Art and architecture a place between download
As an art, architecture is more than satisfying the purely functional requirements dimensional plane, and from the plane to a three-dimensional volume. More than a survey, Art and Architecture draws on concepts from disciplines such as feminism, critical theory and cultural geography to explore the. Timely and wide-ranging, "Art and Architecture" explores the proliferation of recent pioneering work by both artists and architects that seeks. BETTER WORD FOR FUNNEST PLACE
Democratic public space is frequently endowed with unified properties, but one of the problems of aiming for a homogenous public is the avoidance of difference. Philosopher Chantal Mouffe has argued instead for radical democracy, a form of democracy that is able to embrace conflict and passion. But if we take instead a liberal-rights-based perspective, then privacy is understood to provide positive qualities, such as the right to be alone, to confidentiality and the safeguarding of individuality.
For example, public art located outside the private institution of the art gallery may 12 See Chantal Mouffe, The Return of the Political London: Verso, This term draws attention not only to the importance of the critical, but also to the spatial, indicating the interest in exploring the specifically spatial aspects of interdisciplinary processes or practices that operate between art and architecture.
See also Jane Rendell ed. McHale bemoans the preponderance of generalized theoretical texts, and laments the loss of a theory specifically derived from a study of literature, a theory that lies between the general and the specific. In recent collections of architectural theory from the USA, no attempt is made to distinguish between theories that have been generated out of their own disciplines and those that have come from elsewhere.
In the introduction to one of these collections, Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture, Kate Nesbitt does choose to separate architecture theory 17 from criticism and history; while in another, Architecture Theory since , K.
Michael Hays sees architecture theory as a form of mediation between architectural form and social context. The difference is that in the UK the tendency has been to favour critical theory. Hays ed. The authors of the essays in InterSections: Architectural History and Critical Theory, a book I edited with Iain Borden, examine the relationship between architectural history and critical theory, demonstrating different modes of writing theorised histories, bringing to the surface questions of critical methodology.
Critical theory is a phrase that refers to the work of a group of theorists and philosophers called the Frankfurt School operating in the early twentieth century. Hegel, the political economist Karl Marx, and the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Taken together, their work could be characterized as a rethinking or development of Marxist ideas in relation to the shifts in society, culture and economy that took place in the early decades of the twentieth century. Critical theories also have a particular set of aims in that they seek to enlighten and emancipate their readers by providing a critique of normative attitudes.
Critical theories aim neither to prove a hypothesis nor prescribe a particular methodology or solution to a problem; instead, in a myriad of ways critical theorists offer self-reflective modes of thought that seek to change the world, or at least the world in which the inequalities of market capitalism, as well as patriarchal and colonial or post-colonial 19 Neil Leach ed.
For me, this kind of theoretical work provides a chance not only to reflect on existing conditions but also to imagine something different — to transform rather than 21 describe. More importantly, in Art and Architecture I explore the spatial aspects of different kinds of critical theory and the relationship between these theories and art and architectural practice. It is easy to generalize the relationship between theory and practice and perhaps a little dangerous.
Each historical moment offers a particular set of conditions and, depending on their own life story, each person takes a different approach. I trained and worked first as an architect and practitioner and later as a historian and theorist. This influences the place I occupy between theory and practice. Reading critical theory is what opened up my world and allowed me to see things differently.
Theoretical debates changed the ways in which I understood architectural practice, expanding my expectations of what architecture could do. Pickford New York: Routledge, p. The philosophy of deconstruction developed by Jacques Derrida has allowed us to critique binary thinking and understand how the hierarchical relationship often assigned to two terms in a pair is not natural or pregiven but a social construction that can change according to how we are positioned.
In a binary model, everything that one is, the other cannot be, thus limiting the possibility of thinking of two terms together. Such a model operates hierarchically, where one of the two terms is placed in a dominant position. Broadly speaking, my approach in this book takes up certain tenets of deconstruction to destabilize binary assumptions that are often made about the relationship between art and architecture, private and public and theory and practice. First, I refuse to think of either term in the pair as dominant.
Second, I consider how one term in the pair operates through the categories such as function mentioned above normally used to define the other. And third, I invent or discover new terms, like critical spatial practice, which operate simultaneously as both and neither of the binary terms, including 26 the two, yet exceeding their scope. See also Jacques Derrida, Dissemination, translated by Barbara Johnson London: Athlone Press, for an attempt to perform rather than describe deconstruction.
En Abyme London: Routledge, p. No theory can develop without eventually encountering a wall, and practice is necessary for piercing this wall. Although the notion of relays at first appears symmetrical, it turns out not to be, for the suggestion that theory needs practice to develop is not accompanied by its reversal. It must function. And not for itself. If no one uses it, beginning with the theoretician himself who then ceases to be a theoretician , then the theory is worthless or the moment is inappropriate.
It is the proactive and inventive aspect to Deleuze, his thinking about what theory can do, that position. The second is the movement of displacement in which the negative term is displaced from its dependent position and located as the very condition of the positive term. The third and most important strategy of deconstruction is the creation or discovery of a new term that is undecidable within a binary logic. Such a term operates simultaneously as both and neither of the binary terms; it may include both and yet exceed their scope.
See Grosz, Sexual Subversions, p. Bouchard ed. It is this possibility of transformation — the potential for change that each may offer the other — that interests me here in Art and Architecture. In both academic and arts- based contexts, the term interdisciplinarity is often used interchangeably with multidisciplinarity and collaboration, but I understand the terms to mean quite different things.
In my view, multidisciplinarity implies that a number of disciplines are present but that each maintains its own distinct identity and way of doing things, whereas in interdisciplinarity individuals move between and across disciplines and in so doing question the ways in which they work.
The first development of immediate concern to this study dates to Photograph: the s, when architecture was directly targeted by art in the context of Sue Omerod. In contrast, the work under consideration in this volume is not only a matter of art acting on or against architecture, but is often a matter of art acting within it— inhabiting it—adopting to disparate ends its aesthetic principles, methods, and strategies. In this respect, the work of the Minimalists is another key point Introduction 3 of reference, since the experience of such work—often architectural in scale— was purposefully dynamic, active, and spatial.
Likewise, installation art—a phenomenon that emerges in the s and grows steadily through the s and s before reaching its apogee in the s—is similarly experiential and, often, architectural in nature. Hence, while there is a certain degree of contiguity between installation art and the phenomenon under consideration here, the material considered in this volume is neither reducible to installation, nor wholly distinct from its operations. Consequently, a certain faction of contemporary art can be viewed as a silent compliment 1.
Installation view, 45th Venice Biennale, German Pavilion. Introduction 5 to the acknowledged history of the built environment—a non-verbal form of architectural history and a legitimate site of interpretation, criticism, and analysis. In fact, as the present study bears out, such works stand alongside architectural history as a supplementary form of discourse in which the meanings of buildings are recorded, articulated, and revised, often in conjunction with specific political and aesthetic histories.
Eschewing conventional distinctions between art and its typically invisible container the gallery or museum , Haacke extended the logic of his early institutional critiques by again making the space in which he was to exhibit the subject of his work.
Tearing up the stone floor of the German Pavilion—a pavilion remodeled by the Third Reich in the s— Haacke used an architectural strategy demolition to call attention to and author architectural history, thereby making all the more clear that such histories are always being written and revised, constructed and remodeled. Calling attention to the spaces of history and its most celebrated designers, Cordova reminds us that architecture, both iconic and not, is always implicated in the historical events that it houses and frames.
In turn, his work also makes plain that, like Haacke, the artist is through his art the historian and archivist of such events. If history is inextricable from the built environment in which it takes place, there are also those structures that are, in and of themselves, a piece of history. As several essays in the volume bear out in further detail, Modern architecture is a recurring object of investigation for artists interested in critiquing the limits of its utopian vision.
Provocatively, Modern architecture has also been the focus of a number of contemporary photographers—so much so that several contributors to this volume are compelled to reflect on the structural and methodological affinities between these two mediums.
Now photographed by contemporary artists, these same buildings are being imaged toward other ends. Out of focus and shot from unusual 1. Photograph courtesy of the artist and The Pace Gallery. For inverting this Masonic symbol of moral rectitude and for subsequently murdering the Architect, the Entered Apprentice is put to death by the Chrysler Building.
Thus, in its near-final scenes, the narrative reverses what we know, in truth, to be the final raising of the spire of the Chrysler Building to assume its true and magnificent height, and instead lowers this spire to crush the flawed Apprentice. One could say a great deal about Cremaster 3 and, indeed, the cycle as a whole, particularly as it pertains to the issue of revisiting history the re-visionings of Cremaster 5 and 3 are the express subject of Chapter 12 , but here, suffice it to say that Cremaster 3, like the cycle more broadly, exemplifies and, in fact, allegorizes the complex relationship between contemporary artists and architecture Barney and Serra are cast as builders , while at the same time providing an entirely new history and meaning for an extant, highly historicized building.
If the examples cited thus far attest to the ways in which art can function as a form of architectural history, other examples—both in the volume 1. Photograph: Chris Winget. Introduction 9 and, here, in the introduction—reveal that contemporary art is also a place where the medium of architecture is theorized and subjected to a wide range of philosophical meditations.
Over the course of the last 25 years, abstract reflections on architectural typologies, tropes, and methods have surfaced in the work of several artists, whose architectural strategies are not always tied to a specific building. Collected, redrawn, and integrated into the deeply layered paintings and drawings of Julie Mehretu, two-dimensional representations of these elements comprise the beginning point of her artistic process and are, as the artist states, the very DNA of her work.
Though the artist maintains that the work holds Casebere Figs. While architecture and the built environment have substantially influenced his work since the s, it is in works from the s that Casebere has focused on architectural manifestations of specific cultural and political institutions prisons, government buildings, homes of historical and cultural significance. Erected in the form of table- sized models, these institutions are then photographed by Casebere, who identifies within them various well-known tropes arcades, individual cells, tunnels, vaulted spaces, and hallways of varying origins —generalizations that upon further study are revealed to be none other than the dark corners Introduction 11 of infamous places: for example, the bunker under the Reichstag where 1.
Symbolizing dramatic endings and rebirths, New York. As with the similarly complex work of Thomas 12 contemporary art about architecture 1. After all, Sze is not a child and these are not childhood experiments.
Rather, they are layered meditations on the psychology of building—a psychology first in evidence in the childhood construction of fortresses, tunnels, and tree houses, none of which is, in the first instance, a matter of shelter. Just what is an architectural impulse? For although these practices were never discrete, there is of late a renewed interest in thinking through the ancient fact of their entanglement.
For the most part, this thinking has happened visually within the context of artworks like the ones considered in this volume. In conjunction with other works by Atelier Bow-Wow, Michael Beutler, Los Carpinteros, Ernesto Neto, Tobias Putrih, Do-Ho Suh, and Rachel Whiteread, these works had the effect of making the Hayward physically and perceptually incongruous and, more expansively, of showcasing the myriad ways in which contemporary art engages architecture. Altering the architecture of the Hayward Gallery so that it could be inhabited in new and formerly impossible ways, Psycho Buildings recalls an Introduction 15 earlier exhibition, Wonderland, held in at the Saint Louis Museum of Art.
Each work on view in Wonderland was thus an installation in which architecture existed only, and purposefully, as wondrous fragments. Finally, the exhibition most recently addressed to the intersection of contemporary art and architecture was Automatic Cities: The Architectural Imaginary in Contemporary Art , held at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
Paul Noble, one of the 14 artists included in Automatic Cities, explored architecture through language in the form of Nobson Newton, a fictitious city that has been his focus for 15 years. It was inaugurated with Intronob, —, a video-animation-as-creation- myth comprised of dense scrolling text that appears, upon closer inspection, to be written in a font designed out of Modernist building forms, and which has since been translated into 30 large-scale drawings, a guidebook, a cinematic projection, and a graphic novel.
Thus, although the artists assembled in this exhibition arguably participate in the trend considered in this volume, Contemporary Art About Architecture: A Strange Utility brings the architectural dimension of contemporary art to center stage, arguing that such works are in and of themselves productive contributions to the history, discourse, and practice of architecture.
As countless scholars have observed, the meaning of these objects and many contemporaneous, but non-site-specific Minimalist works was inextricable from the spatial and temporal conditions in which their consumption took place; in short, the spectator was to experience his experience as the meaning of the work in question. Of equal significance to this project are the pioneering efforts of Giuliana Bruno, a celebrated scholar whose work has in many respects established the increasingly complex intersection of film, architecture, and the visual arts.
For this reason, and for the sheer originality of the insights therein, Public Intimacy is a formidable example of what is possible when one thinks about contemporary art and architecture in tandem. Indeed, the book is, as he says, as much a work of cultural criticism as it is of art and architectural criticism. Again, it is these concerns that are central to the present text. As this brief overview makes clear, the intersection of contemporary art and architecture is the subject of a body of literature that has long existed and is steadily growing.
The volume at hand aims to address this phenomenon, but makes no claims to comprehensiveness. Of necessity, there are many more artists whose works participate in the trend this volume identifies and attempts to define than can be mentioned within it. What this anthology establishes, rather, is a beginning point, a foothold in a Introduction 21 body of literature that will undoubtedly continue to develop as contemporary art changes and expands the modes of practice examined here.
A few additional words about what this volume does not do: Contemporary Art About Architecture: A Strange Utility is addressed to the subject of architecture as engaged by contemporary artists over the course of the last 25 years. But within that terrain it isolates a very specific phenomenon: art that acts as a form of architectural theory and history. Related to this possibility, but notably separate from it, is the work of several contemporary artists—for example, Andrea Zittel, Vito Acconci—that is itself a form of architecture or architectural design.
Yet in this context our interest is less the purposeful conflation of art and architecture than the complex interactions that occur between them when one takes the other as its subject; in short, this volume is concerned with art that is about architecture, rather than with projects that are themselves a form of architecture and design.
This distinction is a subtle one, and we are aware that it may succeed only by degrees. Moreover, by adherence to it we do not mean to suggest that architecture—whether made by trained architects or artists—is incapable of functioning as a form of architectural theory and history in its own right.
Yet, more often, architecture is the object and not itself an agent of architectural discourse, and while many works of art and architecture can be made to serve architectural theory and history, only some seem to take this possibility as their starting point and purpose, and it is this highly specific and purposeful phenomenon that we isolate and consider in the present volume.
Using the strategies of site-specific artists of the time, the early portfolio of SITE includes projects that inverted the expectations of the built environment, among them The Ghost Parking Lot, , a public art piece commissioned by the owner of the Hamden Shopping Plaza in Connecticut and destroyed in Fusing the processes and outcomes of sculpture, architecture, and environmental design until indistinguishable from one another, the architects, artists, and designers of SITE are noteworthy for both their designs and the precedent they set as theorists, critics, and activists who used architecture as a principle medium of expression.
Though resolute about their identity as an architectural firm, Diller and Scofidio first accrued critical notice with the set design for a multi-media theater work, The Rotary Notary and His Hot Plate, Moreover, Para-site, , their first major exhibition, took place at the Museum of Modern Art in the form of a site-specific installation about technological forms of voyeurism.
While adopting the technological, material, and linguistic strategies of contemporary artists, Diller and Scofidio have nevertheless maintained an architectural position. For over 30 years, their architectural practice has used architecture to critique architecture: its helplessness in the conflation of surveillance and public space, the overwhelming desire for it to create a perfect view of its surroundings, the need for it, even, to disappear.
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