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Critical & Historical Studies Research Student Curates International Interdisciplinary Symposium

6 September 2012 – The zoo as a showcase of modernist architecture will be the subject of an international symposium later this month, organised by RCA Critical & Historical Studies research student Eszter Steierhoffer.

Internationally-acclaimed artists, academics and curators, including Richard Wentworth, Anthony Gall, David Crowley, Zsófia Frazon and Marcus Coates will offer perspectives on architecture within zoos, their relation to the city as a place of fantasy, and their role as sites of national representation. There will be special focus on the Budapest Zoo and the work of Hungarian architect Károly Kós.

Running over one day, _ _ 'Zoo-topia' will comprise two panels and a screening of short films, and will be accompanied by a publication featuring specially-commissioned work by artists and architects around the theme of zoos.

The book, also called 'Zoo-topia', will feature a diverse body of work, from ‘docu-fictions’, cartoons, drawings, proposals and poems to a selection of short essays, from artists and architects including Anca Benera, Yona Friedman, Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad, Candida Höfer, Szabolcs KissPál, Wesley Meuris, Ahmet Ögüt and Société Réaliste.

Having previously collaborated with the Balassi Institute (Hungarian Culture Centre) as a freelance curator, Eszter was invited to curate a symposium and edit a related publication, co-funded by RCA Critical & Historical Studies, ZSL London Zoo and the Balassi Institute, as part of the British Council’s International Architecture and Design Showcase.

Eszter explained that the symposium, which builds on her research exploring the history of architecture exhibition, will be valuable in bringing together experts and academics from diverse fields.

‘The symposium is a good way of bringing together viewpoints from so many different fields. "Zoo-topia" takes an interdisciplinary approach to investigate themes related to zoo architecture and its wider cultural, political and economic context, which I hope will be relevant to other researchers and students across the College by opening up discussions and revealing new topics,’ said Eszter.

'Zoo-topia' takes place on 21 September, 2012, at the Huxley Theatre, ZSL London Zoo, The Outer Circle, Regents Park, London NW1 4RY.

All events are free but booking is essential: [email protected]

For further information visit the Zoo-topia website.