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SUFFER NO FOOLS :  A Primer for the End Times


EXHIBITION: 6 - 25 JUNE 2017


Suffer no Fools : A Primer for the End Times acrylic, collage and pencil on board 30 x 23.5 cm (each), 2015/17

[...] Meyer has noted in the past the role of his architectural training in the formation of his collages, casts, and installations, yet it might be the iconological substratum in the education of an entire generation of scrapbooking postwar architects that is creatively regurgitated here. Yet if these postwar visual assemblages of art and architecture were haunted by images of military catastrophe as well as occasionally bemused by a vision of world recovery based on the universalizing powers of architectural Gestaltung, what would be the post- or pre-apocalyptic perspective recovered in Meyer’s 2017 conversion of an old edition of the BJE into a “primer for the end times”? It may be that the collages’ most revealing pre- (or post-) figurative symptom is their nebulous practice of elision. By covering most of its textual entries and rearranging its illustrations, Meyer converts the annually reedited encyclopedia into a prophetic almanac predicting the major events not only of a single year, but of years to come including the alternative facts of the “brave new world” coming officially into power four decades after 1976. 

Extract from Spyros Papapetros - FROM A TO S: “Adventurous coherences” in Jonathan Meyer’s reediting of the Britannica Junior Encyclopedia

Spyros Papapetros is Associate Professor of History and Theory at the School of Architecture and the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. He is the author of On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Architecture, and the Extension of Life (The University of Chicago Press, 2012) and the co-editor of Retracing the Expanded Field: Encounters between Art and Architecture (The MIT Press, 2014).