Benyamin’s dissertation, “Towards a (new) Objectivity: Photography in German Architectural Discourse 1900-1914,” addresses ongoing debates regarding the origins of the Modern Movement, by examining one moment in the much-contested relationship between architecture and photography. Her study carves out a critical space of inquiry within which architectural and photographic practices collide with increased velocity at the turn of the twentieth century. In so doing, her research expands the framework for re-evaluations of architectural modernism.
Professor Benyamin has presented her work at several national and international conferences including the European Architectural History Network, German Studies Association, Society of Architectural Historians and ACSA. A recipient of numerous awards including an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant, a Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) collection research grant, as well DAAD and Fulbright fellowships for her research in Germany, she is also the editor and translator of several books on architecture, including recently published monographs on Bernard Tschumi and Jean Tschumi. An essay on the work of artist Lara Almarcegui was published in an anthology in 2013, and an essay related to her doctoral work recently appeared in the Journal of Architecture.
In the Spring 2016 semester, Dr. Benyamin will be leading a graduate seminar entitled "The Ghost of Content":
In her seminal essay on Conceptual Art, Lucy Lippard defines the de-materialization of the art object in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s through the lens of absence: abstraction in art making, she notes, “often resembles ruins… amalgams of past and future, remains of something ‘more’…” This seminar seeks to extend Lippard’s mode of analysis as a way of evaluating the role of architecture as a “ghost of content” in contemporary art practice. Using case studies from photography, sculpture, installation art and film, architecture as a formal and historical trope in fine art media is evaluated to ask the question: what can artists tell us about architecture that architects cannot? How can differences in disciplinary boundaries in art making and architectural design be illuminated by analyzing the latter through the former?