From Here to Eternity:
Fact and Fiction in Recent Architectural Projects
May 24 – June 28, 1986

Elizabeth Diller / Ricardo Scofidio, Bed for the Condemned Man
From Here to Eternity: Fact and Fiction in Recent Architectural Projects, Artists Space, 1986

Laurie Hawkinson, CineTrain
From Here to Eternity: Fact and Fiction in Recent Architectural Projects, Artists Space, 1986

Installation view from From Here to Eternity: Fact and Fiction in Recent Architectural Projects, Artists Space, 1986

Exhibition catalogue (cover)

Exhibition card (back)

Exhibition card (front)

Michael Kalil, an analytical study for Osmotic Membrane (detail)
From Here to Eternity: Fact and Fiction in Recent Architectural Projects, Artists Space, 1986

Since Architecture:Sequences, the exhibition organized by Bernard Tschumi in 1981, a discourse around contemporary architecture had been largely absent from Artists Space's programming. Citing architecture's recent interest in questions that may have previously been confined to other art forms (in this case, fiction), Artists Space curator Valerie Smith writes, "Just as eternity can both be qualified abstractly, yet also be a permanently suspended unknown entity (in a sense a lie); so too, is architecture both predicated on the notion of permanency, yet vulnerable and impermanent." In From Here to Eternity, an awareness of that impermanence lifted the gates for a very open-ended investigation, through drawing, into architecture as an institution. Unpacking that idea further, an accompanying essay by architecture historian Beatriz Colomina examined architecture's means of dissemination, traditionally through professional journals, but increasingly via channels shared by the art world - namely, and in the case of this exhibition, the gallery. Colomina traces architecture's relationship to fiction back to the writings of Manfredo Tafuri (L'Architecture dans le Boudoir) to suggest that most architectural theorists focus on building production, and as a result overlook other ways in which architecture is diffused culturally (here, as "artistic text").

Eleven artists contributed work to the exhibition, with nearly all of the drawings featuring "projects" that would be impossible to realize. As one participant, Douglas Darden, wrote in the statement he submitted, "Architecture is nothing if not a critical meditation on finitude and failure."