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Teaching Gallery

Teaching Gallery


Persistent Pasts: The Bicentennial Campus as Archive

Modern memory is, above all, archival. It relies entirely on the materiality of the trace, the immediacy of the recording, the visibility of the image…No society has ever produced archives as deliberately as our own, not only by volume, not only by new technical means of reproduction and preservation, but also by its superstitious esteem, by its veneration of the trace… The sacred is invested in the trace that is at the same time its negation.
— Pierre Nora, “Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire”

Taubman College Gallery, April-July 2017, University of Michigan // Featuring work by Sarah Rovang's seminar, ARCH 603 002: The Curated Campus 

Combining historical research and analysis from the students in Sarah Rovang’s “The Curated Campus” graduate seminar and the design output of Steven Mankouche’s “What If” Options Studio, Persistent Pasts reflects on the University of Michigan’s campus as a repository of memory. As UM celebrates its Bicentennial year, this exhibition asks how past traditions, tensions, and technologies have left material or cultural traces on campus space today. By laying bare rarely examined aspects of the historical university alongside radical designs for an unrealized present, Persistent Pasts asks us to question entrenched conceptions of what UM should and could be, architecturally and institutionally. This exhibition is supported in part by a Bicentennial Activity Grant, co-authored by Professor Claire Zimmerman and Sarah Rovang.