From June 29th, 2011 until March 16th, 2012, the sixth series of the BHSF office talks will take place. In James Cameron’s movie “True Lies” (1994), Arnold Schwarzenegger acts as a secret agent who acts as a Computer specialist. His wife does not suspect anything. This leads to complications at the latest when she seemingly takes up with a used-car dealer who pretends to be a secret agent. Further complicating things are an arab terror organization and a psychopathic art dealer named Juno Skinner.
The brilliantly shallow movie will serve us as an initial position from which to assess deeper questions (while flatness is of course not forbidden!). In our training we were constantly told that the truth should be sought under all circumstances and that it should not be twisted. Certain personalities and books nourish this notion.
But are architecture and urbanism really all about truth? Is the truth always clearly visible, and if yes, how do you recognize it? Or does it reveal itself only through time? Is it sometimes even advisable to lie, or will this certainly lead to failure? How should we cope with having been or probably being lied to? How are retroactive transfigurations of architectural work to be judged?
The movie “True Lies” can also serve as an assessing point for questions of how we view our role as architects and how we are seen from the outside. Are we secret agents dressed as computer specialists, car dealers posing as secret agents, psychopathic art dealers or even lied-to housewives who eventually taste blood and in the end convert into a secret agent themselves?