Two gorillas named Mok and Moina Mozissa were some of the earliest residents of modern architecture in England. Although they were considered a novel attraction in their own right, most of the attention that accompanied their arrival from the Congo was directed towards the modern house that was built for them. Commissioned by the Zoological Society of London, the Gorilla House by Tecton was considered a marvel of innovative design and technological advancement that far surpassed any building that had been built in England. While it may appear that the Zoo’s grounds provided an unlikely canvas for a new era of modern architectural expression in Britain, this talk explores how geopolitical pressures, not too unlike the ones responsible for the Zoological Society’s formation, prompted the display of Mok and Moina’s exotic wildness in the most ‘civilised’, domesticated, and troubling circumstances of captivity.
Please join us for a talk entitled "The Nature of the Beast: Tecton and the Gorilla House at the London Zoo," at The Center for Experimental Humanities at NYU. New York University, 14 University Place (next to Deutsches Haus), New York, NY, 12:30-1:45pm. Free and open to the public. More information can be found here.