to be done. We were highly organized, methodical in our 
approach and labor. During my daily visits to The Great Hall during 
the summer and later, the fall of 1987 (the structures were 
fabricated in this campus space during the summer; one was 
partially assembled to check for fit and then dismantled; all parts 
were hauled away and stored in our sculpture studios; then all 
brought back again and finally erected in the week leading to the 
public opening in November), I was continually amazed by our 
architects and their students who were building the figures of 
Object and Subject. Of course they knew they had an enormous 
|ob on their hands against a non-negotiable deadline. But there 
seemed more to it than time. Perhaps it was an awareness of 
being part of something that could rightfully be termed historic: 
this was the first actual building based on the architect's then 
unpublished Riga book; the first of the architect's special projects 
to be built in the United States; and all of this was happening in the 
center of Haviland Hall, an early 19th century building, itself 
conceived as Utopian architecture. Or perhaps it was a unique 
inspiration, drawn from the privilege of intimacy, John Hejduk has 
been a visiting critic in our department of architectural studies and 
now, in turn, this small and select community was meeting a 
colleague and mentor in his Architecture, Whichever the case, 
these workers worked with an intensity and resolve that to me 
bordered on the ritual act of devotion. 

In Its step-by-step documentation of the process, this book is a 
tribute to these individuals and many others at The University of 
the Arts and The Cooper Union, who brought Riga to life. It is 
equally a tribute to the patrons — individuals, agencies, and 
corporations — who, through their understanding of the work's im- 
portance and faith in our purpose, contributed generous support in 
aid of this project. 

One of the luxuries of producing this publication long after the 
completion of the project has been the ability to gather and record 
a measure of that which we, for all of our organization, could not 
have anticipated — the impact of Riga on audiences. Responses, 
beginning with the standing-room-only crowds that turned out for 
opening night and its related events, were many and significant. 
Some of the more formal intellectual and artistic reflections are 
here preserved, in a format that also has benefited from retrospec- 
tion, and is intended to commemorate to readers the full range of 
our experiences. 

Finally, this book is a gift to John Hejduk for that part of his gift that 
he shared with The University of the Arts and the public through 
Tlie Riga Project. 



11 



THE AEROPLANES 
AT RIGA 



Meton R. Gadeiha 

Architect in charge of 
Detailing and Construction 



"For I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but 
I believe in order to understand. For this I believe- 
that unless I believe, I should not understand." 

— St Anselm (1033-1109), Proslogion 1 

The announcement that in Riga there are aeroplanes in 
which you can fly over the city simultaneously filled us 
with courage and fear. Courage, because where there is 
action beyond our self assured control, things are 
generally done in ways that stir our need to use nerves. 
Fear — fear of the all undertaking; fear of the journey 
across the skies; fear of the pilot's lack of ability; fear of 
the machine. All expectations are false, all one's 
memories of Riga get completely mixed up with each 
other as soon as we get back home; they fade, and we 
cannot rely on them. 

Courage, fear and mostly a story to be recounted when 
returning home take us to the sky above the lowland 
country facing the Baltic. We fly in a small aeroplane of 
real red, blue and yellow coloring. 



Work Schedule 

Phase II Final 
assembly of 
Object/ Subject 
in The Great Hall 





Work Schedule 

Phase I: Fabricated from 
July 9 to August 8, 1987, 
by Ian Johnston and Peter 
Treuheit in the Sculpture 
Department's woodshop. 



Julys 

558 cuts 



July 10 

? 76 cuts 
sand 32 pieces 
pnme 32 pieces x 2 



July 11 

sand 32 pieces 
patch 32 pieces 
sand 32 pieces 
prime 244 pieces x 4 



July 12 

prime 96 pieces ' 

32 cuts 

sand 1 6 pieces 

32 cuts 

fill 32 pieces 

fill 16 pieces 

sand 16 pieces 



12 



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Drawings by 

Me ton R Gadeiha 





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July 13 

patch 32 pieces 
sand 32 pieces 
32 cuts 
fill 32 pieces 



July 14 

assemble 8 legs 
cut 32 braces 
cut 40 blocks 
drill 1320 holes 
install 1200 screws 
install 120 lag bolts 



July 15 

226 cuts 

56 fills 

sand 30 pieces 



July 16 

prime 56 pieces x 2 
pnme 32 pieces x 2 
sand 56 pieces 
sand 32 pieces 



July 17 

16 cuts 
fill 16 pieces 
sand 16 pieces 
prime 104 pieces x 3 
sand 104 pieces 



13 



There, in the sky far above the ground, what you see is 
not the same visual memories as when walking on the 
streets of the city. A strange, slow and irresistible trans- 
formation develops over Riga. A new series of buildings 
and structures take place inside and around the old ones. 
those in agreement with our earlier images of the city. 
This new architecture adapts itself easily to the existing 
one and brings over Riga a layer of mystery and silent 
words that dwell among its inhabitants. These buildings 
and structures tell us stories with phrases that challenge 
the laws on the making of man's surroundings 

The pilot looks over slowly in our direction, looks away 
from us in another direction, but his real view is into 
himself always. He is flying now, nothing is more natural 
for him. This feeling of naturalness, with the simultane- 
ous, general feeling of the extraordinary that cannot be 
withheld from him, contributes to his manner. Surprise 
and disbelief that is revealed in our minds and faces give 
Its place to the pilot's naturalness that the wind carries to 
us. As already too patient in expecting a question that 
does not come, he says, "This is the Riga Project, which 
can only be seen from here." This genuineness and the 






July 18 

prime 56 pieces 
sand 32 pieces 
fill 32 pieces 
sand 16 pieces 
fill 16 pieces 
prime 39 pieces 
prime 55 pieces 



coat #1 24 pieces 
fill 48 pieces 
sand 48 pieces 
sand 24 pieces 
fill 24 pieces 



July 19 

coat #1 30 pieces 
sand W pieces 
paint 37 pieces 
paint 46 pieces 
sand 16 pieces 
sand 24 pieces 
fill 24 pieces 
sand 24 pieces 
paint edges 104 pieces 



July 20 

sand 32 pieces 
paint 44 pieces 
paint 44 pieces 
sand 72 pieces 
clean 72 pieces 
paint 46 pieces 
paint 46 pieces 
paint 24 pieces 
paint 24 pieces 
dnil 240 holes for bolts 



July 21 

paint 16 pieces 
sand 16 pieces 
dnil 320 marked holes 
sand 32 pieces 
cut 16 pieces 
fill 16 pieces 
sand 16 pieces 
prime 16 pieces 



14 









sand 16 pieces 

paint 32 pieces 

paint 36 pieces 

drill 160 marked holes 

paint 40 pieces 

paint 24 pieces 

drill 256 marked holes 



July 22 

; 16 cuts- 

2' X 4' rough framing 
44 cuts-stairs 
6 cuts-brace 
drill 272 holes 
drill 160 countersink 
install 272 screws 
128 cuts 



July 23 

50 curs 

drill 520 holes 

drill 460 countersinks 

install 520 screws 

fill 700 holes 



July 24 

sand stairs and noses 
fill stairs and noses 
sand stairs and noses 
fill stairs and noses 
paint 32 pieces 
paint 96 pieces 



July 25 

dnil 150 holes 
paint 96 pieces 
pnme stairs and noses 
drill 320 holes-panels 
sand stairs and noses 



15 



mixed noise of the struggle between wind and machine 
fill the vacuum around and inside us, seeing things that we 
could not trust 

Now on the ground we search throughout the city in a 
frantic need to determine that what we saw from the sky 
can be seen on the streets of Riga. Our erratic walk takes 
us to the back of a building, a large one near the center of 
the old city. On the wall of the building there is a small 
poster: "The Riga Project — Subject-Object," In a moment 
we are inside of a great skylighted hall looking at two tall 
structures. We have already seen them, but from another 
place and at another time. 

To look and walk around these two tall structures on a 
quiet afternoon, brings us a complex mixture of emotions 
not so removed from the pilot's naturalness. This natural- 
ness equals the quiet sensation of reaching a place where 
architecture is beyond its role of being only a physical 
shelter for man. These two structures belong to the com- 
plementary side of the role of architecture, the one that we 
always forget; to shelter our dreams and the mystery of 
our presence here. In looking at the two structures we are 
certain that inside there is a part of ourselves 




P f^ 1^ 4ii||^ 

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July 26 

prime stairs and noses 
sand stairs and noses 
paint stairs and noses 
drill 336 holes-panels 
paint 96 pieces 



July 27 

drill 304 holes-panels 
paint 96 pieces 
sand stairs and noses 
paint stairs and noses 
sand stairs and noses 
paint 88 pieces 



July 28 

200 cuts 

200 holes drilled 

200 screws installed 

assemble braces on 

sculptures 

drill 48 holes 

drill 48 countersink 



assemble 48 screws 
weld 32 pieces 
cut 64 metal pieces 
grind 128 welds 
sand 2 pedestals 



July 29 

belt sand 4 pieces 
fill and sand 2 pieces 
fill and sand 2 pieces 
laminate 12 pieces 
paint 8 pieces 
fill and sand 8 pieces 

V 



16 





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July 30 

80 cuts 
drill 60 holes 
sand 4 pieces 



July 31 

sand and grind 16 metal 

braces 

fill 16 metal braces 

gnnd 16 metal braces 

sand and fill 16 metal braces 

sand and fill 4 pieces 

sand and fill 2 sculptures 

drill 16 fioles 

insert 8 anctiors 

drill 8 tioles 

insert 6 anctiors 

fill 8 holes 



August 1 

prime 750 bolts 
paint 750 bolts 
paint 16 brackets x 2 
fill 16 brackets 
sand 16 brackets 
prime 16 brackets x 2 
paint 4 ob/ects- 
noses and stairs 



sand 4 objects- 
noses and stairs 
paint 2 objects-sculptures 
cut 60 pieces from 
copper pipe 
sand 60 pieces 
glue 40 joints 
prime 20 pieces 
paint 20 pieces 
sand 2 sculptures 



paint 2 sculptures 
fill 2 panels 
drill 40 holes 
drill 40 holes 
cut 16 pieces 
drill 40 holes 
glue 16 pieces 



17 








August 2 

paint 20 ladder pieces 
sand pedestals 
sand 8 pieces 
sand 6 pieces 
paint 24 pieces 
dnil 32 holes 
drill 32 countersink 
ground T6 surfaces 



18 



ground 32 edges 
prime 16 pieces 
paint 16 pieces 
paint 750 bolts 
sand T6 brackets 
paint T6 brackets 



August 3 

paint sculptures-6 pieces 
paint 20 ladder pieces 
paint 40 washers 
paint 8 plates 
sand 2 parts 
paint 2 parts 
drill 96 holes 
screw 96 screws 
drill 98 holes 



insert 32 anchors 

drill 60 holes 

install 48 bolts 

install 96 bolts and washers 

drill 32 holes x 2 

install 32 bolts 

cut 24 pieces x 2 



August 4 

drill 96 holes 

screw 96 screws 

drill 98 holes 

insert 32 anchors 

drill 60 holes 

install 48 bolts 

install 96 bolts plus washers 

drill 32 holes x 2 

cut 24 pieces x 2 

drill 200 holes 

install 200 screws 






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L-. ^ 



r 






^1- 







August 5 

Assemble grids 

drill 1400 holes x 2 

install 1400 screws 

paint metal base plate 

touch up 32 panels 

sand 32 panels 

paint 32 panels 

paint and primer 750 bolts 

paint and primer 750 washers 



August 6 

paint and mark 240 pieces x 2 

4 cuts 

24 cuts 

disassemble 1400 screws 

move all the lumber 



August 7 

paint 8 pieces x 2 

paint 16 panels 

store panels 

move legs to storage 

bolt together 64 pairs 

of panels 

clean up 

paint 750 bolts 

64 cuts 

screw 200 screws 



August 8 

store sculptures 

store bolts 

paint 500 bolts 

paint 250 washers 

cut 8 sheets of masomte 

screw 100 screws 

paint 3 walls 

move 4 pieces to storage 

clean the wood shop 



19 



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• 




• • 



• • • 



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20 




21 




22 




23 



JOHN HEJDUK: 

AN ARCHITECTURE OF REVELATION 



Larry I. Mitnick 

Chair, Department of Arctiitectural Studies 

During the summer of 1985 John He/duk and I spent two weeks 
teaching at the Internationale Sommerakademie Fur Bildende 
Kunst, Salzburg, Austria. In a way the idea for The Riga Project at 
The University of the Arts began thers- 

We spent each day teaching some two dozen students who had 
come from all over the world to study at the academy. Each day 
we rose up early and walked along the River Salzach crossing the 
Mozart Steg to the Festung Hohensburg. We spoke of remote 
things: Hitler's eagle's nest, the Holocaust, Mozart, Berlin, 
Goethe, Tanglewood, the paradox in Germanic culture, Rilke, 
narrative, marionettes, nutcrackers, clocks, funicular penetration. 
Hejduk spoke of three trilogies he had been working on as a 
North-East route from Italy to Berlin to Russia via Prague. In 
Venice there were: The 13 Watchtowers of Cannaregio, The New 
Town for the New Orthodox, The House for the Inhabitant Who 
Refused to Participate: in Berlin: Berlin Masque, Victims, Berlin 
Night: in Russia: Vladivostok, Lake Baikal, and Riga. Riga is located 
by the Baltic sea and is near another Holocaust site. All are sites 
with "undertones". By the end of the first three days the students 
were busy reading Rilke, analyzing Uccello's paintings, The Battles 
of San Romano, while receiving lectures and criticism from us. 
The students discovered the prophetic vision of Uccello, uncover- 
ing hidden secrets that lay within the work including the monsters 
of war and destruction. On the third day a very bright student who 
had been doing extremely well decided to leave rather suddenly: 
he left a note to Hejduk, declanng Hejduk to be the Devil himself. 
The next day we went to an Egon Schiele exhibition 

As we walked through St Peter's Churchyard we were struck by 
the low northern light; an amber color filling in and giving off a 
glow or aura. Against such a light the silhouetted churchyard 
chapel projected its greenish gray (oxidized copper} shadow, 
catching the catacombs which lay at the periphery of the yard. As 
the student work progressed the air thickened and time was 
drawn out leach day seemed like a month). The temperature rose 
and the summer heat became unbearable Towards the end of the 
first week we visited the St. Sebastian Cemetery: it was a 
courtyard surrounded by an arcaded promenade with the Wolf- 
Dietnch Mausoleum at the center — a most impressive silhou- 
ette — a grotesque head of enormous proportions. We entered the 
orifice and slipped along its cool inner skin: walls, floor and ceiling 
were completely covered by tile. We bathed in the cool liquid air. 
It seemed to spin — a totally modern building. 

At the end of the first week, in the heat of the day, John decided 
to give a slide lecture in the Festung Hohensburg: The room was 
carved out of the more than 6' thick stone walls. Walls that on the 
exterior were grey, scarred, and full of wounds still open but no 
longer able to bleed. The interior walls were painted white and lit 
from below by fluorescent lights laying in the space between floor 
and walls. The lecture moved along rather lyrically with Hejduk 
giving the students a sense of his methodology. The projected 
images were from his sketchbook: silhouetted mythical animals, 
the Berlin project, subjects and objects, surrealist references and 
poetry. When Michelangelo's Bacchus appeared Hejduk seemed 
taken aback, he hesitated and exclaimed, "He breathes," — a 
declared revelation. At that point there was a break, and I ran to 
open a small shutter to a window hoping to breathe air: I discov- 
ered just beyond the iron bars two doves nesting on the window 
sill. They were sitting together and seemed caged by the iron bars: 
my presence startled them and to my surpnse they flew off 
leaving me in the confines of the chamber — caught in Hejduk's 
time — out of time. Somehow I knew I would go with him into Riga. 



Riga: Object /Subject 

The Riga structures are 27' high and approximately 9' x 9' square in 
plan. They are placed in opposite corners in a space 50' wide x 
100' long X 50' high. The Great Hall of The University of the Arts. 
Each structure contains four supporting columns or legs, a cube 
subdivided into six panels per side, three means of vertical 
movement: a stairway, a ladder, and a small figure that seems to 
be flapping its wings in preparation for flight or landing, sitting on a 
shelf. The face of each cube contains a head piece, one with open 
mouth, the other with closed mouth. The four objects together 
form a 9 square organization. On top of each cube is a satellite 
dish, one concave and the other convex. The panels and the other 
structural members are bolted to the superstructure. They are 
accompanied by a black box that contains a video of David Shapiro 
reading his poetry, and on the night of the opening performance 
artist Connie Becklely presented a music/dance piece. 

Hejduk's architecture developed along a path following his interest 
in painting and architecture, literature and architecture, and most 
recently the medical/biological/body and architecture. The Riga 
fabrications, like the Berlin fabrications are developed by a simulta- 
neous moving back and forth between subject and object and the 
development of an accompanying narrative. In such a process 
subject becomes object and object becomes subject in an attempt 
to heal the Cartesian dichotomy. The process whereby conscious- 
ness attempts to come to terms with the world around it involves 
continuous negation; that is, continuous criticism and reconstruc- 
tion of the knowledge of subject and object and of the relation to 
one another. The recognition of the conditional nature of knowl- 
edge. Its partiality, does not lead to skepticism or relativism but to 
the preservation of each notion, view or perspective as a "moment 
of truth," embracing a cubist vision. 

What Hejduk calls an "elliptical method" reminds us of Teilhard de 
Chardin's notion of creation: "On a phenomenal plane, each being 
IS constructed like an ellipse on two conjugate foci: a focus of ma- 
terialization and a focus of psychic centering — the two foci varying 
solidarily and in the same sense" What is particularly fascinating 
about the methodology is that the content of the work, while being 
completely dependent on the subject matter, does not lie in the 
subject matter but in the locating and location of the symbol. The 
symbol is present not as a representation but by an evocation. It is 
revealed over time in a dynamic way as the "aura of meaning" or as 
a "numinous aura." The symbol is the result of a self-referential 
resonance between its elements. The elements of the fabrications 
are taken from the world as experienced by Hejduk and as a result 
the work is not an attempt at a recovery of origins in an anthropo- 
logical sense, but in a phenomenological manner, to find in the 
world the presence of myth. Symbols may be understood as the 
core of myths and rites. They are polyvalent and multivocal and are 
unlike signs which refer to one specific meaning. Signs "work," but 
symbols are lived and are reinterpreted. The symbolic is at once 
opaque and through its multiplicity becomes transparent. Hejduk's 
work points to a restoration of symbol as an instrument of 
knowledge above and beyond reasoning, and the recognition of 
man as being homo-symbolicus. The symbol always points to a 
reality or a situation concerning human existence, and in this way it 
IS a "window on the world" 

In another sense, by building each fabrication as a one of a kind, 
uniquely crafted ritual — one in which its very possibility is depend- 
ent on where it is, and on a leap of faith by those who are there to 
make it at the time, Hejduk sustains the aura and authenticity of 
the objects created. The compulsion to level, or as Benjamin has 



24 



stated, "the desire of contemporary masses to bring things 'closer' 
spatially and humanly" and "to pry an object from its shell, to 
destroy its aura, is the mark of a perception whose 'sense of the 
universal equality of things' has increased to such a degree that it 
extracts it even from a unique object by means of reproduction" 
Hejduk tries to maintain "the aura of the latter as the unique 
phenomenon of a distance, however close it may be." The fabrica- 
tions will be dismantled and relocated to another place and time, or 
will simply disappear. In the end what mattered, to continue 
Benjamin's insights, is "their existence, not their being viewed." 

In many ways the two fabrications present themselves as enigma, 
defying closure and are a form of open or plural text. Thematic syn- 
thesis IS possible but is not singular and as a result we cannot 
decide on the name. The title Object /Subject opens up the first 
and most important distinction in philosophy, that is, they embody 
the original antithesis in consciousness of self and not-self; it also 
indicates more a method rather than a real naming. They were in 
fact originally named two lawyers: defender/prosecutor and were 
consequently named, unnamed and renamed by those viewing the 
pieces. One faculty member who was a prisoner of war during 
World War II believed the fabrications to be watchtowers of his 
Nazi captors. Others saw them as a fragment of an urban 
roofscape. They are a "tireless approximation" and resist naming. 
One senses in Hejduk's work a resistance to consume; one cannot 
name it and therefore cannot consume it. It cannot have a single 
meaning; it asks of its readers to participate in the production of 
the text, in the "wnterly." One cannot reject it or accept it; one can 
only participate in the liminal reality of the text itself, a ritual of 
rereading over time. 

The enigma is set in motion by a diachronic structure: object/ 
subject, male/female, up/down, in/out, metal/wood, high tech/ 
folk art and others. Through the diachronic Hejduk safeguards the 
multiplicity of meanings, the polysemic, and prevents total collapse 
into metonymic disorder. The antithesis is a major rhetorical device 
that sustains the symbolic. The space between the two fabrica- 
tions IS the wall of the antithesis, and Hejduk in accepting the wall 
accepts our fallen condition. The coincidentia oppositorum, the 
reunion of opposites, the totalization of fragments, is cut off from 
himself; it is totally Other. However, this spiritual androgynization is 
present by its ver/ absence. We are haunted by the very possibilty. 

The fabrications are on a certain level figurative and, as in some of 
the work of Picasso, they are a result of an inventory of parts that 
accumulates in order to totalize. They accumulate yet remain 
reductive. They appear first as mythical animals with satellite 
dishes on their backs, one with mouth open, the other with mouth 
closed. They change scale and the satellite dishes read as heads 
and the above-mentioned heads read as sexual organs. This same 
scale change occurs with the baby animals or soul-birds; the soul- 
birds may be read as having two eyes with a flowering element 
(Dionaea museipula or venus flytrap) on its cap, or a head extended 
with two voided breasts. The two soul-birds produce a second 
narrative by a "nesting." The two babies are what the two struc- 
tures are not and suggest a relationship of earth to sky, death to 
birth, a symbiotic relationship of parent to child, a parasitic 
relationship of scavenger to victim. In a way the two figures or two 
sets of figures may be seen as twins. They are two aspects of the 
same thing and in this sense they suggest the hermaphrodite or 
the androgynous or the mystery of totality that forms an integral 
part of the human drama. By assigning to the female and to the 
male an equivalent value, however, Hejduk recognizes the role the 
female must play in Architecture: "There is the breath of the male 



and the breath of the female and we have yet to breathe in fully 
the breath of the woman and her thought in Architecture." 

The fabrications are by their very nature unnatural combinations. 
They remind one of the monsters found on many maps and 
engravings charting the New World. These monsters were made 
from unusual combinations of existing animal forms. They were 
both terrifying warnings of impending death or, worse, torture by 
savages, as well as signposts for a possible future. These images 
also appeared in the margins suggesting a status common to 
figures in transition or in the in-between. Such images often try to 
establish an idea of communitas. For example, gargoyles were 
used to mark boundaries, at the facade of churches, at public 
squares and at gates where exchanges were made Jesters and 
jokers, dwarfs and clowns representing the poor or deformed class 
and having a structurally inferior or marginal position in society 
were in opposition to the authorities and the power of controlled 
consensus in the social structure. They, however, were obvious 
reminders of the nature of the human condition. Put rather directly 
by Hejduk, "there is more room in the margins." Here, in the 
margins, the existing definitions of reality are questioned. After all, 
the shores of the New World offered the possibility of alternate life 
styles, new political and social structures. There are few restraints 
upon reformulating and recombming accepted terms and custom, 
where cultural creativity is therefore at its most intense It is 
especially in the freedom of liminality that new metaphors are 
born, revisions of the social structure are first attempted, and 
creative insights are developed. 

Finally, these fabrications are poetic insights, revelations of a 
mature, self-assured architect whose life's work is as much about 
itself as It IS about the time in which it was made. It is an accumu- 
lation over and through time and yet it remains reductive. The re- 
lentless opacity ramifies with age yielding a transparency; life 
embeds itself in the child. It takes time. 

" You must have memories of many nights of love, each one 

different from all the others, memories of women screaming in 
labor, and of light, pale, sleeping girls who have just given birth and 
are closing again. But you must also have been beside the dying, 
must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window 
and scattered noises. And it is not yet enough to have memories. 
You must be able to forget them when they are many, and you 
must have the immense patience to wait until they return. For the 
memories themselves are not important. Only when they have 
changed into our very blood, into glance and gesture, and are 
nameless, no longer to be distinguished from ourselves — then can 
It happen that in some very rare hour the first word of a poem 
arises in their midst and goes forth from them." — Riike (For the 
Sake of a Poem). 

The work, as revelation, not only shows Hejduk's but man's daily 
life as a perpetual revelation of his inner self. By such an unveiling 
Hejduk lays open, inviting inspection, and reawakening in all of us, 
a call for passion in our doing, discovery in our making and 
authenticity in our being. Hejduk's work is and will continue to be 
a source of enlightenment for those who have the courage and 
vision to understand. 



25 




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The public opening of The Riga Proiect 
on Thursday. November 19, 1987. began 
with a poetry reading by John Hejduk. 



The Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, mam 
gallery at The University of the Arts, 
presented the RIGA book in its entirety, 
and other works by John Hejduk 
including books VLADIVOSTOK and 
LAKE BAIKAL, drawings and models for 
earlier projects BERLIN MASOUE and 
LANCASTER/HANOVER. 



32 








A v(ewo/'Ob|ect/Sub)ect 
m The Great Hall on 
opening night, looking west. 



33 



m^ 






In December 1987, students from The 
University of the Arts School of Dance 
performedlhe Fall of Guilt, a response 
foThe Riga Project conceived and 
choreographed by Associate Professor 
Manfred Fischbeck. (above) 



On opening night, Connie Beckley 
performed Crooked Lightning, named 
after one of David Shapiro's poems 
and dedicated to John Hejduk's Riga 
Project, (left) 



35 



THE BLANK WALL 



poems by 
David Shapiro 



"The blank wall is on its way to becoming (sic) 
The dominant feature of U.S. downtowns 
These are not inadvertent blank walls. These 
Walls were meant to be blank." It wasn't a letter, 
It was your life; I delivered it in light ram 
To the Architectural League. I am amazed at the 
Blank wall, it is so expensive, as others 
Are amazed that they have brought back the blank wall 
"Oh, the blank wall is so terrible." The grace notes 
Strike against it. She is not feeling much. 
The blank wall. With beaded bubbles winking on 
The blank wall. This happened once to a colossal 
Vault of sexual objects in indeterminate cast. 
Careless curators, oxymoronically engaged. 
The grave stone has a name, it says "Name." 
Ah, Hamlet was fat and the jump into the grave 
And the temper tantrum, for example. 
Will not work. It does not dissolve 
The blank or minister to nonangels in the mood 
Of sulking brother. Dark, dark, dark, you may 
All jump into the dark in a mama of lack 
Of doubt. Dark, blank wall, we will stay beside you 
And try to learn the lesson without the teacher 
There is nothing behind the blank wall, not even the 
broken cup. 





David Shapiro read some of /i/s poetry on 
the opening night o^The Riga Project 
A video of one of his poetry readings. 
House (Blown Apart), installed nearby 
Ob|ect/Sub)ect in The Great Hall, was on 
view for the duration of the project 



36 



HOUSE (BLOWN APART) 



THE CUP IN ARCHITECTURE 



I can see the traces of old work 

Embedded in this page, like your bed 

Within a bed. My old desire to live! 

My new desire to understand material, raw 

Material as if you were a house without windows 

A red stain. Gold becomes cardboard. 

The earth grows rare and cheap as a street. 

Higher up a bird of prey affectionate in bright gray 

travels without purpose. 
I beg you to speak with a recognizable accent 
As the roof bashed in for acoustics 
Already moans. What Is not a model 
Is blown into bits in this mature breeze. 
If students visit for signs 
Or signatures we would discuss traces. 

We would examine each other for doubts. 
Old work we might parody as an homage 
Losing after all the very idea of parody. 
Traces of this morning's work are embedded in this page. 




There is the cup, and there is the broken cup. 

And there is trouble in the broken cup. 

Or IS there trouble with the broken cup? 

Is there a collaborative plot, and is there glue? 

They have begun repair too soon. 

Like details of an eyelid in father's clay. 

Details prepared for a death mask of a city. 

It IS the cup of a psychotic doctor 

On a "talk Show" who "acts out" 

And puts his feet in the lap of the host 

And knocks over the cup without apology. 

It is the cup as apology, and the cup without doubts. 

It criticizes your work and its simplicity 

Because it is evident the cup is finite now 

And you had arranged to forget its nomad margins. 

In the middle of the country lies a broken university 

And there they think of the cup 

And Its analogies. As the cup to the difficult test 

So our broken music and what we think and may 

Not think. I ask you to paint the cup 

A grave, a cartoon character, and the night sky. 

But you have the idea as friend 

And certainty is lying there, like a broken cup. 

And the lover says Break it, as you broke us. 

One has drawn a lozenge in space, shattering 

All pastels and later tilting in a more regular 

Horizon. You note the archaic horizon 

And accuse the present of a lying fold. 

Secret waves are breaking: abundance, enigmagram. 

I show you the book of Rome: a shriveled 

Shell. Embarrassed by pictures. 

Clutching at the models like ledges, I ask 

Questions about tea: Would you choose 

Of the cup, tea or expensive clothes -say 

In prison? The laws are insults, insults prisons. 

What are you thinking of that is not the broken cup' 

We who consume the word, not the elixir. 

There must be thirst for the broken cup. 

The cup IS buried alive, in sand. 

The person knocked in the head with wine. 

We know or might know now, says the dream. 

That such a blow kills the person and keeps 

The juices from flowing to the brain. 

Nor will children repair it again, like a mother. 



You have written in the shape of a house. 

Your brother romps in mud outside. 

Inside, the sadistic night-calls. 

With death a normal life resumes. 

The cup lies on the pavement, in stars and stone. 



On the road home, you cure a lame old man and give 
him a house. 



37 



JOHN HEJDUK 



John Hejduk is an architect and educator living and working 
in New York City. He has been the Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin 
School of Architecture of The Cooper Union since 1975 where 
he has been teaching since 1964 He is a Fellow of the Ameri- 
can Institute of Architects and of the Royal Society of Arts. His 
work has been exhibited in New York, London, Amsterdam, 
Pans, Tokyo, Athens, Milan, Oslo and Berlin. In 1980 he 
received a Brunner Grant from the New York Chapter/American 
Institute of Architects; in 1983 he received a Design Arts Fellow- 
ship from the National Endowment for the Arts; in 1986 he 
received the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize from the 
American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters; in 1988 he 
received the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture/ 
American Institute of Architects Topaz Medallion for Excellence 
in Architecture Education and the New York Chapter/American 
Institute of Architects Medal of Honor for Distinction in the 
Profession. Rizzoli International Publications published mask of 
MEDUSA (his work of the past thirty-six years) in 1 985, bovisa (one 
of his Milan Triennale projects) in 1987 and Vladivostok (his 
Russian Trilogy) in 1989. victims and collapse of time have been 
published by the Architectural Association in 1986 and 1987 
respectively. Structures from his projects have been built at the 
Gropius Bau (Berlin), the Architectural Association (London), The 
University of the Arts (Philadelphia), The Oslo School of Architec- 
ture (Norway), and Georgia Institute of Technology (presently 
under construction) Buildings from his award-winning projects 
have been constructed in Berlin under the auspices of the Inter- 
nationale Bauausstellung Berlin. 



38 



This proiect. lointly organized by 
the Exhibitions Program and 
Department of Architectural 
Studies of The University of the 
Arts, was supported in part by 
grants from the National 
Endowment for the Arts and the 
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, 
and with contributions from 
Realty Engineering Associates. 
Berwyn, Pennsylvania, Laurie 
Wagman and Irvin J Borowsky, 
Philadelphia, and The Andrew 
Corporation, Orland Park, Illinois. 

Project Co-organizers 

Eleni Cocordas, 

Director of Exhibitions 

Larry I Mitnick, Chair. 

Department of Architectural Studies 

Exhibitions Council 

Larry I Mitnick, Chairman 
Walter Darby Bannard 
James L Crowell 
Warren Rohrer 
Warren Seeling 

Stephen Tarantal. Dean. 

Philadelphia College of Art and Design 

Eleni Cocordas 
Director of Exhibitions 

Leati Douglas 

Assistant to the Director of Exhibitions 



We recognize with gratitude 
the contributions of: 

Connie Beckley 
Helene Binet 
Gloria Heiduk 
David Shapiro 

At The Cooper Union: 

Monica Shapiro 
Kim Shkapich 

At The University of the Arts: 

Manfred Fischbeck 
Chuck Gershwin 
Anita Mastroienni 
Joseph Rapone 
Kirby F. Smith 
Josephine Stamm 
Stephen Tarantal 
The Sculpture Department 
Lee Willett 

Full-Scale Structures: 

Makers: 
Peter Treuheit 
Ian Johnston 

Assemblers: 

Leonard Bellanca 

Gregory Hancock 

Ramiro Hernandez (structure 

assembly video) 

Ian Johnston 

Larry Owen 

Alex Rokowetz 

Peter Treuheit 

Model Makers: 
Mark Avellino 
Okhee Choi 
Adam Zangrilli 

Architect in charge of 
detailing and construction; 
Melon R. Gadeiha 

The University of the Arts 
IS devoted exclusively to 
education and professional 
training in design, the 
visual arts and the performing 
arts. Located in Philadelphia, 
the University-formed by the 
Philadelphia College of Art 
and Design and the Philadelphia 
College of Performing Arts- 
offers programs in design, fine 
arts, crafts, dance, music 
and theater. 

This catalog demonstrates 
continued support for the 
interrelated disciplines and 
ideals of the arts and humanities. 



The University of the Arts 
Board of Trustees 

Dorrance H. Hamilton. Chairman 

Peter Solmssen, President 

Mary Louise Beitzel 

Irvin J Borowsky 

Nathaniel R Bowditch 

Ira Brind 

Edward Cantor 

Helen S Chait. Esq 

Schuyler G Chapin 

Michael M Coleman 

James L Crowell 

Eleanor Davis 

Dr. Judith S. Eaton 

Phillip J. Eitzen 

Anne F. Elder 

Frederick S Hammer 

Marvin D. Heaps 

H Ober Hess, Esq 

Stephen R Holstad 

Judith Jamison 

Barbara J Kaplan 

The Honorable Bruce W Kauffman 

Raymond Klein 

Nathan Knobler, Faculty Rep 

Harold E. Kohn, Esq 

Barton E. Korman 

Irving S. Kosloff 

William G., Krebs, Alumni Trustee 

Franklin W. Krum 

Thomas V Lefevre 

Al Paul Lefton. Jr. 

Noel Mayo 

John W Merriam 

Sondra Myers 

Ronald J Naples 

Joseph Neubauer 

Theodore T Newbold 

Adolph A. Paier 

John C. Pemberton, Jr 

William L Rafsky 

Ronald Rubin 

Roger L Stevens 

H L Yoh. Jr 

Life Trustees 

Howard A Wolf 
Sam S McKeel 

Emeritus Trustees 

Josef Jaffe. Esq. 
Bodine Lament 
Ronald K Porter 
Philip H. Ward III 
Dorothy Shipley White 

Ex Officio Trustees 

The Honorable Augusta Clark 
The Honorable Vincent J Fumo 
The Honorable Joan L Specter 



40 



©1989 The University of the Arts 

Library of Congress 

Catalog Card Number 88^50553 

Design: Lee Willelt, Joseph Rapone 
Editor; ElenJ Cocordas 
Printed at the Borowsky Center for 
Publication Arts, Charles Gershwin, 
Master Printer 

David Shapiro's poems were 
re-pnnted, with permission, from 
House (Blown Apart). 1988 
(The Overlook Press) 

Photographs by Helene Binet © 
on pages 10, 20-23, 26-31 were 
reproduced with permission. 

Photographs pages 32. 33 and 34, 
I. George Bilyk