Sandfuture Book Talk: Justin Beal in conversation with Sohrab Mohebbi
Dec 15, 2021
Join us to celebrate new release Sandfuture with author and artist Justin Beal in conversation with curator Sohrab Mohebbi.
Sandfuture is a work of literary non-fiction about the life of architect Minoru Yamasaki (1912–1986). Blending memoir, biography and architectural history, Sandfuture circles outward from the central narrative of Yamasaki’s life to examine subjects that range from the image of the architect in literature and film to the changing character of the contemporary art world to the broader social and political implications of how cities are built.
The son of Japanese immigrants in Seattle, Minoru Yamasaki overcame endemic racism in both his country and his profession to rise to prominence with a humanistic approach to modern architecture—an unorthodox style exemplified by projects including the McGregor Memorial Conference Center, the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, and the Dhahran Airfield in Saudi Arabia. In 1963, Yamasaki appeared on the cover of Time magazine, but the critical rebuke of the World Trade Center and the spectacular demise of the Pruitt-Igoe apartments in St. Louis pushed him to the margins of the profession in the latter half of his career. Today, Yamasaki remains largely unknown despite his enormous influence on the history of American architecture and the astonishing coincidence that his two best-known projects were both destroyed on live television 30 years apart.
With a narrative structure that defies the conventions of traditional biography, Sandfuture draws unexpected connections between architecture and bodies, sick building syndrome and chronic migraines, that shadow the developing narrative of Yamasaki’s career. Beal splices the story of Yamasaki’s life together with scenes from his own—including the flooding of a New York art gallery in 2012 and the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001—as the slender silhouette of a new super-tall residential tower rises above a city under the influence of growing wealth disparity, shifting power dynamics and a new climate reality.
Sandfuture will be available for purchase at the gallery.
This program is free and open to the public. RSVP is requested.