The Architectural Is Always Political

New York’s East 53rd Street, between Madison and Fifth Avenues, is full of nondescript Manhattan skyscrapers. In the courtyard of one of these clinically clean buildings, however, there are five crumbling, old slabs of concrete covered in graffiti. It’s hard to believe that these blocks, so out of place in their surroundings, were once part of one of the most politically charged structures in the world, one that divided the globe in two based on ideology and geopolitics — the Berlin Wall.

The Spectator Is Present

I’m ashamed to admit that I am a reflection hog. On the subway or walking past big storefront windows, I constantly check my reflection. Even at a gallery or museum, I find myself looking at my reflection before I look at the art. I never really gave this a second thought; it wasn’t until I visited the Whitney Museum’s current retrospective of Yayoi Kusama that I was disturbed by my inability to focus on the art behind the glass.