Under the direction of Mirko Zardini since 2005, the Canadian Centre for Architecture has been mounting exhibitions that encourage an understanding of architecture that is inherently political. The Mound of Vendôme, curated by architectural historian David Gissen, drew from the CCA’s archives to provide the documentary background for Gissen’s own proposal to commemorate the Commune of Paris (18 March–28 May 1871), during which the citizens of Paris took control of their city in what proved to be a precursor to many subsequent urban social movements. Featured prominently on one of the walls of this small-scale exhibition was the original decree from the Commune stating that “the Vendôme Column will be demolished.” Why did...

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