Un/fair Use is an exhibition of research and proposals related to copying and copyright in architecture.
Appropriation is as much part of architecture as the expectation of novelty, and so it is at the very core of the discipline. Architecture advances via comment, criticism, parody, and innovation, forms of appropriation that fall under the umbrella of fair use. But what about when appropriation is deemed unfair? Where and how are the lines drawn around permissible use? Un/fair Use probes that legal boundary.
The law as it applies to the workings of architectural practice is unglamorous – it’s a collection of statutes and legal language that is most often associated with litigation, with contentious neighbors, and with costly reviews. Architecture law is rarely interrogated as a cultural artifact, as a trace of how architecture discourse enters and is digested in public thought. Each time a case is brought before a court, new terms are defined and new notions of architectural creativity and operation are tested for legitimacy. This exhibition is invested in an idea of the law as participant in the construction of the public’s architectural imagination.
In Un/fair Use, models of common and therefore uncopyrightable tropes and formal themes are juxtaposed with those protected under the AWCPA.
Curated and designed by Ana Miljački and Sarah Hirschman.