Reading Fortunes in Façades

November 13th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

The Hearst Tower - New York City

The Hearst Tower

I’ve always said you can read anything, and apparently buildings are no exception.

When you think about it, it’s not so strange. After all, blueprints are read and buildings are just 3D blueprints.

And of course, buildings often have plenty of symbols on them. Just ask a Mason about the hidden messages in architecture. I’m sure they’d have lots to say.

But I’d never really thought about fortune-telling with buildings before.

According to Turkish artist Aslı Çavuşoğlu, building façade reading is an ancient Greek and Assyrian practice, one she wants to keep alive.

As part of New York’s Performa 11 she and author/curator Adam Kleinman, did just that this past Friday in their piece Words Dash Against the Façade.

It was part walking tour and part performance piece, as well as a hands-on class on how to read buildings through architectural symbols and prophetic rituals.

While discussing everything from how to create a divinatory system, to who a reading from a building would be for, they focused on three New York City landmarks – the Hearst Tower, the 21 Club, and the ‘Ghostbusters Building’ at 55 Central Park West.

It sounds like a really interesting talk and walk. I wish they’d do it in Toronto some time.

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