by Susan Horowitz
Through an international project about Bauhaus-influenced architecture that has been rediscovered, I came to focus on Ben-Ami Shulman (b. Jaffa 1907–d. Los Angeles 1986), who was posthumously recognized as a significant architect of the 1930’s modernist White City of Tel Aviv. A UNESCO World Heritage site, eight of Shulman’s apartment buildings in the White City are designated landmarks.
It turns out that Shulman’s archive is a key to understanding the architectural diversity of Los Angeles. My documentary video explores how his work in Los Angeles, designed in the same obscurity as so many emigrants, was influenced by his 30’s modernist style as he avidly followed California culture and architecture. The results of my investigations represent an ironic facet to the history of vernacular architecture in Los Angeles.
SOME SHULMAN ARCHITECTURE was screened in 2023 at the exhibition Architecture in Contemporary Art curated by Escher/GuneWardena Architects at OCCCA (Orange County Center for Contemporary Art). The entire project and video can be viewed at https://www.someshulmanarchitecture.com/
Susan Horowitz is an artist/curator who explores modernist architecture, urbanization, global tourism and international conservation through documentary text, photo and video projects. Her interests and art practice dovetails with her work as the director of preservation projects for Hamptons20CenturyModern.org, a N.Y. non-profit advocacy organization devoted to raising awareness and documenting the under-the-radar modern architecture in the region.