Bernard Khoury

Toxic Grounds

Series: Evening Lecture
Date: Monday 5 March 2018
Time: 18:30
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 77 mins

Local Heroes are not superheroes.
They are the valiant mercenaries who protect my grounds.
I searched for them here and everywhere; from the cities of the collapsing Arab nations to those where the cathedrals were white.
Those bitter territories are the marvellous and playful grounds on which I construct my optimism, the last enclaves where meaningful convalescences are still possible. 


Local Heroes are rooted in very specific political grounds.
They are not the protected citizens of any comfortable nation.
They own the streets that others walk through cautiously.
They do not belong to any familiar place.
Their places escape all consensual definitions of territory.
They do not fit in the undisputed and often simplified histories of their time.
They are the proud romantics who fearlessly resist the cynicism of the wise.
The stories I tell do not frame any protagonist, any situation or any architectural act in any sort of tangible or immutable definitions. I am not interested in such definitions as much as I am not interested in the theoretical postures that produce them.
In my worlds of uncontrolled dissonance, I build alliances. Those are often contradictory ones. My heroes are not all cut from the same cloth.
As my stories unfold, I remain in the hope that I will not be afflicted with the censure of unscrupulous fraudulence.   


Bernard Khoury studied architecture at the Rhode Island school of Design and Harvard University, and started his independent practice in 1993. He has lectured and exhibited his work in prestigious academic institutions worldwide, including a solo show of his work given by the International Forum for Contemporary Architecture at the Aedes gallery in Berlin (2003) and numerous group shows including YOUprison at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin (2008) and Spazio at the opening show of the MAXXI museum in Rome (2010). He was the co-curator and architect of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national pavilion at the Venice Biennale’s 14th International Architecture Exhibition in 2014. 



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