The Manhattan Transcripts Project, New York, New York, Introductory panel to Episode 2: The Street (Border Crossing)
Bernard Tschumi

Photographic reproduction with colored synthetic laminate
20 x 20"

The Manhattan Transcripts are theoretical propositions executed through drawing. Made between 1976 and 1981 for consecutive exhibitions, the four episodes transcribe imagined events in real New York locales: The Park uncovers a murder in Central Park; The Street (Border Crossing) chronicles the movement of a person drifting through violent and sexual events on Forty-second Street; The Tower (The Fall) depicts a vertiginous fall from a Manhattan skyscraper; and The Block illustrates five unlikely events occurring in separate courtyards within a city block. Tschumi’s Transcripts propose that, beyond its traditional conventions of representation, architecture resides in the superimposition of space, movement, and events. The event, in particular, is the figurative origin of architecture itself, through which Tschumi proposes an architecture of difference and opposition rather than synthesis and totality. Narrative techniques—be they pictorial or cinematic—evoke the ability of fiction to produce an alternative form of critique. —MoMA

Bernard Tschumi is widely recognized as one of today’s foremost architects. First known as a theorist, he drew attention to his innovative architectural practice in 1983 when he won the prestigious competition for the Parc de La Villette, a 125-acre cultural park based on activities as much as nature. The intertwining concepts of “event” and “movement” in architecture are supported by Tschumi’s belief that architecture is the most important innovation of our time. Tschumi often references other disciplines in his work, such as literature and film, proving that architecture must participate in culture’s polemics and question its foundations. —Bernard Tschumi Architects

📷 MoMA