It's too simplistic to advance the notion of the autonomy of art as a reason for turning away from the public. You can have autonomy and simultaneously have connections with the social and political world.
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I've always been interested in an architecture of resistance - architecture that has some power over the way we live. Working under adversarial conditions could be seen as a plus because you're offering alternatives. Still, there are situations that make you ask the questions: 'Do I want to be a part of this?'