Curatorial Research Bureau
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Giorgio Angelini—Domestic Affairs: Evaluating Ownership


Thu, Feb 7, 2019
6–8:30 pm
(free and open to the public)
Location: YBCA screening room, 2nd floor

This event is organized in partnership with CCA Architecture Division.


Giorgio Angelini introduces and screens his documentary Owned, A Tale of Two Americas (2018), followed by a discussion with UC Berkeley Professor of Landscape Architecture Walter Hood.

The United States’ postwar housing policy created the world’s largest middle class. It also set America on two divergent paths—one of imagined wealth, propped up by speculation and endless booms and busts, and the other in systematically defunded, segregated communities, where “the American dream” feels hopelessly out of reach.

Owned is a fever dream vision into the dark history behind the US housing economy. Tracking its overtly racist beginnings and its unbridled commoditization, the film exposes a foundational story that few Americans understand as their own.

Owned, A Tale of Two Americas , 2018 (stills)

Owned, A Tale of Two Americas, 2018 (stills)

It was during the tumultuous time of the 2008 real estate collapse that the seeds for Giorgio Angelini’s documentary debut, Owned, began to take shape. Awarded a research grant to photograph the abandoned homes of Inland Empire, California, what Angelini ultimately encountered was an environment far more perverse and disturbing than he had initially anticipated: thousands of square miles, once thriving orange groves were burnt down to make way for a new commodity—air conditioned square footage. With the financial crisis, the charred orange groves sat alongside half-built McMansions. Sparked by this imagery, Owned tells a larger American story.

Film plays a central role in merging disciplines and conveying stories. Informed by creative fields from painting and architecture, to performance and drawing, filmmakers have applied diverse perspectives to inform their cinematic visions. Documentary filmmaking, particularly, captures moments of time, uniquely reflecting our lives and culture back to us, advancing critical areas of agency and discovery. The screening of Angelini’s film and post-screening talk will explore the relationship of architecture, and film, while naturally folding in topics of urban transformation, race, and economics.

Call + Response is an open invitation to cultural producers in fields of design, architecture, humanities, civic affairs, urban planning, and more who want to connect with Curatorial Research Bureau to insert their ideas into the public realm for dialogue. The format speaks to a long history of democratic participation, projecting thoughts and ideas in public gatherings where speaking and listening—call and response—are equally valued as essential parts of public discourse.