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?
This summer, Madison Art History PhD student Joanna Wilson traveled to Buena Vista, Ga. to participate in conservation work at Eddie Owens Martin's outsider-art landscape Pasaquan. Wilson, a graduate of the BLC's methods course in vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes, writes about her experience on the project - one of the largest art environment preservation initiatives Kohler Foundation has taken on - for the Center for Culture, History and the Environment's Edge Effects blog. You can read her notes from the field here.
For more about the Pasaquan's restoration, visit: http://www.kohlerfoundation.org/preservation/preserved-sites/pasaquan/
Ashley Cook, PhD Candidate in Art History at University of Wisconsin-Madison, has begun a 9-month fellowship at Taliesin Preservation, Inc. operated out of Frank Lloyd Wright’s historic estate in Spring Green, WI where she will be helping evaluate the tour program as well as working on various community outreach projects. The Public Humanities program is funded by the A.W. Mellon Foundation and is designed to bring upper level academic researchers in the humanities out into the community in an effort to bridge the gap between the academy and local businesses and non-for-profits. Taliesin Preservation, Inc. operates the tour program and visitor’s center at Taliesin and their mission is to preserve the historic home and surrounding buildings at Taliesin as well as to educate the public about Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture and legacy.
Ashley will be putting her research skills in the History of Art and Architecture to use in the hopes of giving back to her community. She also hopes to learn as much as she can about Frank LLoyd Wright’s architectural philosophy, techniques, and his fellowship during her time spent at Taliesin.
Nader took a break from research to backpack in northeastern Turkey, Georgia and Armenia for one month. Now returned to Milwaukee, he’s ready to get back to school!
Sara Champlin, a BLC Madison student, spent her summer wandering the gorgeous Hermus River Valley as the photographer for the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis, Turkey. Sardis was the capital of the Lydian Empire and it remained an important city during later phases of Greek and Roman occupation. Sara shared her thoughts on the experience, "My research investigates Greek and Roman material culture, so it was a wonderful opportunity for me to be working at a site with such a rich history of cultural and social interaction. This was my second summer on the project."
A favorite memory? "Experiencing Kamran Ince’s ‘Sardis’ symphony performed by the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra at the Temple of Artemis, in the landscape that inspired it."
Click here for more information about Sardis or its history of excavation. (http://sardisexpedition.org)
BLC student Marisa Gomez, along with Angela Hronek and Joanna Wilson, both graduates of the BLC's methods course in vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes, participated in building an online-guide to Madison's historic Forest Hill Cemetery as part of a semester-long student project led by Dr. William Cronon. The students designed and conceptualized the site, and authored entries on its history, materiality and changing aesthetics, carving technologies, faux-stone memorials, and collective and inherited iconography. Read columnist Doug Moe's review of the project for the Wisconsin State Journal here.
Click here to visit Forest Hill Cemetery: A Guide.
In June, BLC Co-Coordinator Anna Andrzejewski and Madison PhD student Marisa Gomez each gave papers at the 5th International Congress on Construction History in Chicago. In a session on residential construction, Dr. Andrzejewski presented, "
BLC Students are invited and encouraged to attend these Urban Edge events in Milwaukee on April 30th and May 1st!