words Johanna Agerman
Bitter Blueprints is the title of a new series of work by Boym Partners in New York. The concept is to recreate the axonometric diagrams of buildings that are sites of disasters as digital limited-edition prints.
“People are fascinated with disaster, as long as it doesn’t happen to them,” says Laurene Boym, who has developed the project together with husband Constantin. “The diagrams are just straightforward narrative. Like Warhol’s electric chair, they are open to interpretation by the psyche of the collector.”
There is something disturbingly voyeuristic in sharing in the cold hard facts about spaces that have seen human suffering and trauma – perhaps even sensationalist, but Laurene Boym sees it differently. “At this point our choices are programmatic and sympathetic, not sensationalist.”
The Boyms hope that the blueprints will lead to conversation and political dialogue, highlighting disasters that may have long ago vanished from people’s minds.
The first four blueprints include the Moscow Nord-Ost Theatre siege in 2002 (pictured left) and the Texas A&M Bonfire Tower disaster, when 11 students were killed after the annual 12m-high bonfire collapsed in 1999. The plan is to release subsequent Bitter Blueprints on a monthly subscription basis, like a magazine.