Retail Apocalypse examines the entangled worlds of architecture, fashion, business, and art. The history of shopping, from the flaneur to the suburban mall to online retail, reveals how systems of technology, communication, and desire have shaped the built environment. Conversely, architectural form has also been an instrumental driver of consumption, furthering the logic of capital. Making visible techniques of attraction and distraction and opening up spaces for critique and subversion, design has always played a role in retail culture’s evolution.
The exhibition, first developed in 2020 at ETH Zurich by gta exhibitions curators Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen and reconceptualized in 2022 in collaboration with the CCA, reflects on economic models and spatial structures of the past through archival materials from the gta and the CCA while identifying critical modes of practice that challenge industry norms through contemporary brands and designers.
Curators: Fredi Fischli, Niels Olsen
Graphic design: Teo Schifferli
Curatorial research: Irene Chin
Design development: Sébastien Larivière, Anh Truong
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