HMKV im Dortmunder U
U-Bahn-Station Altes Landgut (U1)
Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Aktionsraum
Late twentieth-century American architecture is so saturated with various forms of irony that it seems suspiciously like the single unifying theme of the age.
The recourse to irony may seem singularly inappropriate to the field of architecture if by architecture one ascribes Durand’s “the art of the necessary.” Building as structure, material, and social program would seem to be the most direct and irony-free cultural phenomenon: structure and materials have a legal responsibility to function properly; and shelter is a basic human imperative. In this sense there is incontrovertible quiddity in the weight, expense, and purpose of architecture. But if one asks, along with Nikolaus Pevsner, if utilitarian structures such as the bicycle shed qualify as architecture, one is forced to recognize that architecture belongs to a discourse that goes far beyond the phenomenal acts of shelter and construction because it is circumscribed by texts and subject to interpretation. With the recognition of the textuality of architecture, the question of irony, a quintessential result of interpretation, becomes a significant effect of architecture, if not...
Photographs evoke a response in which our sense of beauty and our desire for knowledge interpenetrate.
Atmospheres are ontologically puzzling: a surplus, a not really there, an in-between state, a feeling that is somehow nowhere.
The room is filled with luminous and aural phantasms. On the wall, a long French text is horizontally stenciled in off-white vinyl letters. The words are barely visible in the hazy darkness, except when I stare at them from a specific angle. As we read fragments of the French with the world behind our back, the room lurches from one color to another – first red, then yellow, blue and white accompanied by an almost silent aural pulse while a thin polyphony of almost unheard string sounds completes this cloudy scenography. Some of the group gathered turn towards the colors emanating from the room. Before us, three colored glass frames suspended from the ceiling, in the direct center of the space, which bifurcate the room in two. Each of the surfaces frames a luminous colored object freely floating in space. Staring intently at the three colors lined up in a row,...
Democratic fetishism involves not believing that one lives in a democracy while acting as if one does believe it.
Fredric Jameson has diagnosed the contemporary situation as one of subjective perplexity and disorientation. After the failures of all the Marxist attempts to install a framework which could provide for a collective subjective orientation, and after the perpetual intensification of late capitalism’s dynamics, the contemporary epoch is marked by the feeling that “the truth of … experience no longer coincides with the place in which it takes place.” This is to say, that individuals become disoriented because they lack an effective cognitive map of the complete situation they are in. This lack of orientation originates in the absence of a standpoint that would provide not only an abstract, but also a concretizable, perspective on the totality of the situation in which an individual finds himself. Badiou has further complicated the problem of disorientation, by linking it to the modalities of subjectivization offered by contemporary societies. In his analysis he refers to...