An Analogous Play.
Nine Projects for Bertolt Brecht’s Chicago
Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
Douglas A. Garofalo Fellowship
UIC School of Architecture
Despite having never visited the city, Chicago was an obsession for Bertolt Brecht (b. 1898–d. 1956). He viewed Chicago as a metropolis built on sheer rationality and steel-frames, grain-silos and financial speculation, infrastructure and industrial monopolies, nomad workers and labor struggles—the material expression of the most advanced forces of capitalism. Brecht allegorically adopted such a jungle of asphalt, railways, skyscrapers, primitive drives, and frantic activities to stage most of his early plays. By dissecting reality “like the mechanism of a car,” Brecht’s theatre rejected any emphatic representation of the world, aiming instead to unravel the conditions which produce the world. This talk reads the architecture of production in Chicago through the eyes of Bertolt Brecht, adopting the principles of estrangement, dialectical theatre, and montage as design tools for conjecturing a series of projects for The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.