Published by Verlag für moderne Kunst. Text by Bernhard Garnicnig.
In late 2019, artist Karin Ferrari (born 1982) came to New York City to research what she describes as “pseudosacred commercial architecture” for six months. “Pseudosacred” structures are particularly ubiquitous in the United States, where many casinos, banks, hotels, shopping centers, and wellness and entertainment facilities imitate and reference mythical and sacred building elements.
Spring 2020 turned out to be a special time for Ferrari’s visit. “When the metropolis emptied during the COVID-19 lockdown, it felt like I could really see the city for the first time,” she writes. “This is when I noticed a very special architectural phenomenon in Manhattan. Infrastructures, such as elevator shafts and water tanks, or multi-level penthouse units, which actually look a lot like places of worship, tower up on many New York City skyscrapers.” This compact and affordable volume collects Ferrari’s pictures of the city’s “rooftop temples” at a pivotal moment in the city’s history.