Participation in Art and Architecture: Spaces of Interaction and Occupation 9780755694938

If participation has been an ideal in politics since ancient democracy, in art it became central only with the avant-gar

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List of Illustrations Floor plan of the Ardencote Arts Club, Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham. ‘Arts Club in Birmingham’, Architects’ Journal 143/1 (5 January 1966), p.17. 1.2 Ground floor plan of Billingham Forum, Billinghamon-Tees. ‘Sports forum at Billingham-on-Tees’, Architects’ Journal 146/21 (22 November 1967), p.1315. 1.3 Market day at the Agora (De Meerpaal), Dronten, c. 1970. Source: ANP PHOTO (20 December 1967)/ Foto: (Dronten – Cultureel Centrum De Meerpaal, No. 13855182) licensed under the Creative Commons Naamsvermelding-NietCommercieel-GeenAfgeleide Werken 4.0 Licentie. 1.4 ‘Sc´enographie en espace ouvert’, page spread of ‘Les lieux du spectacle’, a theme issue of Architecture d’aujourd’hui 40/152 (October-November 1970), pp.18–19. 1.5a May 1968 protests in the marble hall of the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, with, amongst others, Marcel Broodthaers, Hugo Claus, and Roger Somville. 1.5b View of the ‘Animatiehal’ designed by the architects Baucher, Draps, and Libois, after construction in 1972. 1.5c Inauguration of the hall by the director Paul Willems on 22 March 1972. Source: Brussels, Centre for Fine Arts, Archives Centre for Fine Arts, Photo Collection 1928–2001. 1.1

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Three Cultures at Tlatelolco: Aztec ruins in the foreground, sixteenth-century church on the right, Chihuahua building by Mario Pani in the background. Photo by author, 2013. Arquitectura/M´exico 93/94, 1966, advertisement. J¨urgen Mayer H., Metropol Parasol, 2011. Spanish flag and closed entry to public space due to impending soccer World Cup match. Photo by author, 2012. J¨urgen Mayer H., Metropol Parasol, 2011. One of two points of entry to the ruins in the cellar and elevator to sightseeing platform at top. Photo by author, 2012. La Estela de Tlatelolco, Plaza of Three Cultures, 1993. Church and housing complex in the background, June 2013. Photo by author, 2013. H´elio Oiticica, Nildo da Mangueira wears P04 Parangol´e capa 1, 1964, in the exhibition H´elio Mangueira Oiticica, Universidade do Rio de Janeiro, 1990. Photograph: C´esar Oiticica Filho. Archives of the Projeto H´elio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro. From: H´elio Oiticica, ed. Witte de With, exh. cat. Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume (Paris, 1992), p. 107. H´elio Oiticica, Inauguration of the Parangol´es on the occasion of the exhibition Opini˜ao 65, 1965, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro. From: H´elio Oiticica, ed. Witte de With, exh. cat. Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume (Paris, 1992), p. 89. H´elio Oiticica, Tropic´alia, with Penetrav´eis PN 2 and PN 3, 1967, installation view of the exhibition Nova Objetividade Brasileira, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro. From: H´elio Oiticica, ed. Witte de With, exh. cat. Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume (Paris, 1992), p. 121. Jo˜ao Batista Vilanova Artigas and Carlos Cascaldi, Rubens de Mendonc¸a House, so-called Casa dos Triangulos, S˜ao Paulo, 1958/59, mural by artists M´ario Gruber and Waldemars Cordeiro. Photo by author, 2013. Jo˜ao Batista Vilanova Artigas, College of Architecture and Urbanism, S˜ao Paulo University (FAU-USP), S˜ao Paulo, 1966–69, annual assembly in the central hall, 1968. From: Vilanova Artigas, Brazilian Architects (S˜ao

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Paulo: Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi / Fundac¸a˜ o Vilanova Artigas, 1997), p. 113. Lina Bo Bardi, Preliminary Study for Sculpturescum-Stage-Props on Trianon Terrace, Museu de Arte, S˜ao Paulo (MASP), 1965. India ink and watercolor on paper, 56.2 × 76.5 cm. Photograph by Lu´ıs Hossaka. MASP Collection. From: Zeuler R. M. de A. Lima, Lina Bo Bardi (New Haven, 2013), p. 132. Suzanne Lacy, International Dinner Party, 1979. Photo: Archive of the Artist. Suzanne Lacy, International Dinner Party, 1979. Photo: Archive of the Artist. Suzanne Lacy, International Dinner Party, 1979. Photo: Archive of the Artist. Suzanne Lacy, International Dinner Party, 1979. Photo: Archive of the Artist. Suzanne Lacy, International Dinner Party, 1979. Photo: Archive of the Artist. ˇ car, Post Office, 2 May 1992, Sarajevo, St. Predrag Canˇ Vincent Church, 1992. Photo by Milomir Kovaˇcevi´c Straˇsni. Opening of the exhibition Spirituality and Destruction, Sarajevo, St. Vincent Church, 1992. Photo by Milomir Kovaˇcevi´c Straˇsni. Nusret Paˇsi´c, Witnesses of Existence, Sarajevo, Sutjeska Cinema, 1992. Photo: Archive of the Obala Art Centre. Mustafa Skopljak, SA RA JE VO, 91 92 93, Sarajevo, Sutjeska Cinema, 1993. Photo: Archive of the Obala Art Centre. Opening of the exhibition Witnesses of Existence, Sarajevo, Sutjeska Cinema, 1993. Photo: Archive of the Obala Art Centre. Tahrir Square in early February, 2011. Once secured, the square had been transformed into a proto-urban microcosm of the 2011 revolution. Photo by author. Promotional pamphlet (1959) advertising Nasr City as the ‘city of the revolution’. Author’s collection. The signed ‘Museum of the Revolution’ at the centre of Tahrir Square in the summer of 2013. The makeshift structure and its content appeared in multiple

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manifestations over the course of two years. Photo by author. The ubiquitous slogan ‘local councils belong to the youth’ spray-painted initially on walls surrounding Tahrir Square and later appearing across Cairo and in other cities. Photo by author. Working drawings and prototypes for an insulated pallet, 123 Occupy, New York, 2011. Working drawings and prototypes for an insulated pallet, 123 Occupy, New York, 2011. Book Bloc, student and public-sector workers’ protest against public funding cuts, London, December 2010. Giant inflatable cobblestone, designed by Tools for Action, during the General Strike, Barcelona, February 2012. Photo by Oriana Elic¸abe Working diagrams for scaffolding tripods, drawn by B Dahl, February 1997. The much-reproduced final versions of these drawings appeared in Road Raging, but appeared first as a photocopied pamphlet during blockades of the Newbury bypass, Berkshire, England. Working diagrams for scaffolding tripods, drawn by B Dahl, February 1997. The much-reproduced final versions of these drawings appeared in Road Raging, but appeared first as a photocopied pamphlet during blockades of the Newbury bypass, Berkshire, England. Tear gas mask: How to Guide: Makeshift Tear-Gas Mask. Flyer from the exhibition Disobedient Objects, Victoria and Albert Museum, July 2014–February 2015. Illustrated by Marwan Kaabour, at Barnbrook. Giving space, taking time: Space in Progress, Jewish Museum Vienna, October 2011. View from above without visitors. Photo by Klaus Pichler. Giving space, taking time: Space in Progress, Jewish Museum Vienna, October 2011. View with visitors. Photo by Klaus Pichler. Rider Project, a mobile exhibition. Chelsea, New York, September 2004. Photo by author. Agora, Forum, and Theater in Space: Museo Nacional de Arte Romano, Merida. View from ground. Photo by author.

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Agora, Forum, and Theater in Space: Museo Nacional de Arte Romano, Merida. View from above. Photo by author. Festsaal, Dresden-Hellerau, 1912. Dora Brandenburg-Polster, interior of the Festsaal, Dresden-Hellerau, c.1913. Drawing published in Marco De Michelis, ‘Modernity and Reform’, Perspecta 26 (1990). Lighting System, Festsaal, Bildungsanstalt f¨ur rhythmische Erziehung, Dresden-Hellerau, 1912. Adolphe Appia, Rhythmische Ra¨ume, 1909. Deutsches Theatermuseum M¨unchen, Inv.Nr. IV 749. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Glasraum, Stuttgart, 1927. Photograph printed in Architectural Record (October 1930). Viking Eggeling, Three Moments from HorizontalVertical Orchestra. Published in De Stijl 4/7, (1921). Alexander Dorner (1924). Objectives for a Museum of the Future. Excerpt from ‘Was sollen heute KunstMuseen?’, Der Sammler. Wochenzeitschrift f¨ur alte und neue Kunst 14/17, (15 September 1924). Illustration by author. Provinzialmuseum Hannover (c. late 1920s). Room for Dutch Baroque art photographed after its reorganization. Photo courtesy: Nieders¨achsisches Landesmuseum Hannover – Landesgalerie. Provinzialmuseum Hannover (c. early 1920s). Room for Flemish Baroque photographed before its reorganization. Photo courtesy: Nieders¨achsisches Landesmuseum Hannover – Landesgalerie. Provinzialmuseum Hannover (c. late 1920s). Room for Flemish Baroque photographed after its reorganization. Photo courtesy: Nieders¨achsisches Landesmuseum Hannover – Landesgalerie. Provinzialmuseum Hannover (c. late 1920s). Room for Classical Art photographed after its reorganization. Photo courtesy: Nieders¨achsisches Landesmuseum Hannover – Landesgalerie. Provinzialmuseum Hannover (c. early 1920s). Plan of the Art Department on the first floor of the Provinzialmuseum Hannover after the reorganization. Illustration by author.

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10.7 Alexander Dorner (mid-1920s) Poster fixed in doorframe between exhibition rooms. Illustration by author. 11.1 Inside Bernard Tschumi’s Acropolis Museum, Athens. Photo by author. 11.2 Biedermeier Figurine. Photo by author. 11.3 Diller + Scofidio, Blur, 2001. Photo by Norbert Aepli. Creative Commons Licence. 11.4 Bernard Tschumi, Posters for the 2012 Venice Biennale Common Ground. Photo by Sabine von Fischer. 11.5 Cover of exhibition catalogue A Space: A Thousand Words. Photo by author. 12.1 Allan Kaprow, Performing Life, Liestal, Switzerland, 1996. Photo by author. 12.2 Allan Kaprow, Echo-Logy, Far Hills, New Jersey, 1975. 12.3 Allan Kaprow, Echo-Logy, Far Hills, New Jersey, 1975. 12.4 Re-enactment of Allan Kaprow’s Activity Echo-Logy (1975) with members of the Department of Architecture, ETH Z¨urich, Olympia, Greece, 2013. Photo by author. 12.5 Re-enactment of Allan Kaprow’s Activity Echo-Logy (1975) with members of the Department of Architecture, ETH Z¨urich, Olympia, Greece, 2013. Photo by Anne Kockelkorn. 13.1 Julius von Bismarck, Intervention with Image Fulgurator at Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin. 13.2 Julius von Bismarck, Intervention with Image Fulgurator at Brandenburger Tor, Berlin. 13.3 Google Streetview Screenshot Berlin Borsigstraße, featuring Aram Bartholl. Courtesy: Google Streetview and Aram Bartholl. 13.4 Paolo Cirio, Street Ghosts, Ebor Street, London, 2008. Courtesy: Paolo Cirio. 13.5 Corinne Vionnet, Ath´ına, Series Photo Opportunities, 2006. Courtesey of Corinne Vionnet.

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Acknowledgements We would like to thank the Department of Architecture at ETH for financial support; we would like to thank the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Chair of the History of Art and Architecture at ETH Zurich, Philip Ursprung, for supporting the conference that initiated this publication. Thanks also go to Alexandr Bierig for his editorial work on the texts, to Andrei Pop for his editorial and critical feedback, and to Bret Taboada for proofreading. For additional editorial assistance, we would like to thank Luisa Baselgia and Ana¨ıs Peiser.

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Whose Participation? Introductory Remarks Martino Stierli and Mechtild Widrich

This book is about spatial practices and about the spaces in which artistic and political action takes place; about the options for participation and the tensions that arise from the wish to participate. Acting at the intersection of aesthetic practices and the built environment, this desire to participate is viewed in the book through various historical and theoretical lenses, but always with the conviction that there is something about the concept that denotes a real practice: that even though it might be difficult to achieve participation or to even understand what to make of it politically, and even though it can sometimes be misled, abused, or fire into the wrong direction, it is not only a central preoccupation, but indeed an ideal in modern societies. The foremost aim of this book then is to historicize and theorize, and in the process to bring closer together, the artistic and architectural theory and production of social interaction as it manifests itself in (urban, social, public) space. What is the status of the concepts of participation in circulation at this moment, and how are the authors of this book trying to push the boundaries of the discussion? In art, participation has become a catchword and almost a ‘medium’ in the last 40 years, as artists have searched for a more committed or grounded practice, not just politically but also aesthetically. There is a vivid history at the intersection of conceptual art, installation art, activist art and performance, with site-specific installations, critical rethinking of institutions, shock tactics and the involvement of 1

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critical discourse, where physical and intellectual participation (think of Lawrence Weiner and Fluxus) share a commitment to change, with an emphasis on the audience as an active part of the making of a ‘functioning’ art work. Precursors like the Cabaret Voltaire are rightly cited as the ‘participatory avant-garde’. Participation was celebrated again as heralding a novel form of contemporary art in the nineties, most prominently by French curator-theorist Nicolas Bourriaud, and in the new millennium, more sceptically, by art historian and critic Claire Bishop. But history can destabilize such familiar landmarks: a radical aesthetic discourse going back at least to the French Revolution and Friedrich Schiller’s Letters on Aesthetic Education, which describe play as the essential aesthetic activity mediating between participant citizens and the state they constitute, is again coming to prominence.1 If participation in art remains a controversial and utopian proposition, in architecture, on the other hand, participation has always been a defining element of what is still called ‘functionalism’. A key figure in the debate concerning the emancipatory and paternalistic potential of modern architecture is Le Corbusier. For example, looking at his famous principle of the ‘promenade architecturale’, according to which the interior spaces of a building should be designed so as to allow for a narrative experience of moving through them, film and media scholar Anne Friedberg has asserted that the ‘itinerant and peripatetic’ spectator is given considerable freedom of choice in this arrangement.2 However, such an appraisal is not necessarily confirmed by the architectural apparatus: while it is true that in a building like the Villa Savoye (1928–31), the user/spectator is free to leave the ‘promenade’ through the building along which a spatial narrative unfolds itself, the promenade is nevertheless carefully prescribed. Furthermore, it is well-known that Le Corbusier’s thinking was informed by theories of social engineering and the organization of labour, movement, and space, and in particular by the writings of Henry Ford, Frederick Winslow Taylor, and Hyacinthe Dubreuil.3 A theory of the rationalization and the spatial organization of labour thus became the model for organizing domestic space: a questionable basis indeed for bringing about the political-aesthetic ideal of participation. Looking beyond Le Corbusier, in architectural history and theory, the term ‘participation’ is closely linked to theorists writing on space, urban space in particular, in order to think about architecture in its social and political context. The ideas of Henri Lefebvre and others well-known theorists are reconsidered in several of the historical essays in this book, as are earlier and often overlooked architects, social reformers, curators

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WHOSE PARTICIPATION? INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

and thinkers of the early twentieth century. For participatory practice and discourse as it exists today, the projects and writings of the Italian architect and educator Giancarlo De Carlo (1919–2005) are particularly interesting. In a programmatic contribution published in the journal Perspecta in 1980, De Carlo summed up participatory models he had developed throughout the 1970s in places such as Urbino or Mazzorbo near Venice. In this retrospective manifesto, De Carlo asked his colleagues to ‘do everything possible to make architecture less and less the representation of its designers and more and more the representation of its users’.4 More, De Carlo called for ‘the presence of the users during the whole course of the [planning] operation’.5 In other words, the control over the design of a building should no longer rest solely with the architect and planner, but rather be divided with its future users and inhabitants. Such demands, needless to say, have hardly been met by even the most radical practitioners – and some might argue that the global development of architectural commissions is evolving in ways that bring us farther and farther from De Carlo’s demands. In participatory design, the architect’s role is supposed to shift from that of the author to that of the advisor of a democratic body and enabler of the collective architectural and urban imagination – an idealistic approach that oftentimes failed to live up to its promises. While none of the texts assembled in our reader explicitly refer to De Carlo’s stipulations, it is clear that today’s debates remain strongly informed by this post-1968 moment of critical thinking and self-assertion in increasingly bureaucratic mass societies. At the same time, the essays underscore that the idea of architecture as a stage for social and political life has been pivotal at least since the avant-gardes of the early twentieth century. In its overly idealistic (if not paternalistic) mode, participation in architecture comes to look as problematic and contentious as it does in art. The promise of the extra-aesthetic effectiveness of participatory practices, elaborated today by writers as diverse as Bishop, Bourriaud, and philosopher Jacques Ranci`ere, seems to restore to the contemporary scene a passionate search for the moral relevance of art, driven by both active and reflective models of audience participation. Active and reflective – there’s the rub, for with a sufficiently broad understanding of participation, reading a novel thoughtfully is seen by some (Ranci`ere foremost) as just as politically radical as dancing in the street. This debate is ongoing, and it is not the task of an edited volume to bring it to a close, or even to offer one definite direction. Yet we can better define its stakes in the theories of space, agency, and their interrelation, and in a general model of spatial practice wherein public space represents or at least symbolizes the public sphere, understood as a realm

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inhabited by a broader audience than the institutional one. How much this is an avant-garde myth and how much a reality should be examined in specific cases, but it is clear from the essays that concepts of a participatory public sphere, as theorized most notably by J¨urgen Habermas are still relevant – however, with the rapid mediatisation of society (which offers much more options for active participation than Habermas thought), the physical and intellectual boundaries of the discourse have changed, as have the preconditions of participation that Habermas analysed. More generally, today spatial metaphors are used to articulate networks and activation of agents through social media, the mapping of ideas and practices, and their transformation as they are communicated globally. In both art and architecture there is no simple causal account featuring people or things, artworks or buildings, artistic encounters or architectural models, manifestoes or media initiatives as purely active or passive triggers or inhibitors of interaction – or at least, there is no such simple model that is right, for in fact most theories of participation do attribute agency preferentially to one element in this cycle. It was our premise in editing this book that the relations of participation between these entities, now concentrated in agents, now in things or spaces or institutions, derive their power as much from representational strategies (from above or below, but in any case from a relation of perceiver and perceived) as from actual acts and structures, which are intertwined. Therefore, a stalled debate about the presumed single source of agency (and, by extension, democracy) in contemporary practice, be it artistic or architectural or political, seems best overcome by a pluralist focus on sites of interaction and participation.6 Particularly in the realm of architecture the discussion needed to be extended beyond the optimistic prognoses of modern functionalism – and the anti-humanist rejection of this functionalist model of participation by postmodernists and deconstructionists – to explore not only how planning, living, and building, but also the drawing, debating, and destruction of buildings and urban space involve (or don’t involve) participation. The standoff between consensus-based and agonistic notions of the public sphere, so prevalent in political and art theory today, might also thereby receive a much-needed nudge out of its rut. Some of the essays in this book explore top-down participation, others the negotiation of space under political pressure, while others still look at grassroots initiatives, at the activation of the public sphere through media interventions, or at ‘deviant’ objects of various sorts. Some are theoretical reconsiderations of the strategies used in the staging of architecture for the media, of theoretical concepts like performative architecture, of the

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divergence between planning and outcome, of the affinity between theatre spaces and exhibition display. Geographically, the texts range from today’s Cairo to Latin America in the 1960s, from Sarajevo under siege to global feminism during the Cold War, from Weimar Germany to community centres across postwar Europe. Several debates link the separate essays. Is power exerted in only one direction or must we describe these relationships as networks of circulation? Is space formed irreversibly, or is it the changeable product of patterns of use? Does the aesthetic always mirror the political, or might aesthetically authoritarian space be conducive to social emancipation and vice versa? And finally, how does the insistent mediatisation of urban space, on-going for two centuries, but whose advanced stages may still await us, challenge concepts of participation and audience? The texts are original contributions to modern and contemporary art and architectural history and theory that look beyond established notions of passive control versus utopian liberation. The volume is divided into two sections: Agency and Display. They are not meant to be mutually exclusive, but to draw attention to the emphasis on urban unrest at work in much participatory art and planning on the one hand, and the degree to which participation itself is an aesthetic product of narration on the other. Of course, revolutions are narrated (as well as filmed and memorialized), and representations are written as well as read and acted out. The book thus comprises less a taxonomy of participatory phenomena than a series of new examinations of a rapidly changing landscape. None of the authors is interested in defining the meaning of ‘participation’ once and for all, nor do we believe that such an attempt would do justice to all the forms the phenomenon has taken through modernity into the present. Rather, this volume aims at zooming in on some of the more important episodes in this history in order to give a sense of what participation means under specific historical conditions. As such, we hope to give historical weight to a contemporary discussion that has for too long remained disconnected from its own past. Under the rubric of Agency, Kenny Cupers investigates the emergence of the typology of the cultural centre in postwar Europe. Taking a stand against myopic micro-historical accounts, Cupers argues that the alleged rise of participation in this period needs to be situated in a longer historical trajectory that encompasses not only the politics of empowerment and democratisation but also the larger political forces with which it was enmeshed. Analysing participation in the context of a set of government policies, architectural experiments, and social ambitions, the author demonstrates convincingly that these forces were the bureaucratic

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development of the welfare state and a burgeoning culture of leisure and ´ links up the political upheaval of mass consumption. Ana Mar´ıa Leon Tlatelolco at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Mexico City of 1968 (designed by Mario Pani, 1964) and the protests at the site of the Parasol Metropol in Seville ( J¨urgen Mayer, 2011), through their strategic representation of architecture and the city using official channels. Le´on makes impressive use of the trans-Atlantic history of colonialism and modernism to show how the re-appropriation of public space by the citizens as a form of resistance can itself be re-appropriated by discourses of urban renewal. Turning to another site of Latin American modernity, Martino Stierli investigates the aesthetics and politics of participation in 1960s Brazil. By charting a transition from primarily aesthetic concerns such as the sensual interaction between viewer and object to providing a stage for collective manifestations in the urban realm, Stierli situates Brazilian art and architectural thinking and production within the country’s troubled political history at the dawn of the military dictatorship, illuminating the ambiguous and subversive role taken vis-`a-vis the regime by architects such as Jo˜ao Vilanova Artigas. The preoccupation with ‘poor’ materials in the work of artist H´elio Oiticica and architect Lina Bo Bardi, Stierli argues, was as much an iteration of the aesthetic strategies of the avant-garde of shocking the bourgeoisie as a result of – perhaps all too naive – notions of democratizing design. Representation of political action, however, need not be seen as diametrically opposed to authoritative built structures. In this respect, Elke Krasny discusses a project by feminist artists Suzanne Lacy and Linda Preuss entitled International Dinner Party, which ‘took place globally’ and was registered by Lacy on a world map on the eve of Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1979. Women and feminist activists were invited to hold dinner parties. In the course of 24 hours over 200 dinners took place worlwide, which Krasny interprets in terms of a feminist appropriation of the map and its claim-making character. Analysing the tension between curating and event in a political crisis, Asja Mandi´c shows how spontaneously staged art exhibitions in besieged Sarajevo (1992–1995), taking place inside damaged, destroyed and abandoned buildings, became vehicles of social debate and even aesthetic enjoyment in a context of violent conflict. Extending and questioning Foucault’s bodily inscription of discipline, she shows how, despite rampant fear and the constant reality of surveillance, a new, temporary urban sociability was formed. Mohamed Elshahed closes this section with a recounting of the urbanism of the 2011 protest movement in Egypt. Discussing Cairo’s central Tahrir Square during this impromptu revolution as a spontaneously formed city, Elshahed brings to mind another

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‘city of the revolution’ of six decades earlier, the Nasr City Organization, built by the military regime after it seized power in 1952. Against Habermas’s theories of the formation of civic society, the author observes a visible increase in improvised civic engagement in public space in contemporary Egypt, which he interprets as a response to the deep-rooted disenchantment with the lack of participatory forms of municipal management since the nineteenth century. Gavin Grindon presents a new conception of determinism and political agency in considering objects in space, drawing on debates on materiality and agency in Autonomist Marxism, actor network theory and queer theory. By questioning the conceptual division between bodies and other objects as they participate in social relations, he considers not only the materiality of bodily performance as determinative of social relations, but also material objects as generating the agency of performance. While agency and control might seem like coordinated opposites involved in all cases of politico-aesthetic participation, display has sometimes been treated as a kind of dark horse threatening to undermine political action, most famously perhaps in the rhetorical opposition of revolution and spectacle by the Situationist International and other radical movements of the 1960s. That said, what has struck historians of these movements most in recent years (including Ranci`ere in recent lectures)7 is the degree to which they were successful in producing images, propaganda, and indeed a counter-spectacle of their own. In the section on Representation we accordingly concentrate on the intersection of display and politics in art and architecture, historically and theoretically, without prejudicing their worldly efficacy. Werner Hanak-Lettner presents us with a historically rich meditation on the essence of exhibition as the staging of objects and audience reaching from antiquity to the present, ultimately suggesting a theory of civic practice in the form of curating institutional spaces. The two subsequent chapters lead us to key sites of German aesthetic debates in the early twentieth century. Lutz Robbers’s essay focuses on Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s 1912 ‘discovery’ of Tessenow’s Festsaal, the main media performance space of the artist colony Hellerau. Using Walter Benjamin’s concept of Spielraum (room-to-play), Robbers interprets this seminal space, the discursive environment that sustained the project, and the ensuing architectural translations in Mies’s oeuvre as the theoretical blueprint for ¨ participation in architectural modernism. Sandra Loschke, by contrast, deals with Alexander Dorner’s influential reorganization of the art collections of the Provinzialmuseum Hannover between 1923 and 1926, reading its innovative experiment in curatorial practice as a demand for emotional and intellectual participation from its audience. In Dorner’s theory of

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the Raumbild, L¨oschke discerns an increasing preoccupation with psychophysical aspects of space, as well as the will to engage audiences through colour and ‘atmosphere’ rooms, thereby recasting traditional assumptions about the reception of art as either rational or affective. The final three essays in the book turn from classic modernism to less canonical engagements with participation. Of course the rough and ready distinctions between ‘high modernism’ or the ‘avant-garde’ on one hand and alternative or nonWestern modernisms needs to be taken with a grain of salt, even before postmodern Western avant-gardes chose to distance themselves from any claim to totality. Mechtild Widrich reconsiders the recent ‘performative turn’ in architecture through the early architectural manifestoes and buildings of Bernard Tschumi; she shows how easy assumptions about spontaneous participation as the opposite of planning does little justice to Tschumi’s notion of choreographing events, a comprehensive approach to space and function that owes much to conceptual and performance art. It follows that both sides of this eventual divide have much to learn from the other if they are to live up to their paradoxical goals of planning the unexpected. Turning to a temporal and economic register, Philip Ursprung takes one of Alan Kaprow’s works of the 1990s to show the ambivalence of ‘exchange’ in participatory performance practice. In a discussion of his own restaging of Kaprow’s 1975 work Echo-Logy with students in 2013, Ursprung examines the concept of immaterial labour, and the contextual change in economic meaning from the framework of art to that of the university. Finally, Katja Kwastek discusses projects that subversively exploit public and private documentary data gathering (think Google Earth) in order to question the public sphere presented as a visible totality. Starting from historical digestion of cityscapes in painted vedute for tourist consumption, she turns to the photography of Denis Beaubois, Aram Bartholl and Julius von Bismarck, who investigate this new conflation of the public space and its pictorial representation by directly intervening into allegedly documentary processes. Despite their range, the joint purpose of these essays is less to draw the boundaries of participation, an effort that would fail to capture the element of the unforeseeable in the concept, but to throw light on the various ways it has informed artistic and architectural thinking, shaped our surrounding, and how it continues to do so.

Notes 1 Bourriaud, Nicolas, Esth´etique relationnelle [1998] Relational Aesthetics (Dijon: Les presses du r´eel, 2002); Bishop, Claire, ‘Antagonism and Relational

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Aesthetics’, October 110 (Fall 2004), pp.51–79, and Artificial Hells. Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship (London: Verso, 2012). On the debt to Schiller, see Mechtild Widrich’s review of Bishop, Artificial Hells, caa.reviews, 8 August 2013, available online at http://www.caareviews.org/reviews/1957, accessed 22 August 2014. Friedberg, Anne, The Virtual Window: From Alberti to Microsoft (Cambridge, MA / London: MIT Press, 2006), p.173. See Hilpert, Thilo, Die Funktionelle Stadt: Le Corbusiers Stadtvision – Bedingungen, Motive, Hintergr¨unde (Braunschweig: Vieweg, 1978). De Carlo, Giancarlo, ‘An Architecture of Participation’, Perspecta 17 (1980), pp.74–79; this quote, p.74. De Carlo: ‘An Architecture of Participation’, p.78. See in this regard the discussion of agency by the authors’ collective Aggregate in their inaugural volume. Aggregate relies strongly on a Foucauldian notion of governmentality in order to theorize the contribution of architecture to modernization, and come to similar conclusions as the present volume, although from a different theoretical and historical perspective. See Aggregate (eds), Governing by Design: Architecture, Economy, and Politics in the Twentieth Century (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012). For instance, in his keynote address at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts conference What Images Do, Copenhagen, 20 March 2014.

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1 The Infrastructure of Participation: Cultural Centres in Postwar Europe Kenny Cupers

Participation is enjoying a peculiar resurgence in contemporary art and architecture. Although invigorated by political and aesthetic theories ranging from Henri Lefebvre’s to Nicolas Bourriaud’s, the current debate suffers from the type of forgetfulness that characterizes cultural revivals of many sorts. Whether they uphold participation as the motor of democratic politics or dismiss it as a surreptitious technique of domination, contemporary critics understand its rise primarily in light of the civil rights movements of the 1960s and the protests of May 1968. Thus, they tend to posit the politics of participation as a matter of resistance against dominant social structures and norms – a revolutionary moment that was co-opted in subsequent decades to become part of a machinery of institutionalised decision-making. Such a view reinforces a dialectical understanding of participation as situated between resistance and domination. This chapter argues that the contemporary problematic of participation in the arts is based on a crucial misunderstanding of its historical development. Rather than excavating the reflections of radical politics in the cultural production of the 1960s and 1970s, the rise of participation needs to be situated in a longer historical trajectory that encompasses not only the politics of empowerment and democratization but also the major forces with

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which it was enmeshed. These forces are the bureaucratic development of the welfare state and a burgeoning culture of leisure and mass consumption through the twentieth century. Therefore, this essay analyses participation in the context of a set of government policies, architectural experiments, and social ambitions as they converged in the making of the ‘cultural centre’. An ambiguous mix of arts, recreation, and community facilities, it was known in France and French-speaking regions as maison de la culture or centre culturel, in German-speaking countries as Kulturhaus or Freizeitzentrum, in the Netherlands and Flanders as cultureel centrum or ontmoetingscentrum, and so forth. Such centres proliferated especially during the 1960s and 1970s. However, the cultural centre as a type of institution was long in the making, and its historical development is crucial to understanding why it became such a widespread vehicle for cultural participation in towns across postwar Europe. Largely ignored by cultural critics today, the large-scale production of such facilities during this period amounts to a historical shift that fundamentally confounds distinctions between resistance and domination in the politics of participation. Rather than celebrating a postwar avant-garde of artists and architects and coming to the conclusion that their radical politics were not manifested in the world at large, or were corrupted in the interest of the powerful, this chapter provides today’s critics with the possibility of an alternative historical outlook. It does so by taking a decidedly more pedestrian route. The first part places the cultural centre within the historical context of a variety of new social, cultural, and community facilities dating back to the late nineteenth century. Supported by a variety of social movements and political ideologies, these institutions gradually entered into the purview of the welfare state. During the postwar period, cultural centres proliferated as part of large-scale state-sponsored construction programmes on both sides of the Cold War divide. Although policy-makers tapped into nationally distinct traditions and harnessed the institution for a variety of political goals, they were surprisingly united in their emphasis on the cultural institution as a facilitator of participation, even if ‘participation’ was often understood in restricted terms. The second part of the chapter focuses on the architectural manifestations of these state-led ambitions. Although a variety of spatial and stylistic concepts had been employed to shape cultural institutions earlier in the century, postwar architects employed modernist forms to represent changing ideas of welfare, culture, and participation. Even more important than concerns with representation was the question how architecture could actively stimulate the participation of its users. How

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Genealogies The ideological and typological foundations for the modern cultural centre were laid at the turn of the twentieth century. Rather than as a univocal type, the cultural centre developed from a multitude of ambitions and initiatives. These centred first and foremost on the working class, at a time when rapid industrialization and urban growth set the main conditions for revolution and challenges for reform. Already by 1900, a new type of institution had crystallised in industrial cities across Europe: the ‘house of the people,’ known as maison du peuple in France and French-speaking regions, volkshuis in Dutch-speaking Belgium and the Netherlands, Volkshaus or sometimes Volksheim in Germany, and casa del popolo in Italy.1 This new institution developed in large part from workers’ own initiatives.2 In late nineteenth-century Italy, for instance, working-class people established consumer cooperatives and mutual aid societies in order to build spaces that would be free from the influence of church, industry, and state. These groups were supported by socialists, who aimed to expand working-class representation among the electorate. The casa del popolo offered space for a variety of activities, not all of which were explicitly political. Many contained newspaper reading rooms, libraries, and political discussion rooms. Yet they also facilitated recreation and socializing – especially through meeting rooms which allowed youth and women to gather around their own particular interests. In Belgium, the maison du peuple or volkhuis became an equally powerful institution for the development of socialism and a symbolic centre for working-class life and culture. Apart from meeting rooms and Socialist Party headquarters, they often included a restaurant, a caf´e and bar, a library, various meeting rooms, and a theatre or auditorium space. As such they allowed for what Margaret Kohn describes as a ‘potentially subversive combination of drinking and debate, entertainment and education.’3 In Germany, the Volksheim of Dresden was one of the first such institutions to open in 1899; the Volkshaus of Leipzig opened in 1906. They hosted not just political meetings but also sports and recreational activities and cultural events.4 Similar institutions soon followed in other cities. Observers counted 80 Volksh¨auser in Germany in 1914 and 127 in 1925.5 In Belgium, the number rose from 17 in 1890 to 149 in 1914 and 277 in 1935.6

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should the cultural centre be designed to facilitate such participation? Could the infrastructure of participation actually be designed?

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Although ‘houses of the people’ were built in a variety of historicist styles across Europe, Victor Horta’s exceptional design for the maison du peuple in Brussels employed the Art Nouveau to express the novelty of its political and cultural ambitions.7 The architect, sympathetic to socialist ideas, was commissioned for a new building to replace the existing maison du peuple, which had been run since 1881 as a cooperative associated with the Socialist Party. Horta adopted the basic programme of the older building – a caf´e/restaurant on the ground floor and a large hall for meetings and parties above – but gave it new spatial qualities. The key innovation of the building, which opened in 1899, was its auditorium. Brightly lit through abundant glazing in the roof structure, it featured removable partitions, which allowed the space to be adjusted for different functions. This ‘polyvalent space’ avant la lettre could house a political gathering, but also music and theatre performances. Horta exploited the structural possibilities of iron and steel to give light, air, and space to the working class. He embraced the meanings of progress associated with exposed industrial materials, while expressing the ambitions of cultural reform in the vegetal motifs of his ornamentation. The rise of the ‘house of the people’ as a new institution resulted in part from the horizontal political organization that characterized working-class movements at this time. Yet not all such institutions were the product of direct participation and self-management. Despite being linked with the rise of socialism, the ‘houses of the people’ developed as heterogeneous forms depending on local and national circumstances, and not always under the wing of labour unions or socialist parties. Their impact can thus not be limited to socialist politics alone. Christian charity and bourgeois reform organisations proliferated alongside socialism and, by focusing on urban poverty, offered a different answer to the problems of the working class. English settlement houses, such as Toynbee Hall and Oxford House in London’s East End, aimed to offer betterment through a variety of social, cultural, and educational programs – from reading seminars to evening concerts.8 Settling middle-class reformers in poor neighbourhoods, such projects emphasize social integration instead of socialism or class conflict. Late nineteenth-century social reformers increasingly emphasised scientific and technical approaches to social betterment. Historians have demonstrated that, because of the kind of social scientific expertise and techniques of social control they developed, social reform institutions such as the Mus´ee social in France played a crucial role in the development of the modern welfare state.9 The foundations of the postwar cultural centre are thus also to be found, at least in part, in social reform movements whose aim was not so much to empower working-class subjects as to weaken their ability to revolt.

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THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF PARTICIPATION: CULTURAL CENTRES IN POSTWAR EUROPE

The cultural centre can also be traced back to nineteenth-century political liberalism and to decidedly bourgeois traditions – particularly in Germany, where postwar cultural institutions adopted programmatic and typological elements of the Stadthalle. In the late nineteenth century, the upper middle class in cities like Krefeld, Mainz, and Wuppertal established grand civic institutions to facilitate large-scale cultural events and social gatherings. They generally contained large theatre or auditorium spaces without fixed seating to allow for a variety of events, concerts, lectures, exhibitions, and parties. Such municipal halls – not to be confused with city administration buildings – represented not only the economic achievements of the city’s elites who helped fund them, but also the city’s cultural status. Stadthallen thus expressed the cultural ideal of Bildung as much as bourgeois concerns with status. Their architecture was often monumental and historicist, employing Italian neo-Renaissance or Schinkelesque classicism to express values of entrepreneurialism, civility, and cultural pride. Ornamentation hid the industrial materials needed to construct these largescale spaces and complex programs. Although postwar cultural centres exhibited a radically different architectural expression, they adopted the basic modular program of the Stadthalle. In late-nineteenth-century Germany, the bourgeois Stadthalle and the socialist Volkshaus were ideologically opposing institutions, both in class terms and political ambitions. Yet because they facilitated both social and cultural activities – albeit geared to entirely different classes – they would gradually be understood as closely related building types. In architectural terms, the opposition was often blurred since both institutions featured the same architectural styles and a comparable programmatic composition. The evolution of both institutions over the first half of the twentieth century mirrored shifting delineations of social class and the ambitions of social reform movements, whose work evolved to address larger segments of the population. After World War I, the European Left saw a harbinger of such change further East, in post-revolutionary Russia. During the 1920s, the Soviets established a network of workers’ clubs, some of which were established by the workers themselves. Such clubs were instruments for political mobilisation but were also cast as vehicles for the dissolution of social class and the creation of a new proletarian culture.10 Even if workers’ own opinions were often dismissed as a sign of petit bourgeois ignorance, Soviet leaders seemed to understand that workers’ participation in art and culture was central to the new proletarian culture.11 The theatre in particular was vital to the ambition of fusing art and everyday life. In his designs for workers’ clubs, most famously the Rusakov club in Moscow, Konstantin

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Melnikov articulated the building as a theatrical machine, featuring a sculptural exterior volume and a flexible interior layout that could facilitate different types of events. In Weimar Germany, by contrast, the Volkshaus was less a vehicle for revolution than reform. Progressive architects and politicians sought to create an institution that could satisfy the interests of more than just the working class. They cast the Volkshaus as a means to foster community, in particular in newly built residential neighbourhoods and housing estates.12 Nevertheless, few projects were actually built in the 1920s. In 1924, Bruno Taut built a small cultural centre for the Garden City of Berlin-Falkenberg; it contained a multifunctional hall, some smaller club spaces, a library, restaurant, caf´e, and administration rooms. In France, a landmark modernist project was the maison du peuple of Clichy in the working-class suburbs of Paris, built in 1935 by the young architects Jean Prouv´e, Eug`ene Beaudouin, Marcel Lods, and Vladimir Bodiansky. The project further articulated the spatial themes already proposed by Horta but exploited the symbolism of the building as machine. Central to its design was a top-floor, multifunctional hall, which featured movable partitions to facilitate a variety of events and performances.13 Fascist regimes during the 1930s frequently disbanded the ‘houses of the people’, along with many other working-class institutions and movements. In some instances, however, they attempted to integrate them, where possible, into the framework of the totalitarian state. The Italian fascist organisation Opera Nazionale Dopolavore co-opted existing institutions such as the case del popolo, harnessing existing leisure and recreation cultures in an attempt to dissolve the country’s sharp social and economic conflicts.14 In Germany after the 1933 Nazi takeover, the regime replaced the Volkshaus with new institutions that could foster class-less German ‘communities’ as part of Kraft durch Freude (Strength Through Joy), a state-controlled leisure organization inspired by its Italian counterpart.15 In 1930s Britain, the ambition to counter class conflict was also translated into an embrace of community – albeit with a very different political ideology. The ‘community centre movement’, which had evolved out of the settlement house movement, addressed a much broader constituency and aimed to transcend class-based interests. The movement grew rapidly during the 1930s with the construction of new community centres across Britain. These centres often included a multi-use hall for large gatherings and cultural events, as well as smaller rooms for various meetings and groups – from female pensioners’ clubs and gardening classes to the scouts

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THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF PARTICIPATION: CULTURAL CENTRES IN POSTWAR EUROPE

and the local choir. State support for such centres came through the Physical Training and Recreation Act of 1937, which extended the powers of local authorities and increased the amount of grant aid available to them and to other voluntary bodies.16 The wartime government further extended support for the construction of community centres with the Education Act of 1944, setting the course for the decades to come.17 Throughout Europe the urgency of war legitimized the expansion of government into various domains of everyday life and thus helped set the course for the emergence of the modern welfare state during the postwar decades, when the engine of social welfare was transferred from private charity and civil society organizations to the centralized state. The postwar condition fundamentally affected an array of existing social and cultural institutions, from bourgeois theatres to working-class settlement houses. Most important, it fostered a convergence of institutional types previously considered to be distinct. The development of cultural centres from a variety of older institutions during the postwar decades was thus inscribed in a larger shift of welfare – from a collection of initiatives based in paternalism and self-organization to a bureaucratic regime of mass provision, consumption, and care. This shift affected a range of public facilities for which the state took responsibility in order to promote personal and community wellbeing and development. Whether extremely centralized as in France or more decentralized as in West Germany, Western European governments did not simply replace the existing civil society organisations concerned with social, cultural, or educational centres but instead took on an overarching role through coordination and regulation.18 That did not entail the disappearance of local associational life but rather its transformation as associations were inscribed in a new project, that of rebuilding the nation and restoring democracy after fascism.19 Not only social welfare but also the arts came to be seen as a matter of concern and intervention for public authorities. For Germany, this meant continuing a long tradition of cities and towns supporting theatres and opera houses. In Britain, which did not share this tradition, intervention in the realm of the arts – with the exception of public libraries and museums – became generally accepted only after World War II. The establishment of the Arts Council in 1946, which sought ‘to increase the accessibility of the arts to the public,’ was an important achievement.20 Yet not until the 1960s was the political consensus – and, hence, public money – adequate to fund ambitious programmes such as the construction of cultural centres across the United Kingdom.21

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One factor in this growing acceptance was the sense that the arts held an explicitly social function. European policy-makers often connected a rich cultural life with individual and community wellbeing. Cultural policies during the 1960s thus came to revolve around the democratization of access to the arts and, more broadly, culture in general terms. As early as 1964, the European Community’s Council for Cultural Co-operation set as its main task to enable ‘the individual at all times and throughout his life to take advantage of the widest opportunities for cultural development and selffulfilment.’22 In France, cultural policy took off with the creation in 1959 of a Ministry of Cultural Affairs, whose first director was Andr´e Malraux.23 With a flair of Gaullist grandeur, he proclaimed that the goal of his cultural policy was ‘to make the most important works of humanity, and first of all of France, accessible to the largest possible number of Frenchmen.’24 In his 1947 book, Le mus´ee imaginaire, Malraux had already espoused the idea that the reproducibility of artworks allowed them to circulate beyond the walls of the museum and thus to directly affect people in their everyday lives. His ministerial policies during the 1960s were similarly intended to counter the institutional and highly centralized nature of French cultural life – the impression, shared by an entire generation of French politicians, that beyond Paris was only the ‘French desert,’ as Franc¸ois Gravier had written in 1947. Malraux focused his policy on the geographic distribution of ‘cultural infrastructure’, for which the construction program for maisons de la culture in towns across France was central. His cultural centres, built during the 1960s, were meant to encourage ‘social cohesion, under the most noble labels of knowledge and creation’.25 In other countries as well, calls for cultural democratization directly informed large-scale programs for the construction of cultural centres. Such distributive policies were intimately linked to rapid (sub)urbanization, the baby boom, and the spectacular economic growth of postwar Europe. In European countries where urban development generally took the form of government-sponsored collective housing – France in particular, but also Britain, Scandinavia, and the Netherlands – cultural policy was directly shaped by such government intervention in the built environment.26 In the immediate postwar period, an acute housing shortage legitimized the rapid provision of standardised housing units, but policy-makers soon determined that such housing ought to be complemented by social and cultural facilities. Whether through organicist design or the concept of the neighbourhood unit, the ideal of ‘community’ was a guiding principle.27 In other European countries, Belgium most conspicuously, the process of suburbanization was equally rapid, but rather than being dominated by government-sponsored

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THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF PARTICIPATION: CULTURAL CENTRES IN POSTWAR EUROPE

collective housing, it was based on single-family home ownership in the form of often self-built suburban homes.28 Despite this distinct pattern of development, the Belgian government also enacted a policy of welfare provision, which entailed new community facilities from swimming pools and sports facilities to arts centres.29 Because these facilities were planned as the basic infrastructure of expanding metropolitan areas, they were understood as being fundamentally interrelated. The view of planners aligned conveniently with those of many social workers and community development experts, who had long argued that culture inevitably had a social basis – and that social work and community development should thus encompass the domain of culture.30 During the 1960s, cultural policy comprised a similar approach as it aimed to ‘reconcile quality with mass participation’.31 That meant first of all that cultural centres had ‘to reach out beyond the small minorities who have traditionally appreciated “highbrow” activities like serious music, theatre and the fine arts, to the broad mass of the population.’32 Consequently, multi-purpose, publicly owned cultural centres would need to facilitate not just theatre, opera, musical concerts, and the fine arts but also recreational activities and community events. As such, they were to combine various types of institutions: not just the theatre or the Stadthalle with its multi-use hall but also the ‘house of the people’. The cultural centre was thus a new type only insofar as it combined elements from former bourgeois as well as working-class institutions and expressed the commitment of the welfare state to elicit the participation of the citizenry at large. The combination of these traditions soon prompted fundamental questions about the nature and definition of ‘culture’ that should guide government policy. The definition of participation as the democratization of access to existing forms of cultural production was under increasing attack during the 1960s, not least under the growing influence of social movements that questioned the validity of all kinds of accepted norms. The more fundamental critiques of universalism were still far removed from the concerns of bureaucrats and policy-makers, at least before 1968. Yet the ‘culture’ of cultural policy gradually shifted from the highbrow arts to a much broader, anthropological definition, encompassing the variety of ways of life in a society or social group. In 1960s Britain, such ideas reverberated in political debates between those who accepted the highbrow definition and others who argued that ‘all men are artists by nature’33 . The questioning of the hierarchy between high and popular cultures had clear repercussions for the conception of cultural centres, which should – as was argued especially on the political Left – become sites of cultural production

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and not just passive consumption. Participation was thus understood not only in cultural or social terms but increasingly in political terms. This turn was not unprecedented; it was a return of sorts to the ideology of turn-ofthe-century working-class Volksh¨auser. Nevertheless, after the workers’ and student protests of 1968 across Europe, the term ‘participation’ cut to the core of political consciousness. That shift was quickly registered in cultural policy, as a Council of Europe report noted in 1972: ‘Socio-cultural animation means cultural liberation – an emancipation which is necessary before masses of our peoples can participate in a genuine cultural democracy.’34 Yet, unlike the 1968 protests that had brought an unprecedented mass of ‘participants’ to the streets in spite of government, in the following years those same governments set as their task to incite people to participate. In a follow-up report in 1973, the council lamented the ‘gross under-usage of the freedom to engage in social and cultural democracy.’35 People needed to be made participants, and architecture was called upon to achieve that ambition.

Forms The question of how architecture could facilitate the participation and interaction of its users preoccupied many architects over the course of the twentieth century, well before 1968.36 Spatial flexibility was already a concern in turn-of-the-century Volkshaus and Stadthalle designs and was central to Horta’s maison du peuple in Brussels, as well as that of Clichy. Yet the primary concern of interwar modernists was with the design of the dwelling unit. To encourage inhabitants to shape their own interior spaces, they employed movable elements, spatial fluidity, and formal transparency. In the postwar period, such strategies found renewed application in the design of public and collective institutions, particularly the cultural centre. As cultural policies during the 1950s and 1960s became increasingly focused on engaging citizens across class and ideological divides, the commissioners and architects of cultural centres harnessed these strategies in an attempt to increase citizen participation. A particularly successful initiative was the Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham, established in 1962 by Birmingham councillor Frank Price, playwright and theatre director John English, and English’s wife Alicia Randle.37 Their goal was to create an environment in which local youth could actively participate in artistic production. With the city council providing the land and partial funding, the centre was established as a private trust, which in turn raised additional funding from various public 22

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and private sources. The centre grew incrementally over the following decades to encompass more than a dozen buildings, including a theatre, outdoor arena, concert hall, art gallery, exhibition hall, film theatre, pottery workshop, library, coffee shop, and restaurants. The Ardencote Arts Club, designed by the architects Jackson & Edmonds and completed in 1966 as the second building of the growing complex, expressed the centre’s philosophy on a modest scale. At its core was a multi-use studio space, a simple square with an overhead technical stage grid. The space lacked fixed seating or a conventional stage; instead, two sets of insulated screens allowed it to be divided into workshop space. In addition to providing ‘an extremely flexible space for different techniques of theatre, cinema, and television’, this arrangement allowed direct spatial and functional relationships between artistic production and consumption.38 The coffee shop, part of the entrance and foyer area, was slightly raised to offer views into the other parts of the building and bring art and informal recreation together. The incremental construction of the complex over time, with some buildings built by youths themselves as part of international summer programmes, fostered a participatory culture that represented the ideas of the centre’s Left-leaning directors. These included Mike Leigh, whose youth theatre gained national prominence during the 1960s (Fig. 1.1). Appearing around the same time as these semi-private, incrementally planned centres were mega-projects such as Billingham Forum. First

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Fig. 1.1 Floor plan of the Ardencote Arts Club, Midlands Arts Centre Birmingham. ‘Arts Club in Birmingham’, Architects’ Journal 143/1 (5 January 1966), p.17.

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conceived in 1962 and opened in 1967, this centre provided Billingham, a town of 35,000 people in North East England, with a wide-ranging array of sports, recreation, and arts facilities.39 Designed by Elder, Lester & Partners for the Billingham Urban District Council, the sprawling complex was meant to be the community’s central meeting place. Architecture critics described it as Billingham’s ‘living room’, suggesting that the gigantic centre was simply an extension of people’s private dwelling space.40 Having everything under one roof would not only save costs, so the architects claimed, but would have a greater social impact by stimulating the participation of visitors in a wide variety of sports and cultural activities. A few years after its opening, the Architects’ Journal reported that the centre, with a weekly visitor rate of around 20,000, ‘is used very much as intended – as a family recreation centre. Mothers drop their children into the cr`eche – the charge for which is 2s [two shilling] – before shopping in the town centre precinct next door and then have morning coffee or afternoon tea in one of the upstairs refreshment rooms overlooking the ice-rink or swimming pool.’41 The restaurant/bar was designed as a crossroads where everyone would meet and from which all the other facilities could be viewed. Although architects and critics considered ‘participation’ as central to Billingham Forum’s design, they understood it in a vague and limiting sense: users were invited to participate in the spectacle of mass consumption and recreation. The theatre itself, run by a charitable trust subsidised by the city government and the British Arts Council, took up only a small corner of the massive project.42 Similar complexes were built across Britain in the following decade, a sign that policy-makers and architects understood participation predominantly as an aspect of leisure rather than political empowerment (Fig. 1.2).43 Similar multi-functional complexes arose in Continental Europe at this time. One of the most exemplary was the Agora in the Dutch town of Dronten, designed by the architect Frank Van Klingeren.44 Opened in 1966, it featured a large open hall, transparent towards the outside and covered by a space-frame roof. The only permanently specified functions were a theatre, a restaurant, and office space. The hall itself could be used for a wide range of cultural and sports activities, games and events. Just like at Billingham, the project was guided by the belief that design could actively facilitate participation. Yet the design strategy itself was the opposite of Billingham: instead of bringing together a range of programmatically defined spaces, Van Klingeren allowed for a loose correlation between program and space. As such, he adopted the cybernetic approach to program which Cedric Price had developed for his unbuilt Fun Palace: the building as a machine operated by creative users who participated in the continual

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THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF PARTICIPATION: CULTURAL CENTRES IN POSTWAR EUROPE Fig. 1.2 Ground floor plan of Billingham Forum, Billingham-on-Tees. ‘Sports forum at Billingham-on-Tees’, Architects’ Journal 146/21 (22 November 1967), p.1315.

transformation of its various atmospheres.45 Van Klingeren’s architecture similarly oscillated between control and freedom. Although the free space of the Agora facilitated participation strictly in the realm of recreation, as did complexes like the Billingham Forum, it effectively minimized the threshold between the street and the institution. By drawing in the local community, the project meant to break down social boundaries. Since its opening, the Agora has drawn many crowds, but whether its events produced social integration remains an unanswered question (Fig. 1.3). The construction of maisons de la culture in 1960s France was motivated by similar social ambitions. The new generation of cultural centres built under the leadership of Malraux was assessed on the extent to which they were able to attract a wider audience beyond the cultural elite – in particular, working-class families. Despite the celebrated modern architecture of some 25

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Fig. 1.3 Market day at the Agora (De Meerpaal), Dronten, c. 1970. Source: ANP PHOTO (20 December 1967)/Foto: (Dronten – Cultureel Centrum De Meerpaal, No. 13855182) licensed under the Creative Commons Naamsvermelding-NietCommercieel-GeenAfgeleideWerken 4.0 Licentie.

of the new centres and Malraux’s lofty ambitions to democratize culture through geographic distribution, critics generally dismissed the centres as socially ineffective.46 By the end of the decade, cultural policies were refocused on architectural strategies that would allow visitors to participate not only in passive consumption but in active production.47 Participation had been a concern in French architecture and urban policy circles since the 1950s and was generally understood to be part of a social project – even if it was simply to provide popular public services such as mass recreation facilities. The social movements and protests of May 1968 renewed its political meaning: participation was now synonymous with empowerment. A young generation of radically politicized architects, critical of their elders, cast participation in architecture as vital to a new revolutionary spatial practice. The architect Ionel Schein attempted to channel the energy of 1968 into a new type of participatory space, which he termed espace global polyvalent. In his publication by the same name, he explained that the need for this new type of space was a direct consequence of the controls of a functionalist and bureaucratic consumer society.48 Inspired by the Situationist International, he argued that culture and social 26

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THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF PARTICIPATION: CULTURAL CENTRES IN POSTWAR EUROPE

life were to be integrated and diffused at the same time, and architecture needed to work in support of these goals by offering spaces that were totally flexible and free to use. Such calls were driven by the idea of radical deinstitutionalization, which was called for in many domains after 1968. To change the existing power structures, the dominant social institutions needed to be dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up.49 And that meant that the street was to be society’s place of action. At least this is what the editors of and contributors to the Architecture d’aujourd’hui theme issue ‘Les lieux du spectacle’ argued in 1970.50 They dismissed conventional theatre as a historically normalized and institutionalized space that upheld social hierarchy and inequality. Critical of the fact that the notion of participation was becoming a mere slogan ‘used every time we worry about the audience’s well-being’, Anne-Marie Gourdon denounced theatre as ‘a place of exclusion and division’.51 The solution was to bring the theatre into the spaces of everyday life; first and foremost, the street. The contributors explored different ways in which public space served as theatre – from traditional processions, market fairs, protests, and the circus to nineteenth-century itinerant theatre, inflatables, and activist street theatre groups like the San Francisco Mime Troupe. For the editors of the theme issue, these myriad practices dissolved the opposition between exterior public space and internal institutional space and, therefore, the opposition between cultural producers and consumers (Fig. 1.4). Over the following years, the architects and government planners in charge of building new cultural institutions picked up on such calls, even if their response stayed within the limits of a basic paradox – that of eliciting the bottom-up by means of the top-down. Rather than doing away with the cultural centre as an institution altogether, they harnessed existing strategies of spatial flexibility, polyvalence, and integration for a new generation of ambitious architectural projects. The meaning of participation in architecture was expanded to include not just the flexibility of spaces, adjustable by their users or the functional integration of different programmatic elements; participation would now foster social and neighbourhood integration. As such, the cultural centre was to have an effect far beyond its own walls and would ‘encourage not only the participation of the population in artistic creation, but also (and especially) the participation in real community life.’52 The concept of e´quipement int´egr´e or integrated facilities gathered these ambitions and shaped social and cultural policies in France during the 1970s.53 For the architecture of collective facilities to be truly integrated into the everyday lives of users and inhabitants, it needed to be ‘molten in its surroundings’ and ‘in osmosis with the animation of the street.’54

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Fig. 1.4 ‘Sc´enographie en espace ouvert’, page spread of ‘Les lieux du spectacle’, a theme issue of Architecture d’aujourd’hui 40/152 (October-November 1970), pp.18–19.

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Fig. 1.4 (continued )

The urban centre for the New Town of Evry in Paris’s south east suburbs became a key testing ground for these theories. Planners cast the project’s complex programmatic mix in response to what they saw as a dire need for urbanity in the suburbs. At the core of the new centre were a large shopping mall and a state-sponsored complex of social, cultural, sports, and 29

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recreation facilities. The complex was baptized the ‘Agora,’ referring not only to Van Klingeren’s inspiring design for Dronten but to the project’s larger political ambitions. Equally ambitious in scale, the Agora of Evry offered the surrounding suburbanites a large mix of activities under a single roof – from a church and a kindergarten to a bowling hall and a nightclub. These functions were organized around a central interior atrium, designed as a free space that could be easily appropriated by users for a wide range of events and unexpected activities. And yet, although planners conceived of the Agora as a modernist translation of a historic urban core with its central plaza, the project did not achieve the urban integration they had intended. The Agora remained a monstrous complex of disorienting spaces that many users found hard to navigate. Many other megastructures of this period similarly failed to create the kind of user-driven urban atmosphere suggested in Cedric Price’s Fun Palace.55 The concept of integrated facilities also held sway outside France, dominating European cultural policies during the early 1970s both as a social goal and an architectural strategy. In order to attract not just cultural elites but the community at large, planners and policy-makers proposed to integrate arts centres with recreational and sports facilities.56 In many European towns and cities, such integrated ‘socio-cultural facilities’ were envisioned as a way of bringing the expanding social welfare system closer to citizens of all classes and backgrounds. This strategy is apparent in the planning of cultural centres in Flanders during the late 1960s and early 1970s under the impetus of Ministers of Dutch Culture Renaat Van Elslande and Frans Van Mechelen.57 Mirroring cultural policy abroad, their goal was not just to distribute cultural infrastructure across the suburbanized territory of Flanders but to transform the institution of the cultural centre itself. Instead of arts palaces for the elite, architects were to design places for the ‘culture of the people’. Many new cultural centres were labelled ontmoetingscentra, or centres for ‘encounter’. This idea inspired designs such as that of Alfons Hoppenbrouwers for the cultural centre of Dilbeek.58 The architect harnessed the well-known modernist concept of the interior street – derived from Le Corbusier’s Unit´e d’habitation in Marseille – to tie together the centre’s diverse cultural and recreational programs and facilitate informal contact between various social groups and their activities. The Dilbeek cultural centre essentially performed the job of Billingham Forum but with the angular and curved geometries of Hans Scharoun’s Berlin Philharmonic.59 Meanwhile, on the other side of the language border, in predominantly French-speaking Brussels, cultural politics and architectural design was

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focused on the Palais des Beaux-Arts. In May 1968, this stately art museum designed by Victor Horta in 1928 became a target for youthful protesters, who occupied the museum’s grand central hall and used it to stage protests, performances, and ‘happenings’ over the course of the following months.60 The hall was originally designed to house large sculpture exhibitions but had for decades functioned merely as a circulation space between entrance and exhibition rooms. The protesters’ occupation of the hall was motivated in part by French-Dutch language politics, but their primary goal was to offer a fundamental critique of dominant social and cultural institutions. Among the initiators of the protests was the artist Marcel Broodthaers, whose project Mus´ee d’Art Moderne, D´epartement des Aigles, Section XIX`eme Si`ecle, established a museum at his Brussels home (also in 1968), fomenting further institutional critiques in the arts over the following decades (Fig. 1.5a). The occupation prompted a fundamental rethinking of the hall’s function. Suggestions for its adaptation, however, had already been formulated earlier that year by the director, Herv´e Thys. In a letter of 7 May, Thys described the idea of a tubular three-dimensional scaffolding, a large-scale sculpture that would facilitate a variety of cultural events.61 The protesters that took over the hall later that month built a tubular structure that looked and performed remarkably similarly. Over the following years, various plans for the hall were developed, but the installation design by Lucien Jacques Baucher that was eventually built resembled both Thys’s suggestions and the temporary construction of the 1968 protests. Baucher’s design featured an all-encompassing space-frame structure of metal tubes and a landscape of mobile, variously sized, modular blocks covered in carpet. Placed on the marble floor of the grand hall, these blocks created new floor levels, public stages, and seating areas, subverting the hall’s intended use of gently strolling and passively contemplating art. The furniture units could be freely moved and reconfigured by the public, which now allegedly became empowered as active participants and creative agents of the hall’s spatial atmosphere. Despite the design’s technological image, it was also intended to recreate the function of an ancient forum. Coined ‘Animation Hall’ when it opened in March 1972, such allusions were not coincidental: for the architect and the museum’s directors, the museum was to be radically deinstitutionalized in order to become a central public space for Brussels – a panacea for the ‘dead city’ that cultural critics claimed the city centre had become (Figs. 1.5b, 1.5c).62 The design of the ‘Animation Hall’ was contested from the start. Reporters denounced it as a violation of the museum’s historical and architectural significance.63 Proponents argued that the new hall finally

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Fig. 1.5a (top) May 1968 protests in the marble hall of the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, with, amongst others, Marcel Broodthaers, Hugo Claus, and Roger Somville. Fig. 1.5b (bottom) View of the ‘Animatiehal’ designed by the architects Baucher, Draps, and Libois, after construction in 1972.

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Fig. 1.5c Inauguration of the hall by the director Paul Willems on 22 March 1972. Source: Brussels, Centre for Fine Arts, Archives Centre for Fine Arts, Photo Collection 1928–2001.

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achieved the social ambitions of Victor Horta’s maison du peuple, which was located only a few streets away but had been demolished a few years earlier despite strong international protests.64 Nevertheless, with the growing dismissal of architectural modernism and embrace of historic urban form during the following decade, the work of Horta was revalued and the atrium eventually restored to its original condition in the 1980s. Rather than counter-culture, the hall now facilitated glamorous receptions and art openings, true to the new era of the corporate museum.65

Conclusion Despite the architectural experimentation of the 1960s and 1970s, the idea of a completely free, participatory space remained a promise more than a practice. Although many cultural centre projects across Europe at this time aimed to radically dissolve the distinctions between institution and public space, the resulting architecture often remained in tension between the desire for total freedom and flexibility, on the one hand, and the will to exert a certain symbolism and monumentality on the other. Most important, and despite architects’ laudable efforts to foster social integration, many of these projects would turn out to be strongly defined by their context and by larger socio-economic forces. By the second half of the 1970s, European policy-makers seemed to resign themselves to the conclusion that ‘the better educated and higher occupational groups consistently participate most in cultural life.’66 Even Birmingham’s Midlands Arts Centre, considered one of the most successful in terms of its social and cultural goals, had failed in this regard, as policy-makers reported: ‘the centre’s membership consists largely of the already interested and to a certain extent catered-for children of professional people – very rarely of children from a workingclass background, new to the arts.’ Despite the directors’ efforts to attract immigrant organizations and families and thus to counter segregation, ‘only about four or five West Indian families have joined, and there are no Indian or Pakistani family members.’67 Moreover, cultural centres remained unequally distributed, their construction dependent not only on centralised government but on local funding and initiative. The motivating idea – that if cultural centres were brought to the people, the people would come to culture – simply did not hold. Can the cultural centre, as a social project of participation, be readily dismissed as a failure? The answer depends on exactly what notion of participation is under discussion. If we take the views espoused by theorists

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such as Guy Debord or architects such as Lionel Schein at face value and understand participation as a revolutionary practice, then cultural centres have rarely, if ever, met such radical criteria. Yet, when approached through the lens of its actual history across the twentieth century, participation appears as an institutional and procedural instrument more than a vehicle of instant revolution. When evaluated in such terms, cultural centres in European towns small and large did succeed in fostering a gradual but significant process of mass democratization, both socially and culturally. They also created a panoply of concrete spaces in which cultural production and consumption could be mixed and experimented with by a variety of people. The question of success or failure is not only a matter of the goals articulated by policy-makers and architects; it is first and foremost coloured by our contemporary definition of ‘participation’. Rather than casting participation as a revolution of political, social, and cultural life, we should recognise the slippery historical work of this ideal and the gradually changing practices it spawned. Participation was a pragmatic and highly productive answer to institutional reform during an era of mass consumer culture and the expansion of the welfare state. The massive construction of cultural centres across Europe is thus a crucial episode in the history of participation. As the accompanying participatory models have given way to today’s global culture of biennales and art festivals, a critical analysis of this institutional legacy might contribute to re-imagining the contemporary stakes of participatory politics in art, architecture, and, hopefully, beyond.

Notes 1 Degl’Innocenti, Maurizio (ed), Le Case del Popolo in Europa: Dalle origini alla seconda guerra mondiale (Florence: Sansoni, 1984). 2 Workers’ agency is emphasized in Kohn, Margaret, Radical Space: Building the House of the People (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003). 3 Kohn, Margaret, ‘The Power of Place: The House of the People as Counterpublic’, Polity 33/4 (2001), p.519. 4 Groschopp, Horst, ‘Kulturh¨auser in der DDR: Vorl¨aufer, Konzepte, Gebrauch, Versuch einer historischen Rekonstruktion’ in Thomas Ruben, Bernd Wagner (eds), Kulturh¨auser in Brandenburg: Eine Bestandsaufnahme (Berlin: Verlag f¨ur Berlin-Brandenburg, 1994), p.129. 5 Meyer, Christine, Kulturpal¨aste und Stadthallen der DDR: Anspruch und Realit¨at einer Bauaufgabe (Hamburg: Kovaˇc, 2005), p.25.

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6 Flagothier, Robert, ‘Contributo alla studio delle case del popolo in Vallonia e a Bruxelles (1872–1982)’, in Degl’Innocenti: Le Case del Popolo in Europa, pp.271–310. 7 Delhaye, Jean, La Maison du peuple de Victor Horta (Brussels: Atelier Vokaer, 1987). 8 Meacham, Standish, Toynbee Hall and Social Reform, 1880–1914: The Search for Community (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987). 9 Rabinow, Paul, French Modern: Norms and Forms of the Social Environment (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1991); Horne, Janet R., A Social Laboratory for Modern France: The Mus´ee social and the Rise of the Welfare State (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002). 10 Kopp, Anatole, Town and Revolution: Soviet Architecture and City Planning, 1917– 1935 (New York: George Braziller, 1970), pp.116–26. 11 Siegelbaum, Lewis H., ‘The Shaping of Soviet Workers’ Leisure: Workers’ Clubs and Palaces of Culture in the 1930s,’ International Labor and WorkingClass History 56 (Fall 1999), pp.78–92, this quote, p.81. 12 For example, van der Rohe, Mies, Bruno Taut and Hans Scharoun were members of the Deutscher Volkshausbund, established in 1917 from several older organizations. 13 Klein, Richard, ‘Des maisons du peuple aux maisons de la culture,’ in Dominique Hervier, (ed), Andr´e Malraux et l’architecture (Paris: Moniteur, 2008). 14 De Grazia, Victoria, The Culture of Consent: Mass Organization of Leisure in Fascist Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981). 15 Baranowski, Shelley, Strength Through Joy: Consumerism and Mass Tourism in the Third Reich (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004). 16 Stephenson, Flora and Gordon Stephenson, Community Centres: A Survey for the Community Centres Joint Research Committee (London: Royal Institute of British Architects, The National Council of Social Service, and Housing Centre, 1942). 17 Our Neighbourhood: A handbook of information for community centres and associations (London: The National Federation of Community Associations by The National Council of Social Service, 1950). 18 For France, see Durand, Robert, Histoire des centres sociaux: Du voisinage a` la citoyennet´e (Paris: La D´ecouverte, 2005). For Britain, see Community Centres (London: Ministry of Education, His Majesty’s stationary office, 1945). 19 This is illustrated by the case del popolo in postwar Italy. See Hornbake, Laura J., Community, Place, and Cultural Battles: Associational Life in Central Italy, 1945– 1968 (Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University, 2013). 20 See Green, Michael and Michael Wilding, Cultural Policy in Great Britain. UNESCO Studies and documents on cultural policies 7 (1970), p.10.

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21 With Labour elected to government in 1964, Britain saw substantial increase in government funding for the arts. See Green and Wilding: Cultural policy, p.11. 22 See Mennell, Stephen, Cultural policy in towns – A report on the Council of Europe’s ‘Experimental Study of Cultural Development in European Towns’ (Council of Europe, 1976), p.13. 23 Dubois, Vincent and Philippe Poirrier, La Politique culturelle: Gen`ese d’une cat´egorie d’intervention publique (Paris: Belin, 1999); Urfalino, Philippe, L’invention de la politique culturelle (Paris: La Documentation franc¸aise / Comit´e d’histoire du minist`ere de la culture 1996). 24 Dubois and Poirrier: La Politique culturelle, p.15. 25 1961 quote by the Commission de l’´equipement culturel et du patrimoine artistique, in Chartier, Nicole, Les e´quipements int´egr´es (Paris: Institut d’´etudes politiques, 1972). 26 See Cupers, Kenny, The Social Project: Housing Postwar France (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014). 27 See Kuchenbuch, David, Geordnete Gemainschaft: Architekten als Sozialingenieure – Deutschland und Schweden im 20. Jahrhundert (Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2010). 28 See De Meulder, Bruno, et al., ‘Sleutelen aan het Belgische stadslandschap,’ Oase 52 (1999), pp.78–113. 29 See Heynen, Hilde (ed), Architectuur voor vrijetijdscultuur: Culturele centra, zwembaden & recreatiedomeinen (Leuven: LannooCampus, 2011). 30 See Cupers: The Social Project, Chapter 6. 31 Cultural policy – a preliminary study. UNESCO Studies and documents on cultural policies 1 (1969), p.30. 32 Mennell: Cultural policy in towns, p.13. 33 Green and Wilding: Cultural policy in Great Britain, p.11. 34 Socio-Cultural Facilities: Animation-Innovation (Council of Europe, 1972), p.1. 35 Managing Facilities for Cultural Democracy (Council for Cultural Co-operation, Council of Europe, 1973), p.8. 36 See Cupers, Kenny (ed), Use Matters: An Alternative History of Architecture (London: Routledge, 2013). 37 See Green and Wilding: Cultural policy in Great Britain, pp.51–52 and ‘Arts Club in Birmingham’ in Architects’ Journal 143/1 (5 January 1966), p.17. 38 ‘Arts Club in Birmingham,’ p.17. 39 See ‘Sports forum at Billingham-on-Tees’, Architects’ Journal 146/21 (22 November 1967), pp.1313–28. 40 See ‘Building revisited: Billingham Forum’ Architects’ Journal 150/35 (27 August 1969), pp.523–34. 41 ‘Building revisited: Billingham Forum,’ p.526.

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42 ‘Building revisited: Billingham Forum,’ p.533. 43 Examples include the Basildon Arts Centre, the Crowtree Leisure Centre, and National Recreation Centre at Crystal Palace. 44 See van den Bergen, Marina and Piet Vollaard, Hinder en ontklontering: Architectuur en maatschappij in het werk van Frank van Klingeren (Rotterdam: Uitgeverij 010, 2003). 45 See Mathews, Stanley, From Agit-Prop to Free Space: The Architecture of Cedric Price (London: Black Dog, 2007). 46 See Dubois and Poirrier: La Politique culturelle. 47 See Studies and Research Department of the French Ministry of Culture, Some aspects of French cultural policy. UNESCO Studies and documents on cultural policies 5 (1970). 48 Schein, Ionel, Espace global polyvalent (Paris: Vincent, Fr´eal & Co, 1970), p.13. 49 See for instance, Illich, Ivan, Deschooling Society (New York: Harper & Row, 1971). 50 See ‘Les lieux du spectacle’ theme issue of Architecture d’aujourd’hui, 40/152 (October–November 1970). 51 Gourdon, Anne-Marie, ‘La participation, mythe ou realit´e’ L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui, 40/152 (October–November 1970), pp.8–9. 52 Chartier: Les e´quipements int´egr´es, p.44. 53 See Korganow, Alexis, L’´equipement socio-culturel, trajectoire architecturale d’un type contrari´e d’´edifice public a` l’`ere des loisirs, 1936–1975 (Th`ese de doctorat en Urbanisme, Paris 8, 2003). 54 Chartier: Les e´quipements int´egr´es, p.70. 55 Banham, Reyner, Megastructure: Urban Futures of the Recent Past (New York: Harper & Row, 1976). 56 See Managing Facilities for Cultural Democracy. 57 See Hellemans, S., ‘De culturele centra in Vlaanderen. Tussen overheid, zuilen en cultuur’ in de Kepper, Miek (ed), Culturele centra op zoek naar een profiel (Brussels: FEVECC, 1993), pp.11–12; Vermeulen, Paul, ‘Cultural Centres: A Journey through the Nebular City,’ Archis 10 (2000), pp.12–22. 58 See Heynen: Architectuur voor vrijetijdscultuur, 53–67. 59 See Vermeulen: ‘Cultural Centres: A Journey through the Nebular City.’ 60 See ‘L’occupation du palais des Beaux-Arts,’ Le Soir (1 June 1968); ‘Les ‘travailleurs culturels quitteront le palais des Beaux-Arts pour le 15 septembre’ Le Soir (14 August 1968). 61 See ‘Remarques Herv´e Thys sur le projet Hall / Hall d’acc. (7 mai 1968).’ Archives of the Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels. 62 See ‘Dossier Hartung.’ Archives of the Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels. 63 ‘La d´enaturation du palais de Beaux-Arts se poursuit all´egrement a` Bruxelles’ Le Soir (20 February 1972).

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64 ‘Le ‘hall’ du palais des Beaux-Arts,’ Le Soir (7 April 1972). 65 See Snauwaert, Dirk, ‘Chronology’ in Breakdown: Fareed Armaly (PSK: Brussels, 1993). 66 Mennell: Cultural policy in towns, p.46. 67 Green and Wilding: Cultural policy in Great Britain, pp.52–53.

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2 Occupied Sites: Tlatelolco and Metropol Parasol Ana Mar´ıa Le´on

This essay examines the narratives used to represent public space and to address or suppress the conflicts that take place within it. These narratives are examined in the Plaza of Three Cultures in Mexico City, designed by Mario Pani and the site of student protest and subsequent tragedy in 1968. This case study is related to a more recent project: the Metropol Parasol in Seville by J¨urgen Mayer H., a large structure including a market, a museum, and an expanse of public space that was the site of Acampada Sevilla in 2011. In both instances, older buildings were incorporated into new designs meant to represent the state: a modern vision for the Mexican Miracle, formal exuberance for a renewed Seville. The construction of these idealized public spaces by the state was followed by their subsequent occupation by marginalized constituencies, protesting the very same state that built the structures. My analysis describes two registers of publicness: as a realm of discourse and as the presence in a physical site. Each of the following case studies incorporates both registers in different ways. Using these case studies, Mechtild Widrich and Martino Stierli convened the conference and carefully edited this essay. Andrei Pop and Alek Bierig provided additional helpful comments. Santiago Borja and Robin Greeley gave me their insights on Mexico City, Paco Gonz´alez and Ethel Baraona Pohl helped me understand the events in Seville. Michael Gamble introduced me to the debates on public space in his course at Georgia Tech several years ago. Generous support by different departments at MIT, including HTC and MISTI Spain helped sponsor the trips needed for this research.

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Tlatelolco, Mexico City 1968 ´ Enter Mario Pani, a Mexican architect trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and an admirer of Le Corbusier’s urbanism. Pani returned to Mexico in 1934 and made his reputation by designing several apartment blocks influenced by the Swiss master’s high-rise housing in projects such as the Plan Voisin (1925) and Ville Radieuse (1931).1 The housing type developed by Pani came to be known in Mexico and much of Latin America as ‘multifamiliares’, towers ranging from four to fourteen stories with four to six apartments per floor. Several buildings often abutted each other in linear or zigzag formations, following Le Corbusier’s buildings ‘`a redent’. They appeared as single buildings but were structurally independent to deal with the limitations of Mexico’s earthquake-prone terrain, which also dictated the fourteen-floor height limit. Following Le Corbusier’s tabula rasa attitude, they cleared existing sites and developed new urban paradigms, isolated from the surrounding city. However, these projects cannot be reduced to reproductions of Corbusian apartment buildings. Rather, they were carefully studied designs that responded to the economic, social, and topographical constraints of Mexico. This attitude was clearest in the Nonoalco-Tlatelolco housing complex, a project financed by Banobras, the Banco Nacional Hipotecario Urbano de Obras P´ublicas (National Urban Mortgage and Public Works Bank). Banobras was a state bank in charge of promoting infrastructure, industry, and urban growth, through a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).2 It was founded in 1933 by then-Minister of Finance Alberto J. Pani, considered the author of the modern Mexican financial system, and Mario Pani’s uncle.3 The bank was part of a state-driven modern financial system that initially included an import-substitution programme and the promotion of industrial expansion through aggressive infrastructure investment. These strategies resulted in a period of economic growth known as the ‘Mexican Miracle.’ According to Sarah Babb’s study of the period, the policies generally favoured the private sector: low taxes and wages, expanded infrastructure, and protection from foreign competition.4 But the accelerated economic growth had consequences – it brought on inflation as the result of government expenditures financing, and increased income inequality, which rose steadily from 1950 through 1968.5 Starting

OCCUPIED SITES: TLATELOLCO AND METROPOL PARASOL

I examine the tensions between public space as constituted by the state and its appropriation by a contesting public. A space is only public, I argue, when it can be contested, questioned, and claimed by active citizens.

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in the mid 1950s, the state shifted to a policy of ‘stabilizing development’ – restricting the price of consumer goods through public subsidies, and funding government activities through borrowing on national and international financial markets. These strategies were implemented by the ‘Partido Revolucionario Institucional’ (Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI), a political party that dominated the Mexican political system for decades.6 Under the control of the PRI, the government managed social unrest by incorporating representatives of the agricultural and labour sectors into the party structure, and controlling union politics – promoting approved leaders and imprisoning dissenters.7 The consequences of economic growth went beyond income disparity; they reinforced the political dominance of the PRI through tight control of any dissenting voices. By the time of Pani’s housing project in Tlatelolco in the 1960s, the general perception was that the party had abandoned its origins as a revolutionary movement and was set on financial gains at the expense of lower-income Mexicans.8 Pani’s ‘Taller de Urbanismo’ (Urbanism Workshop) – the branch of his office dedicated to urban design – started working on regional studies of Mexico City with increasing focus on the central core and its surroundings (including Tlatelolco) in the mid-1950s.9 The studies were sponsored by the state with some private investment by insurance companies.10 In his report, Pani affirmed that public-private partnership would insure the participation of private enterprise, and give the insurance companies ‘a guaranteed investment without the possibility of later land speculation.’11 Thus, both through his uncle’s role in the Mexican Miracle and the Banobras funding of Tlatelolco, Pani the architect was connected to the larger network of finance and capital that was reshaping the economic apparatus of Mexico. It is in this context that we must read his writing and examine the architectural project, which, in line with the policies of the state, claimed social concerns yet equated good design with good business. The Nonoalco-Tlatelolco project brought together modern design discourse and political and economic imperatives. At an urban scale, Le Corbusier’s tabula rasa stance was a good match for the large-scale operations of the Mexican Miracle. Pani’s project was initially designed for a site in Caracas, Venezuela, and then adapted to Mexico City.12 In Corbusian fashion, these were not mass-housing apartment buildings inserted into the city, but rather the site was cleared – on which more later – to make way for a large complex designed as an autonomous entity with few links to its surroundings. Housing was arranged on long building slabs, while shared community activities were placed in more formally distinctive, iconic

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OCCUPIED SITES: TLATELOLCO AND METROPOL PARASOL

buildings. Unlike Le Corbusier’s Radiant City, buildings at NonoalcoTlatelolco were not arranged in abstracted patterns, but rather assembled in groups defining squares and plazas. With this approach, Pani tried to assimilate Le Corbusier’s super blocks into the more traditional Mexican neighbourhood: in his writing, he explicitly refers to both terms – the super block and the neighbourhood – as equivalent. He argued the disordered growth of Mexico City had caused the loss of collective life: ‘we don’t go to the same church, the same cinema, the same store; our children don’t go to the same school’ – this lack of unity would be solved through ‘the new neighbourhoods or super blocks’.13 Thus modern design, Pani claimed, would assist in the return to older traditions and values. To this social benefit, Pani added increased economic efficiency: grouping the buildings into three super blocks results in shorter travel times and more cost-efficient infrastructure. At the architectural scale, the building plans themselves were adjusted to respond to more specific Mexican constraints. Instead of the long corridors of Le Corbusier’s unit´es, Pani’s lowerincome buildings used shorter and wider, single-loaded corridors. In his descriptions Pani stresses how his building layouts reduced common spaces, making the buildings easier to maintain and giving them a higher percentage of profitable floor space. Instead of floating over pilotis, the buildings included ground floor space, often destined for rentable commercial space, increasing the mix of uses in the complex. A diverse set of building types was distributed throughout the site, including a combination of different incomes managed through subsidies, in addition to offices and schools, parks and retail, in order to turn the project into a city onto itself.14 Separated from the urban fabric of the city by large avenues, it was usually represented as an isolated entity: an island, as it were, just as the original Tlatelolco. Although archaeologists and academics had campaigned for the recovery of the site since the 1930s, the archaeological significance of Tlatelolco had remained dormant. The site sat on top of the old square of Tlatelolco, which prior to the European arrival had been the centre of a commercial network with trade routes to the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. It was the main market of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, itself centred around another, more ceremonial square.15 These two squares were, at the time, islands in the middle of Lake Texcoco, linked through a system of bridges surrounded by floating gardens, and famously depicted in a map of 1524.16 The square of Tlatelolco was also the site of the last stand against Cort´es – the place where the Aztec Empire was lost to Spain. The city was destroyed, the lake gradually filled in, and Mexico City built over the remains. A Catholic

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church and school were built over the square of Tlatelolco in the sixteenth century. In the nineteenth century, they were surrounded by a freight train station. By the late 1950s, the church and school were the only sixteenthcentury buildings left standing next to the partially excavated Aztec ruins. The rest of the site was taken over by the old train tracks and squatter settlements or slums. A brief on the project authored by Pani and published by Banobras in 1958 included a detailed site analysis that mapped and quantified the existing constructions in terms of density, height, materials, and land value, concluding that ‘what must be demolished represents about 90 per cent of the built surface’, covering 80 per cent of the site.17 By Pani’s own account, prior to the start of the project approximately 100,000 families lived on the site.18 Their necessary removal from the site was implied, but not clearly asserted. Instead, Pani lamented the loss of plaza spaces due to their occupation by informal markets. He found this loss had even affected language, in that the words ‘plaza’ and ‘market’ had become interchangeable in Spanish. In line with this critique of the informal occupation of public space, the project proposed clearing the site of all buildings except the older ruins. Pani’s initial study assumed that the families living on the site would be evicted and the project would later assign them new units – thus the buildings would have to go, but the families would return. But the allocation of these units became complicated. The housing project was initially designed in partial response to demands of the Train Workers Union, but their later confrontations with the state left them out of the negotiations.19 According to a study by urban historian Rub´en Cant´u Chapa, the administration of the units was divided between Banobras and the Instituto de Seguridad y Servicios Sociales de los Trabajadores del Estado (Institute of Social Security for State Workers, ISSSTE).20 The unit distribution and rent was fixed and controlled throughout by Banobras, but the costs they assigned were out of range for the income groups that initially populated the site. In the end, most of the units were taken by a range of middle class office workers, professionals, and teachers. The strategies at work at Tlatelolco illustrate the workings of the PRI, as well as showing the other side of Mexico’s economic growth. The project was financed by the state yet involved several private construction contractors, mixing public and private interests. It was a social housing project but involved a large slum clearance scheme, whose arguments were aimed at justifying the distress caused to lower-income groups. This tabula rasa approach was not deemed appropriate for the sixteenthcentury buildings and the archaeological ruins, which required a different

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OCCUPIED SITES: TLATELOLCO AND METROPOL PARASOL

strategy, also aligned with the Mexican Miracle in its nationalist overtones. Pani transformed the ruins into an advantage, tying the modernity of the housing project to the ancient identity of Mexico in a nationalist discourse of past and future greatness. Nowhere is this clearer than in Pani’s presentation of his project in a special number of Arquitectura/M´exico, the main architecture journal in the country, and also a Pani family enterprise.21 The project was introduced with a special, untitled section, with colour photographs, followed by detailed plans and several essays. A brief analysis of the sequence of images presented in this section will give us additional insights into Pani’s point of view.22 We are introduced first to the south west corner of the complex, with a modern, bold structure that happens to be a pyramid. The generous white space on the page highlights an Aztec object next to the text. Pani tells us this building is ‘the symbol of a new city, of a city with social significance, built by the men of modern Mexico.’23 We are then taken to the opposite edge of the site to the tallest buildings in the complex, meant for a higher-income group – Pani points out that these towers would help subsidize the buildings meant for a lower-income population. The images continue on a sequential tour: social clubs, lush parks, schools, and different apartment building types, until we reach the ‘Plaza de las Tres Culturas’ (Plaza of Three Cultures): the site of the original square of Tlatelolco. The journal’s photographs dwell on the plaza, showing different angles of what he describes as the integration of three cultures: ‘pre-Cortesian, Hispanic, and today’s Mexico’ – that is, the Aztec structures, the colonial church and school, and Pani’s modern project (Fig. 2.1). Impressed by himself, Pani describes the plaza: ‘The enormity of the space is impressive. Man’s scale becomes micrometric.’24 Perhaps not coincidentally, the images that include the ruins were taken during an event involving traditional Aztec costumes and a crowd in disarray, while the ones with modern buildings in the background depict an official ceremony with a military parade and an orderly audience seated in neat rows. The contrasting crowd behaviour makes for a strange juxtaposition. The tour of the site closes by returning to the first building presented, the symbol of the new city: it is the Banobras Tower, which would house the offices of the state bank funding the project. A side view displays the mural of an abstracted Aztec motif by artist Carlos M´erida, confirming the fusion of past and future. Through the careful succession of images, Pani suggests this collage of cultures is Mexican modernity, validated by its connection to the past. The economic centre of the project, Banobras Tower, is balanced by its symbolic centre, the Plaza of Three Cultures, which attempts aesthetic syncretism by combining three different traditions into one space.

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Fig. 2.1 Three Cultures at Tlatelolco: Aztec ruins in the foreground, sixteenth-century church on the right, Chihuahua building by Mario Pani in the background. Photo by author, 2013.

However, this sequence of images presented by the journal does not include views of the largest modern building in the plaza, meant to represent the ‘third culture’ of Mexican modernity. Framing the east edge of the plaza, Pani’s Chihuahua building was one of the densest housing options in the complex. Thirteen floors high, the building was made up of three type-‘C’ buildings, laid out side by side, which together form an imposing long slab. It had three modules of skip-stop elevators with corresponding circulation corridors opening up as balconies overlooking the plaza. Also absent from the sequence is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Pedro Ram´ırez V´azquez, south of the colonial church. Clearly Pani wanted to focus on the work of his office, but the presence of this building and architect so close to Tlatelolco had a particular significance, as we’ll see below. Tlatelolco also appeared in print through advertisements. Structural firms, contractors, and the Banobras bank itself featured the project in their ads in Arquitectura/M´exico. Advertising executives seem to have been quick to note the iconicity of the tower, featuring it in several layouts. In one of these, we see the tower as part of the new city skyline, a passing airplane confirming its modernity. In another, the tower stands in for the whole project. In still another ad, the outline of the country is superimposed on a view of the project – Tlatelolco stands in for Mexico (Fig. 2.2). 46

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Fig. 2.2 Arquitectura/M´exico 93/94, 1966, advertisement.

Relating to this narrative, all the buildings in the complex were named for the different states of the country, reinforcing the idea that the housing project was a representation of Mexico itself. Thus, Tlatelolco was put forward as an independent entity, a microcosm that contained the country and synthesized a desire for modernity with explicit connections to the Aztec past. Pani’s problematic alliances were for a long time obscured by modern historiography, anxious to isolate the modernity of his architecture, disentangled from political and economic complicities. Recent research has examined these links more closely.25 But who was the audience for this special issue of Arquitectura/M´exico dedicated completely to the project? Why was modern architecture, as it were, ‘put to work’ in support of the state? Through its dissemination in print, the project was presented mainly to professionals and intellectuals in Mexico and abroad who had access to the journal, which included translations into English and French, and was distributed to North, Central, and South America, as well as Europe and Asia. However, it is not the actual readership of the journal that is important here, but rather the constructed public that the editors envisioned for it – a cosmopolitan, international audience, eagerly expecting the culmination of this narrative in one specific event: the 1968 summer Olympics. 47

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In 1963, Mexico was selected as the site of the next Olympics. Pani’s project was finished in 1964, and the special issue published in 1966. Two years later, the project was featured again on the cover of the hundredth anniversary issue of the journal, published in July, perfectly timed for Olympic anticipation. Ram´ırez V´asquez, architect of the Foreign Ministry tower next to the plaza, was also chairman of the Mexican Olympic Committee and responsible for the organization of the event. His presence as an architect at Tlatelolco – one of the few to design a building besides Pani – hints at the significance of the project. Indeed, as Luis Casta˜neda has demonstrated, Tlatelolco was key in promoting Mexico’s modern image for the event.26 Mexico ‘68 had been planned by the state as a celebration of the emergence of the Mexican economy. While the event was generally regarded as the first Olympics to take place in the so-called developing world, for Mexico it was supposed to mark the arrival of the country into a world of modernity and wealth – the First World. A different, international public was envisioned as the audience for this event – one that participated through the consumption of ‘Mexico’ and for which Tlatelolco and the Plaza of Three Cultures presented the perfect image. This triumphal narrative took a turn ten days before the Opening Ceremonies, but the roots of this unrest went back to events some months prior.27 In the midst of generalized discontent over the deteriorating conditions of the lower and middle classes, on 22 July 1968 a student fight over a soccer match escalated into the occupation of a school.28 The military, frustrated over the dispute, responded by firing a bazooka into the doors of the school, resulting in the deaths of several students.29 The event triggered a series of marches and protests in response to the excessive violence of the police, demonstrations that gathered increasing public support. Following the tactics of Paris protests, Mexican students printed posters and flyers to rally the public. As the movement grew, its scope broadened to include issues such as austere economic policies, overcrowded universities, and the validity of a political system dominated by the PRI.30 This party’s dominance of the media was countered by the protesters with the use of fliers, banners, and slogans – some of them direct insults against Mexican president Gustavo D´ıaz Ordaz, exacerbating an already volatile situation. The students asked for dialogue with the president, but his response was blunt and categorical – there would be no dialogue, the marches had to stop – the Olympics were about to begin. On 2 October, the student strike committee convened a large meeting in the Plaza of Three Cultures to assess how to move forward. Speakers used the balconies of the Chihuahua building to speak to the approximately five

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OCCUPIED SITES: TLATELOLCO AND METROPOL PARASOL

thousand assembled in the plaza, which was surrounded by armed troops and tanks.31 Flares were shot into the sky, a prearranged signal for the military to block the entrances to the plaza. The first shots came from the lowest balcony of Chihuahua, but who fired them remains unclear. According to eyewitness accounts, a special task force called the Olympia Battalion – note the Olympic connotation – cleared the balconies of Chihuahua and set up snipers there, in the Ministry of Foreign Relations, and the church tower. Soldiers on the ground responded by firing back into the buildings and the crowd. With the entrances closed, people had nowhere to run. It is believed at least 44 people were killed, about one hundred wounded, and over a thousand detained in the Plaza of Three Cultures – however, the real numbers are unknown.32 The government blamed the massacre on the students, arguing they had fired the first shot, and the media followed – the plaza was cleaned up, and the tragedy swiftly set aside to make way for the Olympics.33 It took several years for these events to be partially reconstructed through witnesses, photographs, video footage shot by the military, and a few declassified documents.34 Many years later, in 1985, Mexico City suffered a massive earthquake (measuring 8.5 on the Richter scale), a disaster which devastated Tlatelolco. One building collapsed, and others – particularly the higher-income, more slender towers – were so heavily damaged they had to be demolished in the months following the disaster. In contrast, the wider floor plates and reduced heights of the lower-income buildings kept them structurally sound, and they are still in use. The Banobras tower was closed and subsequently abandoned – it was recently renovated and reopened, although it remains fenced off from the rest of the site. At present, the complex remains a loaded, problematic space. First heavily advertised and promoted as the representation of Mexican modernity, Tlatelolco became the image of its downturn: the tragedy brought to the surface the social consequences of the Mexican state’s financial policies. Through the events that took place on this contested site, the authority of the state was confronted with the informal citizen organization it had tried to displace. Before looking at how the tragedy has been memorialized, let us turn to our second case study.

Metropol Parasol, Seville 2011 The Plaza of Three Cultures at Tlatelolco shares several common features with the Plaza de la Encarnaci´on (Incarnation Plaza) in Seville. Coincidentally, Seville owed its development throughout the Renaissance largely to the Casa de Contrataci´on de Indias, or House of Trade, the institution from 49

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Fig. 2.3 J¨urgen Mayer H., Metropol Parasol, 2011. Spanish flag and closed entry to public space due to impending Soccer World Cup match. Photo by author, 2012.

which the Spanish Empire managed all commerce with the New World. In other words, the links between Tlatelolco and Seville go back to the conquest and the expanded, uneven networks of exchange of colonial enterprise. With the strengthening of Spanish colonial power in Mexico, Seville thrived across the Atlantic. As the city grew, during the Renaissance space was opened in the main intersection – the cardos and decumanos of its Roman origins – for a small plaza to make room for pedestrians and carriages. A convent on the north edge of the space gave the plaza its name. The space was expanded to accommodate a large market during the shortlived Napoleonic occupation – another shared feature with Tlatelolco, which housed markets from the time of the Aztecs and well into the twentieth century, prior to the slum clearance. In Seville, the market was demolished between 1948 and 1973, and the site was turned into a parking lot, going through a period of abandonment and decay.35 In 2004, it became the target of a major renovation. German architect J¨urgen Mayer H. won the competition organized by the municipality with Metropol Parasol, an ambitious project that organized the site into a multi-layered visitor experience (Fig. 2.3). Similar to Tlatelolco, the project includes a component of archaeological ruins on its lowest level, in this case transformed into a system of bridges 50

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OCCUPIED SITES: TLATELOLCO AND METROPOL PARASOL

and passages hovering over the ruins, making up an enclosed space lit by changing coloured light from translucent glass panels. The ground floor houses a new market to replace the old one, which for years had been held on a neighbouring site.36 Steps allow access over the market to an elevated plaza meant to accommodate public functions. Some patches of fencedoff grass frame the space and highlight the carefully controlled nature of the project. Large, mushroom-like structures give partial shade to the plaza and establish an elevated vantage point to observe the city, with restaurants adding to the site’s amenities. Entry to this upper level is accessed from a booth in the cellar, so that both the bottom and the top level can be controlled through two easily closed-off entrances to the cellar on opposite sides of the ground level (Fig. 2.4). In a small room to the side of the cellar, a series of boards advertises the participatory process of the design, done through public presentations, internet forums, and local hearings. The boards claim that this participatory process was undertaken to respect to ‘principles of ethics and social equality’37 and resulted in a new paradigm of social space that includes free access to the upper sightseeing space and to the archaeological museum. However, in practice this access is strictly controlled, with enforced opening hours and admission fees for anyone not born or residing in Seville.38 The open plaza in the middle also has distinct entry points, whose use is restricted to organized events. There is a contradiction between this controlled access and the participatory discourse the building’s architect and administration claimed for the project. While in Tlatelolco the existing markets were uprooted, as were the rest of the squatter settlements, in Metropol Parasol they were reintegrated into the architectural design of the project. Accessed through distinct points of entry that are usually left open, the booths in the ground floor create a hub of activity. Overall, Mayer’s layered design allows the project to negotiate, at the same time, various levels of access and different historical instances – market and plaza, ancient ruin and contemporary monument. An additional fact links the project to Latin America. Just as the expansion of Seville was linked to Spanish colonial enterprise, the expansion of costly construction projects in Spain such as Metropol Parasol was partially possible because of the availability of a large, illegal immigrant workforce. In twenty-first-century Spain, the largest percentage of immigrants employed in the construction sector originated from Latin America.39 More recently, with the continued Spanish economic crisis, the situation has started to reverse, with Spanish citizens migrating to other countries, including Latin America.40 These links remind us that these two projects belong to different

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Fig. 2.4 J¨urgen Mayer H., Metropol Parasol, 2011. One of two points of entry to the ruins in the cellar and elevator to sightseeing platform at top. Photo by author, 2012.

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ends of a global financial system. If Mexico in 1968 was eager to represent its modernity and economic prosperity, Spain in 2011 – at what turned out to be the end of excessive spending and on the brink of financial crisis – welcomed a more inclusive, populist narrative. While Tlatelolco ends in tragedy, in Seville the events take on a more uplifting but ambiguous note. In 2011, the 15-M movement – named after 15 May, the day of the protest in Madrid that started the occupations – took over public spaces throughout Spanish cities. The movement demanded changes in the political system, denounced corruption, unemployment, and reacted more generally to the economic crisis. Extensive marches culminated with the decision to start camping out – hence acampadas – in main squares and plazas. In Seville, the protest occupied Metropol Parasol. Here, the site of protest and its object coincided, since the self-denominated indignados were protesting the type of financial excess that Metropol Parasol incarnated. A ballooning budget and poor execution had made the project the focus of intense scrutiny and polemic. And yet its outdoor spaces proved ideal for Acampada Sevilla. In his report for the architecture journal Domus, local architect Francisco Gonz´alez de Canales pointed out the advantages of the project for the protest: its strategic location binding all the city’s neighbourhoods, its gentle shade allowing prolonged meetings.41 Gonz´alez also described how the steps and raised balconies provided ample spaces to sit and listen, or stand and address the assembled public. Thus while the project’s literature celebrates the views of the city afforded from the top of the mushrooms – the project’s best known feature – the success of Metropol Parasol as the site of Acampada Sevilla was credited to the ability of the public to see each other via the steps and balconies of the plaza or base, a less celebrated feature. In any case, this visibility was broadcast throughout the world – images and reports of the occupation were widely distributed, promoting a discourse of participation and inclusiveness that came to define the movement.

Between Discourse and Presence In Mexico and Spain, the tactics of the protesters sought to undermine the strategy of the state through both discourse and space. To analyse the dynamics of these conflicts, I turn first to J¨urgen Habermas’ definition of the public sphere as a realm of political discourse, and then to Hannah Arendt’s configuration of public space as a space of visibility. In his conceptualization of the public sphere, Habermas introduces the concept of ‘representative publicness’, where European rulers embodied the 53

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authority of the state and meant to overwhelm a visitor’s senses with elaborate ceremonies42 . Habermas argues this type of publicness was replaced in the Enlightenment with a culture of private institutions – newspapers, coffee houses, lodges – in which bourgeois culture engaged in political dialogue and held the state accountable.43 For Habermas, this realm where society and the state meet constitutes the public sphere: a space where private individuals could participate in public debate while still remaining separate from the obligations of rule. Habermas concludes that the transformations brought on by industrialization and mass media gradually eroded the border between public and private – necessary for the existence of the public sphere – and marked its decline. Habermas’ conception of the public sphere has been problematized by many scholars, in particular in terms of the homogenized, exclusive nature of Habermas’ interpretation of bourgeois culture. Critics have argued that Habermas’ position obscures a more heterogeneous, and often disenfranchised public.44 Subsequently, discussions on the public sphere as a discursive realm of negotiation must struggle against unifying, homogenizing categories of the constituents they mean to convene in this realm. A similar type of ‘representative publicness’ was embodied by Tlatelolco and Metropol Parasol, both of which came to represent an idealized state. In their oppositional stance, protestors needed to work against the authority these spaces embodied. In Tlatelolco the state appeared before the people, erasing prior slum settlements to create a plaza meant to represent modern Mexico. In contrast, in Seville, Metropol Parasol represented itself as of the people, as the result of a participative public process – even though the final result presents a carefully curated representation of the city government. The use of mass media was key in the representation and contestation of this publicness. In Mexico, the alliance between state and private enterprise led to a dominance of media: through Pani’s self-promotion in his family’s journal, and advertisements that echoed the state line and equated the project with the image of modern Mexico. Protesting students and workers did not fit into that homogenizing image of financial success, and reacted by creating their own public spheres mobilizing marginalized populations left out of the image fabricated by the state. They reclaimed it through the use of printed pamphlets, distributed all over the city. In Seville, the savvy use of internet media expanded the reach of protestors’ tactics. The movement and its affiliates created several Twitter feeds and hashtags, linking themselves to other protest movements in Spain and throughout the world.45 Both in Mexico City and Seville, media from above – newspapers, television, journals – were resisted through smaller, more disperse platforms – printed

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posters and tweets. The different platforms transformed these debates into text and images that could be accessed by a wider public. A parallel negotiation over the heterogeneity of the public has been the topic of debates on the nature of public space as a locality or site. Hannah Arendt’s conceptualization of the public realm as dependent on ‘visibility’ and ‘presence’ is key to this discussion.46 For Arendt, ‘the public’ signifies two interrelated phenomena: it is that which ‘can be seen and heard by everybody and has the widest possible publicity’47 , constituting reality, and it signifies ‘the world itself, in so far as it is common to all of us and distinguished from our privately owned place in it.’48 Arendt’s emphasis on the physical presence and visibility of bodies in space is a common thread in the work of scholars like Rosalyn Deutsche and Claude Lefort, who in examining the nature of democracy, finds that power is derived from ‘the people’ and located in the social – but the social itself is a negativity, ‘an empty place’ whose meaning and unity is negotiated in public space.49 More recently, this discussion was joined by Judith Butler, reflecting on the Occupy protests of 2011 through the lens of Arendt. Butler remarked that it is the notion of public space that is at stake in the act of public protest: ‘We miss something of the point of public demonstrations, if we fail to see that the very public character of the space is being disputed and even fought over when these crowds gather.’50 Butler argues that the dispute over the public character of space takes place through physical occupation. Thus, while debates on the public sphere struggle with the homogenizing categories of the constituents assembled in this realm – the social, the state – scholars that embrace the heterogeneity of the social, such as Lefort and Butler, have used it to define public space as the site where these frictions are negotiated. Certainly, what the students at Tlatelolco wanted was to be seen and heard. In an interview after the 1968 tragedy, Pani held the students responsible, following the official state line: ‘The students picked the time and place in order to create the biggest possible scandal. And that it was: a great scandal. And it has given Tlatelolco the reputation of a place where people are killed.’51 On the eve of the Olympics, in the plaza heralded as the incarnation of Mexico itself, an October evening at the Plaza of Three Cultures would have seemed the perfect time and place to see and be seen. By occupying the project advertised in the media as the representation of the country, the students asserted their presence after all attempts at dialogue had been turned down. In Tlatelolco, as a result of the armed intervention, the public was made absent – their absence constitutes a loss that cannot be recovered, and Mexico’s modernity is built on that loss.

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The physical occupation of these spaces points to how architecture might have aided or hindered these events. In Tlatelolco, the project’s functional virtues were turned inside out – the control of the space turned into surveillance, the well-defined square easily surrounded by the military. In Metropol Parasol, it was its very formal exuberance – a reminder of budgetary excess in the context of crisis – that made the plaza an ideal site for Acampada Sevilla. The project’s balconies and raised platforms allowed greater visibility for the protesters, and its iconic forms were easily appropriated as symbols of the protest, connecting the project to the movement. Thus while the architecture of Tlatelolco facilitated surveillance and control, in Metropol Parasol form became an ally to Acampada Sevilla. However, this success in turn made it the site of another, more subtly orchestrated story. Let us now turn to how these spaces and their stories were reconstructed after the conflicts.

Absent Publics Today, while the buildings of Tlatelolco remain in active use, the plaza has become a memorial to the tragedy. In the plaza itself, two similar monuments mark the space: one by Pani, a large plaque literally mounted on top of the Aztec ruins, commemorates the Aztec-Spanish battle of 1521. A monument called La Estela de Tlatelolco (the trail or trace of Tlatelolco, but also the stele), remembering the victims of 1968, was erected by representatives of the student movement on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the tragedy (Fig. 2.5).52 Although these monuments are formally similar – vertically placed plaques with engraved text – they are oblivious to each other. Pani’s plaque uses the Aztec ruins as a background, but stands in a corner of the plaza, out of the way and out of sight. The ‘68 monument faces the main plaza, claiming it as its own. The way in which these monuments refuse to acknowledge each other while occupying the same plaza seems to formalize the links between the Mexican Miracle and the tragedy – although they are both part of the same concatenation of events, they seem to exist in different realms. The Ministry of Foreign Relations has been turned into a cultural centre managed by the University of Mexico (UNAM), with a permanent exhibition dedicated to the 1968 student movement and the events of 2 October.53 Here, the strategies of the Mexican Miracle are more properly contextualized. The memorial presents video interviews of survivors, photographs, and foreign press coverage of the massacre, contrasting them with the official narrative. In its intent to give a voice to the victims, the 56

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OCCUPIED SITES: TLATELOLCO AND METROPOL PARASOL Fig. 2.5 La Estela de Tlatelolco, Plaza of Three Cultures, 1993. Church and housing complex in the background, June 2013. Photo by author, 2013.

exhibition operates counter to the silencing of both the students voices and the tragedy itself. It also inadvertently highlights the emptiness of the plaza and the inadequacy of its monuments. In contrast, Metropol Parasol promotes itself by describing the process for its selection and construction as participatory and inclusive, fostering open access to all – as advertised in the boards summarizing the design process displayed in the cellar. The project monograph, published in 2011, includes images from Acampada Sevilla, which must have been added just before printing.54 This eagerness to embrace the events of summer 2011 is understandable given the project’s emphasis on inclusive processes: Acampada Sevilla seems to confirm the participatory success of the project. However, the plaza’s carefully guarded entries and spaces contradict this supposed openness. The building had barely opened when the occupation took place – while it was tolerated then, the current administration is careful to control access to the different layers. The image of Metropol Parasol as an open, inclusive commons seems to be just as constructed as Pani’s representation of the Plaza of Three Cultures as the arrival of modern Mexico. In Seville the plaza is usually empty – tourists climb up the steps, take some photographs, and leave for more engaging destinations. It remains the main image of the Seville 15-M movement, but not its main meeting point. After the first Acampadas, the temporary market was adopted as a site 57

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for meetings, but it has since been demolished by the city hall.55 Metropol Parasol is a place from which to look at the city, but not a space – following Arendt – of public visibility, where we can see each other as active members of the public realm. In the end, both plazas are currently empty. Different collectives and communities continue to meet in other spaces – we can track down the Tlatelolco survivors in the memorial’s documentary, or follow Seville’s hashtags – but the state has reclaimed control over both the narratives and the spaces of these events.56 For all the differences in urban and political context, discourse and presence came together in these events. Both students and indignados had been erased from these spaces, their presence counter to the success stories these buildings represented. In Tlatelolco, the space was transformed into a platform to broadcast the message of a modern nation, ready for the Olympics. In Seville, the indignados countered the triumphal image of a successful Spain. In contrast with the Mexican state dominance of media, in Spain the protesters benefited from more independent media outlets and new social media technologies – they were able to access both presence and discourse, action and speech. However, the public’s presence during these events stands in marked contrast to the current emptiness of these sites. Currently, the Plaza of Three Cultures and Metropol Parasol are sites of public absence. Their contesting publics have shifted to other locations, away from the control of the state. Tlatelolco was designed by an architect with powerful connections to a state that accelerated financial growth in detriment to the lower-income population. Its occupation by the students highlights the contradiction between the financial strategies of modernization, materialized in the housing complex, and its effects on the population. Similarly, Acampada Sevilla highlighted Metropol Parasol’s position at the tail end of a period of big-budget, formally exuberant works, now superseded. A financial component of success or ruin – the Mexican Miracle and its victims, Spain’s economic boom and subsequent crisis – hangs over both sites, calling attention to the role of capital in the representation of the public. The events of Tlatelolco and Acampada Sevilla remind us that a robust public sphere, both at the physical and discursive levels, can help counter the representations produced by the state with the active voices of its citizens. Their absent publics point to the ongoing struggle for the public sphere.

Notes 1 Pani’s multifamiliares prior to Tlatelolco include the Centro Urbano Alem´an (1947–49), Centro Urbano Presidente Ju´arez (1950–52), and famously, the

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City University, UNAM (Universidad Nacional Aut´onoma de M´exico) (1950–52), with Enrique Lazo. For more on Pani see Adri`a, Miguel, Mario Pani: la construcci´on de la modernidad (Mexico City, 2005), Adri`a, Miguel, ‘Pani y la vivienda colectiva’, Arquine 35 ( June 2013), and Larrosa, Manuel, Mario Pani: arquitecto de su e´poca (Mexico City, 1985). Translations are mine unless noted. Cant´u Chapa, Rub´en, Tlatelolco: la autoadministraci´on en unidades habitacionales: gesti´on urbana y planificaci´on (Mexico City, 2001), p.117. Alberto J. Pani was Director of Public Works for Mexico City, Secretary of Industry, Commerce and Work, Secretary of Foreign Relationships, Minister of Finance, and as mentioned, founder of the Bank of Mexico or Banobras. Adri`a: Mario Pani, p.23. Babb, Sarah, ‘The Mexican Miracle’, in Managing Mexico: Economists from Nationalism to Neoliberalism (Princeton, 2001), pp.75–105. Babb: ‘The Mexican Miracle’, p.80. The PRI has been in power from 1928 to 2000, lost it briefly for a few years and then regained it in the 2012 election. Babb: ‘The Mexican Miracle’, p.80. See Hodges, Donald and Ross Gandy, Mexico, the End of the Revolution (Westport, Conn., 2002). The workshop was co-directed by Jos´e Luis Cuevas, Mario Pani authored the final study. Pani, Mario, Conjunto urbano Nonoalco-Tlaltelolco: Regeneraci´on urban´ıstica de la ciudad de M´exico (Mexico City, 1958). Pani credits the study to a team of technicians sponsored by a coordinated group of official institutions mostly funded by Banobras and the Instituto de Seguridad y Servicios Sociales de Trabajadores del Estado (Institute of Social Services and Security for State Workers, ISSSTE). Several insurance companies also played a role as private partners to the state. General coordination was in charge of the presidency of the republic, and the execution was done through the Secretario de Hacienda (Finance Secretary). A long list of names follows. Pani: Conjunto urbano Nonoalco-Tlaltelolco, p.3. Pani: Conjunto urbano Nonoalco-Tlaltelolco, p.12. Borja, Santiago, ‘La fumarola, el destello: A los residentes de Tlatelolco’, La Elipsis Arquitect´onica, ed. Ruth Est´evez, Javier Toscano (Mexico City, 2013), pp.81–100. Pani: Conjunto urbano Nonoalco-Tlaltelolco, p.7. The site was 94.45 hectares, or 233 acres, divided into three mega-blocks, including 13 day-care centres, nine elementary schools, and four high schools or technical schools. It also included churches, parks, gardens, clinics, a museum, and other services. It housed a total of 11,668 apartment units. Arquitectura/M´exico 93/94 (1966).

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15 Cort´es’ second letter to Charles V, written in 1520, had descriptions of the city (‘The city itself is as big as Seville or C´ordoba’) and especially of Tlatelolco marketplace: ‘There is also a square twice as big as that of Salamanca . . . ’. Cort´es, Hern´an, Letters from Mexico, trans. Anthony Pagden (New Haven, 1986), pp.102–3. 16 The map was included in Cort´es’ second letter to Charles V. See in particular Mundy, Barbara, ‘Mapping the Aztec Capital: The 1524 Nuremberg Map of Tenochtitlan, Its Sources and Meanings’, in Imago Mundi 50 (1998), pp.11– 50. The image is part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division at the New York Public Library. A digital file can be accessed here: http://digital gallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?ps rbk 567. access date? The geographic accuracy of this illustration was confirmed in 1938, when a team of Mexican historians situated these sites in Mexico City. Its European aesthetics have led many to believe it an imaginary depiction of Tenochtitlan, with little basis in reality. Manuel Touissaint and his team’s research contested these speculations by locating the main features of the map in contemporary Mexico City. Toussaint, Manuel, Federico Gomez de Orozco, and Justino Fernandez, Planos de la Ciudad de Mexico Siglos XVI y XVII: estudio hist´orico, urban´ıstico y bibliogr´afico (Mexico City, 1938), p.99. 17 Pani: Conjunto urbano Nonoalco-Tlaltelolco, pp.11–12. 18 Pani: Conjunto urbano Nonoalco-Tlaltelolco, p.11. 19 Chapa: Tlatelolco, p.114. 20 Additional details on the management and administration of the units can be found in Chapa: Tlatelolco. 21 Pani was the journal’s director, equivalent to the role of editor in chief. Pani’s father, Arturo Pani (1938–1962) is credited as founder and director, although it was Mario who founded the journal. See Adri`a: Mario Pani. 22 For more on Arquitectura/M´exico see Flaherty, George, ‘Mario Pani’s Hospitality: Latin America through Arquitectura/M´exico’, in Patricio del Real and Helen Gyger (eds.) Latin American Modern Architectures: Ambiguous Territories (New York, 2012), pp.251–69. 23 Arquitectura/M´exico 93/94 (1966), p.188 24 Arquitectura/M´exico 93/94 (1966), p.204. 25 See for instance Borja: ‘La fumarola’, and the works of Luis Casta˜neda cited in the next note. 26 There have been several studies on the architecture of the Mexican Olympics. Of particular interest here is the recent work of Luis Casta˜neda on Ram´ırez’s role in the Olympics and the urban politics surrounding the event itself. See Casta˜neda, Luis, ‘Beyond Tlatelolco: Design, Media, and Politics at Mexico ‘68’, Grey Room 40 (Summer 2010), pp.100–126 and Casta˜neda, ‘Choreographing the Metropolis: Networks of Circulation and Power in Olympic Mexico’, in Journal of Design History 25/3 (August 2012), pp.285–303.

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27 The 1968 summer Olympics were scheduled for a later start to avoid the high summer temperatures in Mexico City. The official inauguration ceremony was on 12 October 1968. 28 Alvarez Gar´ın, Ra´ul, ‘Los primeros incidentes’, in La Estela de Tlatelolco (Mexico City, 1998), pp.30–38, and Poniatowska, Elena, La noche de Tlatelolco: testimonios de historia oral [1971] (Mexico City, 1981). 29 In particular the students of the UNAM – coincidentally, a campus also designed by Pani. 30 27 August 1968 saw one of the largest protests against the government in Mexico’s history. 31 Accounts on the total numbers vary – some sources indicate up to 10,000 people. 32 The numbers are compiled by Kate Doyle, The Dead of Tlatelolco: Using the archives to exhume the past (George Washington University, 2006), http://www .gwu.edu/∼nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB201/index.htm (Accessed 11 December 2011). 33 One of the best-known critical reactions to the tragedy is an essay by Octavio Paz, who proposed the massacre was an instance of the repressed violence of the Mexican psyche, tracing this back to the sacrificial rituals of the Aztecs. Paz, Octavio, ‘Cr´ıtica de la Pir´amide’, in Posdata (Mexico City, 1970). The recurring Marxist figure of the spectre in Mexican texts addressing the 1968 events, in particular Paz’s, has been recently analysed by Bruno Bosteels. Bosteels, Bruno, ‘The Melancholy Left’, Marx and Freud in Latin America: Politics, Psychoanalysis, and Religion in Times of Terror (London, 2012), pp.159– 94. 34 In particular see the work of Kate Doyle in the National Security Archive. 35 The southern end of the Beaux-Arts style market was demolished in 1948 to allow east-west traffic through the site, the isolated southern tip was turned back into a plaza. The rest of the market was demolished in 1973. 36 The market was relocated to a nondescript building on the north east corner of the plaza. 37 Board displayed at Metropol Parasol, noted in 23 June 2012. 38 See http://www.metropolsevilla.com/mirador/. 39 Colectivo Io´e, Interpretaciones de la condici´on migrante: Exploraci´on de los discursos de la poblaci´on inmigrada en Espa˜na (Madrid, 2007). The construction sector depended greatly on the labour force provided by migrants because of their age, cheap labour, and availability. According to statistical data from 2005, the biggest group of migrants working in the construction sector in Madrid were from Latin America – almost half of the total of migrants in the city. See Colectivo Io´e, La Inmigraci´on extranjera en el sector de la construcci´on en Madrid (Madrid, 2005), available at http://www.colectivoioe.org (Accessed 10 November 2013).

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40 Mexico is among the destinies for Spanish migrants fleeing the economic crisis. See ‘Expatriados por la crisis’, special issue El Pa´ıs (2013), http://elpais.com/ especiales/2013/expatriados-por-la-crisis/ (Accessed 10 November 2013). 41 Gonz´alez de Canales, Francisco, ‘Magic Mushrooms’, Domus 2 July 2011 http://www.domusweb.it/en/architecture/magic-mushrooms/ (Accessed 11 December 2011). Summer in Seville being particularly hot, the city has installed shading devices in several of its public spaces. 42 Habermas, J¨urgen, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere an Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society [1962], trans. Thomas Burger (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989), pp.5–14; at p.9 the Spanish ceremonial is discussed. 43 Habermas: Structural Transformation, pp.14–31. 44 Oscar Negt and Alexander Kluge’s elaboration of the proletarian public sphere as a site of resistance, and Nancy Fraser’s ‘counterpublics’ – multiple public spheres constructed by marginalized groups – are instances of such critique. 45 See for example the Twitter handles @15MSevilla, @AcampaSevilla, @Accion15MSev and the hashtags #15M, #15MSevilla, and #infoSetas. 46 Hannah Arendt also finds fault with the intermingling of public and private realms, but situates the origin of the problem in the rise of the category of the social, which coincides with the nation state. Thus where Habermas sees the rise of the bourgeois public sphere, Arendt sees the loss of the political discourse of an idealized Greek polis, replaced by the social, an intermingling of categories where the private sphere of the family becomes a collective concern of the state. Arendt, Hannah, ‘The Public and the Private Realm’, The Human Condition (Chicago, 1958). 47 Arendt: ‘The Public and the Private Realm’, p.50. 48 Arendt: ‘The Public and the Private Realm’, p.52. 49 Lefort, Claude, ‘The Logic of Totalitarianism’, The Political Forms of Modern Society: Bureaucracy, Democracy, Totalitarianism, ed. John B. Thompson (Cambridge, MA: 1986), p.279. Following Lefort, Rosalyn Deutsche argues plurality and conflict constitute, rather than undermine, public space (although she asserts this concept precisely to separate physical presence from the purview of public art). Deutsche, Rosalyn, ‘Agoraphobia’, Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics (Cambridge, MA: 1996), pp.269–326. 50 Butler, Judith, ‘Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street’, European Institute for Progressive Cultural Politics (September 2011) http://www.eipcp.net/ transversal/1011/butler/en (Accessed 12 December 2011). 51 De Garay, Graciela, Mario Pani (Mexico City, 2000), p.88. 52 The process of the design, fabrication, and installation of this monument can be found in Casas, Arnulfo Aquino, ‘La creaci´on de una estela’, La Estela de ´ Tlatelolco, ed. Ra´ul Alvarez Gar´ın (Mexico City, 1998), pp.303–308. 53 A virtual tour of the exhibition is available http://www.tlatelolco.unam.mx/ museos1.html (accessed 6 March 2015).

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OCCUPIED SITES: TLATELOLCO AND METROPOL PARASOL

54 Lepik, Andres and Andre Santer, eds., Metropol Parasol: J. Mayer H. (Ostfildern, 2011). 55 The site is meant to eventually house a parking lot, although there is much speculation about whether this project will actually be carried out. A virtual trail shows the use of this space for 15-M meetings http://sevilla.tomalaplaza.net/ tag/encarnacion/ [accessed 1 August 2012]. 56 At a smaller scale, the eviction of illegal markets at Tlatelolco and the institutionalization of an official market in Seville are both instances of the state reclaiming public space from its illegal appropriation, although with different attitudes towards the recognition of private occupation.

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3 Aesthetics and Politics of Participation in 1960s Brazil: ´ Oiticica’s From Helio ´ to the Paulista Parangoles School of Architecture Martino Stierli

One place to study how artists and architects investigated the concepts of participation and interaction is 1960s Brazil. Testing the social and aesthetic implications of these concepts, the protagonists of this debate increasingly turned to the contested sphere of urban space as a platform and stage for their artistic and architectural activities. The following chapter will limit itself to some of the most outspoken and well-known exponents of this debate. One of these voices is the Carioca (that is, Rio de Janeiro-based) artist H´elio Oiticica (1937–1980). The key significance of his relatively slim oeuvre for contemporary discourse is evidenced by the attention he has received in recent research. Thus, in the introductory text of the catalogue accompanying the most comprehensive Oiticica retrospective so far, held at the Museum f¨ur Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt in 2013, curators Peter Gorschl¨uter and C´esar Oiticica Filho state immodestly, but perhaps not inaccurately:

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Starting out from this premise, I will argue in the following that these categories were not an idiosyncratic feature of Oiticica’s thinking, although they undeniably took on a particular urgency in his writings. Rather, these concepts featured prominently in Brazilian aesthetic discourse throughout the 1960s; a fact owed not only to the country’s exposure to international artistic concepts during that time, but also to the troubling political transformation from a populist democracy under Jucelino Kubitschek at the beginning of the decade to an increasingly suffocating military dictatorship at its end. To illustrate my point, I will turn to two protagonists of the socalled Paulista School of Architecture. At first sight, their work would seem to be unrelated to the debates centering around the Rio art scene to which Oiticia belonged, but indeed reveals striking similarities when it comes to the issues of participation and interaction. The chapter’s aim is therefore twofold. Firstly, to historicize the contemporary notion of participation by bringing into the picture the key contribution of 1960s Brazilian artistic and architectural production to this debate. And secondly, to illustrate how, in this particular setting, artistic and architectural experimentation went hand in hand and in fact have to be seen as taking place in close interaction with each other.

AESTHETICS AND POLITICS OF PARTICIPATION IN 1960S BRAZIL

Oiticica was ahead of his time, farther ahead than virtually any other artist of his generation. It would be many years before the terms ‘participation’, ‘environment’, and ‘proposition’ would come to dominate artistic discourse in Europe and North America; Oiticica already formulated them at an early state in his career.1

´ Oiticica, the Neoconcretist Movement, and Helio the ‘Theory of the Non-Object’ The notion of participation was a fundamental concept in Oiticica’s artistic thinking, and it is present both in his works of art and in the substantial number of theoretical essays and notes that he produced simultaneously. But what exactly does ‘participation’ refer to? In Oiticica’s oeuvre, two uses of the term can be discerned. In his early work the artist is mainly concerned with participation as an aesthetic category. It addresses the object/viewer relationship and works toward breaking up the traditional subject/object divide in what could be called an aesthetic of immersion. This approach is generally seen as a consequence of Oiticica’s involvement with the short-lived neoconcretismo group, to which I return below. From 65

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the early 1960s onwards, and in clear correspondence to the increasingly difficult political climate in Brazil at that time, Oiticica became more and more concerned with participation as a political and social category, as his interest turned from a perceiving individual’s interactive visual and haptic experience of the work of art to an investigation of collective forms of agency. Opinions differ on how these two poles of Oiticica’s investigation of the meaning and potential of ‘participation’ relate to each other. In his writings, the artist characterizes the transition from a more aestheticpsychological framework to a more political one as a logical development. A key work in this regard seems to have been his series of Parangol´es, a group of works essentially consisting in capes that could to be worn and publicly displayed by the spectator (Fig. 3.1). In the Parangol´es, the spectator is transformed into a user and performer of the piece in which he actively participates himself. In his 1967 essay ‘General Scheme of the New Objectivity’, Oiticica comments on the emergence of social and political issues in his artistic thinking: ‘ . . . the possibility emerged of creating the social Parangol´e (works in which I proposed to give social meaning to my discovery of the Parangol´e – though it already contained it, in latent form, since the beginning – )[ . . . ].’2 This stance is accepted by historians like Anna Dezeuze, who confirms the relationship between the artist’s formal experimentation and his political objectives and concludes ‘not only that Oiticica’s Parangol´es succeed in uniting both of these apparently conflicting aspects, but that the very articulation of this polarity constitutes their strength and their significance within the history of 1960s art.’3 While this polarity is indeed crucial for understanding Oiticica’s contribution to the concept of participation, the relationship between aesthetic investigation and political intention in Oiticica’s work is far more complex than both the artist’s statements and Dezeuze’s account suggest. This is underscored in Michael Asbury’s discussion of the problem of Oiticica’s references to the popular culture and architecture of the favelas, the slums of the Brazilian metropolis, which ‘belonged to an altogether different context of that of the aesthetic experimentation of neoconcretism.’4 Indeed, while the Parangol´es are still mainly concerned with an individual’s subjective experience, the later work in and on the favelas (the ‘social Parangol´es’) point toward racial, social, and urban politics, and thus Brazilian society at large. Can Oiticica’s artistic trajectory therefore be seen as one moving smoothly from a mainly aesthetic to an increasingly political and social understanding of participation? The artist started out as a painter. In this

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Fig. 3.1 H´elio Oiticica, Nildo da Mangueira wears P04 Parangol´e capa 1, 1964, in the exhibition H´elio Mangueira Oiticica, Universidade do Rio de Janeiro, 1990. Photograph: C´esar Oiticica Filho. Archives of the Projeto H´elio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro. From: H´elio Oiticica, ed. Witte de With, exh. cat. Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume (Paris, 1992), p.107.

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medium, he mainly addressed questions of colour and abstraction. Together with artists Lygia Pape, Lygia Clark, Ivan Serpa, poet and theoretician Ferreira Gullar, and others, he became part of the Rio-based constructivist Grupo Frente in 1955. In this framework, he particularly investigated the works and writings of Dutch painters Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg. Consequently, from 1959 onwards, Oiticica was active in the short-lived Grupo Neoconcreto, which, although it dissolved again in 1961, left a decisive mark on the future development of contemporary art in Brazil. During this period, Oiticica’s thinking is strongly influenced by the writings of Ferreira Gullar, the author of the ‘Neoconcrete Manifesto’ and the seminal ‘Theory of the Non-Object’, both published in 1959. Generally speaking, neoconcretismo took a phenomenological approach to the work of art in its spatial location, emphasizing not so much the relationship of individual forms on the picture plane but rather that between the viewer and the image. This interest in questions of perception, physical presence, and of what Michael Fried termed ‘theatricality’ is strikingly similar to the concerns of Minimal Art expressed a few years later.5 Regarding Brazilian artistic debates, this focus also marks the principal point of departure of the Carioca neoconcretists from the concrete artists and poets who had their stronghold in S˜ao Paulo. What defines neoconcretist experimentation, then, is an investigation of the object/viewer relationship, and, in consequence, an exploration of the given site in which art takes place. The key term in Gullar’s discourse is ‘reality’. It suggested that art had so far been located somewhere outside of the domain of the real, and was now entering an altogether new phase, deeply enmeshed in and engaged with that space of ‘reality’. For the time being, this reality referred mainly to the ‘real’ space of the observer, as opposed to the social space of the city, which came into the picture only later. Gullar’s ‘Theory of the Non-Object’ was decisive for this ‘spatial turn’ of the Neoconcretists. This text retraced the history of representation from the Impressionists through the Cubists, Piet Mondrian and Kurt Schwitters’s Merzbau to the present. In so doing, it intended to describe the artistic exploration of what the author calls ‘real space – that beyond frame and pedestal’ – as the logical conclusion of a long historical development: For the traditional painter, the white canvas was merely the material support onto which he would sketch the suggestion of natural space. Subsequently, this suggested space, this metaphor of the world, would be surrounded by a frame that had as a fundamental function the positioning of the painting into

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What results after the transgression of the aesthetic boundary of the frame/pedestal is what Gullar calls the ‘non-object’: a state in which the work of art is ‘for the first time freed from any signification outside the event of its own apparition.’7 The terminology is quite revealing: the work of art is no longer considered an eternal presence outside time and history, but an ‘event’, that is, intrinsically bound to a specific moment in time in which it is instantiated through the involvement of the spectator. In Gullar’s terms, this process is inevitable: ‘It could be said that all works of art tend towards the non-object’; conversely, all the remaining traces of art that pertain to the frame/pedestal are, in his opinion, essentially ‘conservative and reactionary in nature’.8 Neo-concrete artists responded in different ways to these stipulations. While Lygia Clark deconstructed the pictorial support by dismissing the frame, Oiticica introduced the shaped canvas into his work.9 Works that illustrate such transgressions of the aesthetic boundary and the penetration of the space of the observer are the shaped canvas Bilateral, the Invenc¸o˜es (Inventions), and the Relevos espaciais (Spatial reliefs), all from 1959. While these pieces remain fundamentally two-dimensional and seem to transcend their status as ‘objects’ (in Gullar’s sense) only hesitantly, two series of works from the following year – the N´ucleos and, most importantly, the Penetr´aveis – fully arrive in the ‘real’ space of the observer. In particular, Penetr´avel PN 1 (1960) presents itself as an accessible space that the observer is invited to enter (or penetrate) in order to change its colour/space constellation by means of movable sliding doors. The passive observer becomes an active agent in the production of the work of art. Importantly, made of cheap materials such as painted plywood, the Penetr´aveis reference a material aesthetics of poverty that would become a defining element of Oiticica’s later investigation of and interest in space as a social rather than merely an aesthetic category, and his exploration of the favela as a stage and repository for this artistic production. The Penetr´aveis stand at the climax of an aesthetic, first of all painterly, investigation into space that is premised on phenomenology, especially, mediated through Gullar, the writings of

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the world. This frame was the mediator between fiction and reality [ . . . ]. Thus when painting radically abandons representation – as in the case of Mondrian, Malevich and his followers – the frame loses its meaning. The erection of a metaphorical space within a well-protected corner of the world no longer being necessary, it is now the case of establishing the work of art within the space of reality, lending to this space, through the apparition of the work [ . . . ] significance and transcendence.6

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Maurice Merleau-Ponty.10 Referencing his N´ucleos and Penetr´aveis series, Oiticica reflected on the impact of this shift from the picture plane to space in his essay ‘The Transformation of Colour from the Painting into Space and the Meaning of Construction’ (1962): I no longer want the support of the painting, an a priori field in which to develop the ‘act of painting’, but that the very structure of this act take place in space and in time. It is not only a change of media but of the very concept of painting as such; it is a radical position with regard to the perception of the painting, from the contemplative attitude that motivates it to a perception of the color-structure in space and in time, [one that is] much more active and complete in its sense of involvement.11

Oiticica is quite explicit in his critique and rejection of modernist modes of pictorial representation and in particular of the dichotomy of viewing subject and viewed object, as well as the ensuing notion of contemplation: rather than contemplation in front of the auratic object, Oiticica, paraphrasing and transforming Gullar’s stipulations into works of art, calls for a situation in which the observer becomes an agent and active part(icipant) in the production of aesthetic meaning: One participates by being a physical part of the artwork, which is incomplete without the human body. In consequence, the work of art is not the distanced other, but becomes a bodily extension of the self.12 Participation, in this sense, amounts to a perceptual and sensory experience. It is interesting to note that minimal art would explore similar ideas soon after the Brazilians’ experimentation. As Michael Asbury has pointed out, Hal Foster’s description of minimalism’s aesthetic program can be applied almost literally to that of neoconcretismo: [M]inimalism breaks with the transcendental space of most modernist art [ . . . ]. In short, with minimalism sculpture no longer stands apart, on a pedestal or as pure art, but is repositioned among objects and redefined in terms of space. In this transformation the viewer, refused the safe, sovereign space of formal art, is cast back on the here and now, and rather than scan the surface of a work for a topographical mapping of the properties of its medium, he or she is prompted to explore the perceptual consequences of a particular intervention in a given site.13

Neo-concrete art essentially transforms the observer into an active performer, and the work of art from an autonomous entity into a device 70

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From the Individual to the Collective: Agency in the City By means of its cheap materiality, Penetr´avel PN 1 unmistakably referenced the everyday Brazilian city and in particular the favela. The underlying interest in the social space of the city becomes more and more prominent in Oiticica’s work from around 1964 onward. The significance of Oiticica’s shift toward political and social issues was analysed as early as 1966 by the Brazilian critic M´ario Pedrosa. In his essay ‘Arte ambiental, arte p´osmoderna, H´elio Oiticica’ he described the artist as situated at the epicentre of a new, ‘post-modern’ era of Brazilian modern art, which was characterized by a turning away from the ‘hermetic individual subjectivism’ of previous formalist experimentation toward a social and political agenda.14 Oiticica’s addressing of the social dimension of urban space in his home country at exactly this historical moment is hardly coincidental. Under the presidency of Jucelino Kubitschek (1956–1961), Brazil had experienced a massive leap forward from a relative backwater to a progressive modern industrialized nation – at least in popular self-perception and mass media self-marketing. A significant part of this rhetoric of a progressive nation was provided by the erection of the new capital of Bras´ılia, which was achieved in just three years in a hitherto inaccessible hinterland in the state of Goi´as. Modern architecture had played an important role in the country’s identity ever since the erection of the Ministry of Education and Health in Rio by L´ucio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer, Le Corbusier, and others (1936–43). With Bras´ılia, however, issues of modern architecture and urban planning became something of a national myth, and the optimistic outlook onto a prosperous and democratic future was transported mainly by architectural imagery. By 1964, however, the situation changed dramatically. After the two shortlived unsuccessful presidencies of Kubitschek’s successors, the military seized

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for the activation of perception and sensory experience. Importantly, this exploration is primarily (still) concerned with an individual’s aesthetic experience. Art has transgressed the aesthetic boundary between perceived object and perceiving subject, and the observer has been transformed into a performer and participant in an time-bound event that produces the work of art. Even though these performances take place in the public realm of the city or in institutional space, questions of the social and the political are not yet at the fore of these experiments. In this regard, Oiticica’s work of this early period differs decisively from his later, politically and socially charged take on participation, which addresses the collective and, by extension, the question of social urban space.

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power in a coup in April 1964, leading to a drastic change in the country’s political climate as well as in increasing pressure on civic rights. From 1968 onward, the military suspended constitutional rights, exercised censorship, and enforced its illegitimate regime through kidnappings and torture. Many artists and intellectuals fled the country, to which democracy was restored again only in 1985. Claire Bishop and others have argued convincingly that the inquiry into interactivity and sensuous bodily perception in Brazilian art, as evidenced in the work of Oiticica, Lygia Clark, and others during the 1960s, must be seen as ‘a political and ethical exigency in the face of state repression.’15 In light of this political background, the chief characteristics of Oiticica’s work of this period appear in a new light: his turn towards the social space of the city, the activation of the collective in public space, and the use of performance as guerilla tactics vis-`a-vis the institution. The gradual transition toward a more political stance in Oiticica’s oeuvre can best be observed in the Paragol´e series, consisting in ‘portable architecture made to frame an idea of bodily and social liberation’.16 More radically than in the Penetrav´eis, with the Parangol´e the object becomes a literal extension of the body. The artist’s role is limited to providing a textile shell that needs to be actively worn and performed by the observer, who is transformed into an actor on a public stage. Importantly, unlike the Penetrav´eis, which were intended for the conventional gallery space, the Parangol´es were to be performed in the public realm of the city. This appropriation of public space by dance and performance was prompted by Oiticica’s ‘discovery’ of the favela of Mangueira and the vernacular dance performances of the local Samba school. What became increasingly decisive for the Parangol´es performances in the artist’s conception was not only the notion of ‘bodily participation’ on part of the observer/actor, but the social dimension of the Parangol´e performances: these events interacted with public urban space as well as with their audiences, inviting the latter to collectively participate.17 The Parangol´es were thus essentially political in nature. In Oiticica’s writings of the mid-1960s, the term ‘antiart’ becomes more and more prominent. In his text ‘Position and Program’, he explicates the essentially emancipatory nature of such ‘antiart’ and refers to the Parangol´e as an exemplary manifestation of this programme: [Antiart’s] main objective is to give the public a chance to cease being an outside, viewing public in order to become a participant in the creative activity. This is the beginning of a collective expression. Whether in its most personalized, incisively plastic form [ . . . ] or in its more available format

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Inspired by the popular dance performances of the Mangueira Samba school, the Parangol´e can be seen as a transfer of such spatial practices into the institutionalized space of the city. Being aimed at granting its performers access to institutional public space and to participation in the civic life of the city, the Parangol´e was intended as an instrument of emancipation and empowerment. The Parangol´es contributed toward producing a space of dissent within everyday life, an appropriation of public space by means of guerilla tactics rather like those advocated decades later by Michel de Certeau in his Practice of Everyday Life (Arts de faire, 1980).19 In this influential text, the French theoretician discerned between ‘strategies’ employed by institutions and structures of power to inform urban space on the one hand and ‘tactics’ used by individuals or groups outside the circles of power as a counter-measure against subjugation in strategic space. The potentially subversive spatial politics of the Parangol´es became manifest in the scandal that ensued its first public performance. This took place in the framework of the exhibition Opini˜ao 65 at the Rio Museum of Modern Art, to which Oiticica was invited as a contributor. For his performance, the artist brought in a group of inhabitants of the Mangueira favela, causing an uproar with the attendants of the exhibition opening and eventually to the group’s expulsion from the property (Fig. 3.2).20 It is interesting to note that a similar ‘vernacular’ dance performance had taken place at the very same place in 1959 on the occasion of the inauguration of a section of Affonso Reidy’s museum building. But while this performance featured dancers of the Ballet Folcl´orico in traditional African garb, Mercedes Baptista and was widely understood as a folkloristic (and thus domesticated, politically harmless) contribution, the Parangol´e, quite on the contrary, was seen as inappropriate and vulgar, even a threat, evoking the Brazilian bourgeoisie’s deeply-rooted racial anxieties concerning the favela and its inhabitants. Against this account of scandal and expulsion, Oiticica’s underscoring of the emancipatory potential of his ‘social Parangol´es’ must be evaluated in critical terms as well: from the point of view of the underprivileged favela dwellers, did their appearance in the institutionalized space of the public museum indeed contribute toward a liberating and potentially emancipating social experience? Is not, on the contrary, the fierce reaction of the audience indicative of the artist’s main aim, that is, to shock the public, in the best tradition of ‘´epater la bourgeoisie’, and therefore

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[ . . . ], the Parangol´e (or Environment Program, if you prefer) is antiart par excellence.18

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Fig. 3.2 H´elio Oiticica, Inauguration of the Parangol´es on the occasion of the exhibition Opini˜ao 65, 1965, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro. From: H´elio Oiticica, ed. Witte de With, exh. cat. Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume (Paris, 1992), p.89.

essentially another iteration of the aesthetic strategies of the avant-garde? It would do injustice to Oiticica to claim that his interest in the inhabitants and the social and material practices of the favela stood mainly in the service of his artistic programme, but a certain tendency of instrumentalizing the ‘other’ for the purposes of avant-garde experimentation cannot be denied. As indicated earlier, Oiticica’s increasing sensibility for social and political concerns as well as for the social production of urban space coincided with increasingly contested political rights of the individual during the military dictatorship. In a different vein, the Parangol´es can be seen as an artistic critique of paternalistic gestures in modern urban planning, the logic of which had brought about the new capital of Bras´ılia in the previous decade, but which had also led to a neglect of providing for the urban poor, and consequently, to their expulsion to the outer fringes of the city. Moreover, Oiticica’s artistic experimentation during these years should also be related to 1960s social and political theory. Oiticica read Herbert Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization in depth and commented on it in his letters to Lygia Clark, but this didn’t take place until 1968.21 Hannah Arendt’s writings on urban space as a stage for the political public sphere would also have resonated 74

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with Oiticica’s concerns, but there is no evidence of his being aware of the philosopher’s writings.22 Again, the writings of Ferreira Gullar seem to have been pivotal in the artist’s theoretical recalibration. Only two years after publishing his foundational texts on neoconcretismo, Gullar ceased his membership in the group to join the CPC movement (Centros Populares de Cultura), which was associated with the leftist National Students’ Union (UNE).23 Gullar now took a radically anti-bourgeois stance and distanced himself from his previous formalist and stylistic concerns. The real task of artists, Gullar now argued, was to take up their responsibility as citizens and to address the ‘real’ problems of the Brazilian people. Implicitly, this shift called for a grounding of contemporary Brazilian art in Brazilian vernacular and popular cultures, potentially emancipating it from dominant aesthetic discourses on an international level. Gullar’s considerations – published in his book A Cultura posta em quest˜ao (Culture Put Into Question)24 – clearly informed Oiticica’s thinking with regard to participation and interaction. In his already mentioned, fundamental text ‘General Scheme of the New Objectivity’, he tried to establish the ‘New Objectivity’ as the avant-garde of Brazilian contemporary art. Besides formal concerns such as the overcoming of traditional panel painting in favour of the ‘object’, Oiticica referred to political aims such as ‘an engagement and a position on political, social, and ethical problems’, while explicitly distinguishing the art movement from international currents such as Pop Art and Op Art, Nouveau R´ealisme and Hard Edge.25 Needless to say, Gullar’s considerations were not formulated in an intellectual vacuum, but should themselves be seen in the broader political context of the Brazilian mid-1960s, in which urban space and the public sphere became an increasing artistic and intellectual concern. The apotheosis of the ‘favelaization’26 of Oiticica’s work and the ensuing stress on a political notion of the participatory use of public space is perhaps best embodied in the installation Tropic´alia (Fig. 3.3), which was presented publicly for the first time as part of the exhibition Nova Objetividadae Brasileira (New Brazilian Objectivity) at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro in 1967, where his Parangol´e performance had caused a scandal only two years previously. Tropic´alia – which lent its name to the Brazilian Tropicalismo movement of art, theatre, and music – presented itself as a walkable environment that included the Penetrav´eis PN 2 (A Pureza e´ um Mito [Purity is a Myth]) and PN 3 (Imag´etico [Imagistic]), both of which were situated on a surface of sand and gravel in a garden of tropical plants and living parrots. Together with these features, the two sheds and their cheap materiality, consisting of wooden frames, painted panels, a door, glass, plastics, fabric, and a television set, pointed metonymically toward the

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Fig. 3.3 H´elio Oiticica, Tropic´alia, with Penetrav´eis PN 2 and PN 3, 1967, installation view of the exhibition Nova Objetividade Brasileira, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro. From: H´elio Oiticica, ed. Witte de With, exh. cat. Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume (Paris, 1992), p.121.

ephemeral structures of the Brazilian favelas.27 If the slum had so far been a social point of reference for Oiticica, with Tropci´alia its material culture now became an explicit part of his work. As we will see further on, this artistic exploration of the ‘poor materiality’ of the favela was taken up at the same time by leading Brazilian architects for aesthetic and political reasons as well. As in the earlier Penetr´avel PN 1, the two structures in Oiticica’s installation were designed for visitors to enter, transforming them from passive spectators to active participants. Unlike the earlier work, however, PN 2 and PN 3 were embedded in what has been called the artist’s first immersive installation. In relation to Affonsy Reidy’s museum building in which they were shown, the installation produced a striking contrast, 76

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‘The Spatialization of Democracy’: The Paulista School of Architecture

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Reidy’s structure being ‘a great optimistic structure, looking forward to a spacious, modern, decongested city’, Oiticica’s counterpart ‘a faux slum, a representation of everything the gallery’s architecture sought to abolish.’28 Oiticica contrasted the ‘official’ material culture of the establishment (as embodied in Reidy’s museum building) with the informal and impromptu use of materials in the favela. Again, the political implications of this juxtaposition are ambiguous: did the installation confront museum-goers uncomfortably with the harsh social realities of their country? Or did the stroll through the installation not much rather invite them to a sort of ‘slumming’, an aesthetic exploration of the picturesque nature of the impromptu and the haphazard, on safe institutional territory? Seen in this way, Tropci´alia was a predecessor of the many excursions offered to tourists to the real favelas around the 2014 FIFA World Cup that likewise promised an ‘authentic’ experience in an altogether artificial set-up.

With ever decreasing options of artistic and political activity after the suspension of fundamental political rights in 1968, Oiticica went into exile in London in 1969 and, from 1970 onward, New York, from where he returned home only in 1978, two years before his death. Incidentally, the year 1968 also marked the completion of two important architectural projects in the city of S˜ao Paulo. Both of these buildings may be seen as monuments to the notion of political participation that had increasingly informed Oiticica’s artistic practice in the preceding years. The so-called Paulista school is a loose group of architects who were active in and around the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of S˜ao Paulo (FAU-USP), which in many ways formed a counterweight to the circle around Oscar Niemeyer and L´ucio Costa in Rio. The leader of the group was Jo˜ao Batista Vilanova Artigas (1915–1985), who had been a founding member of the faculty in 1948. Other principal figures included Paulo Mendes da Rocha and Ruy Ohtake. Although not directly connected to the intellectual network around Artigas, the Italian-born Lina Bo Bardi (1914–1992) was an important ally of the group.29 The architecture of the Paulista school was strongly motivated by radical politics. Throughout the troubled 1960s, its exponents developed an understanding of what is generally seen as an architecture of resistance in opposition to political repression by the military dictatorship. Intellectual nourishment was provided in particular by the works and writings of the young film 77

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theorist and director Glauber Rocha, who in 1965 published the essay ‘A Est´etica da Fome’ (‘The Aesthetics of Hunger’). The article sheds light on the underbelly of contemporary Brazilian society, in particular to the aspects of economic underdevelopment and poverty. This notion of poverty became an important point of reference in the aesthetics and politics of the Paulista school. Bo Bardi in particular characterized her work as ‘poor architecture’, citing not only Rocha’s theories, but contemporary Italian Arte Povera as well.30 The aesthetics of poverty of the Paulista school has often been compared to Brutalist architecture in Britain, not only for its penchant for rough, untreated surfaces, but also for its ‘realist’ interest in the existing city and its social spaces.31 For Bo Bardi, Artigas and his circle, architecture’s task was to provide spaces for political activity and participation. Bo Bardi’s Museu de Arte (MASP) and Artigas’s building of the FAU-USP, both completed in Sa˜o Paulo in 1968, are signature buildings of this movement and landmarks of their political mission. Artigas, the Paulista school’s mastermind, made himself a name mainly through his austere but luxurious villas for the Brazilian upper class. For him, this was not necessarily a contradiction with his political creed: according to the doctrine of the Brazilian Communist Party (of which he, like Niemeyer, was a member) the primary task was not so much to engage directly with the proletariat, but to re-educate the bourgeoisie.32 Particularly noteworthy among his houses is the Casa Elza Berqu´o (1967), which was commissioned by two academics of the University of Sa˜o Paulo while Artigas was kept in prison in the aftermath of the 1964 military coup.33 An early example of these private houses is the Rubens de Mendonc¸a House, the so-called Casa dos Triangulos, from 1958-9, co-designed by Artigas and Carlos Cascaldi (Fig. 3.4). Volumetrically, the building appears like a simple rectangular box elevated above ground by triangular supports. However, the mural on the front fac¸ade by artists M´ario Gruber and Waldemar Cordeiro gives the building a striking visual appearance. It is made of an abstract geometrical configuration of white and blue triangles, which lent the house its nickname. This configuration is an example of the Paulista concretist art movement of the 1950s and 1960s, which, inspired by European precedent, and in particular Russian Constructivism and Max Bill, had a decisive impact on contemporary Brazilian architecture, especially on Artigas. Cordeiro had been the protagonist of the S˜ao Paulo-based concretist movement and founder of the Ruptura group in 1952. The Casa dos Trinagulos was built in a time of intense exchange between the architect and concretist artists.34 The triangular shapes of the fac¸ade cause an optical play between volumes and planes, between the second and third dimension.

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Fig. 3.4 Jo˜ao Batista Vilanova Artigas and Carlos Cascaldi, Rubens de Mendonc¸a House, so-called Casa dos Triangulos, S˜ao Paulo, 1958/59, mural by artists M´ario Gruber and Waldemars Cordeiro. Photo by author, 2013.

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As Artigas stated with regard to this project: ‘The abstract design that appears has the purpose of breaking, of transforming volume into surface. It’s like transforming the whole house into a surface, breaking with these volumes, using a new language.’35 Artigas apparently intended to break up the spatial order of the house by superimposing it with a secondary, aesthetic order. Notably, this takes place on the exterior, public face of the building, rather than being limited to the spatial organization in its interior. The repetition of the simple triangular shape and the motif of the diagonal lend the composition dynamism and rhythm, which in turn induce optical and mental movement. In line with concretist perceptual theories, the mental movement set free by the mural is an attempt at aesthetically activating the observer – even though, in strictly modernist terms, it could also be said that it invites a beholder to look at an autonomous work of Abstract Art. In any case, the mental processes set free in the observer corresponds to Oiticica’s neo-concrete beginnings in the early 1960s. But at the same time, they already point to the political implication of such agency, which would come fully to the fore in Artigas’s masterpiece, the building for the FAU-USP. In the building for the faculty of architecture, Artigas again made prominent use of the triangular shape. More so than before, the motif now had structural implications. This is most evident in the exterior pillars that surround the entire structure in the form of a portico and at the same time support the massive rectangular slab of the upper part of the building. More explicitly than in the Casa dos Triangulos, these structural supports induce the notion of movement, but they also break up spatial confines and produce a limitless spatial continuum that embraces interior and exterior spaces. If this notion of a ‘liberated’ space is expressed relatively modestly in the building’s exterior, it becomes all the more outspoken in the central assembly hall, around which the entire building is organized (Fig. 3.5). As Artigas noted in this regard: As an architectural proposal the FAU building defends the thesis of spatial continuity. Its six floors are connected by wide, gentle ramps that tend to give the feeling of a single plane. There is a continuous physical interconnection throughout the building. The space is open and the divisions do not separate the floors but simply give them a wider function. [ . . . ] The sensation of spatial generosity with its structure increases the degree of conviviality, of meetings, of communications. Should one give a shout anywhere in the building, one feels the responsibility of having interfered with the entire environment. There the individual learns, becomes urbanized and gains a spirit of teamwork. [ . . . ] This building reflects the worthy ideals of today: I saw it as a spatialization

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AESTHETICS AND POLITICS OF PARTICIPATION IN 1960S BRAZIL Fig. 3.5 Jo˜ao Batista Vilanova Artigas, College of Architecture and Urbanism, S˜ao Paulo University (FAU-USP), S˜ao Paulo, 1966–69, annual assembly in the central hall, 1968. From: Vilanova Artigas, Brazilian Architects (S˜ao Paulo: Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi / Fundac¸a˜ o Vilanova Artigas, 1997), p.113. of democracy, in dignified spaces, without front doors – a temple where all activities are valid.36

This spatial programme was mirrored in Artigas’s reformist agenda on architectural education, where he pushed for a less technical and more humanistic approach in which ateliers would serve as spaces of creativity and social interaction.37 The central atrium of the building can be seen as a re-interpretation of the Greek agora for an educational building, a sort of experimental laboratory or testing site for political participation in the framework of architectural education. Such an idealized notion of creating an open space for a truly participatory democracy in a nutshell, as it were, may seem romantic. But in the Brazilian political context of the time, the building was intended to stimulate dissent and political action against a stifling regime. Nowhere is this perhaps more evident than in the so-called ‘f´orum’, the Roman equivalent to the 81

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agora in the Greek polis. At FAU, the forum was an annual meeting for discussing the principles and teaching methodologies at the school, in which professors, students, and employees alike participated. A famous photograph of the 1968 f´orum conveys the spirit of these gatherings, where educational policies became the subject of an impromptu parliament. Needless to say, such mass gatherings do not per se result in a spirit of democracy and participation, as many similar images of political rallies in fascist and dictatorial regimes suggest. After all, it should not be forgotten that Artigas built the FAU-USP for the military regime; an uneasy relationship that caused the younger Arquitetura Nova group at the school (formed by S´ergio Ferro, Rodrigo Lef`evre, and Fl´avio Imp´erio) to accuse Artigas and Niemeyer of collaborating with the developmentalist doctrines of the military regime, which the latter had actually inherited from the Kubitschek era.38 Nevertheless, the open interior design of the building did open up a stage for potential dissidence and political participation. Despite her relatively independent position vis-`a-vis the Paulista school, Lina Bo Bardi’s architectural thinking was informed by similar concerns. In 1954, she was responsible for publishing a notorious lecture by her friend Max Bill, the Swiss concrete artist and architect, in Habitat, the journal of the MASP, which he had first presented at the school of architecture in June 1953. In it, Bill argued that Brazil was running the ‘risk falling into the most horrible antisocial academicism in regard to modern architecture’ and called instead for architecture as a ‘social art’.39 Bill’s criticism was mainly directed against Niemeyer’s neo-Baroque formalism. It stirred an international debate which culminated in the ‘Report on Brazil’ published by Italian architect Ernesto Nathan Rogers in the Architectural Review in 1954, a collection of essays that included contributions by himself, Bill, Walter Gropius, and Oe Hiroshi.40 That Bo Bardi took a key role in promoting such a critical reading of contemporary Brazilian architecture evidences her conviction that architecture should be an instrument in the service of collective welfare. Bo Bardi’s major contribution to the debate is doubtlessly her building for the Museu de Arte de Sa˜o Paulo (Fig. 3.6), which opened on the site of the historic Belvedere do Trianon in 1968, a small park located on fashionable Avenida Paulista. The Trianon had long been a neuralgic spot in the social make-up of the Brazilian metropolis. It was the traditional site for upscale social and cultural events, and in 1922 hosted the administration of the legendary Semana de Arte Moderna, the foundational moment of the Brazilian avant-gardes. From the 1940s onwards, the Trianon increasingly became a contested site, with many popular cultural events but also political

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AESTHETICS AND POLITICS OF PARTICIPATION IN 1960S BRAZIL Fig. 3.6 Lina Bo Bardi, Preliminary Study for Sculptures-cum-Stage-Props on Trianon Terrace, Museu de Arte, S˜ao Paulo (MASP), 1965. India ink and watercolor on paper, 56.2 × 76.5 cm. Photograph by Lu´ıs Hossaka. MASP Collection. From: Zeuler R. M. de A. Lima, Lina Bo Bardi (New Haven, 2013), p.132.

rallies taking place there. The history of the MASP building project from the original idea to the final execution on this particular site is long and complex.41 In a contemporary essay on the project, Bo Bardi testifies to her awareness of the civic significance of this site and also reflects on the necessity of providing a ‘monumental’ space in the service of the public, characteristically linking it to her concept of ‘poor architecture’: I was looking for simple architecture, one that could immediately communicate that which in the past was known as ‘monumental’, that is, in the sense of the ‘collective’, of ‘Civic Dignity’. I made the most of my experience of five years in the Northeast of Brazil, a lesson of popular experience, not as folkloric romanticism but as an experiment in simplification. I arrived at which might be called Poor Architecture. I insist, not from the ethical point of view. I feel that in S˜ao Paulo Art Museum I eliminated all the cultural snobbery so dearly beloved by the intellectuals (and today’s architects), opting for direct, raw solutions.42

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It is interesting to note that Bo Bardi in the same text refers to the theatre theories of French playwright Antonin Artaud, one of the prophets of the radical dissolution of theatre and interaction between audience and actor.43 The architect clearly intended her building to become a stage of social interaction and political participation in the public realm: ‘I would like to see people going there to attend open-air exhibitions, take part in debates, listen to music, watch films. I would like to see children play there in the morning and afternoon sun.’44 In order to achieve this public stage for impromptu gatherings and performances, Bo Bardi devised her building as a semi-buried structure with a raised belvedere on top, and, suspended above it on a colossal structural frame and fronting Avendia Paulista, the spaces for the museum itself. Bo Bardi’s conscious reinterpretation of the ‘belvedere’ can be seen as a political gesture itself. Historically, the Belvedere not only literally allowed for a beautiful view from an elevated position; access to it was also reserved for the elite, and seeing was the privilege of those in power. By opening up such a belvedere in the sense of a stage for urban life and political engagement, Bo Bardi literally provides space for participation in the civic realm. The terrace under the MASP has indeed since become a platform not only for impromptu public performances, but for political activity and protest as well.

Conclusion The artists and architects I have discussed in this chapter were protagonists of Brazilan cultural and intellectual life throughout the 1960s. Even though Rio and S˜ao Paulo have always been involved in their own particular local agendas and have traditionally been seen as two separate cultural and artistic realms, it is striking that artists and architects from both metropolises became increasingly preoccupied with the civic, urban, and political implications of their work during this period. If many of them had started out from a formalist set of questions within a strong tradition of Brazilian concretist art, the political situation in the 1960s led to a fundamental rethinking of the role of art and architecture in society. Artists and architects alike came to develop and experiment with participatory models of interaction, addressing both the individual’s perception and the collective will to expression in pursuit of an active participation not only in matters of aesthetics, but in politics as well. The preoccupation with a rhetoric of poor materials (even though they were certainly not literally ‘poor’) in the work of both Oiticica and Bo Bardi might be thought of as a transfer of their formal 84

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concerns into politics. Artigas’s and Bo Bardi’s contribution may also help to illuminate what seems questionable in Oiticica’s approach, namely the conviction that the appropriation of ‘poor materials’ will add up to a real, participatory politics. Artigas’s triangulos and Bardi’s obsession with ‘poor materials’ convey a sense that formalist concern with the spectator can migrate to public places (an open agora, a fac¸ade, a museum exterior) and engage groups in interaction as well as reflective individuals. On the one hand, Oiticica, by placing ‘poor materials’ directly on the human body in his Parangol´es, radicalized what remains at the level of programme in the architects. On the other hand, the architects proved more cautious, reflecting on the allegorical dimension in participatory space, which includes putting people at ease in order to allow for interaction and contemplation, rather than staging kineticism and confrontation by means of the imagery and materiality of the favela. In light of the political realities of the years following, the engagement of artists and architects with social space may seem naive. But their contributions show the extent that art and architecture are not merely mirrors of a social situation, but active agents in shaping it.

Notes

1.

2. 3. 4.

5.

6. 7. 8.

I would like to thank Andrei Pop and Mechtild Widrich for their insightful critical comments. Gorschl¨uter, Peter and C´esar Oiticica Filho, ‘Aspiring to the Great Labyrinth’, in H´elio Oiticica: The Great Labyrinth, ed. MMK Museum f¨ur Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, Susanne Gaensheimer et al. (Ostfildern, 2013), p.22. Oiticica, H´elio, ‘General Scheme of the New Objectivity’, in: H´elio Oiticia: The Great Labyrinth, pp.183–4. Dezeuze, Anna, ‘Tactile Dematerialization, Sensory Politics: H´elio Oiticica’s Parangol´es’, Art Journal 63/2 (2004), p.60. Asbury, Michael, ‘Neonconcretism and Minimalism: On Ferreira Gullar’s Theory of the Non-Object’, in Mercer, Kobena (ed), Cosmopolitan Modernisms (Cambridge, MA: 2005), p.176. For an illuminating discussion of the similarities between Neoconcretismo and Minimal Art as well as their respective theoretical frames of reference, see Asbury. Gullar, Ferreira, ‘Theory of the Non-Object’ (1959), in Mercer: Cosmopolitan Modernism, p.171. Gullar: ‘Theory of the Non-Object’, p.173. Ibid, p.173.

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9. See Amor, Monica, ‘From Work to Frame, In Between, and Beyond: Lygia Clark and H´elio Oiticia, 1959–1964’, Grey Room 38 (2010), p.26. 10. The reference to phenomenology is made explicit in the ‘Neo-concretist Manifesto’ signed, among others, by Ferreira Gullar, Lygia Clark, and Lygia Pape. See ‘1959: Neo-concretist Manifesto,’ October 69 (1994), p.93. It was again Ferreira Gullar who introduced the writings of Merleau-Ponty into Brazilian debates, though the artists themselves seem only to have had superficial knowledge of these. See Asbury, ‘Neonconcretism and Minimalism’, pp.180–2. 11. Oiticica, H´elio, ‘The Transition of Color from the Painting into Space and the Meaning of Construction’, in H´elio Oiticia: The Great Labyrinth, pp.126–7. 12. See in this regard in particular Osthoff, Simone, ‘Lygia Clark and H´elio Oiticica: A Legacy of Interactity and Participation for a Telematic Future’, Leonardo 30/4 (1997), pp.279–89. 13. Foster, Hal, The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century (Cambridge, Mass., 1996), pp.37–8, quoted in Asbury: ‘Neonconcretism and Minimalism’, pp.178–9. 14. Pedrosa, M´ario, ‘Arte ambiental, arte p´os-moderna, H´elio Oiticica’ (1966), reprinted in M´ario Pedrosa, Textos Escolhidos III: Acad´emicos e Modernos, ed. Ot´ılia Arantes (S˜ao Paulo, 1998), pp.355–60; see also Dezeuze: ‘Tactile Dematerialization’, p.60. 15. Bishop, Claire, Installation Art: A Critical History (London, 2005), p.63. 16. Williams, Richard J., Brazil: Modern Architectures in History (London, 2009), p.169. 17. See in this regard Oiticica, H´elio, ‘Fundamental Bases for the Definition of the Parangol´e’, and ‘Notes on the Parangol´e’, in H´elio Oiticia: The Great Labyrinth, pp.151–60. See also the essay ‘General Scheme of the New Objectivity’ (1957) in the same volume (pp.179–215) for a summary of Oiticica’s art theory of this time. 18. Oiticica, H´elio, ‘Position and Program’, in H´elio Oiticia: The Great Labyrinth, p.176. 19. Distinguishing different modalities of social practices in space, de Certeau writes: ‘Although they remain dependent upon the possibilities offered by circumstances, these transverse tactics do not obey the law of the place, for they are not defined or identified by it. In this respect, they are not any more localizabe than the technocratic (and scriptural) strategies that seek to create places in conformity with abstract models.’ De Certeau, Michel, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Rendall (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1988), p.29. 20. See Ram´ırez, Mari Carmen, H´elio Oiticia: The Body of Colour, exh. cat. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Tate Modern, London (London, 2007), p.112.

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21. See Williams: Brazil, pp.164–5. 22. See Arendt, Hannah, The Human Condition (Chicago, 1958). 23. See Asbury: ‘Neoconcretism’, 184. On Gullar’s radical turn, see also Dezeuze: ‘Tactile Dematerialization’, p.64. 24. Gullar, Ferreira, Cultura posta em quest˜ao: Vanguarda e subdesenvolvimento. Ensaios sobre arte (Rio de Janeiro, 2002). 25. Oiticica, Ferreira, ‘General Scheme’, in H´elio Oiticia: The Great Labyrinth, p.179. 26. I am taking this term from Cocchiarale, Fernando, ‘Cosmococas’, in Brasiliana: Installations from 1960 to the Present, ed. Martina Weinhart and Max Hollein (Cologne, 2013), p.109. 27. See Basualdo, Carlos, (ed), Tropic´alia: A Revolution in Brazilian Culture, 1967– 1972 (S˜ao Paulo, 2005). 28. Williams: Brazil, p.172. 29. Bo Bardi’s relationship to Artigas as well as her attempts to obtain a permanent teaching position are discussed in Lima, Zeuler R. M. de A., Lina Bo Bardi (New Haven and London, 2013), pp.68–9. 30. See for example Bo Bardi, Lina, ‘The Architectural Project’ (1986), in Stones Against Diamonds (London, 2013), p.98. With regard to her SESC Pomp´eia Leisure Centre in S˜ao Paulo, she writes: ‘The initial idea for the re-use of the complex was informed by an architettura povera – a poor architecture, not in the sense of impoverished but in the artisanal sense of achieving the maximum communication and dignity with minimal, humble means.’ 31. For a more detailed analysis and genealogy of this aesthetics of poverty in the Paulista school of architecture see Williams: Brazil, Chapter 4. 32. See Williams: Brazil, p.139. 33. For a discussion of Artigas’s complicated and ambiguous relationship to the military dictatorship see Le´on, Ana Mar´ıa, ‘Designing dissent: Vilanova Artigas and the S˜ao Paulo School of Architecture’, in Weizman, Ines, (ed), Architecture and the Paradox of Dissidence (London, 2014), pp.75–88. 34. See Kimmel, Laurence, ‘Art and Architecture in Brazil. The 60s: a geometry for the architecture of movement’, in Kimmel, Laurence, Bruno Santa Cec´ılia, and Anke Tiggemann, Architectural Guide Brazil (Berlin, 2013), pp.143–147; see also Jo˜ao Batista Vilanova Artigas, ‘Arquitetura e cultura nacoinais, [1959]’ in Caminhos da architetura (S˜ao Paul, 2004), 74–81. 35. Jo˜ao Batista Vilanova Artigas, as quoted in Vilanova Artigas, Brazilian Architects (S˜ao Paulo: Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi / Fundac¸a˜ o Vilanova Artigas, 1997), p.78. 36. Jo˜ao Batista Vilanova Artigas, quoted in 2G International Architecture Review 54 (2010), Jo˜ao Batista Vilanova Artigas, p.72. 37. On Artigas’s pedagogy see Le´on: ‘Designing dissent’, pp.78–80.

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38. See Le´on: ‘Designing dissent’, p.81. 39. Bill, Max, ‘O arquiteto, a arquitetura, a sociedade’, Habitat 14 (1954), A–B, quoted in Lima: Lina Bo Bardi, p.68. 40. ‘Report on Brazil’, The Architectural Review 694 (1954), pp.234–50. 41. The story is presented in detail in Lima, Lina Bo Bardi, pp.66–72, 122–137. 42. Bo Bardi, Lina, ‘S˜ao Paulo Art Museum’, in Bo Bardi, Lina and Aldo Van Eyck, S˜ao Paulo Art Museum. S˜ao Paulo, Brazil. 1957–1968 (S˜ao Paulo: Instituto Lino Bo e P. M. Bardi/Editorial Blau: 1997), n.p. See also Bo Bardi, Lina, ‘The New Trianon’ (1967), in Stones Against Diamonds, pp.81–85. 43. See Bo Bardi: S˜ao Paulo Art Museum, n.p. 44. Bo Bardi: Stones Against Diamonds, p.85.

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4 Putting on the Map: Suzanne Lacy’s International Dinner Party Elke Krasny

My point of departure is a photograph taken at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on 14 March 1979. Today, this photograph can be seen on the website of artist Suzanne Lacy, bearing witness to a performance she staged 36 years ago. On the eve of the much-awaited opening of Judy Chicago’s large-scale sculpture Dinner Party, Lacy dedicated a piece entitled International Dinner Party to her teacher and mentor, presenting a global and participatory event celebrating women’s community.1 The photograph shows a large map of the world in black-and-white with little red triangles forming a new layer – a new map, superimposed on the old. All these triangles were connected one-by-one, forming a strange, emphemeral territory on the map’s surface for 24 hours, a network of newly established relations between women’s groups and feminist activists around the globe who had agreed to become collaborators and contributors to Lacy’s performance: the women’s groups staged individual dinners in various locations around the world (Fig. 4.1). This short description already indicates how complicated notions of ‘participation’ can be. Between artist, exhibition opening, map, museum venue, performance, participants, photograph, theorist, and viewer, one sees a multitude of relations participating with each other. Even if I were to address only the most obvious layers of ‘participation,’ it quickly becomes 89

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Fig. 4.1 Suzanne Lacy, International Dinner Party, 1979. Photo: Archive of the Artist.

a complexly layered and interconnected set of inter-temporalities, interspatialities and inter-mediations. Working my way backward from the present, I want to first introduce my own participation as a curator and cultural theorist, occupying the territory between history and theory. Lacy’s photographic documentation of this one moment has come to stand in for the entirety of her 24-hour performance, a moment now globally accessible through the artist’s website, www.suzannelacy.com. Thus, a single photograph creates a possible connection to a present-day global audience, which can witness this document produced in the course of that evening in March 1979. A second layer of participation is Lacy’s engagement with the opening of the Judy Chicago exhibition. The process of offering a dedication to another artist involves both affective labour and symbolic capital. A third level of participation is that of artists and their art works in the making and shaping of the institution of the museum. At the time of its opening in 1935, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art was the first museum on the West Coast of the United States devoted exclusively to twentieth-century art. Defining ‘contemporary art’ at any given time is part of the museum’s power to select artistic production, thus producing public significance and interpretation. In 1979, the SFMOMA participated in making feminist art public by showing not only Judy Chicago’s 90

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PUTTING ON THE MAP: SUZANNE LACY’S INTERNATIONAL DINNER PARTY

Dinner Party installation, but also hosting Suzanne Lacy’s International Dinner Party. Neither Chicago’s installation nor Lacy’s work were to become part of the museum’s permanent collection. A fourth layer of participation is the one most conventionally referred to as ‘participatory’ or ‘collaborative’ art. This, in very general terms, describes artmaking as a way of offering opportunities for the audience’s activation, or for public involvement or community engagement.2 The fifth layer of participation I want to discuss is the participation of the map in the performance and the participation in the map by the artist. Maps are representations of spatial relations, they are the physical documentation of both the production of knowledge and the relations of power. Looking at these five distinct layers of participation, they are all marked by an intricate entanglement of shared territories. Taking my cues from the traditional definition of participation – to actively take part in something or to share in something – I would like to suggest a territory complexly shared between these different actors, institutions, places, and times. I would then like to complicate this notion further by introducing the intricate dialectics at work in these processes of sharing in a territory. That is, taking part in these shared territories is profoundly transformational and, at times, transgressive. Locating these processes within the very state of being of and in a shared territoriality makes participation not a matter of volition or choice, but a stipulated (pre-)condition that is constantly re-negotiated. This process, in turn, becomes the very process of participation itself. In examining the five layers of participation more closely, the complex shared territories that are an inherent condition of participation come to the fore. As a theorist, I actively participate by examining the photograph of the International Dinner Party. At the same time, the photograph participates in my evolving analysis – it challenges and hinders interpretation by its references to both presence and absence. This photograph has extended its reach over time and forms the shared territory between the largescale performance of the International Dinner Party in March 1979 and my contemporary reading of it. As an artist and organizer, Suzanne Lacy dedicated her International Dinner Party to the opening of Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party. Dedication is a very particular form of taking part in someone else’s production or achievement – it is a shared, inter-subjective territory of participation. This complexity follows from its double meaning; dedication means both the act of dedicating as well as the state of being dedicated. Material and immaterial labour, the production and exchange of symbolic capital, and a complexly balanced and negotiated gift economy figure prominently in many acts and states of dedication. Neither dedicator nor

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dedicatee exclusively performs the role of producer or recipient. Both positions are implicated in the reciprocating exchange of producing and receiving achievement, affiliation, genealogy, and recognition.3 As artists, both Suzanne Lacy and Judy Chicago participated in the institutional rituals and rules that distinguish an art museum. When SFMOMA chose to exhibit Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party, the institution of the museum – if not the SFMOMA in particular – had come under severe attack for its exclusivity and its prevalent androcentric bias, with most permanent collections, but also temporary exhibitions, dominated by male artists. The institution of the museum as a shared public territory went on to reproduce over and over again a divide between a ‘loud’ majority – white male artists – and a silenced minority made up of non-male, non-white, non-European or non-NorthAmerican artists.4 This history also involves the implicit role that museums and galleries play in constructing contemporary art – a curator’s invitation to actively take part in the institution of the museum by showing one’s art work there is part of the creation of a contemporary historiography of art, a decision which also has a profound impact on the capitalist art market and interests of private collectors. Non-participation, or exclusion, is thus a form of discrimination in both cultural and economic terms. ‘The right to have the right’ to participate therefore becomes an issue of politics. Hannah Arendt has written extensively on this problem of the right to have rights. We became aware of the existence of a right to have rights . . . and a right to belong to some kind of organized community, only when millions of people emerged who had lost and could not regain these rights.5

Artistic processes like the International Dinner Party, based on the active involvement of many contributors, have been described alternately as participatory, collaborative, collective, and relational. Participatory art, in this narrower sense, is understood as a conceptual approach to artmaking, an approach that attacks the clearly defined divide between producers of art on one side and recipients of art on the other. Furthermore, participatory art, in its radical politics, posits the potentials of co-authorship and co-production.6 Participation in art occurs when the artwork begins to transgress into life, and, equally important, migrate back into the artwork (Fig. 4.2). Particpatory art, that is, wanted to effect change both in life and in the art world. The 1970s witnessed transgressive art practices in which the aesthetics and politics of art decisively left the narrow confines of the art world behind and migrated into the public realm. Many artists decided to participate in public and in public issues, debates, and spaces. 92

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Fig. 4.2 Suzanne Lacy, International Dinner Party, 1979. Photo: Archive of the Artist.

In her recent text, Tracing Allan Kaprow, Suzanne Lacy revisits the decade of the 1970s in Los Angeles and elucidates the period’s shifts towards ‘real life’ and ‘performance-based public art’. Lacy emphasizes Kaprow’s influence on feminist art practitioners: That’s how it was in 1970s Los Angeles, among performance artists, conceptualists, feminists, Marxists, and artists of color . . . Allan’s articulation of a vision where the boundaries of art and life were blurred offered a signifciant aesthetic ‘way out’ of an increasing dilemma for feminist artists whose identity politics and critical stance vis-`a-vis culture and its production demanded the production of an activist avant-garde – art that went beyond simple protest politics and engaged the public sphere in multiple and open-ended ways. His well-thoughtout boundary blurring gave us permission for framing life – domestic life, political life, relational life, and public life – as art.7

While these artistic practices were grounded in a politics of emancipation, aesthetic and spatial justice, and, at times, redistribution, they still strove to remain included in the art world they aimed to critically, and above all transformationally, expand. Again, the movement is not one-way. It is not simply about a public, or members of a public, participating actively in the production and reception of artistic processes, but, more radically, the 93

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participation of art in all dimensions and aspects of life. The participation of art in life aims at changing and transforming both art and life. Having opened up entry points into the complex shared territories that indicate participation, it is clear that participation is not a neatly structured and ordered process.8 Instead, I understand participation as a condition of shared territories that result in an ongoing transformationality. Looking at these intricately intertwined processes from this vantage point, participation – actively taking part in – becomes filled with contradictions. To see just how this works in detail, I will now turn to a cultural analysis of a world map that was a centrepiece of the International Dinner Party performance and, later, the map’s trace in the form of a temporary wall installation at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. What is of interest to me here is how the map participates in the feminist geographies opened up through the International Dinner Party and how the artist participates, willingly or unwillingly, in the map’s powerful representational logics. Tracing the photograph of Suzanne Lacy at work with the black-andwhite map of the world, involves, among other things, visiting of the artist’s website, which offers a concise description of the International Dinner Party. Suzanne Lacy and Linda Preuss (San Francisco, 1979)? A simultaneous world wide dinner happening on the eve of Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, this global project was offered as a gift to Judy Chicago, one of Lacy’s mentors. Gathering mailing lists from the rapidly growing networks of feminist and development organizations, in this era before the internet, Lacy and Preuss mailed thousands of postcards inviting women from around the world to participate in the art project. Over 2,000 women responded, in groups as small as two and as large as fifty. They were invited to host dinners on the same evening that would honor a woman in their own region. Given the time difference, the events would form a twentyfour hour simultaneous celebration. At each dinner, women collectively drafted a statement and sent it via telegram to the SF MOMA, where their dinner was marked by Lacy with a red inverted triangle on a twenty-foot black and white map of the world. Their telegrams were displayed in albums next to the map.9

The photograph showing the map of the world and the artist at work, adding little red triangles to this map, is one of the few existing visual documents of the performance by Lacy (Fig. 4.3). The photograph needs to be placed within its historical context, most immediately Lacy’s response to The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago. 94

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Fig. 4.3 Suzanne Lacy, International Dinner Party, 1979. Photo: archive of the artist.

From 1974 to 1979 Judy Chicago, together with a large number of contributing and supporting women who were part of her creative and administrative team, realized The Dinner Party, a piece which sparked both enthusiastic acclaim and heated controversy. The monumental piece is now considered an icon of 1970s feminist art. The large-scale sculpture is conceived as a triangular table staging a commemorative banquet honouring 39 women, represented by individually crafted place settings. On the tile floor below the table are the names of an additional 999 women. The sculpture is, centrally, a mapping or charting of what at the time was the uncharted territory of women’s history, and it is here that the deep conceptual connection to Suzanne Lacy’s International Dinner Party as a contemporary and participatory mapping becomes obvious. The Dinner Party sought to write forgotten women back into history. Its principle aim was to reclaim women from history – or his-story, as it was often referred to in the 1970s – a narrative that for millennia had excluded and even at times removed women as historical subjects.10

Five thousand visitors came the opening of The Dinner Party at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on March 14, 1979, and it is estimated that 100,000 people saw the sculpture during its three months at the 95

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Fig. 4.4 Suzanne Lacy, International Dinner Party, 1979. Photo: Archive of the Artist.

museum11 (Fig. 4.4). Visitors to the exhibition entered the space designated to Judy Chicago’s ceremonial banquet, The Dinner Party, by way of the museum’s foyer, which is where they would have seen Suzanne Lacy’s map installed, as well as the artist herself at work during the opening, attaching inverted red triangles onto the 20 foot black-and-white map.12 This process went on for several hours. Lacy saw the gesture itself as part of a complex feminist tradition in which both works participated: The International Dinner Party was a performance art work that was part of a series of explorations I was doing at the time having to do with what a women’s community was. It was also a gift, a tribute, a performance for Judy Chicago on the opening of the Dinner Party project. So I invited women from all over the world to have dinner the same evening and what that would make would be a 24-hour simultaneous celebration. So even the very notion of celebrating women’s culture was something that feminists had been exploring throughout the 70s, part of reclaiming, heritage and contemporary contributions to society. . . . Each triangle represents a dinner. My task assigned to these groups was to have a dinner on March 14 and celebrate a woman who has made a contribution in your own home or your own community ( . . . )13

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PUTTING ON THE MAP: SUZANNE LACY’S INTERNATIONAL DINNER PARTY

Lacy’s performance at the museum was a live mapping of the spatiotemporal dimensions and the multi-local simultaneity of the International Dinner Party in process. ‘As the telegrams came in, I put a mark on the map and put the telegram in here. It was like a performance. It went on for several hours.’14 The mapping became the performance, and the performance resulted in the mapping. But this is not only true for Lacy’s mark-making: the mapping did not stop in the foyer of the museum. The process of mapping extends far beyond and reaches into the preparatory stages of this art project. Prior to the event at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the process of determining the invitational strategies for the International Dinner Party led to an extensive research process that resulted in a map of the then-current territory of feminism. Feminism at the time, to continue with the use of a spatial metaphor, covered a lot of ground. Feminism not only changed the art world, it dealt with numerous issues of justice, education, equality, human rights, ecology, development, decolonization, issues of domestic labour, sexual politics, and history. All these different issues entered the International Dinner Party, since the invitational strategies reached out not just to artists, but to very different groups of women active in the women’s movement. Suzanne Lacy’s worldwide mapping of women’s groups relied heavily on community organizing strategies and used the activist gamut of personal contacts, mailing lists, and other networks. Women’s groups and feminist activist organizations were located by means of elaborate and effective grassroots communication. Lacy explains that the preparations involved a ‘mass mailing’ and ‘follow-up phone calls’. In order to join forces with women’s groups around the globe, Lacy and Preuss had to ‘organize by phone’, which was still very costly at the time, by letter, and even by telegraph.15 Gathering information, doing research, and establishing new relationships between different forms of information is a method constitutive of mapping. This is what happened in the course of the preparations and the performance of the International Dinner Party. Regionally diverse women’s groups were joined and related to each other through feminism, even though their struggles and background stories were profoundly different. At the time, Suzanne Lacy was interested in exploring ‘what a women’s community was’.16 Lacy also points to the fact that the 2,000 women who staged the 200 dinners actually ‘participated for all kinds of different reasons.’17 This is a clear indication that the International Dinner Party allowed for the expression of difference and the celebration of regional diversity. At the same time, the participants created amongst themselves a

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sense of simultaneous global connectivity – an international con-temporality producing con-currency within the feminist movement. It gave them the opportunity to organize a feminist event, to create a performance, and to express the celebratory mood on completion of Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party, which had similarly relied upon a large number of women volunteers and members investing in a long-term collaboration.18 Even though the places where these women’s groups were active were very different from each other historically, politically, economically, and culturally, and despite the fact that they decided to partake in the project for a number of reasons, they all came to be represented on the map in the very same way. Thus, Lacy’s choice of representation on the map created a layer of unification. The simultaneous celebration put feminism on the map. It was a potent mix of solidarity and shared time and space. A red triangle marks both the location and the existence of a women’s group. All the triangles read together constitute the striking image of a worldwide feminist movement creating a new territory of feminism. And yet, the relations between sameness and difference in the logics of representation point to inherent ambivalence in both the theory and practice of International Dinner Party. On one hand, the unifying strategy of representation through red triangles annihilated the very difference that Lacy spoke of. Not only were the regional women’s groups different from each other in their specific struggles and claims, but they also participated in the event for very different reasons. On the other hand, the unifying strategy of representation was a way of overcoming the stigma of being marked as ‘different’ and having to express and identify with one’s difference. The actual lived experience of the performance included a genuine difference within the many participating dinners, but Lacy did not perform this difference on the level of visual representation when she put the 200 geographic locations of the simultaneous dinners on the map.19 Let us now take a closer look at a photograph of Lacy’s performance and a recent explanation she gave of her installation in a video posted on YouTube. This video was made on the occasion of the re-installation of International Dinner Party for the 2012 exhibition Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art, curated by Stephanie Smith at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. Lacy’s postion in front of the map evokes many associations – to the position and gestures of a presenter standing in a televised media newsroom, to a detective standing in front of a crime-scene map tacked to the wall of a police station, or even to a history or geography teacher in a classroom, engaged in explaining one of world history’s many

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PUTTING ON THE MAP: SUZANNE LACY’S INTERNATIONAL DINNER PARTY

war zones. Each of these associations points to different areas of influence associated with the map – the newsroom, the police station, the battlefield. All these spaces are deeply embedded in the conventional perception of a map, spaces which evoke a less obvious but equally present implication of the map and its participation in imperialism and colonialism. Suzanne Lacy did not draw or design a new map of the world, but rather relied on a readymade political map that anyone could purchase. She then went on to inscribe the feminist world onto the existing map of the world. She recalls that she ‘found something and changed it around, scale wise and color wise, etc.’20 Then she had the map produced according to the spatial needs of the installation at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Such standardized maps are strongly associated with state authority, and evoke Foucauldian notions of power, knowledge, discipline, and control. Historically, map-making has not only been a part of the territorial imperatives of the state, but has also been implicated in the stateled project of colonialism. In 1979, the map of the world was changing rapidly, with lines representing national boundaries being constantly redrawn. After World War II, the system of European colonialism faced renewed resistance. A number of previously colonized countries in Asia and Africa gained independence peacefully, while many others underwent struggles, unrest, and long wars of independence. To name just a few – Indonesia declared independence in 1945, India gained independence in 1947, Nigeria became independent in 1960, Algeria gained independence in 1962, Mozambique became independent in 1975. A political map in 1979 was consequently a map that had become used to registering change. Though the map itself remained, in many ways, an active part of the politics of the colonial project, the new borders and the new names had turned it into a representation of liberation struggles and newly declared independence. This points to the fact that a map is anything but static, but rather a dynamic tool: a map can register change. While maps were employed as a tool of colonialism, they also came to be representations of post-colonial change and were used as part of strategies of empowerment. That which is put on the map can register with the public, and a map that fails to register change fails at its purpose. It becomes outdated. With regard to the artistic and activist mapping of the International Dinner Party, one might argue that the map of the world was in fact in urgent need of an update in order to show how the contemporary world had changed through feminist activism. Seen from this particular vantage point, Suzanne Lacy assisted the existing map of the ‘world-as-is’ in overcoming its own outdatedness. The map

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was helped by Lacy to arrive at being a representation of a changing and changed world, with its growing network of women’s groups and feminist initiatives. In case after case, however, we have remarked on the apparent power of maps to transform as well as merely to summarize the facts that they portray. This transformative power resides not in the map, of course, but rather in the power possessed by those who deploy the perspective of that particular map.21

Maps are as selective in their representation. Herein lies their power. Maps work as representational tools by selection, which appears to be complete and exhaustive, at least for a given point in time. Taking on an existing map is therefore both an opportunity and a risk. The opportunity speaks to the potential of the map to represent political change and to chart transformations. As I suggested with regard to the processes of decolonization after World War II, a map of the world in the year 1979 was one that had become used to absorbing and representing transformation following struggles for independence. In a similar vein, the changes wrought by feminism were ready to be put on the map. Originally a tool of imperial power, the map was used to represent a changing world in which women’s groups and feminist activists were fighting to end oppression and to change a patriarchal system. By using a standard political map, Lacy’s performance transformed the very symbol of the system she was putting into question. The emancipatory and critical power of mapping has to be understood with the context of the map’s historic legacy. From a point of view that considers artefacts as imbued with historical processes and everyday politics, maps stand out for not only representing but in fact producing and changing power relations. The lines correspond to material and historical conditions. The imperial survey, for example, imposed a rectilinear grid, a grid that followed a logic of evolving capitalism, with its quest for legibility, accountability, and taxation.22 In this context, drawing a line on the map is a fight to inscribe a new line on to the world. When looking at the map of the world used by Lacy we see this grid as part of the map’s background – it travels as part of the map’s legacy. Mapping, or map-making, comes with a long history of wars, territorial claims, land-ownership, tax administration, resource extraction, and colonialism. Maps were tools in these processes – they were legible to outsiders, replacing the physically strenuous tour of inspection. Whether it represents the domain of taxpayers or colonial subjects, the map is designed to render them legible, and thus controllable.

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Thee uniformity of the lines of the map allows for a synoptic overview. Too much difference within a map, too many nuances within the graphic representations, destroys its legibility and therefore its purpose as a map. A map is therefore, by definition, a simplification rendering the world legible for a specific purpose. The theoretical problem posed by this politics of representation is that through everyday use the role of the map in the histories of power and control becomes obscured. This device by which the world could be schematically represented was extremely useful to Europeans who needed to develop a visual language of property or territory in order to inventory their ‘discoveries’ both actual and potential. This representational system was understood as the paradigm of divine order, as a device for the conquest in the physical world and as a practical tool for an imperialist venture.24

PUTTING ON THE MAP: SUZANNE LACY’S INTERNATIONAL DINNER PARTY

As early as 1607, an English surveyor, John Norden, sold his services to the artistocracy on the premise that the map was a substitute for the tour of inspection: ‘A plot rightly drawne by true information, discribeth so the lively image of a mannor, and every branch and member of the same, as the lord sitting in his chayre, may see what he hath, and where and how he lyeth, and in whole use and occupation of every particular is upon suddaine view.’23

Using a map means to participate in its accrued practical and symbolic meanings. Interestingly enough, Suzanne Lacy used a symbol deeply imbued with cartographic history. Lacy put red inverted triangles on the map. Lacy’s network constituted a feminist map, or rather a map of the emergence of feminism. This turns Lacy into the artist as cartographer.25 The map of the world Lacy used was a Mercator projection and can therefore be described as a ‘man-made map’.26 A feminist artist uses this map to establish on it a new map of women’s groups. This was an emancipatory mapping of the radical claim for change. The feminist cartography put on the map by the artist as cartographer lays claim to criticize and transform the existing world. Therefore, participating in the map expresses the claim to the right to participate in the world represented by this map, revealing feminism as an international movement. Second-wave feminism has been criticized for its Western bias and its ethnocentrism. Yet feminism in the 1960s and 1970s not only coincides with the civil rights movement in the United States and the beginning of a critical history of fascism in Germany, but also to the aforementioned processes of decolonization in Africa, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and South America. All these international processes intersect 101

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Fig. 4.5 Suzanne Lacy, International Dinner Party, 1979. Photo: Archive of the Artist.

with feminism as a diverse international movement with its local specifics. The mapping allows for an understanding of a historic constellation of feminist alignments and relationships, while subtly pointing to a necessary cartography of differences within the feminist movement. Finally, in spite of my ambiguity when looking at the troubles associated with the map of the world in the photograph, I allow myself to arrive at seeing Lacy’s act of reappropriation as a kind of utopian ‘opening up’, the utopian proposition of an international feminism mapped onto a world to be shared in futures to come. Still, the questions of participation as a manifestation of power relations and the problem of the means and media of representation remain. The producers of the International Dinner Party were genuine participants insofar as they created and decided their specific dinners, as well as who they wanted to honour with their dinner party (Fig. 4.5). They did not know, however, that they would be represented with a triangle on the artist’s map. The women decided to participate, but they did not decide how their participation would be turned into representation. This question of an artist who decrees what other people’s participation becomes by way of representation remains unresolved on the level of the politics of representation. Lacy’s representational form was not offered up for active participation. The women’s telegrams expressed that they staged their 102

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Notes 1. ‘Artist Judy Chicago (born Judith Cohen in 1939) came to Fresno from Los Angeles to teach in 1970, after Lacy’s first year there. ( . . . ) The Feminist Art Program, Fresno, 1970-1971 was established. In fall 1971, the Feminist Art Program moved from Fresno to the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia (just north of Los Angeles). ( . . . ) Lacy also transferred to CalArts as a graduate student, finding the social design program there compatible with her political interests.’ Irish, Sharon, Suzanne Lacy. Spaces Between, (Minneapolis, 2010), p.25 and p.33. Even though Lacy was not a participant in the Womanhouse, she continued to associate with FAP women. Judy Chicago in conversation with Suzanne Lacy: ‘On March 5, 2007, approximately 350 attendees joined Otis College of Art and Design and the Skirball Cultural Center for a conversation between critically acclaimed artist, author, creator of The Dinner Party, and a founder of the Los Angeles Womans Building; and performance artist and author Suzanne Lacy, chair of Otis College of Art and Designs graduate program in Public Practices.’ http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=stVbdXdDSlE, accessed 12 August 2013. In this conversation Lacy emphasizes the importance of an opportunity to ‘acknolwedge my teacher and my mentor.’ Lacy continues to argue that the art world is fixated with the ‘new’. Her public conversation counteracts this deliberate cutting oneself off from one’s past in order to celebrate artistic identity. Lacy establishes a lineage through acknowledgment. 2. Generating heated debates on the social and aesthetic politics involved and, at times, even confrontational opposition, recent publications attest to these ongoing struggles in the shared territoriality of participation. These publications include: Kester, Grant H., The One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context (Durham, 2011), and Bishop, Claire, Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship (London, 2012), Thompson, Nato (ed), Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991 to 2011 (Cambridge, MA: 2012) (which grew out of an exhibition at Creative Time in New York), and Dezeuze, Anna (ed), 2012 The ‘do it yourself ’ artwork: participation from Fluxus to new media (Manchester, 2012), which focuses on the activation of the art viewer.

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dinner parties and honoured women of their choice. These telegrams are the lasting documents that bear witness to the women’s creation. The triangles on the map, on the other hand, testified to the artist’s act of representation, documenting her artistic strategy of inviting participation on the level of the dinner performance, yet not on the level of the the performance on the map.

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3. In a 1973 conversation between critic Lucy Lippard and artist Judy Chicago, which appeared in Artforum 13/1 (September 1974), Chicago emphasizes the importance of building historic continuity and referencing between women artists: ‘I started to build on other women’s work . . . I wanted my work to be seen in relation to other women’s work, historically, as men’s work is seen.’ Reprinted as Lippard, Lucy, ‘Judy Chicago, Talking to Lucy R. Lippard’, From the Center: Feminist Essays on Women’s Art (New York, 1976), p.215. 4. The incipient feminist art movement on the West Coast of the US began to openly criticize and polemicize against the exclusion of women from the museum institution. Women active in the feminist movement and the feminist art movement made the institution of the museum and its invitational politics a site of activist feminist struggle and public debate. They thereby demonstrated a very different aspect of participation, namely activist and uninvited participation. To cite just one of the many feminist claims to the institution of the museum, challenging its injustice and inequality in public representation: ‘In the spring of 1971 the Los Angeles Council of Women Artists launched a massive complaint against the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, whose “Art and Technology” exhibition catalogue had just come out “with fifty men’s faces on the cover” (no women’s). Supported by activist women filmmakers, the Council published a list of proposals for the museum to increase hiring of women (from guards to trustees) and to exhibit women’s art; it made the front page of the Los Angeles Times because the statistics were so damaging (over a ten year period one one-artist show out of 53 was devoted to a woman; less than one percent of all work on display at the museum at that moment was by women; only 29 of 713 artists in group shows had been women). The museum’s statement in defense was to the effect that women were no good, so they didn’t have to deal with them.’ Lippard, Lucy, ‘The L.A. Woman’s Building’, From the Center: Feminist Essays on Women’s Art (New York, 1976), p.98. 5. Arendt, Hannah, The Origins of Totalitarianism (London, 1986), p.277. 6. Amelia Jones has painstakingly re-traced this history in her essay ‘Unpredictable Temporalities: The Body and Performance in (Art) History’, in Performing Archives/Archives of Performance, ed. Rune Gade and Gunhild Borggreen (Copenhagen, 2013), pp.53–72. Jones elaborates on Allan Kaprow and Suzanne Lacy as ‘key figures of developing modes of situational and activist art practice as they developed in the US.’ With regard to this history, Jones rightly criticizes Bourriaud’s omissions: ‘Thus, the 2000s trend in the Western art world to celebrate “relational” practices, a label originated largely by French curator Nicolas Bourriaud in essays culminating in his 1998 book Relational Aesthetics (translated into English in 2002) leaves out the history of “relational” and “situational” works I have very schematically sketched here’ (pp.61–2). This

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clearly shows that the way histories of art are mapped out, constructed, recorded and transmitted is a question of politics and of geographies. The mapping of art through the history of art therefore echoes what is at stake in curatorial politics of selection in and out of the museum. The importance of feminist practices and feminist art practices of the 1970s for inventing strategies of participation and, at the same time rendering them political has yet to be fully explored and understood. Lacy, Suzanne, ‘Tracing Allan Kaprow’, in Leaving Art: Writings on Performance, Politics, and Publics, 1974–2007 (Durham, 2010), pp.320–1. This essay first appeared in Artforum 44/10 (Summer 2006). Much of contemporary participation in urban planning processes has been turned into mechanisms of public pacification using participation as a governmental strategy more than anything else. http://www.suzannelacy.com/1980sdinner international.htm, accessed 30 August 2013. https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/dinner party/index.php, accessed 13 August 2013. Reilly, Maura, Tour and Home. Brooklyn Museum. Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party, http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/ dinner party/tour and home.php, accessed 12 August 2013. Today Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party is presented as the centrepiece around which the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art is organized. Over 400 people contributed to its completion. About 125 were called ‘members of the project’, and a small group worked on it for the final three years, including ceramicists, needleworkers, and researchers. See Lippard, Lucy, ‘Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party’, Art in America 68 (April 1980), pp.114–126. I am indebted to Suzanne Lacy, who generously shared information on the actual installation of the International Dinner Party at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZGu8k1OlfU, published on 28 March 2012, accessed 2 August 2013. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. After the end of the Dinner Party exhibition, the map was taken down and became part of Suzanne Lacy’s personal archive. The Dinner Party was itself criticized for its use of others’ labour. A good overview of the controversies surrounding the work is Jones, Amelia, ‘The “Sexual Politics” of The Dinner Party: A Critical Context’, in Reclaiming Female Agency, ed. Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2005), pp.409–33.

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19. Trinh T. Minh-Ha writes on the complexities of post-coloniality and feminism: ‘The understanding of difference is a shared responsibility, which requires a minimum of willingness to reach out to the unknown.’ Minh-Ha, Trinh, ‘Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism’, in Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism, in The Post-Colonial Studies Reader, ed. Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin (Bloomington, 1989), p.246. 20. Suzanne Lacy in an email to the author, 11 August 2013. 21. Scott, James C., Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition have Failed (New Haven and London, 1998), p.87. 22. See Scott: Seeing Like a State. 23. Ibid, p.45, citing Norden from Roger J.P. Kain and Elizabeth Baigent, The Cadastral Map in the Service of the State: A History of Property Mapping (Chicago, 1992), p.5. 24. Jo Anna Isaak, ‘Mapping the Imaginary’, in From The Event Horizon: Essays on Hope, Sexuality, Social Space and Media(tion), ed. Lorne Falk (Toronto, 1987), pp.138–57, quoted from Feminism Art Theory. An Anthology 1968–2000, ed. Hilary Robinson, (Malden, MA: 2001), p.482. 25. Long before Hal Foster published his text The Artist as Ethnographer, I came to understand Suzanne Lacy’s performance and mapping as revealing the position of The Artist as Cartographer. Foster chose his title as an echo of Walter Benjamin’s The Author as Producer. See Foster, Hal, The Return of the Real (Cambridge, MA: 1996), p.172. 26. The map of the world uses the traditional Mercator projection, developed by the Flemish geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569. This cylindrical projection distorts areas farthest from the equator, rendering Africa and Central America disproportionately small and Europa, North America, and Northern Asia disproportionately large. This map, and its ongoing use, can be understood as result of both epistemic violence and our conveniently (and unthinkingly) having become used to it.

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5 Exhibitions in Damaged and Destroyed Architectural Objects in Besieged Sarajevo: Spaces of Gathering and Socialization Asja Mandi´c

The buildings of Sarajevo that were damaged, destroyed and abandoned during the war of 1992–1995 did not become romanticized, preserved images of melancholy and loss. Throughout the war, these sites of terror and devastation harboured performances, actions, art interventions and exhibitions. As places of spontaneous gatherings and socialization, of discursive and dialogical processes, the exhibitions reinforced the experience of art in a way that corresponded powerfully to living conditions in the besieged Sarajevo. The emphasis of this chapter is on the social function of these exhibitions in the besieged city, that is, on their ability to act as catalysts of interaction, exchange and dialogue. In order to recognize the implications of these interventions in the social field, one must understand the social, historical and cultural context in Sarajevo during the war, and the ways in which everyday life was strongly determined by the siege. One can begin to understand the conditions in besieged Sarajevo through the metaphor of Foucault’s Panopticon.1 Much as Foucault uses the spatial organization of the Panopticon to describe 107

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aspects of social control in the modern world, throughout the war, Sarajevo was enclosed and subjected to mechanisms of surveillance and control, that is, of encompassing power exercised on the totality of its body. The geographical layout of Sarajevo, embedded in a valley and surrounded by mountains, is susceptible to various techniques of control. During the conflict, Serbian military forces enclosed the entire city and cut off its supply of water, food and electricity, as well as communications with the outside world.2 Sarajevo was completely blocked, isolated, and exposed to constant surveillance, coming mostly from the surrounding mountains and hills. But there were also occasions when snipers would be positioned within the encircled space of the city. Its citizens, therefore, resembled those of a concentration camp, a laboratory for human experiments3 or a playground for exercising ‘power relations in terms of the everyday life of men.’4 Nobody was allowed to leave the city, which, in the course of time, became a ghetto reduced to bare existence, where people were deprived of the basic human rights: to move freely, to communicate beyond the enclosed space, or to provide for essential needs (water, food, electricity, etc.).5 The siege became an apparatus of control, exercised from the outside; an external mechanism of domination that sustained power in the four-year period from 1992 to 1995. The power of the siege resided in distribution of soldiers and their gazes around the city, their ability to control the life and death of its citizens. Sarajevo was observed constantly. Its everyday functioning, the movements of its inhabitants, the fluctuation of bodies in its space, were subjected to the eye of the gunperson. The gaze of snipers through binoculars was felt everywhere; they monitored streets, buildings, houses, courtyards, and especially crossroads. Sarajevo’s citizens never knew whether they were being observed or targeted, at any time and anywhere. They were seen but they did not see and hence they were forced to behave as if permanent objects of surveillance.6 The power of the sniper’s gaze was inscribed in their bodies, a power that determined their movements, actions and gestures, a model of control that relied upon the constant subjection of the citizens to death.7 This disciplinary schema was perfect, since the centres of observation were not precisely known – they were dispersed among continuously changing locations, and those who exercised power from these points were anonymous. Their number was changing, but it was always much smaller than the number of the subjects on whom this power was exercised.8 However, the isolation of Sarajevo from the outside world also made possible modes of living, communication and socialization that differentiated it from the paradigm of Foucault’s panopticism.9 It was not feasible

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EXHIBITIONS IN DAMAGED AND DESTROYED ARCHITECTURAL OBJECTS IN BESIEGED SARAJEVO

to completely control social behaviour, to dissipate gatherings or disrupt communications between the controlled subjects. The enforced discipline and exercise of power over the city initiated spaces and situations marked by increased needs for socialization, communication and participation, all of which became particularly evident in the sphere of cultural life. The proliferation of arts and culture in Sarajevo during the war was an unusual phenomenon – it cannot be compared to the situation before or, especially, after the war. Hence, this particular form of control operated as a mechanism that generated a capacity for opposition – that is, a cultural resistance manifested through intensified participation and communication. If the attendance at cultural events was higher than before the war, it also included many visitors who would not usually come to art exhibitions, concerts or theatre performances. This explosion of art and culture became a significant form of existence and survival in the besieged city; hundreds of concerts were organized; theatres offered a dense programme of plays, ballet, and opera performances;10 and film screenings took place on a daily basis – in 1993 the first war cinema was founded by the Obala Art Centre, which grew into the Sarajevo Film Festival, now the largest festival in the region. Artists and galleries were active as well: over hundred solo exhibitions and dozens of group shows were organized, and many participated in humanitarian actions and fundraising auctions.11 Each of these initiatives can be understood as subversive acts, insofar as they opposed the disciplining of individual action by panoptic mechanisms. However, in terms of being both symbolic extensions of the city and vehicles for resistance, the most significant events were those exhibition-related practices that took place in public spaces, directly on sites of destruction.12 The damaged, destroyed, and deserted buildings of Sarajevo became emblematic of the city and its inhabitants, who felt rejected, abandoned, and excluded from the rest of the world. The destroyed buildings variously corresponded to bodies in pieces, dead bodies, or badly injured but still living bodies. Exposed to the processes of decay and destruction, smelling of mortality and scorched matter, these spaces were always dynamic, living reminders of a common destiny. The use of such spaces challenged the rampant physical destruction of the city and also resisted the disciplinary control and surveillance that the occupation forced upon the city’s inhabitants. In these public spaces, in damaged structures or ruins, artists were able to respond more directly and more powerfully to their particular situation, producing meaningful spaces in the midst of the oppression of daily life in Sarajevo.

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Ante Juri´c and Zoran Bogdanovi´c were the first artists to intervene in public space, to engage in reuse, symbolic recovery, and revitalization of ruined but still-standing structures. These artists collected and recorded material evidence of the destruction of the Post Office Building several days ˇ car photographically documented after it was set on fire, while Predrag Canˇ 13 their actions. In the spaces in and around the Post Office Building, the artists pulled wooden beams out of the building and collected debris, trying to save whatever was left of one of the most beautiful architectural monuments of the Austro-Hungarian period in Sarajevo.14 Bogdanovi´c and Juri´c were artists who prior to the war worked in the medium of sculpture. Their works previously reflected two major modernist paradigms – the autonomy of the art object and medium specificity – but they now drew inspiration and material from real life and the processes governing their everyday existence in the besieged city. They replaced the studio with the street and engaged in the production of temporary interventions, processes, actions and events that would, in the words of Juri´c, act as a ‘visual reminder’ of human existence during the war.15 The risk involved in working in open public space, at one of the city’s crossroads, perpetually exposed to violence and surveillance, endowed such ˇ car actions with a socio-political dimension. Bogdanovi´c, Juri´c and Canˇ consciously opposed the mechanisms of discipline and punishment of the Sarajevo Panopticon at one of its focal points. They were aware of the dangers to their lives – the grenades falling all over the city, the collapsing wreckage of the Post Office Building, the ever-present snipers.16 And yet, these artists insisted on moving in the snipers’ field of vision. ˇ car first imagined bringing the fragments of Juri´c, Bogdanovi´c and Canˇ the Post Office Building into the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to build sculptural works from the architectural remains. However, for their exhibition Spirituality and Destruction they ended up using the space of St. Vincent Church, a Catholic convent. It was the physical condition of the space – a damaged church interior – that directed them toward creating a site-referenced and site-oriented exhibition. Their artworks emerged from the specific contextual and spatial conditions and existed as series of interventions whose essence lay not in the material form of damage, but in a contingent, dematerialized, formless ability to respond and react to the systematic destruction of the city, its history, memory, and identity. The artists were compelled to record what was lost, what had disappeared, and to recover and save what still remained. By wrapping the church altar in white sheets and protecting it from further devastation,

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cleaning the interior of dust, and collecting its broken stained glass windows, Ante Juri´c attempted to make the church a functional space despite its partial destruction. Zoran Bogdanovi´c collected from the streets of Sarajevo bullets, shells, rubble, and remains of the Post Office, and arranged them into an installation. These spatial interventions, along with arrangements of found objects, now became inseparable from the location, its physical, architectonic and spatial conditions.17 The church became a work of art that functioned as a memento mori, as a reminder of the mortality of the city. The need to document, to memorialize and commemorate what was lost was a theme evident throughout the artists’ works. In Post Office, 2 May 1992 ˇ car installed his photographs documenting Juri´c’s (Fig. 5.1), Predrag Canˇ and Bogdanovi´c’s action around the burned building, along with a postman’s bag, a hanging hat, and a stamp album. Using one of his documentary photographs of the burned Post Office Building that he photocopied, multiplied and embellished with a seal bearing the date the building was set ablaze, the artist created an artwork that was formally and conceptually reminiscent of a commemorative postage stamp.18 These ‘commemorative stamps’ were given to visitors upon entering the exhibition, turning them from passive audience to activated spectators. But these stamps were useless, since the postal service was not functioning due to the siege. Precisely in

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ˇ car, Post Office, 2 May 1992, Sarajevo, St. Vincent Fig. 5.1 Predrag Canˇ Church, 1992. Photo by Milomir Kovaˇcevi´c Straˇsni.

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Fig. 5.2 Opening of the exhibition Spirituality and Destruction, Sarajevo, St. Vincent Church, 1992. Photo by Milomir Kovaˇcevi´c Straˇsni.

their inability to make a practical use of the stamps, the audience became protagonists of a discursive, dialogical process. The exhibition in the damaged church encouraged conversation, communication and exchange. The circulation of subjects in the church, associations and memories that came up in relation to the artworks and the site, and the interactions and connections between the artists, visitors and casual passers-by produced and reproduced the specificity of the place, pointing to the way it had been and what had been done to it. ˇ car did not simply occupy the space of the Juri´c, Bogdanovi´c and Canˇ church, but revealed and re-established its spiritual and cultural values. They reshaped what was being destroyed and lost, as if trying to heal open wounds, but also endowed it with alternative functions – the church served as a shelter and as an escape into a different kind of experience. It existed as a critical site, referring to, while resisting, the destruction of its surrounding physical, social, and political space. Holding the exhibition in an everyday space, beyond the confines of the artworld, eroded the distinctions between social and institutional space, as well as the space between art object, artist and viewer. The project brought art to the public realm and to the sphere of the everyday life, both public and private: some of the visitors to the exhibition came unwittingly, simply searching for a place of worship or temporary shelter (Fig. 5.2). 112

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The available material evidence of this work is scarce, but some of it can be found in the ‘war art diary’ of Ante Juri´c, a collection of his sketches, drawings, writings, press clippings, and other documents. Upon inspecting the diary, as well as the texts and documented lived experience of subjects participating in these actions, one might conclude that it was by coincidence that the artists turned to different working materials and modified function of their works. Working with apparently restricted means, with what was available (found materials, remains of destruction, junk), they began searching for new content and forms, reconsidering and reworking their approaches to adjust to new circumstances. They moved away from formal or aesthetic considerations to social ones, to site-oriented practices, and to participatory and collaborative actions. Juri´c and Bogdanovi´c were still thinking in terms of aesthetic criteria. But the physicality of damaged locations and the particular social and political circumstances brought into relief the social impact of their works. It was the totality of the situation – the specific conditions of the war, the siege, and the ability to move away from institutionally confined practices – that pushed them toward creating works that became context-determined, location-specific, and socially engaged. The artists continued the practice of working and organizing exhibitions in damaged, destroyed and abandoned buildings, a practice which continued to address social, political and psychological conditions of the city under siege and oppose the mechanisms of terror and control. From 2 December 1992 until 10 March 1993, in collaboration with the Gallery Obala/Obala Art Centre, the artists Nusret Paˇsi´c, Zoran Bogdanovi´c, Ante Juri´c, Mustafa Skopljak, Petar Waldegg, Edin Numankadi´c, Sanjin Juki´c and Radoslav Tadi´c presented their works in the demolished remains of the former Sutjeska Cinema. Just before the war, the cinema, which once served as a building for the Red Cross, had become the Open Stage Obala.19 The climax of the engagement of these eight artists, who had participated in solo or two-man shows throughout 1992 and 1993, was a group exhibition entitled Witnesses of Existence, which opened on 24 April 1993. Witnesses of Existence originated in the solo exhibition of the same name by Nusret Paˇsi´c, the first artist who engaged with this site.20 On 2 December 1992 Paˇsi´c brought his paintings, executed in the first months of the war, into the ruined building, along with objects that symbolized everyday life in Sarajevo, including the shell of a burned car (Fig. 5.3). He went on to make various interventions in the space, starting first with a scaffolding structure he found on site, which happened to have been there prior to the building’s partial destruction. His paintings were nailed together and attached to the

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Fig. 5.3 Nusret Paˇsi´c, Witnesses of Existence, Sarajevo, Sutjeska Cinema, 1992. Photo: Archive of the Obala Art Centre.

scaffolding, along with inserted pieces of black cloth, so as to resemble a ‘natural’ piece of the structure. The most distinctive elements in the former cinema were Paˇsi´c’s ‘witnesses’: elongated, deanthropomorphized, armless figures, which were reduced to vertical sticks. The facial features of these tall, straight, standing creatures were morbid, especially with their enlarged staring eyes, which produced a strange feeling of emptiness or of a ‘lacuna in testimony’.21 This is Giorgio Agamben’s characterization of witnesses – those who attempt to bear witness to that to which one cannot bear witness.22 Agamben traced the meaning of the word witness to its origins in Greek (martys meaning martyr) and Latin (superstes, ‘designating a person who has lived through something, who has experienced an event from beginning to end’), an etymology that stressed the impossibility of bearing witness to the experience of death.23 This notion is conveyed in Paˇsi´c’s work.24 As if ‘liberated from both life and death,’ his ‘witnesses’ became symbolic of the city itself in its state of siege.25 The lacuna in testimony, the fragmentary witnessing of the terrifying conditions and events of the war, was also seen in paintings hanging near the remains of the car. The car, at first sight, recalled Arman’s car sculpture White Orchid (1963), but with a significant difference – unlike 114

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Arman, Paˇsi´c did not have to detonate dynamite to create a burnt, blackened chassis. The artist used pages of the daily newspaper Oslobod¯enje that reported killings, massacres, and civilian victims as ‘a commentary – a background’,26 painting on the newsprint abstracted forms that recalled his stick-figure ‘witnesses’. In order to protect the paintings, he used nylon sheets, a material redolent of daily experience in the city – nylon was, at the time, omnipresent in the Sarajevo household, for it was used to replace window glass shattered by bomb detonations, shrapnel and bullets. Paˇsi´c’s works did not function as individual objects but as an installation that drew meanings from both its physical location and the totality of war experience. In approaching this work, object-driven or aesthetic concerns were secondary in comparison with their ability to respond to and elicit participatory social practice in the most literal ways. During the process of work on this site, the artist was frequently accompanied by accidental viewers who used the scaffolding as an alternative passageway through the ruin and as a safe zone: the shell of the cinema now served as a shelter, a protected corridor that saved civilians from the gaze of snipers. The simultaneous presence of the artist and spectator, the moments of sharing shelter and sometimes sharing a fire, engaging in a dialogue and exchange of information, charged this exhibition, as well as all the others that took place in the former Sutjeska Cinema, with a collaborative, participatory practice. The fragmentary nature of this ruin – its temporary quality, and its contingent, open structure, continually in process, in motion, just like bodies circulating through its space – became an ideal means of making collective experience concrete. The subsequent exhibitions turned the ruin into a site of production where artists were inspired to use the physical conditions of the building as a constitutive element of their works. Of course, the participation elicited in sharing shelter seems independent of Paˇsi´c’s figurative sculptures. But his work gained from its proximity to human needs: Paˇsi´c’s ‘witnesses’ became witnesses through human presence. Subsequent projects in the Sutjeska cinema mediated between the space and human use. The works of Ante Juri´c and Zoran Bogdanovi´c were presented in the exhibition Destruction, Spirituality, Rematerialization, organized just three weeks after Paˇsi´c’s. The exhibition evolved into a series of site-referenced and site-determined installations. Juri´c worked with dirt, debris and other rubbish and waste materials found in the building’s interior,

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contrasting it with white cloth that was, in the words of the artist, a way of ‘emancipating the space’.27 His spatial interventions and Bogdanovi´c’s attempts to revive the theatre as the ‘space of a spiritual scene’28 with white sheets carrying the text ‘Destruction, Spirituality, Rematerialization’. Symbolic recovery through participation was also present in the work of Petar Waldegg. In the fashion of a disciplined graphic artist, he arranged bricks into stair-like shapes and then protected them with sandbags. This installation, along with works of Mustafa Skopljak, who exhibited his pieces together with Waldegg in January 1993, drew its resonance not from a precise physical location, but from the totality of lived experience in the city, of brutal social exclusion and the constant presence of death. Skopljak brought his sculptural portraits (produced in 1991 and 1992) along with new works – pyramid-like forms composed of broken store windows – and integrated both into an installation that made use of remains of destruction (sand, ashes, nails). The exhibition, as a whole, aimed at a rematerialization – building something new, without denying what was lost. These works appeared as an integral part of the building’s environment, its interior as well as its surrounding spaces. In this way, the threat outside was re-contextualized as an opportunity for reflection inside. Sanjin Juki´c’s Ghetto Spectacle (February 1993) integrated a leftover stage into his video installation and connected the ruin to the outside space. By appropriating and montaging news footage, Juki´c reflected on consumeroriented construction and the manipulation of events in the global news industry: Sarajevo has become now just an image of horror, pain and suffering on television screens around the planet. That is how the ghetto has turned into the TV spectacle. The Sarajevo ghetto spectacle had reached the world media mega-scene and drowned itself in the game of one much larger and wider spectacle: the spectacle of world politics, the spectacle of election campaign parades . . . 29

In juxtaposition with this footage, Juki´c installed a large-scale sign spelling out the word ‘Sarajevo’ on the theatre stage, appropriating the font and ‘hillside placement’ of the Hollywood Sign. The other two solo exhibitions in this space – Edin Numankadi´c’s War Traces ’92 (in February 1993) and Radoslav Tadi´c’s Prediction (in March 1993) – reflected the desire of these two painters to challenge the autonomy and self-sufficiency of their art and its isolation from social life. They remained true to their area of competence, but expanded their practice 116

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in order to accommodate the new circumstances. Numankadi´c brought his kitchen table, holding various objects symbolic of his everyday war existence along with his easel paintings. Tadi´c used medical cabinets as ‘pedestals’ for his drawings. The use of the cabinets as ready-mades opposed the notion of ‘art as pure expression,’ since such objects could not function ‘within the grammar of the aesthetic personality.’30 Working in the space of the ruin, inside a theatre that still carried memories of its earlier uses, these artists reworked and reconsidered their works in a dialogue with location. In correlation with found objects and particular spatial and temporal conditions, these paintings and drawings introduced contingent, momentary elements, and therefore went beyond these artists’ preconditioned striving towards order, stability, unity and permanence. Now their work, determined by contextual more than formal relationships, drew its meanings from public space rather than the individual, private space of contemplation. The ruined Sutjeska Cinema functioned as a stage in which the eight artists produced and displayed their works, and then reinstalled and reactivated them as event in the joint Witnesses of Existence show. This time, the exhibition was arranged by two architects, Tanja and Stjepan Roˇs, and the result was ‘not just . . . a well-conceived presentation of the works of individual artist, but . . . a series of happenings-performances, joined by light and sound effects, thus pointing out again the Open Stage Obala as a “background” host of the entire project’, as art critic Azra Begi´c noted.31 The architects, who had prior experience in stage design, envisioned the exhibition as a ‘scenography or background for the realization of a series of performances put together in a single theatre . . . [where] the destroyed and burned hall would be a theatre and gallery at the same time.’32 The participating artists, who were introduced on the ‘stage’ – with spotlights in the dark creating additional dramatic effects – presented their works in theatrical ways. Numankadi´c, for instance, when illuminated on the ‘acting area’, lit a cigarette in his mouth and then lit the wick of the handmade oil lamp on his table. Waldegg performed the process of finishing up his installation by distributing soot around the stair-like brick structure. Skopljak activated his installation by burying his sculptural portraits in a pile of sand resembling mass graves (Fig. 5.4). The address to victims of the war continued in Bogdanovi´c’s Memory of People, a collage of newspaper obituary photos positioned on a wall behind a commemorative chair, where the artist honoured the dead with his quiet presence. In the ruined space of the former cinema – the renovated but never inaugurated space of the Open Stage Obala – the interchange of sound and silence created real stage effects. Juri´c re-enacted his performance Shot, challenging the sound of the sniper

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Fig. 5.4 Mustafa Skopljak, SA RA JE VO, 91 92 93, Sarajevo, Sutjeska Cinema, 1993. Photo: Archive of the Obala Art Centre.

fire that attempted to prevent visitors from coming to the exhibition.33 Juki´c launched his video installation after ‘having’ coffee with a friend at his Sarajevo Likes Amerika-America Likes Sarajevo table. The artists, therefore, re-enacted practices of art making, a retrospective dimension made clear in footage of the performances shown by Dubravko Brigi´c in the television programme TV BiH in June 1993. There was certainly a theatrical aspect to the Witnesses of Existence group show, but not because it was envisioned as such by the architects. The quality of the demolished cinema as a performance space, its stage-like effect, and the presence of the artists and audience in specific space-time situations all became exhibition-defining elements. The artists’ engagement with the work, the site and the audience endowed the Witnesses of Existence with aura, such that it would be meaningless to imagine it in some abstract location without reference to the qualities and experience of the specific space of its original staging.34 The impossibility of re-enacting the ruin – the concrete place having material substance, atmosphere and identity – was later made clear through poor attempts to reconstruct the exhibition in museums or galleries.35 The quintessential value of this exhibition was not its material, physical location, which could of course be simulated, but rather the indeterminate, fleeting, momentary spatial situations that took place in 118

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the cinema – the experience of space and bodies in it, and the feeling of the place embodied in the artworks. Its meaning was inseparable from the site, from the physical presence and experience in and around the space – getting in and out of the ruin, running over the crossroads to avoid sniper fire and shells, getting around the city while being subjected to permanent control and surveillance. In those particular conditions, the presence of the artist and audience, both opposing the power they did not control, became the significant aspect of the show. The social aspect of participation, the presence of the artists, the movement of bodies in space, and the immediate audience involved in direct communication and interaction with whatever was present in the space, represented a platform in which the exhibition was established and on which it depended. This constituted a shift in focus from art object and artist to artist and audience and from production to communication. The atmosphere at the exhibition openings, the circulation of the artists, visitors and non-art audiences (accidental passers-by) around the artworks and in the exhibition space (where warm tea was served) provoked and stimulated gathering, communication and exchange (Fig. 5.5). These socializing moments, and the experiences of ‘inter-human relations’ and ‘community identification’, constitute a specific form of sociability that can be described through the relational model of Nicolas Bourriaud. In the context of producing and presenting art, Bourriaud talks about particular ‘arena of exchange’, of ‘alternative forms of sociability, of critical models and moments of constructed conviviality’ that can create ‘relational microterritories’ and micro-communities.36 However, a distinction from Bourriaud’s definition of relational aesthetics must be made, because in his view the intention of the ‘relational artist’ and structure of the artworks, which insist upon use or interaction rather than contemplation, create social relationships. Artists working in the space of the former Sutjeska Cinema or St. Vincent Church were not ‘proposing as artworks moments of sociability and objects producing sociability.’37 That was not their intention, and hence their art was not ‘taking as its theoretical horizon the realm of human interactions’ that produced such specific sociability.38 In Sarajevo, the producer of dialogical process, of encounter and participation was the totality of the exhibitions. Taking place in damaged and destroyed architectural spaces, the artworks were charged by the physical features of the location and the ensuing process of socializing and communication opposed the ever-present mechanisms of terror and control. Situations and encounters at these exhibition openings produced forms of sociability and ‘moments of constructed conviviality’, but ones that were

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Fig. 5.5 Opening of the exhibition Witnesses of Existence, Sarajevo, Sutjeska Cinema, 1993. Photo: Archive of the Obala Art Centre.

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distinct from Bourriaud’s model. The process of socializing, communication, and sharing was based on a shared sense of struggle, where common war experiences were exchanged through communication. People were brought together through sharing living experience in besieged Sarajevo, through mutual understanding, respect, and a sense of solidarity, as well as the need to resist oppressive conditions by participating publicly in the cultural events. Therefore, the power of art to gather and organize collective experience, to initiate participation, social engagement and communication, was instigated, not by the individual works, but instead by the situations constructed at the exhibition openings – physical environments that were strongly determined by the conditions of the siege. Through communication, openness and exposure of singularities, individuals of various identities, encountering one another in the exhibition spaces of Sarajevo, shared a sense of belonging, despite their political, social, cultural or ethnic and religious differences. These exhibitions provided places, within dire circumstances and surrounded by the possibility of death, where communities were assembled through communication and identification of the participating subjects due to their shared condition. However, the communities that emerged during these exhibition events were fluid, not completed or fixed. They remain open, in the process of reworking, much like the damaged and destroyed buildings. Such places are in the process of redefinition and restructuring, and thus cannot be understood as fixed, physical locations, but as sites that are open, incomplete, and continually created through cultural, social or even political processes. In the particular place and time of each exhibition, these communities had an empowering effect; the exhibitions created the potential for active engagement in the socio-political field and the possibility of social regeneration. Through the struggle against oppression, through the attempt to destabilize the apparatus of domination, the communities in these spaces achieved an activist posture. The need for communication, socialization, and the urge to oppose the mechanisms of control, especially control over movement, resulted in people consciously risking their lives to participate in various events and situations of gathering and interaction. Participants in the exhibitions in the damaged and destroyed architectural objects were particularly significant in this context, since they seemed to come into being in the open public space. Simply visiting these buildings involved a significantly increased risk – both from their contingent physical condition (deterioration and further destruction), and from the exposure to the gaze of the enemy, to sniper fire, and shelling that often targeted crowds of civilians. This defiance of risk, which at the same time underscored the isolating

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tendencies of panoptic control, constituted participation in wartime art exhibitions in Sarajevo. The mid-1990s were marked by the artistic interest in participation, collaboration, and a discourse on community-based and public art projects or the ‘new public art’. The exhibitions in St. Vincent Church and at the Sutjeska Cinema were characterized by an active engagement with the community, but they were not community-based practices, as that would presuppose being established on interaction and collaboration between artist and audience in unequal terms. They were, rather, community-oriented or audience-specific practices, centred on the common concerns of the artists and their audiences.39 The Sarajevo artists did not identify with community or work with community simply for the purposes of their projects (as is usually, though not always, the case with community-based art). They turned to materials, subjects, problems, and conditions that determined their everyday existence, which was a common condition to all the participating subjects and the communitarian aspect that emerged spontaneously in the course of the exhibitions. My discussion of these exhibitions in the perspective of reconsidering or even redefining community-based projects and Bourriaud’s relational aesthetics intends to show that genuine relational and community-oriented artistic practices are possible, particularly with projects that have the capacity to actualize real-life concerns that exist as a common condition of all participants who occupy an exhibition space. Communication, dialogical practice, and sharing between all subjects are immanent and spontaneous acts that speak to the needs and to the experience of everyday life of the participants. Therefore, the questions that seem to emerge here are: Do wars and conflicts or other cataclysmic conditions or social upheavals create a stage for true relational and community-based projects? Are such dire conditions necessary in order to instigate true interhuman relations, community creations, identification and collaboration in art?

Notes 1. For Foucault’s discussion of the Panopticon as a model of surveillance, control and exercise of power structures (based on Jeremy Bentham’s late eighteenthcentury prison model), see Foucault, Michel, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of a Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York, 1995), pp.195–228. 2. During the siege the postal service was not functioning. Most of the city (especially the centre) did not have telecommunications starting on 2 May 1992, when the Post Office Building was set on fire.

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3. Life in besieged Sarajevo can be observed as some kind of medical experiment that examined endurance of human bodies in inhumane conditions. For four years its citizens were living under constant shelling and sniper fire, without water, electricity, heating and food. In hospitals, surgeries were often performed without anaesthesia. People were surviving on scarce humanitarian aid, consisting of very monotonous food, and often expired lunch packages and medications. (The canned beef ICAR, remembered for its bad flavour, ˇ c Shoba in 2007 – his can had been monumentalized by artist Nebojˇsa Seri´ monument carries the title Monument to the International Community by the Grateful Citizens of Sarajevo). 4. Foucault: Discipline and Punish, pp.203–5. 5. The experience of existence and survival in Sarajevo could be described through the words of Susan Sontag, who visited the besieged city nine times (the first time being in April 1993): ‘To leave Sarajevo and an hour later, to be in a “normal” city (Zagreb). To get into a taxi (taxi!) at the airport . . . to drive along streets where the traffic is regulated by traffic signs, to drive along the streets and watch buildings with the roofs untouched, the walls undamaged by grenades, with glass in the windows . . . to switch on the light in a hotel room . . . to use a toilet and afterwards to flush it . . . to take a bath in a bathtub (after several weeks without having a bath), with water, even hot water, running from the tap . . . to have a walk and see shops . . . people walking the way you do at a normal pace . . . to buy something in a shop with full shelves . . . to enter a restaurant where you will be offered a menu . . . you find all things so bizarre and disturbing, that for at least forty-eight hours you feel totally disoriented . . . the world will stay forever split between “there” and “here”.’ Sontag, Susan, ‘Here and There’, in Sarajevski memento: 1992–1995 (Sarajevo, 1997), p.13. 6. Just like in Bentham’s prison, the power was unverifiable: ‘The inmate must never know whether he is being looked at any one moment; but he must be sure that he may always be so.’ Foucault: Discipline and Punish, p.201. 7. Even though Foucault’s Panopticon does not relate mechanisms of control to death, but to regulation, discipline and punishment, it could be expanded to such a notion. For instance, Giorgio Agamben uses the paradigm in relation to concentration camps. Even though there is a considerable difference between a notion of prison and concentration camps, Agamben considers concentration camps, as sites for torture and murder, to be loci of Foucauldian biopower. See Agamben, Giorgio, Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive, trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen (New York, 1999). 8. This is the way Foucault describes how power is perfected. See Foucault: Discipline and Punish, p.206.

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9. The main differences from Foucault’s discussion of panopticism were that power was exercised from the outside and contacts between people were not limited. 10. National Theatre, SARTR, and Kamerni teatar featured over 1,500 theatre performances and programs during the four years of war. See Sarajevski memento, pp.152–61. 11. Sarajevski memento, p.102. 12. For discussion of these exhibitions in a context of cultural resistance see Mandi´c, Asja, ‘Formation of a culture of critical resistance in Sarajevo: exhibitions in/on ruins’, Third Text, 25/6 (2011), pp.725–35. 13. The Post Office Building was set on fire in a military diversion during the first month of war on 2 May 1992. According to the war diary of Ante Juri´c, this action took place on 15 May 1992. War art diary of Ante Juri´c, Archive of the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 14. The Post Office Building, a project of Josip Vancaˇs (from 1907), built in 1913, is considered to be one of the masterpieces of architecture in Bosnia and Herzegovina. See Krzovi´c, Ibrahim, Arhitektura Secesije u Bosni i Hercegovini (Sarajevo, 2004), pp.98–9. 15. Statement of Ante Juri´c, written on a flyer for the exhibition Spirituality and Destruction, which took place in St. Vincent Church in 1992. 16. The text on the photocopy of the photograph documenting their work on the street reads: ‘Creative process with presence of the eye of a spectator (sniper/killer), 15 May 1992.’ War art diary of Ante Juri´c, Archive of the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 17. The post office remains along with his relief-drawings were part of the installation entitled Memory of A.K. devoted to his professor Alija Kuˇcukali´c, who was killed by grenade shrapnel. See Begi´c, Azra, ‘Duhovnost i destrukcija’, Slobodna dalmacija, 25 January 1993. ˇ car, Predrag, email to Asja Mandi´c, 24 March 2011. 18. Canˇ 19. The space was turned into a cultural centre, theatre, cinema, gallery, and music hall. 20. The Witnesses of Existence was also the title of the cycle of paintings and installations Paˇsi´c began working on right before the war that was actualized in the wake of the siege, devastation and brutal killings, thus readjusted to the new circumstances, so it can also be viewed as a prediction of tragic events. See the statement of Nusret Paˇsi´c (December 1992), exhibition flyer, Archive of the Obala Art Centre. 21. Agamben: Remnants of Auschwitz, p.33. 22. Ibid., p.34. 23. Ibid., p.17.

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EXHIBITIONS IN DAMAGED AND DESTROYED ARCHITECTURAL OBJECTS IN BESIEGED SARAJEVO

24. Paˇsi´c made another set of sculptures similar to his Witnesses, referred to as Martyrs, and presented in the group show Witnesses of Existence. ˇ 25. The quoted phrase is from Musabegovi´c, Sadudin, Zargon otpatka (Sarajevo, 1998), p.49. In his collection of short essays and philosophical meditations written during the first years of the war (from the fall of 1992 until the late summer of 1993), Musabegovi´c describes Sarajevo dying slowly from the inside, through partial and prolonged agony, wherein death is constantly left open. 26. Statement of Nusret Paˇsi´c (December 1992), exhibition flyer, Archive of the Obala Art Centre. 27. Statement of Ante Juri´c (December 1992), exhibition flyer, Archive of the Obala Art Centre. 28. Statement of Zoran Bogdanovi´c (December 1992), exhibition flyer, Archive of the Obala Art Centre. 29. This quotation is from the daily newspaper Oslobod¯enje reporting on his ˇ ‘Geto-spektakl’, Oslobod¯enje, 18 February 1993. See exhibition. See An. S., also the statement of Sanjin Juki´c (February 1993), exhibition flyer, Archive of the Obala Art Centre. 30. On the ready-made as the negation of ‘art as pure expression’, an object that distances artist and artwork from expression of a private self, see Krauss, Rosalind, Passages in Modern Sculpture (Cambridge, Mass., 1981), p.259. 31. Begi´c, Azra, ‘Summons to the exhibition’, exhibition flyer, Archive of the Obala Art Centre. 32. Roˇs, Tanja & Stjepan, ‘Exhibition design Witnesses of Existence,’ in Svjedoci postojanja/Witnesses of Existence, exhibition catalogue (Sarajevo, 1993), p.59. 33. This performance took place in the yard of the Academy of Dramatic Arts on 17 November 1992. 34. The term is borrowed from Walter Benjamin to refer to the unique, authentic value of the Witnesses of Existence exhibition in the Sutjeska cinema. Benjamin talks about an aura of the individual work of art, but here the aura is shifted from the artwork to exhibition as a totality. For Benjamin’s discussion of aura, see Benjamin, Walter, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,’ in Illuminations, trans. H. Zohn, ed. with introduction by Hannah Arendt (New York, 1969), pp.217–51. 35. Under the organization of the Gallery Obala/Obala Art Center, with special efforts of its director Mirsad Purivatra and Izeta Grad¯evic´ , the Witnesses of Existence was presented in various places. In 1993 the exhibition was supposed to be presented at the Venice Biennale, in the selection of Achille Bonito Oliva, but neither the artists nor their works were able to leave the besieged city, so it only took part in the Biennale through the video presentation. In November 1993 the exhibition was installed in an institutional space

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in Sarajevo, the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but without two protagonists, Ante Juri´c and Radoslav Tadi´c. In 1994, when it managed to leave the besieged town, the exhibition of now six artists went on a world tour: New York Kunsthalle, New York (26 February – 3 April 1994); Centre PasquArt, Biel-Bienne (28 May – 3 July 1994); Demarco European Art Foundation, Edinburgh (12 August – 3 September 1994); Innsbrucker Kunsthalle, Innsbruck (March 1995); Schwarzenbersk´em pal´aci, Prague (8–28 September 1995); M˝ucsarnok H˝os¨ok, Budapest (30 November – 31 December 1995) where it was presented under the title Sarajevo Under Siege, then Zagreb, Naples, and others. In 2005 the works were returned from Italy and presented in the exhibition Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Venice Biennale 1993–2003 in the organization of the Ars Aevi International Project. Bourriaud, Nicolas, Relational Aesthetics, trans. Simon Pleasance and Fronza Woods (Dijon, 2002), p.44. Ibid., p.33. Ibid., p.14. According to Mary Jane Jacob, public art shifted from site-specific projects to audience-specific concerns (work made in response to those who occupy a given site). See Jacob, Mary Jane, ‘Outside the loop,’ in Culture in Action: A Public Art Program of Sculpture Chicago, with essays by Mary Jane Jacob, Michael Brenson, Eva M. Olson (Seattle, 1995), p.55.

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6 City of Revolution: On the Politics of Participation and Municipal Management in Cairo Mohamed Elshahed

The question of political participation has been at the heart of Egypt’s political struggles since the beginning of the twentieth century. Given Egypt’s urban reality, this political struggle is one with direct implications regarding Egyptians’ participation in the making and managing of their cities. In January of 2011 Egypt, and particularly Cairo, witnessed a protest movement unlike anything the country had seen for decades. Popular discontent was largely aimed at the figure of President Hosni Mubarak, who in 1981 had risen to the head of the military regime that had ruled Egypt since the 1952 coup d’´etat, celebrated in the official narrative as a revolution.1 Violent clashes erupted between citizens and security forces in the streets of the capital, which led to hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries. During the initial days of the 2011 protests, Tahrir (Liberation) Square in the geographical centre of Cairo was transformed into a makeshift self-contained city (Fig. 6.1). The square’s borders were protected by volunteers, and designated entry and exit points were marked. Within its boundaries the square was a multi-functional space, which included areas for sleeping, medical care, a library, a blogging zone, a news wall, a pharmacy, a day-care and a main stage.2 During subsequent sit-ins with the summer sun beating down, the protesters constructed a billowing shading device made of wooden posts and plastic sheets. A year later, when the memory 127

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Fig. 6.1 Tahrir Square in early February, 2011. Once secured, the square had been transformed into a proto-urban microcosm of the 2011 revolution. Photo by author.

of the two-year revolution-in-the-making had already become contested terrain, protesters erected a ‘revolution museum’ in the centre of the square. This short-lived utopian space had no elected mayor or local council; it functioned entirely by collective ad-hoc effort. Tahrir Square was a city of the revolution, a microcosm of the aspirations of many Egyptians to take matters into their own hands, demanding political participation, which would lead to direct participation in the making and management of cities and villages across Egypt. While Tahrir Square was spontaneously transformed into a proto-urban microcosm of the 2011 revolution, nearly six decades earlier a fully-fledged ‘city of the revolution’ in Cairo was implemented by the military regime shortly after it seized power. By presidential decree in 1959, President Gamal Abdel Nasser established the Nasr City Organization (NCO), a legal entity independent from any form of municipal governance, tasked with the implementation of a modernist urban development north east of the centre of Cairo. Promotional paraphernalia from that year proclaimed Nasr City to be the ‘city of the revolution’ (Fig. 6.2). The project’s brochure 128

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contained English rather than Arabic text and was designed to attract as potential residents the educated middle class, whom it assured that the new city would be ‘planned according to the latest theories of city planning.’ Seven years earlier the coup d’´etat had been orchestrated by a small group of officers who overthrew the royal family that had ruled Egypt since the beginning of the nineteenth century.3 The coup followed several years of political mobilization by vast segments of Egyptian society, calling for reforms and for true national sovereignty. Following the coup, the officers aimed to garner popular support by co-opting the revolutionary spirit of the time.4 In order to gain revolutionary legitimacy, the military regime sought to take concrete measures to make visible that an era of change and revolution was underway. It is in this context that Nasr City was promoted as the ‘city of the revolution’. Between these two episodes of revolutionary upheaval and their corresponding urban politics two persistent yet largely ignored questions should be posed: first, what is the relationship between political participation in general and participation in municipal and urban affairs in particular? Second, what is the place of the architectural profession in Egypt in relation to political transformations? Since the 1950s, the architectural profession underwent profound transformations that ultimately led to the increased marginalization of architects who catered to the state rather than engaging

CITY OF REVOLUTION: ON THE POLITICS OF PARTICIPATION AND MUNICIPAL MANAGEMENT IN CAIRO

Fig. 6.2 Promotional pamphlet (1959) advertising Nasr City as the ‘city of the revolution’. Author’s collection.

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with society in order to produce an inclusive urban environment. In this chapter I will chronicle several episodes in this complex history to shed light on how the struggle over the processes of shaping the urban environment are inseparable from decades of political struggle against authoritarianism that culminated in the events of 2011.

A People’s ‘city of revolution’ How universal is the notion that architecture is a multidisciplinary practice that is socio-politically engaged? What does it mean for architects to practice in political contexts void of representational democracy and stricken with high levels of poverty and social injustice? The link between professions such as architecture and planning to political and financial power is put into sharper relief when examined in the context of the contemporary Middle East. Within the region, an unprecedented unevenness emerged between the region’s old urban centres (Beirut, Cairo, Baghdad and Damascus) and the new Gulf cities (Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi). While the old urban centres of the region underwent a speedy process of deterioration under authoritarian regimes and due to the impact of urban warfare, the new cities of the region were often urbanized under the auspices of rulers who held direct control over financial and political power.5 In both the old and the new Middle East, opportunities for the public to participate through official channels in processes of urbanization are nearly nonexistent. Particularly since World War II architects have been agents for realizing modernization projects envisioned by the region’s rulers. Following national independence, many of the region’s states underwent a period of high modernist development spearheaded by state institutions, which sought the expertise of architects and planners to design cities and buildings.6 Local as well as international architects and experts participated in this process, sometimes gloating about the fact that local populations were excluded from processes of decision-making. When Frank Lloyd Wright was commissioned to build an opera house for the British-backed Iraqi monarchy in the 1950s, he flaunted the fact that when he chose an island as the site of his building, it was granted to him with the wave of a hand. ‘Iraq is good for something’ he said, ‘There are no committees.’7 Wright was not alone in his desire for a powerful client who could facilitate translating his designs into reality without negotiating with public institutions representing civil society. The urban historian Eric Mumford notes: ‘As Le Corbusier saw it, for an urban designer what mattered most in

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CITY OF REVOLUTION: ON THE POLITICS OF PARTICIPATION AND MUNICIPAL MANAGEMENT IN CAIRO

a client was simply the power to override opposition to reconfiguring the metropolitan environment according to his directives.’8 Similarly, today’s renowned architects, ranging from Jean Nouvel to Norman Foster, are building iconic structures in the Gulf region in the absence of civilian oversight on budgets and designs. The lack of popular participation in urban affairs in the region is perhaps the enabling condition for some of the most costly and exuberant architectural projects in recent history, such as Qatar’s National Museum by Jean Nouvel, which, due to its wasteful design and high cost, would have been controversial had its construction depended on a public vote.9 It is in this context that social and political revolutions ignited in 2011 in the Arab Middle East. However, the historical contexts of these revolutions and their consequences on the urban environment remain unstudied. The convergence of architecture and revolution has typically produced two sets of narratives: that revolutions can lead to a new architecture expressive of momentous political changes; and that architecture, following Le Corbusier’s famous phrase, can be a tool for diverting future political revolution.10 Considering the contemporary Middle East can provide a third possible outcome of the convergence between revolutionary politics and the city. For example, in Bahrain the pearl monument that stood at the site of the mass protests that shook that country was demolished in order to erase the memory of mass protests and their demands for radical political change. In Egypt, the military, a counterrevolutionary force, erected monuments in key locations in the city such as Tahrir Square in order to lay its claim on the narrative of revolution and to silence all other competing narratives from ever manifesting themselves beyond the realm of memory.11 Cities across the Middle East were sites of contestation between revolutionary and counterrevolutionary forces with unequal powers. At the core of this inequality is the question of participation in the making and management of the urban. With the exception of Bahrain, the cities of the new Middle East, sites of immense urban developments and iconic new architecture, survived the wave of urban protests that swept the region. Cairo on the other hand was the site of the most watched urban protest movement of the so-called Arab Spring. Socio-economic and political conditions in Egypt and the relation between political power and city were further complicated by the presence of a powerful and opaque military institution with uncontested control over elements essential to urbanization, such as land and building materials. In Cairo’s particular urban condition the prospects of popular participation

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in the making of architecture is doubly obstructed by the limits on the profession of architecture in the absence of democratic mechanisms such as effective municipal councils, and by the architectural profession’s traditional link to state patronage or the patronage of the privileged classes. The urban protests of 2011 must be understood not merely as revolutionary events that temporarily transformed the uses of urban space. These protests in cities were also specific to a political structure in which the very processes of shaping and managing urban space have been processes of exclusion and political alienation. Traditionally, architects have catered to political and financial power. In Egypt, buildings designed by architects are often understood within an epochal narrative of a succession of rulers. In other words, architecture ranging from official buildings to private houses and apartments is viewed collectively as belonging to the royal era, the Nasser era, the Mubarak era and so on. There is little sense of collective ownership of the Egyptian city with its diverse architectures. In his 1992 book Between Facts and Norms, J¨urgen Habermas distinguished between civil-society actors with institutional links (members of political parties, religious groups, and non-governmental organizations) and those who emerge from the public at particular moments only to return to their former anonymity (activists and other individuals affected by a particular policy who therefore react to it publicly). He wrote: What is meant by ‘civil society’ today, in contrast to its usage in the Marxist tradition, no longer includes the economy as constituted by private law and steered through markets in labour, capital, and commodities. Rather, its institutional core comprises those non-governmental and non-economic connections and voluntary associations that anchor the communication structures of the public sphere in the society component of the lifeworld.12

In Egypt, which, starting in 2003, had witnessed a visible increase in civic engagement in public space as a response to the disenchantment with the political and economic system, the urban has been both the cause and the site of political participation by individuals.13 Habermas has argued that the public sphere is where private individuals come together as a public. As this public engages with authorities over ‘the general rules governing relations in the basically privatized but publicly relevant sphere of commodity exchange and social labour’, public space is created.14 Building on Habermas, I argue that when authorities control the public sphere through various security mechanisms, struggles towards freer public spheres become interlinked with the question of public space and the city at large. Mechanisms of security 132

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CITY OF REVOLUTION: ON THE POLITICS OF PARTICIPATION AND MUNICIPAL MANAGEMENT IN CAIRO

and control by authorities include censorship, formations of dominant stateowned and state-friendly media, and restrictive controls over urban space. Those opposing such restrictive measures become participants in a political process embedded in questions of the urban. The increasing visibility of political discontent and protest in Egyptian urban space in confrontation with authorities is part of the struggle to assert the public’s ownership of the city’s streets and squares. Thus, acts of protest in Egypt’s cities challenge the regime’s ownership and governance of such spaces. The remaking of politics and the remaking of the urban are interconnected. In contrast, the attention given to Tahrir Square in world media following the start of the 2011 protests made the city appear ‘merely a passive site . . . where deeper currents of political struggle are expressed.’15 The recent wave of struggle is between those affected by unjust and uneven distribution of political power and capital with those militarized institutions, such as the police and the army, invested not only in maintaining the political status quo but also in protecting their institutional autonomy and financial gravitas, which shape the urban experience of all Egyptians. The city is then not only the stage for struggle; rather it is a catalyst for the revolutionary struggle reignited in 2011. The political and economic cleavages that have caused some to protest since the 1977 Bread Riots through to the 2005 al-Mahalla al-Kubra protests have led to the rebirth of street politics in Egyptian cities as a form of political participation in the absence of a political structure that responds to popular demands.16 With the eruption of protests in 2011, urban space across Egypt continued to be the stage for a struggle not only to create new forms of democratic representation but also to reshape the spaces of the city. Commentators often reduced the complexity of the revolutionary fervour of 2011 to a struggle against a president and his policies. However, an important aspect of the protests in Egypt was the collective desire for the right to the city and its spaces. As David Harvey noted, The right to the city is not merely a right of access to what already exists, but a right to change it after our heart’s desire. We need to be sure we can live with our own creations (a problem for every planner, architect and utopian thinker). But the right to remake ourselves by creating a qualitatively different kind of urban sociality is one of the most precious of all human rights. The sheer pace and chaotic forms of urbanization throughout the world have made it hard to reflect on the nature of this task. We have been made and re-made without knowing exactly why, how, wherefore and to what end. How then, can we better exercise this right to the city?17

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Fig. 6.3 The signed ‘Museum of the Revolution’ at the centre of Tahrir Square in the summer of 2013. The makeshift structure and its content appeared in multiple manifestations over the course of two years. Photo by author.

The protests which took place in Egypt from 2011 until 2013, when protest was formally banned in a draconian measure by the government, shed light on questions of space and political participation, particularly how spaces of the everyday have become sites of resistance, revolution and transformation. The underlying theme, which has been consistent from the beginning of this most recent chapter in Egypt’s history of urban protest, is the desire to (re)construct democracy and conceptions of citizenship by transforming cities from the bottom up.18 Political participation in public space has manifested itself in a variety of ways, many of which are ephemeral and have not been properly documented. Consider for example the ‘revolution museum’ a space reappearing during various sit-ins in Tahrir Square between 2011 and 2013 (Fig. 6.3). The museum was initially founded during the January 2011 sit-in that eventually led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. It appeared spontaneously as a gallery of protest placards, messages and cartoons drawn by protesters. During subsequent sit-ins the museum began to take on a more articulated form, gaining a signed entrance, wooden supports and plastic sheets for walls, a desk for volunteers to manage the space and even 134

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CITY OF REVOLUTION: ON THE POLITICS OF PARTICIPATION AND MUNICIPAL MANAGEMENT IN CAIRO

a media centre. The ‘revolution museum’ was a participatory museum in the sense that it was a space built from the ground up by anonymous participants acting in the centre of the country’s most contested political space. The content of the museum was generated by the public visiting the space and mediated to audiences beyond its physical boundaries via mobile devices. The most complete manifestation of the museum occurred in the summer of 2013 during the anti-Muslim Brotherhood protests. The openair, roofless structure was built of wooden supports anchored in the grassy ground, with thick plastic sheets forming the walls. The museum consisted of several ‘rooms’ or ‘galleries’ accessed through a single signed entrance that clearly labelled the space as the mathf al-thawra (Museum of Revolution). The museum raises several questions: what is the significance of this anonymously built space, consciously labelled a museum, in the context of the current modus operandi of an architectural profession that builds museums catering to the very political powers caricatured and ridiculed in Tahrir’s revolution museum?19 What does it mean that such a space was built in the middle of politically charged public space, when the history of museums in Egypt is replete with examples of excluding modern Egyptians and their views in favour of narratives that serve the interests of political elites?20 The ‘revolution museum’ is not only about the reclamation of public space by a wider public; it is also reclamation of the process of archiving history. The modern Egyptian state dominates the endeavour of building museums and of narrating histories; thus by participating in the making of the revolution museum in Tahrir Square, protesters were challenging the state’s hegemony on national narratives. The state has also dominated processes that shape cities, and for decades it has excluded the public from everyday political processes, particularly municipal management and the making of spaces of everyday life in Cairo.21 The moment of revolt in 2011 made possible, even if momentarily, the reclamation of these spaces of everyday life in a variety of ways such as street cleaning, paving, the cleaning of neglected historic monuments, the painting of walls (including graffiti), the planting of new trees and many more.22 These seemingly banal acts reflect the sense of heightened participation in the (re)making of the city. These acts of reclamation are reminiscent of Henri Lefebvre’s assertion that ‘a revolution cannot just change the political personnel or institutions; it must change la vie quotidienne, which has already been literally colonized by capitalism.’23 Although such practices, ranging from street cleaning by individuals to the creation of the ‘revolution museum’, were not articulated as part of a struggle against capitalism, it is important to note that Egypt’s

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urban reality with its extremely uneven distribution of resources and services is a direct result of the crony capitalism that has gripped the country since the 1970s.24 Thus, the seemingly mundane acts of reclaiming the city listed above are in fact acts of transgression against Egypt’s particular economic and political system, (al-nitham), and the spaces produced by that system. David Harvey is useful here: Urbanization has always been, therefore, a class phenomenon of some sort, since surpluses have been extracted from somewhere and from somebody, while control over the use of the surplus typically lies in the hands of a few (such as a religious oligarchy, or a warrior poet with imperial ambitions). This general situation persists under capitalism, of course, but in this case there is a rather different dynamic at work.25

To be clear, my argument here is that the struggle manifest in urban protests in Cairo is not only over the need for participation in political process, in decision-making, and in processes of urbanization. It is also directly linked to the uneven living conditions of Egyptian cities produced by a particular, but not exceptional, form of third-world capitalism in which political power and capital produce the urban at the expense of not only repressing demands for political participation but also for minimum wages, better services, access to democratic municipal institutions and ultimately denying the majority their right to the city.26

Municipal Management and Exclusion A brief history of municipal management in Egypt is necessary in order to better understand the political and urban conflict that flared in Egypt in 2011. Across Cairo and in cities across Egypt from the beginning of the 2011 upheaval, the walls of urban areas were stencilled with the phrase al-mahaliyat lel-shabab, local councils belong to the youth (Fig. 6.4). The desire for increased political participation was directly linked to the desire by the youth leading the revolution to participate in managing urban affairs through local councils. The lack of participatory politics in general and in matters of municipal planning in particular has meant that youth, who constitute a sizable majority in Egypt’s population, were denied access to these councils.27 The lack of avenues of participation during the Mubarak regime meant that entire generations often abstained from politics, a trend that developed a generational gap between the rulers and the ruled.28 Municipal management during the Mubarak regime was 136

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notoriously corrupt and directly linked to affiliates of the ruling party, and there is a historical background to this ongoing reality that must be explored.29 The history of municipal management, since the early twentieth century, is one of exclusion. The majority of urban dwellers in Egypt were historically unable to participate in managing their cities. Centralization has been a feature of the modern Egyptian state ever since its founding, which involved the establishment of state institutions and technologies for mapping, controlling, and governing Egyptians from centralized institutions based in Cairo.30 British occupation (1882–1947) further enhanced the centralized controlling mechanisms of the state whereby ‘local officials, through regulations from the central government and through special training, were gradually becoming more the agents of the central government than an extension of the village community and kinship system.’31 This system of centralization was maintained in the interwar period following the 1919 Revolution and the drafting of a new constitution in 1923. Imposing such

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Fig. 6.4 The ubiquitous slogan ‘local councils belong to the youth’ spraypainted initially on walls surrounding Tahrir Square and later appearing across Cairo and in other cities. Photo by author.

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measures of centralization and municipal management was in line with similar practices around the world, as modern states solidified their control for the purposes of national development.32 Centralization of municipal affairs affected not only provincial cities but also the districts of Cairo, where municipal administration was not established until 1949.33 As Janet Abu-Lughod notes, during the nineteenth century ‘the indigenous population of Cairo never had the opportunity to develop municipal self-consciousness or a system of self-government because a foreign elite (Ottoman and later British) ruled without distinction both the city and the country.’34 The lack of representative municipal government, Abu-Lughod argues, caused communities to form responsibilities and to identify not with Cairo as a whole but rather with their religious communities, ethnic groups, class, occupational group, and neighbourhood units. A semi-official network of shaykhs was ‘deployed by the government in Egyptian cities and towns’ as part of a network of urban control.35 “To the government, they [the shaykhs] were the eyes and ears, as well as the vehicles through which policies were implemented.”36 The role of the urban shaykhs was not to establish municipal representation for communities, but to extend the state’s reach into local communities. Accordingly, the urban development of the nineteenth century, during the reigns of Muhammad Ali and Khedive Ismail, was not brought about by municipal government but by direct orders from the palace. This led to the establishment of institutions such as Tanzim (urban reforms department) and the Ministry of Public Works, whose goal was to carry out urban reform as envisioned by the highest echelons of political power. The central institutions and ministries established in Cairo with mandates to organize life, politics and economy across the country meant that decisions pertaining to local affairs, including urban and municipal concerns, largely reflected centrally conceived policy rather than locally negotiated solutions. As Ziad Fahmy illustrates in his study of Egypt’s culture of centralization, in addition to the standardization of education, the establishment of national railways and postal services, ‘Cairo’s cultural influence radiated outward to the national periphery.’37 Janet Abu-Lughod elaborates that ‘in Egypt, the central administration always took precedence, and local subdivisions were often created only for the purpose of ensuring the execution of policies whose outcomes had already been determined.’38 During the economic boom at the turn of the twentieth century, much of the newly generated wealth became visible in the urban development of new residential quarters in Cairo catering to the financial elite, but excluding the majority of the city’s inhabitants. Individuals and families

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seeking economic prosperity migrated to Cairo from the countryside in large numbers.39 Despite this increasing centralization, few decisions in urban planning made by the ministries based in Cairo responded to the growing needs of provincial capitals. The power to plan cities was reserved for central administrations; however, little of that power was utilized to alleviate growing urban problems. At the same time, centrally appointed local administrations had little to no access to resources or the authority to carry out large development projects. While Cairo lagged behind in the establishment of a municipal administration, Alexandria had established a municipal council, or Majlis al-Urnatu, as early as 1834.40 The Alexandria baladiya was managed by both Europeans and Egyptians and it was responsible for imposing and collecting taxes.41 As Abu-Lughod puts it, ‘these “local governments” were to confine their attentions, however, to housekeeping functions, such as arranging for the installation of water and electrical systems, overseeing the maintenance and cleaning of streets and public gardens, regulating public facilities, and the like.’42 In Cairo, with its diverse neighbourhoods, baladiya councils such as the one in Alexandria did not manage the city; rather it was the various ministries that took charge of the capital’s municipal affairs.43 The promise of a revolutionary constitution in 1923, following the 1919 revolution, did not result in a radically different form of local administration that responded to local needs. The new post-revolutionary legislation amounted to a standardization and formalization of local councils organized earlier by British administrators.44 The fundamental relationship between local councils, local populations and the central government remained ambiguous. Duties, functions, and the financial resources of local councils were left to the legislature, which meant that members of the councils could be directly appointed by the central government in Cairo rather than by a majority-elected body.45 Ultimately, the 1923 constitution failed to guarantee that matters of planning and urban management would be decentralized, and affirmed the control of the central state. With the abrogation of the 1923 constitution after the 1952 Revolution/coup d’´etat, ‘the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), led by Gamal Abdel Nasser, a further consolidation of the local administrative system, was initiated.’46 In 1953 a commission was tasked with drafting a new constitution. The commission recommended 15 articles devoted to local governance.47 These recommendations, however, were not included in the final constitution of 1956 because of ‘concerns for local security and domestic peace.’48 The RCC restricted local government autonomy and resident participation in municipal affairs. In the 1956 constitution, which

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was adopted by referendum on 18 July 1956, the elaborate discussion of local governance found in the 1953 draft was reduced to the following sentence: ‘The Egyptian republic shall be divided into administrative units, and all or some of them may enjoy a corporate status.’ Any other reference to local government was placed under the section dealing with presidential and central authority.49 The new local administration system was closely linked to Egypt’s single political party, the Arab Socialist Union (ASU).50 The new ruling elite explained that such political manoeuvrings were necessary cases of ‘transitional authoritarianism’.51 Less than a decade after the 1952 military coup turned popular revolution, the interlinking of the single party with the local administration made Egypt’s ‘transitional authoritarianism’ permanent and institutionalized.52 Cairo’s then recently completed municipality building (1958) was transformed into the headquarters of the ASU, the country’s only political party. That building was later the headquarters of Hosni Mubarak’s ruling political party. It was torched during the uprising on 28 January 2011.

An architect’s city of revolution Egypt during the first half of the twentieth century, starting in the 1920s, witnessed the rise of a new class of architects such as Antoine Selim Nahas, Raymond Antonios, Albert Zananiri, Charles Ayrout, and Max Edrei. Their designs shifted away from the work of the previous generation of mostly European architects practicing in Egypt.53 These native architects utilized a more modernist design language for their commissions to build private residences and upscale apartments. Despite this aesthetic shift and the expansion of the pool of clients, architects continued to cater to the upper classes and the majority of the population continued to inhabit spaces not designed by architects. Finally, The 1940s and 1950s witnessed the rise of worker housing and social housing, when the state commissioned architects to design for a segment of the population that had been excluded in their practice. Throughout Egypt’s political transition in the 1950s, under the leadership of the self-proclaimed revolutionary regime, the role of architects in Egyptian society transformed dramatically. While the profession had thrived in the service of private interests and bourgeois society, the 1950s witnessed its turn towards increased state patronage. In 1960 the head of the Engineering Syndicate, Ahmed Ali Kamal, delivered a lecture at the Lawyers’ Syndicate 140

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regarding the role of engineers and architects in a socialist society. His speech announced the arrival of the era of building after Egypt’s liberation from colonialism and foreign control. Kamal’s message consisted of four main points: engineering is essential to economic development; energy infrastructure, particularly hydroelectric energy and nuclear energy, are essential; engineers are responsible for modernizing Egypt’s electrical supply through the building of the High Dam at Aswan; and ‘engineers must work in silence’ across the country to realize the goals of the revolution.54 It is in this context that Nasr City was presented to the public by the Egyptian government as the city of the revolution and the direct outcome of the struggle for independence and development.55 After 1953, the new regime was struggling to tackle urban demands for better services and more affordable housing. While popular housing projects struggled to meet demand and to be economically feasible, the state took on Nasr City, a largescale housing development plan aimed at the middle class. In a company publication, the head of the Nasr City Company, Gamal Eddin Fahim, declared that ‘our heroic brethren, who struggled against occupation until our country was cleansed from it in 1956, have since then studied and planned for ways to raise our people’s standards of living and to fulfil the wishes of president Nasser and Sadat after him.’56 According to architect Sayed Karim’s handwritten account of the founding of Nasr City, the ministries considered his proposal for the expansion of Cairo to conflict with the ideals of socialism. However, after a chance meeting with then-officer Anwar Sadat, who was impressed by the architectural model of the city, Gamal Abdel Nasser gave a presidential order for its construction. Sayed Karim achieved his grandest commission by appealing directly to the highest echelons of political power. He presented the plan not as a residential expansion of Cairo but as a new capital with government offices, a stadium, and a convention centre. The city’s residential architecture included a variety of housing typologies, including apartments of various sizes, villas and duplexes. Employees of the state’s growing bureaucracy were to be housed near their newly relocated workplaces. Nevertheless, due to the high cost of units, the lack of services, and the considerable distance from Cairo’s central districts, state employees were reluctant to move to Nasr City. The design, implementation and management of the new city of the revolution in 1950s and 1960s Egypt was void of any form of participation by the public or future residents. It was a typical high modernist development project that was built in the name of ‘the people’ as mere recipients of

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state-sanctioned modernity. The objectives of the newly established Madinat Nasr City Foundation were as follows: to provide a new urban model for desert expansion; to alleviate the housing crisis and population density in central Cairo; to provide new governmental headquarters; to provide housing for government workers; to provide serviced residential areas for rental and ownership; to expand infrastructure into desert lands so that these could be sold ‘at a fair price’ for private development; and to connect the suburban district of Heliopolis to the centre of Cairo via new roads and public transport (at the time, only a single road linked Heliopolis to the rest of Cairo).57 Nasr City was envisioned as a practical utopia, including services already present in some, particularly elite, urban areas but which hadn’t been implemented as part of a comprehensive urban development project aimed at a wider segment of society. Such services included police stations, ambulances and fire stations, a network of buses that would link the various residential blocks and connect the rest of Nasr City. Modern infrastructure such as sewage, electricity, and drinking water were available in all units regardless of income level. The new city was positioned east of the Abbasiya district, where military barracks were located, and south of the suburban enclave of Heliopolis. The total area of the project was 1,200 square kilometres. Much of this was military-owned land. Nasr City was ultimately a new district, rather than a new capital city in the fullest sense. As an outlying district, it still relied on its connection to the existing historic capital. Although some governmental offices moved to Nasr City, the major symbols of state power such as the parliament remained in the downtown area. While it was presented as ‘the city of the revolution’, Nasr City was neither a Chandigarh nor a Bras´ılia. It lacked the designed symbolism of a new post-colonial power.58 Instead, it was a practical urban expansion and a much-needed increase in Cairo’s housing capacity, though it provided little affordable housing for the poor majority. The development was not an exhibition of national power by design. There were no grandiose national monuments, important government buildings or expansive urban vistas to represent the new national identity. Nasr City was new yet familiar. Its newness was represented by the scale of its construction, not the language of its design.59 Most importantly this so-called city of the revolution was not revolutionary in terms of transforming the relationship between residents, the state and the city: there were no policies of participation or social engagement. Residents were mere recipients of state-orchestrated modernity as envisioned by modernist architects.

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CITY OF REVOLUTION: ON THE POLITICS OF PARTICIPATION AND MUNICIPAL MANAGEMENT IN CAIRO

Construction of the new district-cum-city was slow. In 1966, seven years after the presidential decree for the establishment of Nasr City, it was still discussed in the press as a plan rather than as a reality.60 In addition to its slow construction, families and workers were reluctant to move because of its distance from the centre and the lack of effective transportation. Furthermore, the city’s lack of low-income housing forbade the majority of those in need of housing from moving there. For Sayed Karim, Nasr City was an opportunity to exercise his architecture and planning at an unprecedented scale. Nasr City’s initial phase and construction embodied the politics of the Nasser regime and the professional practice of Egyptian architects in the late 1950s. While misconceptions regarding Nasser’s socialism persist to this day, fuelled more by his international political alignments than by policies in Egypt, a closer look at the city’s initial architecture and plan, the commercial life it promoted and the home furnishings marketed for Egypt’s new capital reveal a different view. The self-proclaiming revolutionary regime utilized state institutions to expand middle class social habits and consumer culture. Perhaps it was this confidence in expanding middle class culture to a vast public that proved economically difficult to maintain. By the late 1960s, Nasr City was still a work in progress in a perpetual state of construction, with low occupancy rates. It had failed to create the revolutionary urban setting it promised, thus making visible the state’s inability to organize space as an expression of its power. It also failed to respond to the pressing housing crisis that had plagued Egyptian society for almost two decades. Buildings and urban projects such as Nasr City served a legitimating function and provided visible evidence of a developmental state responding to popular demands for change. But did these buildings, produced without the participation of society, represent revolution? A broader historical context shows that the actions of the self-proclaiming revolutionary regime had precedents in diverse locations and seemingly different ideological camps. For example, as Diane Ghirardo has shown, similar tactics of state building and development took place in New Deal America and Fascist Italy. Despite the specificities of each case, not unlike the Italian and American cases discussed in Ghirardo’s study, the Egyptian government’s planning on a large scale was ‘designed to reassure citizens that the respective governments would continue, and that they looked towards the future with unbridled confidence and a sure sense of governmental longevity.’61 Ultimately, industrialization and urbanization partially responded to economic and social unrest without allowing for true political participation, thus preventing or delaying future revolution.

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Conclusion During the summer of 2013, the Egyptian military deposed post-Mubarak president Mohamed Morsi in what was orchestrated as a popularly backed military coup. The subsequent months were crucial as supporters of the deposed president organized a month-long sit-in in Nasr City, blocking a major intersection. That sit-in was violently evicted, with hundreds of casualties, followed by a period of nearly three months of imposed 7pm curfews. Soon after all forms of protest in public space were deemed illegal. In the meantime, the military regime erected monuments in Tahrir Square and on the site of its massacre in Nasr City in order to erase the memory of the revolution and to affirm the narrative of the old regime. At the same time, in order to achieve ‘revolutionary legitimacy’, the military leadership made several promises including the construction of one million affordable housing units and building a new capital city.62 While the Egyptian public was called upon to protest against the deposed Morsi in massive numbers in order to legitimize the military coup, the direct participation of Egyptians in municipal affairs that led to the erection of monuments and the decision to build new housing continued to be curtailed by law in accordance with both the 2012 and 2013 constitutions. A close reading of Egypt’s history of municipal management and the example of Nasr City as a ‘city of revolution’ vis-`a-vis more recent political mobilization and subsequent steps taken by the state to retain its total control over urban affairs points toward a few conclusions. First, seemingly ad-hoc acts of participation as forms of bottom-up responses to urban challenges in urban communities in Egypt and in the microcosm of Tahrir Square in 2011 reflect a deeply seated popular desire by communities to actively shape and manage the urban environment. Second, throughout the various revolutionary moments that punctuate recent Egyptian history, Egyptians were consistently excluded not only from participating in national politics but also from participating in local politics and the management of municipal and urban affairs. Third, architects have not succeeded in reconfiguring the basic structure of the profession in a way that would make it relevant to a larger segment of society. As state development plans failed to cope with urban realities, the urban population has led an urbanization process that has functioned outside the direct control of the state, and which is not driven by plans and designs provided by architects and planners. Rather than empower local municipal governments as the representatives of local communities capable of managing themselves, the self-proclaiming revolutionary governments of 1952 and their post-2011 reincarnations have

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Notes 1. See Podeh, Elie and Onn Winckler (eds), Rethinking Nasserism: Revolution and Historical Memory in Modern Egypt (Gainesville, 2004). 2. A now iconic aerial image of Tahrir Square was posted on the news website of the BBC on 11 February 2011. The image identifies the various designated areas for different activities. See ‘Tahrir Camp’, BBC News, http://www.bbc .co.uk/news/world-12434787, accessed 4 August 2014. 3. See Gordon, Joel, Nasser’s Blessed Movement: Egypt’s Free Officers and the July Revolution (Oxford, 1992). 4. Younis, Sherif, neda `al-sha’b [The People’s Call: Critical History of Nasserite Ideology] (Cairo, 2011), p.124. 5. Miriam Cooke’s recent study goes a step further by arguing that Gulf cities and the branding of the nations in which they are located cannot be understood merely vis-`a-vis authoritarianism. Instead she argues for tribal modernity in which an exclusive and elite ruling minority with links to tribal networks singlehandedly exploit their power and employ a variety of technologies, including architecture, as part of building prestige at home and projecting an image of national power abroad. See Cooke, Mariam, Tribal Modern: Branding New Nations in the Arab Gulf (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2014). 6. Wright, Gwendolyn, ‘Global Ambition and Local Knowledge’, in Modernism and the Middle East: Architecture and Politics in the Twentieth Century, ed. Sandy Isenstadt and Kishwar Rizvi (Seattle, 2008), pp.221–54. The term

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obstructed communities from participating in national and local politics and they have created exceptional institutions to implement large-scale projects affecting the lives of millions yet determined by direct order from authorities. And yet, after six decades of military rule, much of Egypt’s urban environment is shaped by citizen-led improvised urbanism. The privileged minority has increasingly isolated itself in gated communities and private cities and architects have continued to cater to this minority.63 The Egyptian state (and the Egyptian military) continues to miss opportunities to capitalize on citizen-led urbanism and various civil-society initiatives by allowing a degree of power and authority to local communities within a statesupervised development programs. Policymakers have not figured out better ways to facilitate and channel the energy of engaged citizens and community initiatives that flourished in the early days of the 2011 Revolution into participatory models that can revolutionize Egypt’s urban environment and with it revolutionize the relationship between communities and the state.

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‘high modernism’ here refers less to aesthetic doctrine than to James Scott’s elaboration of forms of development prevalent during the Cold War, when states around the world carried out large-scale development with little regard for social concerns. See Scott, James, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven, 1998). Cohen, Adam, ‘Frank Lloyd Wright “Builds” Baghdad’, The Wall Street Journal, 20 August, 2003, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1061348 29466963700, accessed August 4, 2014. Mumford, Eric, The CIAM Discourse on Urbanism, 1928–1960 (Cambridge, Mass., 2000), p.6. For a multifaceted analysis of how different actors have participated in the making of Dubai as an example of Gulf cities, see Kanna, Ahmed, Dubai: The City as Corporation (Minneapolis, 2011). Studies on architecture of revolution include case studies such as post-Ottoman Turkey, Russia, and Mexico. See, e.g., Bozdogan, Sibel, Modernism and Nation Building: Turkish Architectural Culture in the Early Republic (Seattle, 2001), and Carranza, Luis, Architecture as Revolution: Episodes in the History of Modern Mexico (Austin, 2010). Present-day Tahrir Square was once an uninhabitable swampland that flooded according to the cycles of the Nile. The area was drained, and the eastern bank of the Nile was reinforced in the 1860s and 1870s. Massive barracks for the Egyptian army were built, and in 1872 the Qasr el Nil Bridge was opened to connect the east bank of the Nile, where the old city is, with Zamalek Island. A decade later, the barracks became home to the British army, which had taken control of Egypt. The present-day square was a buffer zone between the elite downtown district (eastern edge of the square) and the British military presence in the barracks along the Nile (western edge of the square). In 1902 the Egyptian Museum’s new building was opened to the public and demarcated the northern edge of this urban open space. Habermas, J¨urgen, Between Facts and Norms, trans. William Rehg (Cambridge, Mass., 1996), pp.366–7. See Khatib, Lina ‘Political Participation and Democracy in the Arab World’, University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law 34/2 (Winter 2013), pp.315–40. Habermas, J¨urgen, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere [1962] (Cambridge, MA: 1989), p.27. See also Calhoun, Craig J. (ed), Habermas and the Public Sphere (Cambridge, MA: 1992). Harvey, David, Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution (London, 2013), p.117. The 1977 Bread Riots were ignited by the government’s cancellation of state subsidies. The 2005 protests were driven by the labour movement. It should be noted that this has not been a sustained or continuous process as the

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Egyptian government consistently interrupted and suppressed political activity such as those cited here. See, e.g., Beinin, Joel, ‘Workers and Egypt’s January 25 Revolution’, International Labor and Working-Class History 80 (Fall 2011), pp.189–96. Harvey, David, ‘The Right to the City’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 27/4 (2003), 939–41. Castells, Manuel. The City and the Grassroots: a Cross-Cultural Theory of Urban Social Movements (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1983). Regionally there are iconic museum projects such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art. In Cairo, there are two major internationally funded new museums under construction: the Grand Egyptian Museum and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. For an introduction to the complexity of museum institutions in Egypt and the contested terrain of national narratives see Reid, Donald, Whose Pharaohs? Archaeology, Museums, and Egyptian National Identity from Napoleon to World War I (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2002). Ghannam, Farha, Remaking the Modern: Space, Relocation, and the Politics of Identity in a Global Cairo (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2002). See Ahdaf Soueif ’s foreword in Hamdy, Basma and Don Stone Karl, Walls of Freedom: Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution (Berlin, 2014). Highmore, Ben, Everyday Life and Cultural Theory: An Introduction (London and New York, 2002), p.117. Amin, Galal, Whatever Happened to the Egyptians? Changes in Egyptian Society from 1950 to the Present (Cairo, 2000). Harvey: Rebel Cities, p.5. For a discussion of how the 2011 protests can be understood in the context of the Egyptian economy, namely the neoliberal capitalism espoused by the ruling regime for the previous two decades, see Joya, Angela, ‘The Egyptian Revolution: Crisis of Neoliberalism and the Potential for Democratic Politics’, Review of African Political Economy 38/4 (November 2011), pp.367–86. For an earlier assessment of capitalism in Egypt in relation to the state and social classes see Cooper, Mark, ‘State Capitalism, Class Structure, and Social Transformation in the Third World: The Case of Egypt’, International Journal of Middle East Studies 15/4 (November 1983), pp.451–69. According to the United Nations, youth in Egypt aged 15–24 in 2010 constituted nearly 20 per cent of the population. According to the 2006 census, Egyptians age 15–64 constitute nearly 65 per cent of the population. United Nations, World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision. Available on: http://esa.un.org/wpp/unpp/panel indicators.htm. access date? Sika, Nadine, ‘Youth Political Engagement in Egypt: From Abstention to Uprising’, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 39/2 (August 2012), pp.181– 99.

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29. Sims, David, Understanding Cairo: The Logic of a City Out of Control (Cairo, 2010). 30. Mitchell, Timothy, Colonising Egypt (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1988), pp.63–5. 31. Tignor, Robert, Modernization and British Colonial Rule in Egypt, 1882–1914 (Princeton, 1966), p.283. 32. Scott: Seeing Like a State, p.4. 33. Abu-Lughod, Janet, Cairo: 1001 Years of the City Victorious (Princeton, 1971), p.147. 34. Ibid., 70. 35. Toledano, Ehud, State and Society in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Egypt (Cambridge, 1990), p.221. 36. Ibid. 37. Fahmy, Ziad, Ordinary Egyptians: Creating the Modern Nation Through Popular Culture (Stanford, 2011), p.26. 38. Abu-Lughod: Cairo, p.146. 39. In 1907, more than 243,000 (38.3 per cent) of the inhabitants of Cairo were born outside the capital. By 1927, more than 450,000 (42 per cent) of the inhabitants of Cairo were born outside the capital. See Annuaire statistique de l’Egypte (1914), p.42; and Annuaire statistique de l’Egypte (1928–1929), pp.36– 43, as cited in Fahmy: Ordinary Egyptians, p.28. 40. The council’s objective was urban beautification. It wasn’t until 1890 that Alexandria was granted the right from the Capitulatory Powers to establish a baladiya, or municipality. See Abu-Lughod: Cairo, pp.127, 148. See also Reimer, Michael, ‘Reorganizing Alexandria: the Origins and Development of the Conseil de l’Ornato’, Journal of Urban History 19/3 (1993), pp.55–83. 41. Eventually Alexandria achieved a greater level of autonomy than any other Egyptian town. Mercantile interests were the driving force behind the development of the municipal government in Alexandria. Cotton merchants wanted the improvement of roads linking the port with other strategic locations in the city. Other cities and towns attempted to establish similar municipal corporations, an attempt towards what Abu-Lughod calls ‘home-rule’, which would have allowed urban development and taxation to be partially governed by local administrations. In November of 1883, the Ministry of Interior allowed nine provincial cities to form local commissions for the purpose of planning municipal improvements financed by the national government. Abu-Lughod: Cairo, p.146. 42. Ibid. See also Sadek, S. E. M., The Balance Point Between Local Autonomy and National Control (The Hague, 1972), p.16. 43. In his study of Egyptian local government, James Mayfield summarizes the restrictions imposed by the central government on these new councils: ‘Through

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a set of basic regulations issued by the Ministry of Interior first in July 1903 and then amended in July 1909, their organizational structures, procedures, revenues, and authorities were carefully defined.’ Those limited authorities permitted to the local councils were: street cleaning, garbage collection, sanitation enforcement, building and road construction and managing the gas and the water supply. The central government still had to approve these alreadyrestricted powers. See James Mayfield, Local Government in Egypt: Structure, Process, and the Challenges of Reform (Cairo, 1996), p.55. Article 133 of the constitution outlined the principles of provincial and municipal government. Law 24 of 10 June 1934 and Law 145 of 31 August 1944 further regulated local councils. For a detailed discussion of these laws, see Gamal el-Din, Mohamed, Local Autonomy Under National Planning (Los Angeles, 1965). A constitutional declaration was made on 10 December 1952, which abrogated the constitution of 1923. In 1953, the commission of 50 scholars tasked with drafting the new constitution made several recommendations emphasizing local government institutions. See Mayfield: Local Government in Egypt, p.57. Some of the recommendations included: prohibiting the central government from nominating or controlling the elections of local councils; limiting the number of government-appointed ex officio members to one fourth of the total council membership; identifying powers for the collection and spending of local resources for public works; outlining the principle of ‘local decisionmaking autonomy’, and restricting central government interference. Mayfield: Local Government in Egypt, pp.57–8. Ibid. Ibid. The Revolutionary Command Council had banned all civilian political parties shortly after the 1952 coup and established the single ‘Liberation Rally’, later replaced by the ASU. The ASU established presence in major villages, schools, government offices, and businesses in densely populated urban areas. By 1967, there were 6,789 committees with a total of 5,305,191 members. The territorial subdivision of the party corresponded with the subdivisions of the newly established governorates. The system ensured the domination of ASU members in all local administrative levels. The central government appointed chairmen at all levels, including the governor. Party secretaries at the governorate level functioned as monitors of the local government administration. In short, the newly established local administrative system was intertwined with a single political party, making local, rural, and municipal governments tools under the control and supervision of the ruling political party. For further detail see Mayfield: Local Government in Egypt, pp.59–60.

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51. See Younis: neda`al-sha’b [The People’s Call], p.125, and Beattie, Kirk J., Egypt During the Sadat Years (New York, 2000), p.4. 52. Although Law 124 delegated functions such as education, public health, public utilities, and housing to local councils, the councils were by design dominated by the ASU. Policies were designed at the ministerial level, and local councils became mere instruments of the implementation of those policies. 53. Volait, Mercedes, Architectes et architectures de l’Egypte moderne (1830–1950): gen`ese et essor d’une expertise locale (Paris, 2005). 54. Kamal, Ahmed Ali, ‘The Role of Engineers in Socialist Society’, Majalit alMuhandess 17/9 (November 1961), pp.13–17. 55. Promotional pamphlet, ‘Nasr City, city of the revolution’, produced by the Nasr City Authority, 1959. Author’s collection (pictured in Fig. 6.2). 56. Fahim, Gamal Eddin, Madinat Nasr, 1959–1971 (Cairo, 1971), p.2. 57. In 1964, the Nasr City Foundation was transformed into a public sector company by presidential decree 2908. Fahim: Madinat Nasr, p.4. 58. Bras´ılia and Chandigarh are perhaps the most notable examples of new modernist cities imbued with a symbolism of the new independent or postcolonial nation state. Nasr City on the other hand was ambiguous when it comes to its national symbolism and incomplete when it comes to its vision and implementation. 59. Vale, Lawrence J., Architecture, Power and National Identity [1992], 2nd ed. (Abingdon and New York, 2008). 60. There are many articles in the press in 1966 about Nasr City and its status. For example, see Hammam, Samia, ‘Madinat Nasr, Will it Solve the Crisis?’, Bena `al-Watan, 1 January 1966, p.51. 61. Ghirardo, Diane, Building New Communities: New Deal America and Fascist Italy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), p.5. 62. Alsharif, Asma, with Ehab Farouk, ‘UAE’s Arabtec agrees $40 billion housing project with Egypt army’, Reuters News, 9 March 2014, http://www.reuters .com/article/2014/03/09/us-arabtec-egypt-idUSBREA280KK20140309, accessed 4 August 2014. ´ 63. Denis, Eric, ‘Cairo as Neo-Liberal Capital? From Walled City to Gated Communities’, in Cairo Cosmopolitan: Politics, Culture, and Urban Space in the New Globalized Middle East, ed. Diane Singerman and Paul Amar (Cairo, 2006), pp.47–71.

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7 Disobedient Objects Gavin Grindon

The vogue for exhibitions on ‘activist art’, from Of Direct Action Considered as One of the Fine Arts at MACBA in 2000, through The Interventionists at Mass MoCA in 2005, to the 2009 Istanbul Biennale and 2012 Berlin Biennale, has involved both the creation of space and visibility for social movement cultures (specifically autonomous social movements, which have been the dominant global movement form of organization in this period), but it has also entailed an enclosure and recuperation of those cultures. This ambiguous art-institutional turn towards ‘activism’ raises the question of how art produced within social movement cultures can be written about productively, given that the institutions and institutional roles which traditionally support art writing of various kinds are often at odds with social movement cultures’ relations of production and circulation. In attempting to address methods and perspectives combining artistic labour and political participation, my focus is not on the area of performance or dialogue but on objects, the most neglected and apparently problematic category for such work. Objects might seem at a particular inanimate remove from issues of political participation and agency, and most readily reified (which after all means turned into objects) and decontextualized. Formally, music and performance emerging from social movements have received perhaps the most attention from writers, curators and filmmakers, whereas the material objects of movements have most often fallen beyond their remit. But for these reasons such objects are particularly revealing. There are many ways art and design practices can be politically active. But I am not primarily concerned with the institutional frames of the 151

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sometimes-isolated gestures of either ‘critical design’ or even programmes of ‘interventionist’ participatory art. Likewise ‘activist art’ and more recently ‘design activism’ are established terms referring alternately to a broad range of artists’ practices or to socially responsible professional design.1 I do not wish to denigrate such practices, and it is true that there are many kinds of ‘activism’, but at the same time the broad use of the term ‘activism’ has also functioned as an enclosure of cultural value, authenticity and impact on the part of professional artists, critics, designers, corporations, and even NGOs. Rather, it seems imperative to step back from some of these existing frameworks, and begin with the actually existing but often unacknowledged grassroots cultures of social movements, in order to contextualize the many overlapping current debates on art, design, participation and social change.

What Are Disobedient Objects? By disobedient objects I intend the objects of art and design produced by grassroots activist social movements. The context of movements, their theory and practice, is the primary context for a grounded understanding of activist art, so often misframed purely by more abstract, internal artworld debates in theory and aesthetics. The perspective I adopt here is that of social art history, specifically of an art history from below. In their history of the revolutionary Atlantic of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the historians Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker observe that for the classically educated architects of the Atlantic economy, Hercules represented power and order. They saw in his mythical labours their own epic imperial ambitions and aggressive economic enclosure of the world. Accordingly, they placed his image on coins, buildings and the finely crafted objects of their domestic lives, and images of him can be found multiplied across paintings, sculptures and ceramics in Western museum collections. Hercules’ second labour was to destroy the Hydra of Lerna, in whose image leaders of state and industry saw an antithetical figure of resistance and ‘disorder’. It was an unruly monster, part whirlwind, part woman, part snake. When Hercules sliced off one of its heads, two more sprung up in its place. Eventually he killed it and, dipping arrows into the slain beast’s gall, harnessed its power for himself and his future triumphs: From the beginning of English colonial expansion in the early seventeenth century through the metropolitan industrialization of the early nineteenth, rulers

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referred to the Hercules-Hydra myth to describe the difficulty of imposing order on increasingly global systems of labor. They variously designated dispossessed commoners, transported felons, indentured servants, religious radicals, pirates, urban laborers, soldiers, sailors, and African slaves as the numerous, ever-changing heads of the monster. But the heads, though originally brought into productive combination by their Herculean rulers, soon developed among themselves new forms of cooperation against those rulers, from mutinies and strikes to riots and insurrections and revolution.2

For Linebaugh and Rediker, the Hydra suggests, in silhouette, the lost history of the multi-ethnic classes essential to the making of the modern world. Historians like them have tried to look at history from below, instead of from the perspective of ‘great men’ and the agency of state and capital. History is inevitably a matter of selective inclusion. This is equally true of the objects of art and design history, whose canon and collections are most often shaped by a market of wealthy collectors, even as some critical artists, curators and historians have attempted to intervene within the field. Turning to disobedient objects means looking for the objects that open up histories of making from below, often well outside the institutional history of fine art or design. These objects disclose hidden moments in which, even if only in brief flashes, we find the possibility that things might be otherwise: that, in fact, the world may also be made from below, by collective, organized disobedience against the world as it is. But history from below can be difficult to perceive. Its protagonists are barely documented, and we can only tell so much by turning things like silver vases inside out in order to reveal them in negative relief. The art, design and material culture of movements have gone mostly uncollected, unpreserved, excluded from their place in the making of history. Indeed, the image of the heroic worker, which became familiar on labour movement banners soon after the colonial Hercules imagery, itself relied on re-appropriating the image of Hercules as a powerful labouring body, the Hydra becoming the constrictions of capitalism, later often pictured as chains to be smashed. Culture, understood (in one narrow sense) as the objects and images we should know about and value – our history of art and design – is also often told from above. This essay is one for the Hydra. Seeing through the Hydra’s eyes is often a matter of historical perspective. Social movements, whether focused on feminism, anti-capitalism, global justice or other issues, are at the centre of the struggles that have won many of the rights and liberties we now enjoy.3 They establish new ways of seeing the world and relating to each other that 153

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are often later taken for granted. Social movements are one of the primary engines producing our culture and politics, and this is no less true when it comes to art and design. Disobedient objects have a history as long as social struggle itself. Ordinary people have always used them to exert ‘counterpower’.4 Objects have played a key role in social change alongside performance, music and the visual arts. The imagination and creativity of making within social movements has played a key role in achieving social change, upending the terms of public debates and directly influencing more familiar commercial art and design. The role of material culture in social movement is a mostly untold story. There have been many exhibitions of political prints, and there have been exhibitions of movement histories, mostly in social history museums, which included objects but did not focus specifically on them and their making. Likewise, writing on movement cultures has focused on print, performance or music, but less often on object-making. Social movements, though they may appear chaotic, are one of the principal sites where culture grows. The most common lazy stereotypes, easy to find in certain newspapers, of movements as insensible, unthinking, or inevitably violent, draw on even older classist, racist and sexist Victorian tropes of the flighty, swinish multitude or childlike, colonial savage, which have their roots in a bourgeois fear of the urban poor and ‘Oriental’ culture.5 Little better is the notion of movement cultures as mechanisms of blunt political demands (as in the crudely statist notion of ‘propaganda’). McPhee and Greenwald’s phrasing of ‘social movement cultures’ consciously identifies them as a site of culture and value.6 Movement cultures are the zeropoint of political art and design, but tend to be alternatively ignored or problematically recuperated by art and design institutions. Institutions have an understanding of what constitutes good art and design based on criteria of aesthetic excellence that are rooted in selfperpetuating professional infrastructures and ideas of connoisseurship. The Victoria and Albert Museum (hence V&A), which hosted the 2014– 15 Disobedient Objects exhibition from which this discussion emerges, for example, has mostly collected commodity objects of elite production and consumption – which are also primarily objects of private consumption. An exception is the collection of prints and posters. The multiple, cheap and distributed nature of the poster meant that even in its most finely designed form, it was integrated into everyday public life. From the late nineteenth century, museums began collecting posters, precisely because their public context suggested an exciting modern medium. A form that has commonly been used by activists (especially from the late 1960s) was

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therefore already an established museum object-type. So it is as prints and posters that movement cultures have most easily slipped under the doors of museums. But what of the presence and visibility of other kinds of disobedient objects? Even closely framing the slippery term ‘activism’ on social movements risks erasing differences: the relative strengths and weaknesses of different politics, or variations in the power, privilege and access found in different movements. It might suggest a narrow typology of objects made by ‘activists’, an identity that does not always appropriately describe the forms of subjectivity involved in non-Western social movements. It is also essential to acknowledge the politics of the everyday, where social change is made before or beyond the composition of a recognizably ‘activist’ subjectivity.7 One might take the position that disobedient objects might also include objects of the right (perhaps for ‘balance’). Here, a radical history from below departs from the methods of a liberal capitalist sociology whose language it sometimes appropriates, making ‘social movements’ stand for agents of struggle against domination rather than serving as an othering disciplinary definition of any contestatory extra-institutional organization. Such a position neglects two aspects of the composition of radical autonomous movements. Firstly, the organization of autonomous movements, and thus their modes of cultural production, tend to involve democratic participation, collectivity, co-authorship, consensus and solidarity. Organizations that foster instead strict hierarchies, strong leadership, fixity and exclusivity, while harking back to an imagined past, produce incomparably different cultures by different means. They tend first of all not to foster radical cultural experiment with objects such as graffiti robots or inflatable cobblestones. Secondly, the categorization of these as ‘left’ or ‘right’ wing objects draws on a rigid geometric scheme originates in the seating arrangements of the 1789 French National Assembly. This is insufficiently nuanced to capture the diversity of movement cultures. Rather, they appear in varying, complexly composed movements, in which liberation movements may also be nationalist; or deploy traditional, even religious, values, or oppose ostensibly ‘left’ communist states. At the same time, ‘disobedient objects’ doesn’t attempt to define a discipline. The term is intended as an evocative proposition or an invitation rather than a typology or closed concept. It centres on the object-based tactics and strategies that movements adopt to succeed. Its edges remain open to questions. What other forms of agency do these objects involve? Can we identify material points where disobedience begins, or turns into something else? Are some politics unable to produce objects?

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We Want Bread, But Roses Too Attributed to Lawrence Textile Strikers, 1921

There is no protest aesthetic. Political movement is always a matter of being emotionally moved, but each movement has its own aesthetic composition. By ‘aesthetic composition’ we intend something close to Raymond Williams’ ‘structure or feeling’, but emphasizing affect and aesthetics not only as a determined structure (whether emergent or otherwise) but also as bound to agency and processes of political and class composition.8 Accordingly, the objects emerging from these cultures are not unified by style or type. They can be monuments, full of symbolic historical accumulation, or small, quotidian and domestic. Though they are often playful and humorous, they can also be simultaneously traumatic, traversed by antagonism and conflict. Their makers commonly experience pressure from governments and private economic interests, in the form of police harassment, violence, spying, imprisonment, even assassination. The question of the value of these objects, not least in terms of beauty and aesthetic fineness, is starkly posed when these objects are placed in a museum such as the V&A. Placed beside the V&A’s examples of fine craft, movement objects might seem to fail in comparative judgements of aesthetic quality. But a failure to pass can be a form of disobedience in its own right, not least in questioning the narrow grounds of ‘quality’. Fine making often belongs to privileged social conditions involving time, institutional training, normalization and patronage. It is bound to discipline and governance. As a result, fine objects are themselves mostly failures in the task of making change. Disobedient objects explore what Halberstam calls the queer art of failure.9 They may be simple in means, but they are rich in ends. Working (in the words of Critical Art Ensemble) by any medium necessary, often under conditions of duress and scarcity, they tend to foreground promiscuous resourcefulness, ingenuity and timely intervention. This is not to balance aesthetic quality against social significance, but to begin to rethink aesthetic value itself. As Duncombe and Lambert argue: Political art [ . . . ] is engaged in the world. The world is messy. It has lots of moving parts. This material is impossible to fully control or master [ . . . ] Whereas compromise for the traditional artist means diluting their vision, compromise for the political artist is the very essence of democratic engagement.10

The Bread and Puppets Theatre has since the 1960s been central to introducing puppetry to social movements in the United States. Through 156

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the pathos of its archetypal papier-mˆach´e puppets and Cheap Art Manifesto, it negates stereotypes about social movement making as crude or naive because the objects are produced quickly, under pressure and with limited resources. Rather, movement-makers are skilful artists, craftspeople and technologists producing considered, practical responses to complex problems, which have proven both effective and aesthetically powerful. I pondered all these things, and how men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name. William Morris, A Dream of John Ball, 1888

The strange, sometimes ambivalent, or bitter victories of movements complicate any assessment of successful design in their objects. Some disobedient objects might seem like ‘hope in the dark’, in Rebecca Solnit’s phrase, unlikely to achieve any change.11 But their acts of composing things otherwise, in defiance of all that is wrong around them, are beautiful failures that throw teleological definitions of success into question. Moreover, all successful movements are made up of very large numbers of people carrying out small, seemingly utopian experiments without seeing or even necessarily knowing of each other; having no idea of the sometimes unlikely opportunities their acts might create; not necessarily realizing they are already sewing the fabric of historical change. While the organizations that produce disobedient objects might have little cultural visibility to begin with, social movements are instituent – they aim to institute new ways of living, laws and social organizations. As William Morris observed, social movements often find themselves woven into unexpected new contexts that obscure their origins. Or as David Graeber puts it: ‘What reformers have to understand is that they’re never going to get anywhere without radicals and revolutionaries to betray.’12 In Bolivia, the Katarista movements of the 1970s revived the Wiphala flag symbolizing Qullasuyu, their quadrant of the Inca Empire, as part of their rural, indigenous and anti-colonial politics. The rainbow flag of 49 squares recalls pre-Columbian designs and became widespread in indigenous mobilizations in the 1990s. But between 2007 and 2009, when a new constitution refounded the country, the Wiphala flag’s resonances altered as it became an official state flag, draped on government buildings and stitched to the uniforms of police and soldiers.13 If governments sometimes claim credit for movement victories and appropriate their established cultures, businesses more often do so with their cultural innovations. Today’s proliferation of 157

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rentable public bicycles in cities began in Amsterdam with a collection of 1960s anarchist-artists called the Provos, who left white bicycles in public for anyone to use and then leave for others. The police confiscated them, saying that people might steal them (some Provos responded by stealing police bikes and leaving these in public painted white, too). Their white bike plan eventually led to government-supported bicycle programmes, since adopted by other city governments around the world. Similarly, the problematic labelling of the recent Arab Spring as the ‘Twitter Revolution’ belies another genealogy: Twitter itself was inspired by an activist media project, the Institute for Applied Autonomy’s TXTMob, launched (alongside the Ruckus Society’s RNC Text Alert Service) to circumvent mass media and network demonstrators during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York. These initiatives were in turn inspired by early experiments with mobile phones and text messaging by European movements in the 1990s, especially Reclaim the Streets in Britain.

Making Trouble: Swarm Design and Ecologies of Agency Disobedient objects are most commonly everyday objects, appropriated and turned to a new purpose, from the wooden shoe of the saboteur (from sabot, French for wooden shoe) thrown into a factory machine to the shoe thrown at President Bush by an Iraqi journalist during a press conference with the words, ‘This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog.’14 Collective appropriation can be found in the noisemaking pots and pans first used in Chile’s cacerolazos in the 1970s, in which the archetypal objects of domestic design sounded a counter-public sphere, or the mass jingling of keys, which unlocked the air of public space during the 1989 Czech Velvet Revolution. Likewise, in Latin America, a traditional tool by which farmers earned their income, embedded in various local popular traditions, has also long held a powerful symbolic role in protests: the machete. In 1959 Fidel Castro announced the machete as the symbol of the Cuban Revolution, echoing the use of ploughs, sickles and hammers in European and Russian socialist iconography. The machete’s symbolic function is supported by its long history as a weapon for poor farmers and freed slaves in wars of independence. Still in practical use, machetes are often carried symbolically in demonstrations rather than depicted graphically. By 2012, they could be seen in student demonstrations in Mexico paired with Guy Fawkes masks. But disobedient objects are about making as much as breaking. Disobedience can involve DIY hacking and alteration, and also the design of whole new ways to disobey. The re-use of easily accessible objects, like the 158

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shipping barrels comprising nineteenth-century barricades (from barrique, French for barrel), implicate these objects in unfinished dialectics of social struggle and make them one means of the global circulation of struggles. For example, wooden pallets, the structural foundation of one unit load, were produced by the mid-twentieth-century standardization of international container shipping. They were brought about by efficiency drives rooted in de-skilling aimed at breaking the power of unionized longshoremen’s labour. But these mass-produced wooden frames, designed for disciplining labour and circulating commodities, became, around the world, a shared infrastructural basis for the first 1970s tree-sits in New Zealand; furniture and barricade elements in 1970s Dutch Kabouter squats, or those of Okupa in Spain; and more recently the base of 123 Occupy’s designs to support the protest-units of Occupy Wall Street tents (Figs. 7.1a, 7.1b). Disobedient objects are not mere props. Or rather, as disability scholars have observed, democracy is prosthetic. The system of voting, for example, has always been propped up by objects, from the Chartists’ call for the democratizing impairment of secret ballots, where paper cards replace voices, to the push-button electronic voting machines introduced in India in the 1980s, which facilitated voting for illiterate citizens. Social movements, too, have their own props, and they can fall down without them. (Even though, in British ecological movements, the key material infrastructures of protest events are referred to, self-depreciatingly, as ‘activist tat’.) Though I have avoided the term, we might think of these as ‘activist objects’ in the sense that they are active, bound up with the agency of social change. The objects do not possess agency in themselves, but make change as part of ecologies composed also of other objects, music, performing bodies, technology, laws, organizations and effects. A weaker, less resource-rich power can triumph through asymmetrical innovation, and since the 1980s the strategic advantages of smallness and mobility have increased. So while disobedient objects are often appropriated, they also often appropriate their context of existing architecture or situations, unlocking them to reframe a situation or produce new relationships. As many have argued, the best response to a powerful enemy can be a more powerful story. Eclectic Electric Collective’s inflatable cobblestones thrown at the police (Fig. 7.2) playfully destabilize relations between police and protestors, while the book bloc implicates the police in a dance with demonstrators (Fig. 7.3). The police’s attempt to control the streets using violence is reframed as control of the story of austerity, itself an attack on access to education. The holes wrought in the shields by the police’s truncheons are part of their provenance, a certifying signature of their unwitting co-authorship.

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123occupy is a project meant to connect strategies for occu

INSULATED PALLET ACTION: STAKE GROUND Project 1 is INSULATED PALLET, found wooden pallets insulated with layers of cardboard (2-3 inches) and waterproofed above and below with plastic tarp. When placed side by side, these pallets have the capacity to stake ground in a modular grid pattern. They act as insulating, drainable platforms for tents or other occupation strategies.

TOTAL COST: $5.00 for bolts and screws

Fig. 7.1a Working drawings and prototypes for an insulated pallet, 123 Occupy, New York, 2011.

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pation and protest with reproducible physical actions. We do this through prototypes and a simple set of instructions for building.

NAILING NAILING LAYERS OF MATERIALS TO STRUCTURE

WATERPROOFING

FLOOR MATERIAL SURFACE INSULATION LAYERS OF CARDBOARDS

WATERPROOFING TARP OR OTHER WATERPROOF MATERIALS

PALLET RECYCLED PALLET 48” X 40”

STUFFED INSULATION CHANCE TO ORGANIZE

STUFFED WITH RECYCLED PLASTIC BAG INSULATION MATERIAL

BY PROVIDING INSULATED PLATFORM GA WILL HAVE CHANCES TO CHANGE EXISTING LAYOUT OF RESIDENCE

IMPROVED DRAINAGE/ RUN OFF ELEVATED PLATFORM OF PALLETS PROVIDE IMPROVED DRAINAGE WHILE PRECIPITATION

INSULATION INSULATED PLATFORM BLOCKS COLDNESS FROM GROUND

Fig. 7.1b Working drawings and prototypes for an insulated pallet, 123 Occupy, New York, 2011.

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Fig. 7.2 Book Bloc, student and public-sector workers’ protest against public funding cuts, London, December 2010.

Fig. 7.3 Giant inflatable cobblestone, designed by Tools for Action, during the General Strike, Barcelona, February 2012. Photo by Oriana Elic¸abe.

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DISOBEDIENT OBJECTS

While their social and geographical contexts vary widely, disobedient objects share common modes of production, lines of communication and influence. History from below entails multiplicity, and we focus on the interweaving of different historical moments. These objects don’t move from producer to market in a circulation of commodities, as in Marx’s scheme of Money-Commodity-Money,15 but are one means of a circulation of struggles (perhaps, Movement-Object-Movement). Making a new world is always an experiment, but it doesn’t happen in an isolated laboratory. The objects involved are prototypes that exist in the wild, to be modified and reworked to meet the needs of different times and places. They have a distributed collective authorship, involving multiple re-appropriations and re-workings as movements learn from each other and develop each other’s tactics, or solve similar problems with parallel approaches.

Tripods Tripods, objects that augment the body’s ability to blockade, are an archetypal example of this swarm design. On 26 March 1974, loggers arrived in the village of Reni in Uttarakhand in northern India. Female villagers, after trying to reason with them, explaining that they relied on the trees for their livelihood, were threatened with guns. In response, they extended Ghandian methods to chipko: hugging the trees in a bodily blockade. Their successes in forest conservation became a strategic rallying point for the nascent ecological movement. In 1978 in New Zealand, as part of antilogging protests that led to the foundation of Pureora Forest Park, activists extended such blockades by moving out of easy reach, building platforms using wooden pallets high up in the trees to blockade the felling with ‘tree-sits’, a tactic also adopted in Australia’s Terrania Creek in 1979 (in what became national park land, including the picturesque Protesters Falls), and in the US in 1985 to prevent logging in Willamette National Forest, Oregon. As the tactic spread, tree surgery businesses or industrial rope access firms were sometimes hired in the United States and Britain to assist police and bailiffs in extracting protesters from trees. But protesters outdesigned the authorities once again. In 1989, during huge anti-logging blockades in Coolangubra State Forest, Australia, activists raised a threelegged tripod about six metres high that blocked the single logging road into the forest: a tree-sit without a tree. The first tripod was a metal scaffold, pulled into place by a vehicle, but others there and at the parallel Chaelundi forest blockades used wooden logs. One person sat atop the tripod, so that removing any of its legs would cause him or her to fall and 163

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be injured. Some of these forests later became national parks. The North East Forest Alliance’s 1991 Intercontinental Deluxe Guide to Blockading spread tripod (and lock-on) designs to the UK and US (some individual activists travelled between Australian, American and British actions, too) (Fig. 7.4a). In the US, wooden tripods first appeared in 1992 blockades protecting the Cove Mallard wilderness. In Britain, the tripod was adopted by Reclaim the Streets, where urban activists with strong ties to earlier British tree-sits scavenged steel scaffolding poles to make tripods. In an urban context they constituted ‘intelligent barricades’ that closed a road to cars but left it open for pedestrians and bicycles. Beginning on Angel High Street, London, in 1994, these tripods made Reclaim the Streets parties possible. The design spread through the how-to guide Road Raging (Fig. 7.4a). Bipod and even unipod designs, alongside complex multitripod architectural arrangements using overlapping legs, sometimes in response to the development of specialized police removal units, proliferated in the United States, Asia-Pacific and Europe. Groups invested in lighter, more quickly erected aluminium (and even bamboo) poles over steel scaffolding. From the 2006 British Climate Camp protests, the tripod became a graphic icon of protest and was sometimes erected at camp entrances for purely symbolic reasons. This ecology of agency also involves different contexts and power relations, traversing and transforming these objects. The role of the law is perhaps the clearest example. The state, in a paradox of sovereignty, attempts to define what are legal and acceptable forms of protest against it. Many modern forms of action, such as unions or strikes, were once illegal and required either secrecy or open lawbreaking. Recently in Britain new laws redefining ‘public order’, as well as cuts to legal aid and investment of public money in the surveillance and disruption of peaceful movements, have curtailed the right to protest. Objects are intimately involved in this negotiation of what constitutes the space of ‘legitimate’ protest. The pocket-sized ‘bust cards’, detailing legal rights and advice in case of arrest, were first developed in the late 1960s by the US Black Panthers and UK drug campaigning groups for victims of police harassment. They are now commonplace in public demonstrations as democratic protest is increasingly criminalized. In the US during the 2000s, the sticks that support a dancing puppet were reclassified as ‘potential weapons’, perhaps explaining a move to inflatables by some groups. In Britain, the 1994 Criminal Justice Act, Section 60, made wearing a mask at a protest (for example, in objection to police data-gathering teams) an offence. In 2012, United Arab Emirates police announced people should not wear Guy Fawkes masks, as ‘objects

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Fig. 7.4a Working diagrams for scaffolding tripods, drawn by B Dahl, February 1997. The much-reproduced final versions of these drawings appeared in Road Raging, but appeared first as a photocopied pamphlet during blockades of the Newbury bypass, Berkshire, England.

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Fig. 7.4b Working diagrams for scaffolding tripods, drawn by B Dahl, February 1997. The much-reproduced final versions of these drawings appeared in Road Raging, but appeared first as a photocopied pamphlet during blockades of the Newbury bypass, Berkshire, England.

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deemed to instigate unrest are illegal’, while their import into Bahrain was banned in 2013. The Molotov cocktail, which first appeared during the Spanish Civil War and later in Finnish resistance to Soviet invasion in the 1930s, entailed a semi-permanent change in the conceptual status of mass-produced glass bottles as unproblematic everyday objects. In Belfast during the early 1990s, art students carrying milk bottles (in which they used to wash their paintbrushes) were often stopped as potential terrorists because – for the state – their artists’ tools had become irrevocably associated with more insurgent appropriation. Here, too, we must include the many imaginary disobedient objects that have been conjured by the police, and fed to the media, which have at various points served as a pretext for curtailing protests. Despite their potent psychological associations, these objects never surfaced at protests and would have little practical reason for doing so – from condoms filled with urine at the Seattle 1999 WTO protests to ‘rioters armed with samurai swords and machetes’ at the London 2001 May Day protests.16 Sometimes, the media’s imaginative framing of objects is embraced by or otherwise becomes definitive for movements, from the fictional ‘bra burning’ in reports on the 1968 Miss America protests to the coinage of the term ‘black bloc’ by the German press in the 1980s to describe the dress of some Autonomen.17 The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House. Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider, 1984

Context is everything. We should be wary of any uncritical affirmation of the power of making, ‘creative’ activism or transversal innovation in the context of the neo-liberal relations of the ‘creative industries’. Rather, the contradiction remains open: to produce any value at all, capital relies on the same capacity to be creative that is always also escaping and refusing. This creativity can come from mobilizing traditions and religious or spiritual values as much as experimental novelty, for example, in the dense iconography of British labour union banners, Indonesian group Taring Padi’s protest puppets’ adaptation of the traditions of wayang puppet theatre, the carved Maori pouwhenua (pre-European land-marker post), made for carrying at the head of the 1975 Maori land rights march and subsequent protests, or the avatar of the Goddess of Good Governance protecting street hawkers in Sewa Nagar market in Delhi, who, in her many arms, holds a video camera to film the police. Many more playful or creative disobedient objects only function in specific social-democratic contexts, in which governments, even if in 167

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increasingly limited ways, recognize people as subjects with a right of resistance to speak and act politically. Without such acknowledgement – most often the case for movements composed of people of colour and indigenous communities – struggles for rights and freedoms sometimes necessarily take different forms, from urban self-defence to rural or desert guerrilla warfare. Their objects necessarily become improvised objects of physical force, often outmatched by but dialectically bound to the violence and oppression they resist; from ‘fards’, single-shot guns made by blacksmiths from scrap water pipes, used by neighbourhood protection groups in the poorest areas of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, to ‘technicals’, the improvised battle vehicles engineered by anti-Gaddafi rebels during the 2011 Libyan revolution. Even among other movements, the diversity of tactics has often been key to their success, which includes objects of militant community defence or property destruction; such as the appropriation of a Lucozade bottle as a weapon among 1980s British antifascists confronting Neo-Nazis; or the role of ‘tree spiking’ in the success of American forest protection campaigns.18

Undisciplined Knowledge I jumped up and said ‘Arm me – I’ll kill a white dude right now!’ The whole [Black Panther] meeting got quiet. They called me to the front of the room, and the brother who was running the meeting looked at me for a minute, and then reached into the desk drawer. My heart was pounding. I was like, ‘Oh my god, he’s going to give me a big-ass gun!’ And he handed me a stack of books . . . I said, ‘Excuse me, sir, I thought you were going to arm me?’ He said, ‘I just did.’ Jamal Joseph, interview in Time magazine, 9 February 2012

Disobedient objects also lead us to think about how movements produce new forms of knowledge and strategy that help us see from below. While they may find footholds in various disciplines, they also draw from popular global and local traditions of making, outside professional art and design. Some of these are evoked by the many how-to publications which instruct their readers on the design of disobedience: the barricade diagrams of Auguste Blanqui’s 1866 Instructions for an Insurrection; Bread and Puppet Theatre’s 68 Ways to Make Really Big Puppets; Dave Foreman’s Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching; The Squatter’s Handbook; The Activist Tat Collective Recipe Book for camps and convergences, or the recent collection Beautiful Trouble. These objects embody knowledge and skills. They are not formed from nowhere. We might consider the section of Marx’s Grundrisse, 168

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in which he argues that the fixed capital of factory machines materially embodies the ‘general intellect’ of workers: their aggregate social skill and knowledge.19 This might prompt us to wonder what other anti-capitalist machines the general intellect might imagine and embody itself in. We might think of the objects and performances of social movements as just such machines, embodying knowledge otherwise. There is certainly a mutiny of professional knowledge, including fine art and design, in these objects. But they are also moulded by the collective, informal, experiential knowledge of local laws around protest, of how to negotiate with police, of political meeting and street protest dynamics. Additionally, they spring from a base in leisure and domestic skills that become political tools, from camping to knitting and sewing.20 Behind the design of tripods stand other changes in leisure and education, for example, the growth of climbing as a sporting activity and the growth of indoors walls in the 1980s, often appearing first in university gyms. Such knowledges are one example of what Harney and Moten call ‘the undercommons’. Its appearance in the museum echoes its role in the university. To document them without betraying them here is to attempt to appropriate the academy (or the museum) as a means of amplification, transmission and reflection. It cannot be denied that the university is a place of refuge and it cannot be accepted that the university is a place of enlightenment. In the face of these conditions one can only sneak into the university and steal what one can. To abuse its hospitality, to spite its mission, to join its refugee colony, its gypsy encampment, to be in but not of – this is the path of the subversive intellectual in the modern university.21

This position ‘within and against’ an institution emerges principally from careful attention to these objects and their own instituent power.22 It isn’t just about antagonism, although that is important. Rather, it implies a ‘with and for’. As a project’s spaces of autonomy develop, less time might be spent in antagonism than in co-research towards a collective project, composing the many ‘yeses’ behind the ‘noes’. In attending to these objects one must return, in one sense, to a quite traditional idea of the etymological roots of a curator as one who cares. ‘Care’ is here used not in the sense of bureaucratic administration or discipline, but as an ethics of solidarity, mutual aid, even love.23 Caring for these objects involves becoming with and for them, listening to them and understanding how their making is bound to a making of history that is both neglected and incomplete. 169

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Unfinished Objects The posters produced by the ATELIER POPULAIRE are weapons in the service of the struggle and are an inseparable part of it. Their rightful place is in the centres of conflict, that is to say, in the streets and on the walls of the factories. To use them for decorative purposes, to display them in bourgeois places of culture or to consider them as objects of aesthetic interest, is to impair both their function and their effect. This is why the ATELIER POPULAIRE has always refused to put them on sale. Even to keep them as historical evidence of a certain stage in the struggle is a betrayal, for the struggle itself is of such primary importance that the position of an ‘outside’ observer is a fiction which inevitably plays into the hands of the ruling class. That is why these works should not be taken as the final outcome of an experience, but as an inducement for finding, through contact with the masses, new levels of action, both on the cultural and the political plane. Atelier Populaire statement, 1968

Swarm-designed objects are necessarily rough, raw things, whose edges are open to further modification and appropriation. Only their contexts of use make them whole, and this makes these objects unfinished in another, more teleological, sense. Documented or exhibited, rather than being ‘dead’ like a butterfly enclosed in a case, disobedient objects are unfinished, like a political sticker never stuck, its hope and rage still held fast to its laminate backing. Their aura is that of an unfulfilled promise. But this incompleteness needn’t be a melancholy sign of failure so much as one of possibility. A suffragette tea set promoting votes for women is a comfortable object to contemplate to the extent that a consensus has formed about the struggle that produced it – what happened, who won and what that means. The jeopardy, trauma and grief encapsulated in many contemporary disobedient objects, however, is raw and ongoing in ways that may make them uncomfortable or disturbing. They embody uncomfortable truths about the present and destabilize the official line of politicians and media organizations. They are full of uncertainty – and the empowering and terrifying idea that our own actions (and inaction) could make a difference. The Atelier Populaire’s critique, though totalizing, is well-founded. Social movements, in contesting our ways of seeing and acting, find themselves beset by a long and recent history of misrepresentation, in which they are ignored or maligned by mass media while simultaneously being appropriated for their vitality and authenticity. Museums are not immune to this process of caricature. Visiting the Political Art Documentation and Distribution archive at MoMA in New York, two independent researchers found a collection of undocumented American Indian movement posters, 170

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with a Post-It note inside their archive drawer that read, ‘not cool enough to catalog’.24 Other groups, such as the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination or the various Occupy movements, have found themselves invited – as content – to participate in museum programmes. The museum then often attempts to contain or stifle the same organizing vitality that originally attracted it when it becomes apparent that it might trouble the museum’s sponsorship or labour relations.25 The Atelier Populaire’s resistance to institutionalization intersects with the anecdote quoted earlier from a Black Panther meeting, which suggests that reflection can be as important as action. But the terms of that reflection are crucial, and this problem of representation must be the primary concern when representing social movement objects. When objects such as these have appeared in museums, they have usually been presented as ephemera, displayed not for close attention in their own right so much as incidental objects that were present while important social change was happening. More rarely, they have appeared as fetishes, valorized as ‘edgy’ or ‘vital’ cultural capital and thus commodified in ways counter to the political goals they were made to achieve. These two conditions, ephemera and fetish, are principal dangers. This essentially methodological discussion on how we might begin to approach activist art by grounding it in social movement cultures has been accompanied by a practical experiment in an exhibition of the same name at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, from July 2014 to February 2015. Whatever our emotional reaction or identification with these unfinished objects, we mostly encounter them for only a brief moment, and even then always mediated by other objects and social relations: perhaps inches from, or touching, our bodies in a crowd, held by (or holding up) our friends or comrades, in news footage of people who could be us, in photographs of days growing distant, or suddenly reappearing in a courtroom. The exhibition or academic documentation of these objects is, in fact, one moment when you might actually spend time with them, right in front of you, able to slowly examine them. How does this moment (where the objects are placed in historical, and relative, contexts) relate to these other moments, its use by activists, newspaper photographers, and so on? The undercommons test the claim of a museum or university to really be a ‘public’ space of participation. Invited to a dance with the institution that Brian Holmes calls a game of liar’s poker,26 presenting disobedient objects in institutional contexts sets a wager on what the institution does to disobedient objects and what they do to the institution, as well as – crucially – what else this might institute beyond it. The process of writing or exhibiting is one of institutional critique, but it may also be a process of

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Fig. 7.5 Tear gas mask: How to Guide: Makeshift Tear-Gas Mask. Illustrated by Marwan Kaabour, at Barnbrook. Flyer from the exhibition Disobedient Objects, Victoria and Albert Museum, July 2014 – February 2015.

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counter-institution. Disobedient objects were not made, for example, with a museum in mind. Nor do they rely on the museum to legitimate them – but this does not mean that they have nothing to gain from appearing there. That an exhibition can provide space to consider, away from the rush of a political action or the hyperbole of mass media, was demonstrated at the ARTPLAY design space in Moscow during the demonstrations (or ‘fair election’ rallies) against Putin’s election as president in 2012. Recognizing that a new style of public protest was emerging in Russia, exemplified by individualized and often witty handmade placards, ARTPLAY invited protestors to lend their placards to the gallery for a short period during which they staged an exhibition, entitled You don’t even represent us / You can’t even imagine us. Afterwards, many of the placards were collected by their makers and carried in further demonstrations. The ‘makeshift gas mask guide from the V&A exhibition (Fig. 7.5), based on a design used in the 2013 occupation of Istanbul’s Gezi Park, was shared on blogs and Twitter during the exhibition in 2014 with the #Ferguson hashtag, following the heavy tear-gassing of protests in Ferguson, Missouri over the police shooting of an unarmed teenager. Protestors there made the mask from this design to protect and care for each other. Masks using the V&A design were made and used on an even wider scale during the 2014 Hong Kong pro-democracy protests. The visibility of the museum as a place for looking amplified and projected this general intellect around mask-making in solidarity, from one undercommons to another.27 Inflatable ‘carbon bubbles’ made during museum workshops have appeared in the streets during the 2014 climate justice marches in New York and London. Engaging with the unfinished struggles of which activist art is a part, as a historian or curator, is not only an abstract question of methodology or representation, or of critique (institutional or otherwise) but one of strategy. Strategy implicates the position of the writer as participant, and such a critical perspective must include a reflection on one’s own participation, privilege and responsibility.

Notes 1. Examples can be found in Design for the Other 90% (New York, 2007), Design for the Elastic Mind (New York, 2008), and Thorpe, Ann, Architecture and Design versus Consumerism: How Design Activism Confronts Growth (London, 2012). 2. Linebaugh, Peter and Marcus Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (Boston, 2001), pp.3–4.

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3. ‘Social movement’ is a sociological term for the organizations behind what is commonly called ‘protest’ or ‘direct action’. Sociologists still debate its exact definition and bounds, but essentially it encapsulates large informal and noninstitutional groups of people concentrating on political and social issues. 4. Gee, Tim, Counterpower: Making Change Happen (London, 2011). 5. On this social abjection in a contemporary context, see Tyler, Imogen, Revolting Subjects: Social Abjection and Resistance in Neoliberal Britain (London, 2014). 6. See McPhee, Josh, and Dara Greenwald, Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now (Edinburgh, 2010). On this stereotyping, see Tyler: Revolting Subjects. 7. See, in this regard, Andrew X, ‘Give Up Activism’, Do or Die 9 (2000), pp.160– 6 (originally published in London as part of the pamphlet Reflections on June 18th, 1999). 8. Williams, Raymond, The Country and the City [1973] (Nottingham, 2011). See also Gould, Deborah, Moving Politics (Chicago, 2009). 9. Halberstam, Judith Jack, The Queer Art of Failure (Durham, 2011). 10. Duncombe, Stephen, and Steve Lambert, ‘An Open Letter to Critics Writing About Political Art’; Center for Artistic Activism, 20 October 2012, at http://artisticactivism.org/2012/10/an-open-letter-tocritics-writing-aboutpolitical-art/, accessed 10 December 2013. 11. Solnit, Rebecca, Hope in the Dark: The Untold History of People Power (Edinburgh, 2005). 12. Graeber, David, online question and answer session on reddit, 28 January 2013, 16:58 UTC, reply to ‘effigies’, http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/ comments/17fi6l/i am david graeber an anthropologist activist/, accessed 5 November 2014. 13. I am grateful to Carwil Bjork-James for his expertise on the role of Wiphalas in social movements. See http://woborders.wordpress.com, accessed 10 December 2013. 14. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati called for the shoes, ‘more valuable than crowns’ (see e.g., The Nation, 6 November 2014, http://nation.com.pk/international/20Dec-2008/Iranian-cleric-Jannati-dubs-Muntazer-act-shoe-intifada, accessed 5 November 2014), to be placed in an Iraqi museum, but they were destroyed by United States security forces. The journalist, Muntazer al-Zaidi, was sentenced to three years in an Iraqi prison, of which he served nine months. See al-Zaidi, Muntazer, ‘Why I threw the shoe’, The Guardian, 17 September 2009, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/sep/17/whyi-threw-shoe-bush, accessed 5 November 2014. 15. For an introduction to the idea of a ‘circulation of struggles’, see Witherford, Nick Dyer, Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High-Technology Capitalism (Chicago, 1999).

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16. ‘Armed Police on May Day Riot Alert’, Observer, 22 April 2001; David Graeber, ‘On the Phenomenology of Giant Puppets’, Disobedient Objects, exh. cat. V&A (London, 2014). 17. Dow, Bonnie J., ‘Feminism, Miss America, and Media Mythology’, Rhetoric & Public Affairs 6/1 (2003), pp.127–49. 18. Judi Bari, “The Secret History of Tree Spiking,” in Timber Wars, Courage: Monroe, Maine, 1994, pp.264–282. 19. Marx, Karl, Grundrisse: Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy, trans. Martin Nicolaus (London, 1973), pp.690–712. 20. ‘One of the paternalistic ideas I have often heard from academics is that cutting edge political thinking takes place in the academy. I have found the opposite to be true – that it takes place outside of the academy where it is not hampered by institutional requirements, such as the focus on individual scholarship [or] the need to develop special vocabularies and grand theory in order to be taken seriously.’ Maxine Wolfe, ‘Inside/ Outside the Academy: The Politics of Knowledge in Queer Communities’, invited roundtable presentation, Forms of Desire. The Seventh Annual Queer Graduate Studies Conference, 3–5 April 1997, CUNY Graduate School, www.actupny.org/documents/academia.html, accessed December 2013. 21. Harney, Stefano and Fred Moten, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (London, 2013), p.26. 22. Raunig, Gerald, ‘Instituent Practices: Fleeing, Instituting, Transforming’, Art and Contemporary Critical Practice: Reinventing Institutional Critique, ed. Gene Ray and Gerald Raunig (London, 2005). 23. Hardt, Michael, The Procedures of Love, Documenta Series 068 [Documenta 13] of 100 Notizen – 100 Gedanken/ 100 Notes, 100 Thoughts (Kassel, 2012), and Heckert, Jamie, ‘Listening, Caring, Becoming: Anarchism as an Ethics of Direct Relationships’, in Benjamin Franks and Matthew Wilson (eds), Anarchism and Moral Philosophy (London, 2010), pp.186–207. 24. Sholette, Gregory, ‘“Not Cool Enough to Catalog”: Social Movement Culture and its Phantom Archive’, in Peace Press Graphics 1967–1987: Art in the Pursuit of Social Change, exh. cat. CSU Long Beach University Art Museum (Long Beach, 2011), pp.87–96, this quote p.88, and Jordan, John, ‘On Refusing to Pretend to do Politics in a Museum’, Art Monthly 334 (March, 2010), p.35, available online at http://www.artmonthly.co.uk/magazine/site/article/onrefusing-to-pretend-to-do-politics-in-a-museum-by-john-jordan-2010, accessed 5 November 2014. 25. One other non-public site which I and my co-curator did not pursue in attempting to exhibit these objects was the undisclosed holdings of movement objects seized or stolen by the state, though we found traces of these ghost archives in stories of an undocumented confiscated protest banner used as mocking decoration in a British police station, the Chinese government’s

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alleged longstanding archive of objects handed in or left on the street after demonstrations, or the Occupy Wall Street barriers that reappeared outside the police chief ’s office on their anniversary, as reported in ‘Whodunit at Police Headquarters: Occupy Accuses Police’, New York Times, 17 November 2012. 26. Holmes, Brian, ‘Liar’s Poker’, Unleashing the Collective Phantoms (New York, 2007). 27. Bell, Alice, ‘The Global Network of DIY Tear Gas Masks’, http://www.how wegettonext.com/Article/VEQ cTUAADEAjFQ3/the-global-network-ofdiy-tear-gas-masks and Designing Protest, BBC Radio 4, 25 November 2014, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04ps6py, accessed 1 December 2014.

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8 Between Theatre and Agora: Thoughts on Exhibition, Drama and Participation Werner Hanak-Lettner

[T]he visitor is a body in movement. What is the aim of this movement? Is it similar to that of the ‘character-forming novels’ of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? Our young hero travels the world, has all sorts of adventures, puts them to use to test his intelligence, his courage and passions, and then returns home fully ‘formed’.1 Jean-Franc¸ois Lyotard

If drama exists in an exhibition, it takes place between objects, but especially between objects and visitors.2 The visitor moves across the stage (the staged exhibition space) both as a viewer and as an actor. The dialogue between objects and visitors is an internal dialogue, in which the visitor lends the objects his voice in accordance with his knowledge and experience: ‘Objects are the actors and knowledge animates them.’3 In an exhibition, the things displayed resemble characters on stage or in a film, while the contradiction between their well-lit outer appearance and their frequently opaque internal history renders such characters interesting (Figs. 8.1, 8.2). Unlike most plays, the exhibition is a static construct. But, as in traditional theatre, the curators, artists or designers who construct this stage – with the aid of architecture, graphic design, objects, works of art, texts, sightlines, lighting and so forth – depart from the scene at the moment of 179

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Fig. 8.1 Giving space, taking time: Space in Progress, Jewish Museum, Vienna, October 2011. View from above without visitors. Photo by Klaus Pichler.

Fig. 8.2 Giving space, taking time: Space in Progress, Jewish Museum, Vienna, October 2011. View with visitors. Photo by Klaus Pichler.

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opening. They offer a space and then leave it. However, this departure does not weaken the position of the exhibition’s creators; to create a space in which nothing is allowed to change is a formidable position, particularly if you have deputies ensuring that texts cannot be altered and the exhibited things cannot be touched. Today, these deputies might be called euphemistically the ‘service team’, but if we consider that until recently they were also known as ‘guards’ in English or ‘Aufseher’ in German (warden, overseer), we understand that their task is a serious affair. If curators leave the stage at the beginning of the exhibition, then exhibition visitors occupy a complementary trajectory – from the passivity of attending the cinema or a concert, visitors climb onto the stage of an exhibition setting, taking on a new, active role in its creation. Visitors take their time in order to make something out of the space that is given over to them. To understand the exhibition system, the following insight is vital: time is on the side of the visitor, not the curator. Visitors not only introduce time into the system of the exhibition – to a large extent, they also retain control over the management of their own time. The concept of the exhibition as drama turns exhibitions into participatory media. And, if by definition an exhibition is a participatory medium, it might be asked whether the demand for exhibitions with greater participation is in fact redundant. It is true that exhibitions often fail because visitors do not understand the interactive or participatory element on which the exhibition depends – in such rooms, visitors are suddenly allowed to intervene in an environment in which, generally, ‘nothing may be changed’. This newfound ‘permission’ often introduces a paternalistic atmosphere into the clearly defined exhibition game, restricting the visitor even more by turning the hoped-for creativity into an exercise in occupational therapy. This frustration is familiar to visitors, voters, and television audiences alike, and it is therefore not surprising that participatory exhibition projects are often met with considerable scepticism.4 This chapter examines the thesis that the exhibition as a medium is a participatory system that acts like a drama – the stage of the exhibition site is provided for the visitor, who becomes both audience and actor. This thesis will be supported and discussed with reference to three historical examples that operate on or beyond the margins of the known history of exhibitions. The intention is to interrogate periods of transition as a means of identifying trends whose features are rediscovered in more stable times. I look first at the origins of the modern exhibition, when artists and exhibition producers were confronted by a demanding audience whose

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participatory instincts had been trained in the context of the Parisian fairground theatre. At the same time, neither the artists nor the exhibition producers were interested in the possibility of participation by visitors. Following from this exploration of the history of theatre, I step back farther and ask why many projects involving art and cabinets of curiosities not only bear the name theatrum but also refer repeatedly to the theatre. Giulio Camillo’s ‘theatre of memory’ (1530), for instance, was the product of an intensive reaction to antique theatre during the Renaissance. In the early modern period, the space of the exhibition was born, in part, from interpretations of antique Roman theatre buildings, but quickly established its own intrinsically dramatic character – the spectator came from the auditorium to the stage and became an actor in motion, interacting with objects exhibited in space. The question of the symbolic relationship of the exhibition to antique theatre is not completely addressed by considering these early modern manifestations. There is also the question of where the ‘visitors’ learned to how to move through a space and to investigate it on their own, to find a ‘rhyme’ in the situation and to weave the statements and questions presented in this space into a new story. This brings me to Greek antiquity, in which, with a few exceptions, there is very little information about exhibitions.5 It is interesting here to consider in particular the agora, the place where theatre took place in Greek cities before it found a permanent home in the stone buildings on the city hills. Within the agora, information was conveyed through a complex, many-layered field of actors, providing a model that sharply contrasts with the actor/audience dichotomy of later theatrical spaces. For those in the space of the agora, conveying or acquiring information always involved movement, engagement, and interaction with fellow citizens.

The Salon – No Participation, No Exhibition In the first public exhibitions, artists and exhibition producers were not at all interested in visitor participation. The Salon was established twice before it became a permanent biennial exhibition: first in the seventeenth century and again in the eighteenth. After the initial ‘discovery’ of the exhibition medium in 1664, artists proved averse to criticism from visitors and colleagues. As a result, the Salon was not held between 1675 and 1737. Artists saw no sense in exposing themselves to attack by colleagues or the public and were interested only in dealing with potential buyers. But without visitor participation there can be no exhibition.6 182

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Myself, I maintain that in the Salon where the paintings are displayed, the public changes twenty times a day. What the public admires at ten o’clock in the morning, is publicly condemned at noon. Yes, I tell you, this place can offer twenty publics of different tone and character in the course of a single day: a simple public at certain times, a prejudiced public, a flighty public, an envious public, a public slavish to fashion, which in order to judge wants to see everything and examine nothing. I can assure you that a final accounting of these publics would lead to infinity.7

These ‘twenty publics of different tone and character’ describe the first public groups of visitors to exhibitions. We have before us a group that was unspoiled and perhaps naive, but certainly very diverse; a group that later evolved into a ‘public’ that subsequently – in connection with writers such as Denis Diderot, who became one of the chroniclers of the Salons – made the exhibition the public medium of debate it is today. But just how naive were these visitors? Were they naive at all, or were the true naifs those artists who allowed themselves to be surprised, practically trampled, by these actors in the newly forming art world? Where did these visitors come from? Did they have an agenda? In his book Painters and Public Life in Eighteenth-Century Paris, Thomas Crow points to something crucial: the first visitors, those who turned the Salon into the modern exhibition, had received their primary education in participation at an earlier date and in a very different place: the annual theatre fair in SaintGermain.8 In the late seventeenth century, a religious revolution provided impetus to a radical increase in the quality of the local theatre production landscape at the Foire Saint-Germain. The reason for this was the dismissal of Italian actors from the court of Louis XIV. Due to a sudden ‘pious turn’ on the part of the Sun King, the actors of the Com´edie-Italienne, which until then performed at the royal court, were forced either to leave the country or to smuggle their performance into the annual Parisian theatre fair. Many decided to remain in Paris. Reacting to this new competition, the Com´edie-Franc¸aise began to monitor other troupes closely and began to enact censorship, for example by prohibiting spoken text. But it soon became

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When the Salon returned as a fixture in the Paris cultural scene, exhibition makers’ irritation with the ‘public’ and its meddling had not changed. In a letter written in 1747, ten years after the Salon was reestablished on a regular basis, Charles-Antoine Coypel, the newly appointed director of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, poured out his anger on the Salon’s visitors:

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apparent that such limitations would turn away neither the pantomimeschooled protagonists of the Commedia dell’Arte nor their audience. On the contrary, the banning of spoken text only attracted greater attention and empowered the public by turning it into a co-participant – the constant restrictions only increased the popularity of the artists at the annual fairs and the involvement of spectators. Actors were creative in overcoming and avoiding the restrictions and prohibitions, while audiences followed along with these innovations. When the ban on spoken text was relaxed into a prohibition of dialogue, actors developed the technique of staging their works as monologues in which no more than a single actor was ever present on stage. When he had spoken his bit and disappeared offstage, the next actor took up the hidden dialogue, and thus events continued to unfold. In connection with communication at today’s exhibitions, where objects are accompanied by small plaques with explanatory text, it is worth mentioning the theatrical technique of e´criteaux – boards with text that displayed parts of the dialogue. They served a function akin to the intertitles in silent films. Together, the actors and the public circumvented the ban on public speech – actors carried their texts before them like signs, which were read aloud, yelled, or even sung by the attending audience. At the Th´eaˆ tre de la Foire Saint-Germain a special sort of solidarity between artists and viewers emerged, as did the model of the active role of the public, regardless of social status. This model became an important element of the emerging audience that developed in the exhibition space of the eighteenth-century salon and later spread into the streets and other public spaces of Paris. Seen from this point of view, it is no coincidence that the French public, after it had established contact with actors of the theatre and had become aware of its own communicative powers, now also wanted to begin playing a similar communicative game in the exhibition space of the Salon (Fig. 8.3). Of course, visitors knew that the paintings would not respond. But they were irritated when they realised that the artists hid not only behind the paintings but also behind statements like, ‘I am of the opinion that a painting or a statue does not belong to the public in the same way as a book.’9 After the heyday of the Salon, culminating in the exhibitions and public spectacles of the French Revolution, came the long nineteenth century, a period during which visitors to official art exhibitions were tranquilized as far as possible by censorious juries and tendentious exhibition architecture.10 They were confronted by gigantic rows of pillars and intimidated by enormous entrance halls and majestic staircases, and it was inside those temples that they encountered both their freedom and its limitations.

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Carol Duncan’s characterization of the sacrality of museum spaces was accurate for exhibitions more generally: ‘One is [ . . . ] expected to behave with a certain decorum.’11 Alexander Klein explains this ‘civilising process’ in the nineteenth century:

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Fig. 8.3 Rider Project, a mobile exhibition. Chelsea, New York, September 2004. Photo by author.

At the museum exhibition, it was necessary to control your impulses with every gaze. Talking loudly, touching objects and running were all to be avoided. Good behaviour in a museum was characterised by muteness, moderation and discretion, in other words, behaviour suitable to a quasi-sacred place, and yet this behaviour was not determined – as it was in the case of worship, for example – by an unchanging process. A person had to behave well, but he or she continued to be free, or rather, it was precisely in the museum that the citizen could be a citizen.12

The Exhibition’s Explosion in the Theatrum It would be tempting to follow the history of visitors and their thin veneer of bourgeois and artistic self-control, which, particularly in the second half of the nineteenth century, began to fray. However, for the moment I would 185

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like to return to the connection between the spectator in the exhibition and the theatre: I am concerned with the question of why cabinets of curiosities and other exhibition-like projects were called ‘theatres’ or theatrum in the Renaissance and Baroque periods.13 This tendency was revealed in the reciprocal influence of the theatre on the biennial Acad´emie exhibitions in eighteenth-century Paris, as well as other projects that arose before the Salon, such as the Theatrum Naturae et Artis, a science and entertainment show devised by the young German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in 1675 in Paris but never implemented. Are there further references to theatre as a training in participation applicable to early cabinets of curiosities and exhibition projects – ones that resemble the relationship between the fairground theatre and the Paris Salon? The word ‘theatre’ comes from the Greek ‘th´eatron’ (auditorium, theatre) and its root ‘th´ea’ (looking, show, play). From at least the second half of the sixteenth century the word was also used for cabinets of curiosities, encyclopaedias, and lecture rooms like the anatomical theatre. But although the term theatrum certainly had a broader meaning than it does today, it is quite likely that it also implied the actual integration of the cabinet of curiosities in the world of theatre. The project that was, in some sense, the ‘Big Bang’ of the exhibition came to be known as the ‘theatre of memory’ – a structure built in 1530 by Giulio Camillo of Venice for Franc¸ois I of France. Camillo was an acquaintance of Titian and a friend of the architectural historian and architect Sebastiano Serlio. As a young man Camillo was made a professor at the University of Bologna, hailed by the poets Ludovico Ariosto and Torquato Tasso as a genius, and accused by others of being a fraud. It is not easy to understand the form and concept of Camillo’s theatre of memory, which appeared 50 years before the first ‘permanent’ modern theatre building, the Teatro Olimpico by Andrea Palladio in Vicenza. We can begin to conceive it from Camillo’s letters and a short essay he dictated just before his death. His idea was to build a structure in the form of the antique Roman theatre. The mystic and cabalist Camillo modelled his design on the principles of the Classical art of memory. He divided the semicircular spectator tiers of the Roman theatre into seven horizontal and seven vertical lines, distributing symbols, images and texts to enable educated visitors not only to explain the world but also to remember this explanation. As Frances Yates explained its heady metaphysical presuppositions: It is because he believes in the divinity of man that Camillo makes this stupendous claim of being able to remember the universe by looking down upon

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Camillo’s theatre of memory is a communication platform between the microcosm and the macrocosm that reflects the similar schema of the nascent cabinet of curiosities. This explains, for example, why Samuel Quiccheberg, the first ‘museologist’ north of the Alps, used Camillo’s hybrid structure – something between a theatre and a gallery – to formulate his ideas for the Munich Kunstkammer in the second half of the sixteenth century.15 We know what the theatre of memory looked like from two letters written by Viglius, a Dutch jurist and statesman (Wigle Aytta von Zwichem, 1507–77), addressed to Erasmus of Rotterdam. He described it as ‘a work of wonderful skill, into which whoever is admitted as a spectator will be able to discourse on any subject no less fluently than Cicero.’16 In a second letter to Erasmus, Viglius described the space as follows: The work is of wood, marked with many images, and full of little boxes; there are various orders and grades in it. He gives a place to each individual figure and ornament, and he showed me such a mass of papers that, though I always heard that Cicero was the fountain of richest eloquence, scarcely would I have thought that one author could contain so much or that so many volumes could be placed together out of his writings. [ . . . ] He calls the theatre of his by many names, saying now that it is a built or constructed mind or soul, and now that it is a windowed one. He pretends that all things that the human mind can conceive and which we cannot see with the corporeal eye, after being collected together by diligent meditation may be expressed by certain corporeal signs in such a way that the beholder may at once perceive with his eyes everything that is otherwise hidden in the depths of the human mind. And it is because of this corporeal looking that he calls it theatre.17

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it from above, from first causes, as though he were God. In this atmosphere, the relationship between man, the microcosm, and the world, the macrocosm, takes on a new significance.14

For Camillo, the possibility of a corporeal vision of intellectual material justified the use of the word ‘theatre’. This justification would not have been necessary a century later, by which time the term ‘theatrum’ was being used for private collections and even for books. But Camillo lived in a different time. He not only used the term ‘theatre’ but also built one. Camillo’s theatre of memory, which may be regarded as both a theatre and a cabinet of curiosities, is the starting point for the joint progress of theatre and exhibitions. It was here that the exhibition theatre of the 187

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Renaissance arose, developing further with the philosophy and stagecraft of the Baroque era. One aspect of Camillo’s theatre is of particular relevance in connection with exhibitions: the ‘solitary spectator’. This person is an educated visitor standing on the stage looking up at the rising tiers of a Roman theatre, trying to understand and remember the world represented there with the aid of symbols, signs and texts. The revolutionary significance of this arrangement has not escaped scholars: In this way, the normal separation of the theatre and the conventional interaction between the spectators and actors on the stage is invalidated or reversed. The spectator is not only a watcher but also an actor interacting with the things on the spectator tiers.18

Manuela Kahle compares the role of the spectator in Camillo’s theatre with that of the modern exhibition visitor, a description seconded by the artist Dan Graham: Camillo’s encyclopaedic memory machine [ . . . ] was intended to exist as an actual miniature theatre large enough for one spectator-scholar, who could stand in the central stage area. The spectator was to use the device to learn the structure of the universe from microcosm to macrocosm, as in a modern science museum’s representation of subatomic physics or outer space.19

Camillo took the spectator in his theatre of memory and placed him on the stage to become the protagonist of the performance. If we compare the walls of a museum and the objects hanging on it with Camillo’s rising tiers full of pictures, symbols and texts with which the spectator interacts from the stage, we see that the theatre of memory can be interpreted as an early form of the exhibition as we know it today. Furthermore, in 1660, 30 years after Camillo’s Paris model, the Belgian Quiccheberg called his Munich chamber of curiosities in the court of Duke Albrecht V a theatrum amplissimum (most extensive theatre) and reorganised it as Bayerisches Theater der Kunstwerke, a direct reference to Camillo’s theatre structure. In his work there is a direct line from the theatre to the exhibition room. Giulio Camillo’s project signals the theatrical origins of the modern exhibition form. Furthermore, the fact that drama in Camillo’s project, in contrast to the theatre, developed between the moving ‘spectators’ and the exhibited objects, texts and pictures on the ‘stage’ or the walls abutting it, indicates a further influence on the exhibition structure: an activity 188

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Theatre, Agora und Participation The Greek agora was already a place of movement and discussion, a theatre and a marketplace. In his study Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilisation, sociologist Richard Sennett considered the agora and theatre in Greek city-states as sites of political action and participation, noting in particular the effect of the transfer of political assemblies from the agora – where citizens voted standing or moved from one discussion to the next – to the stone Greek theatre – where the citizens sat in organized rows on ascending tiers listening to speakers on a stage. The comparison between the political work in the open-air agora, and the Athenian democracy that took place in the later, theatre-like buildings recalls the structural differences between exhibition and theatre. Whereas the theatre is usually constructed with a separation between the auditorium and the stage, exhibitions call for a space without an auditorium – a stage on which visitors can move freely (Figs. 8.4, 8.5). Sennett sees this movement as an important characteristic of the behaviour of citizens in the early agora, one that produced a multiple perspective, culminating in an active desire to participate. Of course, participation was restricted to only a small proportion of citizens. Only around 10 per cent were wealthy and close enough to the city to participate regularly in the life of the agora. And more importantly, only around 15 to 20 per cent of the population of Athens were free citizens. Slaves and foreigners were not allowed into the agora.21 Still, if we look at what Sennett wrote about this exclusive circle of citizens and replace ‘Greek citizen’ with ‘exhibition visitor’ and ‘agora’ with ‘exhibition stage’, the structural similarities between the exhibition space and the agora become evident:

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that has to do with the independent orientation and movement of the spectator-actor. This is something that the solitary visitor on Camillo’s stage discovered and then developed in Quiccheberg’s cabinet of curiosities. In contrast to Camillo’s speaking theatre, Quiccheberg consciously or unconsciously interpreted this form as an amphitheatre, in whose ideal oval auditorium he placed showcases and tables with objects, drawing visitors into the space and confronting them with their form and underlying stories. This was the scene of what Jean Franc¸ois Lyotard would describe as the basic prerequisite for the exhibition as a medium: ‘[T]he visitor is a body in movement.’20

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Fig. 8.4 Agora, Forum, and Theatre in Space: Museo Nacional de Arte Romano, Merida. View from ground. Photo by author.

Fig. 8.5 Agora, Forum, and Theatre in Space: Museo Nacional de Arte Romano, Merida. View from above. Photo by author.

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The dramaturgical and topographical characteristics of the agora reveal other similarities with the modern cultural exhibition. It was a multifunctional site, the political and legal centre of the city, a marketplace and a site of religious objects. Originally an open meeting place, over time it was fringed by various buildings, shrines and stoas – pillared walkways – in which economic, social, political and religious life was enacted. Religious dances and theatre performances originally took place in such structures. While the agora in its early form was also the venue of theatrical and musical performances, its internal activity began to fragment in the fifth century. The theatre withdrew from the agora, which, like the exhibition space, may be regarded as a form of ‘total stage’, a place for both action and reaction. Drama moved to the Theatre of Dionysus on the slope of the Acropolis before the middle of the fifth century, possibly after the agora’s open-air wooden spectator tiers had collapsed during a performance. The music performed in the open air was transferred to the covered Odeon building. Finally, public assemblies moved from the agora to a theatre on the Pnyx Hill, where the speaker, facing south with the sun shining on him, raised his voice to the tiered rows, which were oriented to enhance the speaker’s voice.23 Sennett emphasises two consequences of the transfer of politics to this ‘large theatre’. First, on the rising semi-circular tiers, individual citizens could be made responsible for their votes, an arrangement opposed to the flat agora, where in a crowd of six thousand only the voting behaviour of those close by could be observed. At the same time, in the ‘large theatre’ freedom of speech or parrhesia could be guaranteed by giving representatives of different factions sufficient time and a suitable platform for presenting their arguments. But, as Sennett stresses, freedom of speech in a political theatre building in which everything was concentrated on the rhetor did not guarantee positive democratic development but rather promoted forms of rhetorical persuasion. Sennett exemplifies the power of vocal persuasion by citing an ecclesia (an assembly of all citizens) in the year 406 BCE, during the last phase of the war with Sparta. The citizens decided to condemn a group of strategists to death because they had abandoned part of the fleet at the battle of Arginoussai.

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Those who could participate found in the agora many discrete and distinct activities occurring at once, rather than sheer chaos. [ . . . ] By strolling from group to group, a person could find out what was happening in the city and discuss it. The open space also invited casual participation in legal cases.22

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Xenophon also reported that ‘not long afterwards, however, the Athenians repented and voted that preliminary complaints be lodged against those who had deceived the People.’24 The simultaneous transfer of the theatre and political discussion to highly specialised buildings with a stage-like construction induced politicians to emulate dramatists. In the case of the argument over a sea battle, the events – which had taken place elsewhere – were dramatized to convey not only information but also the experience itself. But there was a decisive difference: drama had a script with a defined ending, while political discussion was open-ended. A good orator could always reinterpret the previous speaker’s words and present a radically different point of view. In the end, the citizens had to decide and, in contrast to the dramatist, whose dramas were often based upon well-known myths, the citizens did not know how the crisis would end. The physical situation of sitting in a theatre building was a further handicap. Whereas the open-air life of the agora took place mostly amongst walking and standing bodies, the Pnyx made political use of sitting spectator bodies. In this posture they listened to the naked voice speaking below.25 It placed the citizens in a receptive, but perhaps uncritical, position: [T]he Pnyx, whose clear design emphasised the seriousness of attending to words, put the people literally in a vulnerable position. They could be responsible for their acts only if they did not move, but in this immobile position, they became the prisoners of single voices.26

The theatre and the agora appear as two poles, between which the dramaturgical structure of the exhibition still moves today: between the focused concentration on something that slows down the spectator, transforming him into a passive, potentially reflective being, and the need to master and occupy a room full of meaning and possibilities through movement, discovery, changing place and perspective. Exhibition spaces can be devoted to an artist, a theme or an epoch and can be designed from the point of view of a curator. And yet, they are anything but spaces of concentration on a single voice. They are participatory stages on which visitors devote the time they have available to confronting and finding their way around the things and the discourse they find there. In this sense, they are part of the legacy of the antique agora, in which citizens of the city also attempted to find their way and to negotiate their points of view in the light of the public debate. Both the modern-day exhibition visitor and the public in the antique agora are members of a limited group. 192

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From the Citizen to the Visitor in Movement At the start of this chapter I showed how exhibition visitors in eighteenthcentury Paris had received lessons in participation from a theatre that, in particular because of censorship, encouraged active participation by the spectators. The transfer of political and theatrical activity from the agora to stone theatres with tiers of seats facing the stage created the anti-participatory theatre – advocated by Aristotle and opposed, much later, by Bertolt Brecht. It therefore follows that the exhibition medium, as it appeared in the early modern era, should have dissociated itself from the theatrical structure of the seated spectator, asking the visitor to engage in active participation. As Giulio Camillo’s project reveals, the exhibition form reversed the move of political action from the agora to the theatre. It turned away from a situation in which the citizen sat in front of the stage transformed into a passive spectator and returned to the concept of a ‘citizen in movement’. As the visitor set off to investigate and find himself on the stage, the exhibition was able to liberate itself from the world of theatrical pathos. Politics in the modern democratic era also returned to a place similar to the GrecoRoman theatre with its stage and rising tiered seats, focusing attention on the arguments and counter-arguments of a succession of individual orators. The exhibition, by contrast, rediscovered the open space of the agora: a political, religious and economic communication network which citizens were given license to approach, study, become involved in, or ignore entirely and move on to the next node. Exhibitions have an inherently dramatic structure, even if it one with a completely different emphasis than that of the theatre. Moreover, following the reprinting of Vitruvius’s treatise on Roman architecture, De architectura, in 1521, the theatre moved toward the centre of scholarly discourse. In Greek antiquity, it played a crucial role after the departure of the Dionysia and popular assemblies from the agora to new purpose-built structures. In the early modern era, by contrast, there was no architectural canon either for the new court theatre or for the cabinets of curiosities, and it was only in the late sixteenth century that Palladio’s Teatro Olimpico was built in Vicenza, where it still stands today. It is no coincidence that Palladio’s

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The agora in Athens was the preserve of just 10 per cent of the inhabitants of the city, and within this group only 10 per cent were regular participants in political life. Likewise, for social and educational reasons – and with the exception of a few blockbuster shows – exhibitions are also visited today by a similarly small percentage of the population.

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theatre borrowed heavily from Roman theatres, as did Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, albeit in a completely different way. In the exhibition, by contrast, the citizens took over the stage and transformed it into an open place resembling the agora. As they left their seats in the Roman theatre and climbed onto the stage, they used the auditorium as a direct projection surface for their thoughts on the complexity of the world – as in the 49 fields of Giulio Camillo’s project. The 49 fields, which they filled with content, and later moved the walls into the room, have stood since then for the enjoyment of a complex game and the approach or investigation of this game by a spectator who had become a seeker (Suchender) and at the same time a visitor (Besucher: someone who seeks out). This investigation or approach may also be called participation. English translation: Nick Somers

Notes 1 Lyotard, Jean-Franc¸ois, ‘Les Immat´eriaux’, trans. Paul Smith, in Greenberg, Reesa, Bruce W. Ferguson and Sandy Nairne (eds), Thinking about Exhibitions [1996], 4th ed. (London, New York, 2002), pp.159–73, this quote at p.167; the French original was first published in Art & Text 17 (1985), pp.47–57. 2 For more on this model, see ‘Der Besucher und die Handlung’, in HanakLettner, Werner, Die Ausstellung als Drama. Wie das Museum aus dem Theater entstand (Bielefeld, 2011), pp.104–38. 3 Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara, Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1998), p.3. 4 See also Hanak-Lettner, Werner, ‘“Space in Progress”. Retrospective on a participatory installation’, in Spera, Danielle, and Werner Hanak-Lettner (eds) Jewish Museums Past and Future. Reflections – From the Outside Looking In, Wiener Jahrbuch f¨ur J¨udische Geschichte, Kultur und Museumswesen 10, 2013/14 (Innsbruck and Vienna, 2013), p.40. 5 An exhibition form is known that is connected both with the representation of the state and with the theatre. During major Dionysias, the drama festivals and competitions, the Athenian state treasury was also exhibited along with the tributes from the alliance partners of the Delian League, and ritual images of Dionysus. This made the theatre space not only into an exhibition arena but also a sanctuary. I would like to thank Hilde Haider-Pregler for pointing this out to me. 6 For more on the causes of the first Salon’s failure, see Crow, Thomas E., Painters and Public Life in Eighteenth-Century Paris (New Haven and London, 1985),

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pp.24–36. See also B¨atschmann, Oskar, Ausstellungsk¨unstler. Kult und Karriere im modernen Kunstsystem (K¨oln, 1997), pp.12–22. Coypel, Charles-Antoine, ‘Dialogue de M. Coypel, premier peintre du Roi. Sur l’exposition des Tableaux dans le Sallon du Louvre, en 1747’, summarized in Mercure de France, November 1751, quoted in Crow: Painters and Public Life, p.10. Crow: Painters and Public Life, pp.45–55. Anonymous (Cochin, Charles-Nicolas), ‘R´eflexion sur la critique des ouvrages expos´es au Salon du Louvre’, Mercure de France, October 1747. The scandals, which increased especially in the second half of the century (e.g. Courbet, Manet, etc.) show how thin the layer of intended self-control really was. Duncan, Carol, Civilizing Rituals. Inside Public Art Museums (London and New York, 2002), pp.9–10. Klein, Alexander, Expositum. Zum Verh¨altnis von Ausstellung und Wirklichkeit (Bielefeld, 2004), p.143. Crow: Painters and Public Life, p.53, cites Norbert Elias’s study of The Civilizing Process as a model of audience pacification in classicism, which however ‘was more fragile than it looked’. On the visitors, display, and d´ecor in the museums of the nineteenth century, see also Klonk, Charlotte, Spaces of Experience: Art Gallery Interiors from 1800 to 2000 (New Haven and London, 2009). See Bredekamp, Horst, Die Fenster der Monade. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’ Theater der Natur und Kunst Berlin, 2004) and Hanak-Lettner, ‘Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz und das barocke Ausstellungstehater’: Die Ausstellung als Drama, pp.57–70. Yates, Frances A., The Art of Memory (London, 1966), p.146. See Roth, Harriet (ed), Der Anfang der Museumslehre in Deutschland. Das Traktat ‘Inskriptiones vel Tituli Theatri Amplissimi’ von Samuel Quiccheberg (Berlin, 2000); see also chapter 4.5, ‘Die Sammlungsdramaturgie Quicchebergs’, in HanakLettner: Die Ausstellung als Drama, pp.84–102. Letter from Viglius to Erasmus of 28 March 1532 in Allen, Percy Stafford, (ed), Erasmi Epistolae, Vol. 9 (Oxford, 1938), p.479, quoted in Yates: The Art of Memory, p.135. Yates: The Art of Memory, pp.136f. Kahle, Manuela, Zwischen Mnemotechnik und Sammlungstheorie. Eine Untersuchung zu Giulio Camillos “L’idea del theatro” und Samuel Quicchebergs “Inscriptiones vel tituli theatri amplissimi” (Munich, doctoral dissertation, 2005), p.23. Graham, Dan, ‘Garden as Theater as Museum’, in The Theatergarden Bestiarium: The Garden as Theater as Museum, ed. Chris Dercon, exh. cat. MoMA PS 1 (New York and Cambridge, MA: 1990), p.88.

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20 Lyotard, ‘Les Immat´eriaux’, in Greenberg: Thinking about Exhibitions, p.167. 21 Sennett, Richard, Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilisation (New York, 1994), p.52. 22 Ibid., pp.54f. 23 The Pnyx Hill was ten minutes on foot from the agora. From around 300 BCE these public assemblies took place in the Theatre of Dionysus. See Kolb, Franz, ‘Agora und Theater, Volks- und Festversammlung’, Arch¨aologische Forschungen 9 (1981) p.94. 24 Xenophon, Hellenika, I-II.3.10, translated by Peter Krentz (Warminster, 1989), pp.59–67. 25 Sennett: Flesh and Stone, pp.60–100. 26 Ibid., p.66.

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9 1912 – Hellerau as Spielraum Lutz Robbers

We have to become master of the unleashed forces and build them into a new order, an order that allows for room-for-play [Spielraum] for the unfolding of life.1 Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Mies van der Rohe went to Hellerau. This might not come as a surprise, considering that many of the luminaries of the international art and culture scene of the early 1910s had been drawn to the outskirts of Dresden to experience first-hand its ‘laboratory of a new humanity’.2 An astonishing array of artists, architects, academics, theatre critics and directors, actors and writers travelled to Hellerau to witness the attempted union of an anti-intellectual K¨orperkultur with rational-scientific methods for the holistic organization of life and labour on an urban scale. Peter Behrens, Le Corbusier, Henry van de Velde, Heinrich W¨olfflin, Wilhelm Worringer, Franz Kafka, Rainer Maria Rilke, Stefan Zweig, Constantin Stanislavski, Anna Pavlova, Max Reinhard, Kurt Schwitters, Johannes Baader, Raoul Haussmann, Upton Sinclair and many others were drawn to Germany’s first ´ garden town and its main attraction, Emile Jaques-Dalcroze’s Bildungsanstalt f¨ur rhythmische Erziehung. By contrast, Mies’s presence has by and large been ignored in the literature on Hellerau. Nor has Mies’s scholarship, for the most part, ascribed great importance to the fact that he repeatedly went to Hellerau to visit his future wife Ada Bruhn, who, beginning in 1910, was a student of the Swiss dance pedagogue and inventor of eurhythmics.3 197

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The objective of this chapter is double: first, it intends to close this blind spot by showing that Mies’s experience in Hellerau played a pivotal role in the development of his architectural work and thinking. On a second level, this chapter attempts to demonstrate that by reconsidering Hellerau in relation to his subsequent work, the outlines of an alternative conception of modernism take shape. The assumption is that around 1912, Mies encountered in the pulsating light-space of the Festsaal, Hellerau’s main performance space, what I call a Spielraum – a room-for-play that fundamentally challenged the persistent conceptual sway of a Cartesian, demiurgic subject over the lifeless, static object-world. At Hellerau, I want to argue, Mies realized that architecture is not to be understood as the materialization of an idea or the extension of the architect’s purposive intentions, not as a form or a sign, but rather as what Bruno Latour and Albena Yaneva call a ‘flow of transformations’ and a ‘complex ecology’ of human and non-human agencies.4 The animated performance space spurned the conventional notions of the architectural object and, consequently, incited the architect to redefine his own role in shaping architecture that has become an open, operative project.5 Historical overviews of modern architecture mention the Hellerau project in passing, usually by emphasizing its status as Germany’s first garden city, the works of Heinrich Tessenow, or the Deutsche Werkst¨atten and the debates within the Werkbund that would lead to the Muthesius/van de Velde controversy.6 But historians have largely overlooked the multitude of heterotopic practices and discourses at Hellerau, many of which open up avenues of thinking about modern architecture that do not quite fit the established epistemic moulds. At Hellerau, an unprecedented interference of architectural things and human bodies was orchestrated by a technological dispositive that transcended the dominant subject/object dualism. For a brief moment, Hellerau entertained a vision, both political and material, that extended the meaning of participation beyond the limitation of practices originating in an empowered subject – regardless of whether it took the form of a singular genius or of a plural, collective contributor. At Hellerau the simple notion of participation – the activation of a passive spectator/worker – was superseded by amalgamating the classical Greek model of a choreographed communion of art and life with sophisticated technologies capable of generating a multi-sensory, immersive spectacle of music, moving lights and bodies. What was presented to those who witnessed the performances in the Festsaal were first glimpses of a conceptual universe in which non-human agents – objective entities both ephemeral (moving bodies, lights) and stable (buildings) – took part as architectural media, operators in their own right in symbolic and epistemic processes.

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It is from this perspective of contemporary cultural technology studies that the discourses that sustained the Hellerau project open up on an alternative trajectory for modern architecture. Hellerau has been presented as a utopian Gesamtkunstwerk that fused the separate fields of town planning, architecture, cooperative financing schemes, and rhythmic gymnastics into an ideal socio-economic environment capable of countering the alienating effects of industrial modernity.7 Instead, I want to argue, Hellerau resembled a heterotopia, or as an observer put it in 1912, an ‘aggregate of economic, socio-political and artistic elements’ that produced ‘the air of a new will to life.’8 Hellerau evolved from the reform visions of the influential socialliberal politician and pastor Friedrich Naumann, who believed that social peace and the taming of capitalism could only be achieved through the alliance of man and machine – thereby averting the threat of a modernity that seemed to ‘irretrievably proletarize and anarchically degenerate’ the masses.9 The garden city was not meant as a concretisation of a clearly defined idea, but rather as a ‘Versuchsstation’ (experimental station), as Rainer Maria Rilke put it, for an artistically schooled ‘Maschinenvolk’.10 At Hellerau, Karl Schmidt’s Deutsche Werkst¨atten operated alongside Jaques-Dalcroze’s Institute for Rhythmic Gymnastics; it was a place where labour and leisure, body and spirit, factory production and domestic life, Heimat styles and monumental classicism, the concrete urban world and the ephemeral magic of rhythmic performances could all coincide.11 The common denominator of the Lebensreform project at Hellerau was rhythm, a concept that had become extremely popular in vitalist and biologistic discourses during the early years of the twentieth century. Philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche, Rudolf Steiner, Ludwig Klages, and Rudolf Bode identified rhythm as a founding principle of both life and culture, standing in opposition to the Enlightenment tradition with its premium on cognition. Following the anthropological conception developed by the economist Karl B¨ucher in his widely read book Arbeit und Rhythmus (1896), rhythm was seen as an original vital force which, once deployed properly in education, could become an all-encompassing remedy to cure the ills of civilization and industrialization. For B¨ucher, rhythm was an aesthetic-economic principle that directly correlated bodily movement with the production of goods. Not only was rhythm regarded as a source of physical pleasure, a means that helps to ease the effort of work, but it was also a democratizing force that rendered art accessible to all human beings ‘regardless of their schooling.’12 In Ancient Greece, rhythm was a pillar of

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Heterotopic Hellerau

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society that structured political, religious and artistic life. By contrast, modern industrialized societies, because of the division of labour and the substitution of manual work by machines, struggled with the ‘de-rhythmization’ of life, a term used by Wolf Dohrn, who was the driving force behind the Hellerau enterprise alongside Karl Schmidt.13 The solution to this problem was not to fight the advances of technology but, on the contrary, to unite technology and art in ‘a higher rhythmic unity’, a condition, as B¨ucher put it, in which ‘labour, play, and art’ could become indistinguishable once again.14 What B¨ucher posited as an anthropological fact, Jaques-Dalcroze promised to transform into bodily practice. Convinced by Hellerau’s potential and eager to disseminate his dance-pedagogical ideas throughout Europe, Jaques-Dalcroze accepted Schmidt and Dohrn’s offer to move his Bildungsanstalt to the outskirts of Dresden, where he hoped ‘to raise rhythm to the height of a social institution.’15 After seeing a performance of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s opera Orpheus and Eurydice in 1912, a critic remarked that Jaques-Dalcroze had gone beyond Max Reinhardt’s exclusive appeal to a mass audience and, following in the spirit of the life-reform movement, had proven able to educate ‘every single individual to become autonomous and to become aware of his freedom notwithstanding his integration into the whole.’16 In his quest to reform the body through eurhythmics – i.e., to return the atomized individual to an authentic experience of community untainted by the forces of a falsely conceived modernity – Jaques-Dalcroze evoked Ancient Greek theatre with its unity of orchestral music, dance, and poetry, as well as preconscious and preverbal rituals.17 It would be misleading, however, to regard Hellerau simply as a defensive reaction against rational and scientific modernity.18 On the contrary, the sciences and their impact on the mind served as models to be emulated for areas of human activity that had remained neglected. As Jaques-Dalcroze stated: ‘man’s senses and feelings, together with the schooling of the will, are to be cultivated to the same height to which the sciences have schooled our mind.’19 Or, as Dohrn put it, rhythm, as an a priori fact of life, lay submerged and needed to be re-discovered as a ‘psychic natural power’ that could be exploited as one can exploit the ‘tension energy of steam or of electricity.’20 Rhythm was not only the key to unlocking this unused potential of the body, but also a means for finally overcoming the antinomies that had dominated modern thought for the longest time: mind versus body, subject versus object, space versus time, etc. ‘Embodied rhythm will inevitably present a beautiful spectacle’, Jaques-Dalcroze wrote. ‘The

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music in use gains Gestalt, it forms our bodies. What used to be temporal becomes corporeal, what used to have sound and sequence becomes image and movement.’21 What he calls Gestalt is hence synonymous with a new conception of form ‘made of ’ time and movement, a form that no longer has a stable shape or substance.22 In other words, in this rhythmic universe it is no longer the empowered subject who forms and orders the objective world, but time-based, non-human ‘things’ that themselves gain agency by participating in the shaping of bodies, whether subjective or objective.

Light-Space Festsaal The architectural environment at Hellerau was to play a pivotal role in administering the reform measures. In addition to the variations on the theme of arts-and-crafts-inspired domestic architecture in this bucolic setting – a series of buildings designed by Hermann Muthesius, Heinrich Tessenow and Richard Riemerschmid – a central edifice allowed for the ‘interpenetration’ of different programs and scales: Tessenow’s Festspielhaus (1910–1912), with its austere neo-classical portico, functioned as this architectural icon.23 Yet such stylistic ascriptions should be treated with caution: the ‘house’ had ceased to function as an ‘existential arrangement’ that delimited specific programmes.24 Instead, architecture functioned as an indeterminate space where the dissolution of the boundaries between stage and audience, work and life, spirit and body could be performed.25 The Festsaal, the Eurhythmics School’s main performance space, was probably the most forceful architectural manifestation of this life-reform agenda. Designed as a collaborative effort by Jaques-Dalcroze, Tessenow, the Swiss theatre theoretician and stage designer Adolphe Appia, and the Georgian artist Alexander von Salzmann, the main hall formed a stark contrast with the other architectural styles of Hellerau, whether Riemerschmid’s arts and crafts-inspired buildings or Tessenow’s own neoclassicism.26 The Festsaal presented a revolution in theatrical stage design: completely stripped of all illusionistic decorations or stage sets and devoid of a picture frame proscenium, it was an empty, white, windowless cube, almost 50 metres long, 16 metres wide and 12 metres high. The only objects inside the space were removable seating for an audience of about 600 and some abstract props in the form of mobile steps. The few existing photographs of the performance space at the time of its completion in 1912 show the glaring whiteness of the walls and ceiling, which, for the audience at the time, must have been a striking experience (Fig. 9.1). A drawing by Dora Brandenburg-Polster conveys 201

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Fig. 9.1 Festsaal, Dresden-Hellerau, 1912.

the animate quality of light that fills the space (Fig. 9.2). Contrary to the conception of the wall as solid and opaque boundary, a delimiter of space or support for ornaments and pictures, the Festsaal’s translucent perimeters resembled a porous skin or light Gewand (robe), giving the impression of a ‘large, permeable light-edifice’ [Licht-Geb¨aude].27 This transformation from a ‘passive’ room to an animated, light-emitting body was made possible with the help of a sophisticated technical apparatus hidden ‘inside’ the translucent double-partitioned wall (Fig. 9.3). Custom-made by Siemens-Schuckert at the then-enormous cost of 70,000 marks, the lighting system, consisting of between 3,000 and 10,000 coloured electric bulbs (the accounts disagree on the actual number) submerged the space in a ‘mysterious glow’.28 These lights were connected to a central control board, from which their intensity and distribution could be regulated.29 The rhythmic spectacle of music, moving lights, and dancing bodies impressed many visitors. One spectator who saw the 1912 production of Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice described the performance as ‘beyond imagination’.30 ‘The space lived – it was a conspiring force, a co-creator of life.’31 In a similar vein, the writer Sergei Wolkonsky was hesitant to use the expression ‘Saal’ [hall] for this space ‘enclosed by white planes’: ‘When the 202

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1912 – HELLERAU AS SPIELRAUM Fig. 9.2 Dora Brandenburg-Polster, interior of the Festsaal, DresdenHellerau, c.1913. Drawing published in Marco De Michelis, ‘Modernity and Reform’, Perspecta 26 (1990).

light goes on, one seems to drown in a bath of light.’32 The stunning effect of this animate light-space was also emphasized by the critic Arthur Seidl, who wrote that a space ‘indescribably unique has emerged and has become alive, [ . . . ] a light delirium that we never before have seen or experienced.’33 Le Corbusier, who came to Hellerau to visit his brother Albert Jeanneret,34 a teacher at Jaques-Dalcroze’s institute, called the Festsaal in a letter to Auguste Perret ‘a completely new invention’.35 Rilke compared the Festsaal with a ‘scientific “laboratory”’ that incited visitors, wearing ‘apron and 203

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Fig. 9.3 Lighting System, Festsaal, Bildungsanstalt f¨ur rhythmische Erziehung, Dresden-Hellerau, 1912.

sunglasses,’ to participate and ‘observe the examinations that develop in this light-retort [Licht-Retorte]’ under coloured light rays.36 With the Festsaal, the theatre theorist and designer Appia concretized the experiments with stage and lighting design that he had undertaken since the early 1890s. His designs for Wagner’s Rheingold (1892 and 1896) and his famous series of drawings of Rhythmic Spaces (1909) attest to the fundamental distinction Appia makes between two types of light: on the one hand, a light that accentuates and lifts objects out of darkness, on the other hand, a type of proactive, ‘gestaltendes’ [forming] light.37 Rather than functioning as an invisible support for the illumination of objects and figures onstage, he understood light as an active, space-generating agent (Fig. 9.4). Light does not simply make visible, but becomes visible through change; over time it gains a material quality and, by extension, fundamentally changes the relation between the space and body. In other words, in Appia’s understanding, light is no longer associated with the visible world but, like music, renders perceptible to the body what previously has remained invisible. Light, like music, not only lets us ‘discover the human body anew’,38 as 204

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1912 – HELLERAU AS SPIELRAUM Fig. 9.4 Adolphe Appia, Rhythmische R¨aume, 1909. Deutsches Theatermuseum M¨unchen, Inv.Nr. IV 749.

Jaques-Dalcroze described Appia’s approach, it also is ‘no longer forced to illuminate the painted flats’, but fills space ‘with living colour and the limitless variations of an ever-changing atmosphere.’39 Previously an ‘invisible’ means for illuminating dead matter and enlightening the omnipotent subject, light now exists independently, becomes visible and ‘material’ – the agent of a ‘living space’.40 This shift implied a fundamentally different conception of space, as another of Appia’s collaborators on the Festsaal, Georgian artist von Salzmann, was aware: [Light] has to be free-floating and mobile like a sound. That’s why we have transformed the entire space – the four sidewalls and the ceiling – into a single luminous body. We have placed the light bulbs in rows and covered them with treated panels of cloth. In this way, instead of a lighted space we get a lightproducing space. Light is directly transmitted into space . . . 41

In contrast to August Schmarsow’s psychological conception of architecture as Raumgestaltung, which presumes a kinetic body that creates space as ‘a projection from within the subject’, the Festsaal was conceived as an operative space which generated a strangely diffuse and shadowless light’ in order to allow, as von Salzmann put it, ‘colours, planes, lines, bodies, 205

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movements to unfold.’42 In other words, space is no longer viewed primarily as an a priori fact of subjective projection, but as a time-based condition, produced and shaped by the interplay of different agencies, both human and non-human: music, moving lights and dancing bodies. The light-space von Salzmann and Appia realized in 1912 evoked affinities with contemporaneous experiments with light-play spectacles. Alexander Scriabin’s colour-organ symphony Prometheus (written and premiered 1911, first time with working colour organ in 1915), Thomas Wilfred’s Lumia performances (1922), Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack’s reflectedlight experiments at the Bauhaus (1922), or the architect Claude Bragdon’s collective, liturgical Sound and Light festivals (1915–1918) made up a series of events that dissociated electric light from the experience of an alienating urban civilization. These performances ‘naturalized’ the communal ecstasy of the interplay of moving lights and music as an antidote to a consumerist and alienating society.43 The Festsaal, while acting as a precursor of these later projects, remains one of the most radical realisations of a ‘nonrepresentational’ cinematic space that incited the subject – who formerly was assigned the role of the passive spectator and consumer – to participate in shaping immersive and immediate events.

Mies at Hellerau Architectural historians have tended to restrict the impact of Hellerau by considering it a telling expression of the intellectual and artistic currents of its time, namely the Lebensreform ideas, the Werkbund debates, or the garden town movement. Manfredo Tafuri is something of an exception in invoking a cross-historical lineage between Hellerau and the subsequent evolution of the 1920s architectural avant-garde. He notably stressed that ‘the theatre dreamed of ’ by stage designer Adolphe Appia ‘for a community that needs no theatre to realize itself’ shares ‘profound similarities’ with Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion (1929): In that space, a place of absence, empty, conscious of the impossibility of restoring ‘synthesis’ once the ‘negative’ of the metropolis has been understood, man, the spectator of the spectacle that is really ‘total’ because it is nonexistent, is obliged to perform a pantomime that reproduces the wandering in the urban labyrinth of sign-beings among signs having no sense, a pantomime that he must attempt daily.44

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Tafuri interprets Mies’s architecture not only as a space of exception amidst the urban maelstrom of exhausted signs and ‘pure “data”’ but, what is more, as a medium that opens up a new dimension beyond the limitations of the sign. In Mies’s Repr¨asentationspavillon (as it was ironically called) the visitor was relieved of the futile quest of deciphering the cacophonic world of emptied signs, yet obliged to engage with the dimension that lay outside the realm of representation – to ‘give life to a language composed of empty and isolated signifiers’ through the interplay of moving bodies and lights.45 While Tafuri never provides historical evidence that would have substantiated his interpretative pairing of Mies and Appia, his speculations do have a factual basis. From an interview the dancer Mary Wigman gave in 1972 we know that Mies, probably between 1910 and 1913, travelled frequently from Berlin (where he was working in the office of Peter Behrens) to Hellerau to visit his future wife Ada Bruhn.46 Wigman and Bruhn both belonged to the first group of students to enrol at the Eurhythmics Institute of Jaques-Dalcroze in 1910.47 Together with the dance student Erna Hoffmann, they shared one of the recently completed row houses designed by Riemerschmid and situated on the street ‘Am Gr¨unen Zipfel’.48 The house became the gathering place for a circle of friends including Mies, Hoffmann’s later husband the art historian Hans Prinzhorn (who would become widely known for his pioneering research of the 1920s on the relation between art and mental illness), and the painter Emil Nolde.49 It is safe to assume that Mies was more than a fleeting visitor. Certain friendships he made at Hellerau lasted a lifetime. During the 1920s, Wigman and members of her dance company repeatedly stayed overnight at Mies’s studio apartment Am Karlsbad 24.50 With Prinzhorn, Mies exchanged letters and invited him in 1924 to contribute an article to the third issue of G: Zeitschrift f¨ur elementare Gestaltung, the short-lived journal he was actively involved in.51 In turn, Prinzhorn repeatedly, yet unsuccessfully, tried to convince Mies to contribute a volume on the subject of architecture to the ‘encyclopaedia of living knowledge’ Prinzhorn intended to publish, which was to deal with dynamic and evolutionary life processes.52 To what degree Mies became acquainted with the discourses that sustained the life-reform project at Hellerau is difficult to determine. What is certain is that Mies became friends with Prinzhorn at a time when the latter had finished a dissertation on Gottfried Semper’s aesthetics, a work which resonated with many of the concurrent events at Hellerau. In Prinzhorn’s reception of Semper, we find some of the fundamental ideas of Mies’s later architectural thinking – namely, an opposition to all formalism and

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aestheticism, and the idea of architecture as an autonomous form of knowledge that resists being ‘scientifically analyzed.’53 In an opening passage, Prinzhorn insists, in contrast to some of the more science-friendly Hellerau theorists we have discussed, that Semper is pertinent for an understanding of architecture precisely because he abstains from applying scientific methods, instead taking his cues from his own architectural practice. Similar to Mies’s rhetoric of the 1920s, the term ‘life’ is utilized by Prinzhorn as the ultimate justification in his reading of Semper’s aesthetics. Prinzhorn argues that when Semper expresses himself in his own architectural work, he seems less inclined to ‘analyze his practice scientifically [ forschend zu analysieren]’, and, instead, searches for a connection with ‘the greater general life [gr¨oßere allgemeine Leben]’.54 For Prinzhorn, science and technology were not the means to achieve social progress; on the contrary, the time for a new art had not yet come, but would only emerge after ‘a reorganization of society’ – an idea we also find in Mies’s thinking in the 1920s.55 The fact that Prinzhorn discusses Semper’s notion of ‘eurhythmy’ at length could have allowed him to relate architecture to Jaques-Dalcroze’s choreographic attempts to render visible the elementary laws of language and music through movements of the human body. Different from the Vitruvian understanding of eurhythmia (in the sense of a beautiful appearance that takes into account the characteristics of visual perception), Semper treats eurhythmy as a ‘closed symmetry that stands in no direct relation to the observer but only to a centre around which the elements of a regular form are arranged and strung peripherally.’56 What Prinzhorn seems to be interested in is a paradox in Semper’s thinking: while art is preoccupied with form and appearance in creating ‘for the eye’ and unconcerned with the ‘essence of things’, things possess their own agency independent of the subject.57 Semper uses the example of the crystal to emphasize the existence of ‘self-contained forms indifferent to the external world’ that are exclusively governed by the ‘laws of molecular attraction.’58 When Semper writes that ‘verticality and horizontality are therefore not basic demands of the eurhythmic figure’, he alludes to an order that exists beyond the constraints of gravity and outside Cartesian coordinates.59 The objective world is not presented to a fixed and detached observer, but this ‘Beschauer’ is prompted by the figure to ‘displace (versetzen) himself into the centre of relations’ if he or she wishes to establish ‘a rapport with the eurhythmic figure.’60 The dynamic eurhythmic figure hence exists independently of the subject’s gaze, inciting him or her to move and change his position in order to interact with that figure.61 The centre of the eurhythmic order

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and the ‘actual object’ is the closed ‘eurhythmic figure’ that expresses ‘emblematically’ (sinnbildlich) the ‘enclosure’ (Einschluss).62 In other words, the eurhythmic figure escapes representation and can only be intuited by a subject who is simultaneously inside the ‘picture frame’ (the example Semper uses) and at the same time ‘stands outside the image’ (der ausser dem Bilde steht).63 For Prinzhorn, a centre around which a ‘multiplicity’ of elements is arranged can be empty and indifferent to the outside and still remain, as an enclosure, the ‘representative of unity’.64 This fact changes, for example, the meaning of proportion, which is ‘generated through the conflict between the drive for independence (centrifugal) and the dependence on the centre (centripetal)’65 – a description that seems to anticipate Mies’s famous plan for a Brick Country House, which, once perceived through the lens of Semper’s definition of eurhythmics, could be interpreted as less a precisely scaled representation of the building’s footprint and more as an eurhythmic figure. Like a snow crystal – according to Semper the eurhythmic figure par excellence – the plan concentrates parts in proximity to an empty centre ‘around which they rotate, radiate.’66 In this new eurhythmic universe the mode of interaction has changed. Space is no longer an empty receptacle capable of containing projects, images, and ideas produced by the subject, but rather an environment in which the persistent ‘free will of the creative human spirit’ is forced to engage with the surrounding forces.67 Besides the ideas Mies shared with Prinzhorn, one can discern parallels between the work of Mary Wigman and Mies’s architectural thinking. After her experiences at Hellerau, which ended with distancing herself from her teacher Jaques-Dalcroze, Wigman become one of the founding figures of modern dance. She distinguished her work from Jaques-Dalcroze by discarding all musical accompaniments and instead began to develop choreographies that transformed the subjective identity of the dancer into a ‘figure in space’ [Gestalt im Raum], rejecting the objectifying and identifying gaze of the audience.68 The dancing body no longer represented a character or narrative but, by transcending the subject-object binary, began to correlate with physical space. As a result, what Wigman calls ‘moving architecture’ emerged.69 Invisibly spanned above the floor, felt by the soul of the dance, there are forms and lines. They grow upwards like crystals: invisible palaces made of swinging movements. Every movement of the dancer becomes the building block of moving architecture.70

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The body in modern dance, while liberated from the obligation to represent a narrative or to follow a music score, does not move freely ‘inside’ a boundless space, but is girded by a system of dynamic relations between bodies in relative motion. Wigman’s conception of space relates to the work of her mentor and collaborator Rudolf von Laban. An architect by training, Laban would later develop a graphic notational system for the recording and analysis of forms and bodies in motion, called Labanotation.71 Impressed by scientific findings on electricity and crystal growth, Laban believed that all beings and things were interconnected as ‘infinite variation of relations of tensions.’72 Familiar with Bergsonian philosophy, he understood movement as a ‘continuous flux’ and a fundamental aspect of space. For Laban, it was the task of the choreographer to produce a notation of the motions of the body – a process similar to the task of the working architect: ‘When we wish to describe a single unit of space-movement we can adopt a method similar to that of an architect when drafting a building.’73 The ‘living architecture’ Laban theorized was regarded as a fluid material that interacted with the unpredictable bodily movements of the dancer. It should therefore come as no surprise that Laban not only composed dance steps, but also developed architectural fantasies – for instance, an enormous dome structure he called the ‘Kilometerhaus,’ a ‘motion paradise’ for participants and spectators alike, free of supporting columns and equipped with an artificial sun and lights.74 It is equally telling that a Laban student, Siegfried Ebeling, sketched out an alternative conception of architecture as an envelope emanating from the human body in his obscure 1926 work Der Raum als Membran [Space as a Membrane], a book that Mies owned.75 Whether or not Mies experienced the Festsaal in operation cannot be known with absolute certainty. But given the fact that his future wife performed ‘onstage’ as well as the general sensation in intellectual and artistic circles caused by the festivals in the summers of 1912 and 1913, it is likely that Mies was familiar with the architectural aspects of this celebrated performance space. Moreover, one might very well argue that the lesson of the animated, dematerializing light-space remains present, both formally and conceptually, in many of Mies’s later designs: ‘the play of desired light reflections’ he intended to generate with his early 1920s glass skyscrapers, the proactive shadowless light of the Stuttgart Glasraum (1927) (Fig. 9.5), the luminous frosted-glass partition inside the Barcelona Pavilion (1929), the kaleidoscopic light-plays on the curtains of the Tugendhat house, and the partitions made of silk fabrics that were spanned on steel tubes for the ‘Caf´e Samt und Seide’ designed in collaboration with Lilly Reich (1927).76

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1912 – HELLERAU AS SPIELRAUM Fig. 9.5 Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Glasraum, Stuttgart, 1927. Photograph printed in Architectural Record (October 1930).

In the context of the vitalist light-space at Hellerau, Tafuri’s argument about the ‘absence’ and ‘emptiness’ of Miesian spaces as exemplary for a modernist negative aesthetics can be turned positive: the Festsaal was not ‘empty’ or ‘non-existent,’ but, like Semper’s eurhythmic figure, it acted as an emblem of a centre that defied representation, a centre ‘encircled’ by music, moving lights and dancing bodies. The dancers directed by Jaques-Dalcroze were not performing ‘pantomimes’, to use Tafuri’s term, gestures and mimics lacking words; on the contrary, they were asked to render visible language – whether musical, bodily or architectural. Against the white luminous background, human figures appeared as silhouettes, blackened human outlines devoid of individual, recognizable traits. In fact, 211

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this was precisely the effect that Mies intended with the use of luminous and animated surfaces: his assistant Sergius Ruegenberg later recalled that the light wall of the Barcelona Pavilion, its only light source, had to be turned off because the visitors felt a ‘psychological’ unease in perceiving themselves as ‘silhouettes in space’.77 Contrary to pantomime, whose effect resides in playing with the consciousness of absence of speech, silhouettes lack individuation and plasticity; they are emblems for a space in which light is a participant possessing its own agency in the production of an animated, actualized beings.

Architecture, Cinema, Spielraum Mies’s experience of Hellerau, with its idiosyncratic blend of socioeconomic objectives, life-reform ideas and bodily practices, prepared the ground for the architectural thinking he developed during the early 1920s. It allowed him to come up with an alternative scheme for modern architecture that refused to bow to the demands of political ideology, formalist anaesthetization and functionalist doctrine. Instead, he called for an architecture that asserted its own agency and its own inventive potential through the unambiguous affirmation of technology; an architecture that participated actively in creating sociality, that was ‘Alive. Changing. New.’ as Mies put it in his programmatic article ‘B¨urohaus’, which appeared in 1923 as part of the first issue of G: Material zur elementaren Gestaltung.78 The life-reform laboratory offered Mies the first outlines of an alternative conception of technology and its relation to the body. At Hellerau he could have realized that architecture was not simply understood as the substantiation of the subject’s purposive will or artistic inspiration. Without Hellerau, I want to argue, Mies would have not sensed the affinities between his work and that of the pioneers of Abstract film, Hans Richter and Viking Eggeling, who during the early 1920s were engaged in cinematographic experiments. The connection between these projects motivated and sustained the entire G project.79 Mies’s desire to collaborate with filmmakers such as Richter and Eggeling was not driven by cinema’s unsurpassed capacity to produce a lifelike image of the real or a convincing simulation of worlds to come. For Mies, rather than representing the real, cinema could help overcoming the sway of representation altogether. Less a visual recoding instrument than an epistemological tool, cinematography rendered ‘thinkable’ images, objects, and processes that were formerly excluded from the cognitive field. The rhythmic, contrapuntal interplay and evolution of abstract shapes in films

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Fig. 9.6 Viking Eggeling, Three Moments from Horizontal-Vertical Orchestra. Published in De Stijl 4/7, (1921).

like Richter’s Rhythmus 21 or Eggeling’s Symphonie Diagonale (Fig. 9.6) did not produce a picture of the world, but generated new and surprising relations between viewer and world. By challenging the dominant regimes of vision and signification and by connecting the viewer with a submerged ‘elementary’ and ‘universal’ language, abstract cinema carried an epistemic charge that would allow the viewer to gain a new form of agency – the potential to shape his/her material environment by abandoning the role of the empowered, transcendental subject.80 Things, lights, and bodies gained a life of their own, interpolating the subject to engage in new, unexpected constellations. It is for this reason that many of the artists associated with G – Richter, Raoul Hausmann, Werner Graeff, and Theo van Doesburg81 – considered cinema as a model par excellence for all kinds of ‘modern apparatuses of instinct, reception and transmission’ that assured the modern individual’s ‘connection with life’.82 By extension, architecture, too, could become such an apparatus, which explains why Mies became a driving force behind the G project. Cinema and architecture, as incarnations and vehicles of technology, both have the potential for generating what Mies regarded as the objective of his architectural work: generating ‘room-for-play [Spielraum] for the unfolding of life.’83 Interestingly, it was Walter Benjamin – a peripheral figure for the G group, contributing a translation of a text by Tristan Tzara – who in the second version of his essay The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility introduced the notion of Spielraum. In discussing the loss of aura, he notes: What is lost in the withering of semblance, or decay of the aura in works of art is matched by a huge gain in room-for-play [Spiel-Raum]. This space is widest in film. In film, the element of semblance is entirely displaced by the element of play.84

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Spielraum hence opens an alternative trajectory to the well-known argument about the erosion of auratic experience caused by technologies of mechanical representation. It implies a potentially emancipatory space where the modern subject engages in, as Miriam Bratu Hansen has argued, ‘an alternative mode of aesthetics on a par with modern, collective experience, an aesthetics that could counteract, at the level of sense perception, the political consequences of the failed [ . . . ] reception of technology.’85 Benjamin extends the meaning of play beyond the Romantic conception of a practice free of rules and constraints that could compensate for the alienation inflicted by the fragmenting world of labour, encapsulated in Schiller’s dictum that human beings only achieve wholeness when playing.86 For Benjamin, play, as it was understood in classical antiquity, could not be dissociated from semblance: ‘semblance and play’ [Schein und Spiel] refer back to ancient practices of mimesis, the ‘Ur-phenomenon of all artistic activity.’87 What is crucial for Benjamin is that the most ancient forms of imitation – dance and language – use the body not to evoke an absent other, but to embody the forms or processes they intend to imitate. During the course of the history of Western art, he argues, this balance of semblance and play has been upset in favour of semblance, to a degree that it reverted into the aestheticism of a ‘beautiful semblance’. Film corrects this imbalance. Benjamin situates it on the side of play and in the context of his conception of technology: while in the widely read version of the essay technology has an ambivalent status – having a destructive effect on the traditional arts, as well as a potential for democratizing culture – in the second version, technology is grounded within an optimistic ‘anthropological materialist’ perspective. As Hansen puts it: ‘Within this anthropological-materialist framework, then, technology endows the collective with a new physis that demands to be understood and re/appropriated, literally incorporated, in the interest of the collective; at the same time, technology provides the medium in which such reappropriation can and must take place.’88 By approaching technology from the side of the body, there emerges an alternative to the destructive alliance of technology and capitalism. What is essential about film – ‘the play form of second nature’ as Benjamin calls it – is hence not its mimetic capacity, understood as the capacity to copy, to reflect or give ‘semblance’ [Schein] to an outside reality. Rather, it is film’s ability to open up a ‘virtual’ space in which a sort of collective subject is stimulated to experiment with new modes of playful ‘innervation’. The term refers to a neuro-physiological practice of visceral incorporation of the world into the subject’s physis, a practice that is set in opposition to a distancing, objectifying, and analyzing gaze. Innervation is

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no longer tied to what Benjamin considers ‘first technology’, which involves as many human beings as possible and aims at the ‘mastery of nature’, but, by contrast, implies a ‘second technology’, which seeks to sustain ‘an interplay between nature and humanity.’89 First technology relies on a linear conception of time, on causality and origin, whereas second technology relies on continuous feedback, experimentation and play. To illustrate the interconnections between human perception, play and innervation, Benjamin uses the following image: This second technology is a system in which the mastery of elementary social forces is a precondition for playing [Spiel] with natural forces. Just as the child who is learning to grasp stretches out his hand for the moon as it would for a ball, so humanity, in its efforts at innervation, sets its sights as much on presently still utopian goals as on goals within reach.90

Benjamin interprets this example as proof of the child’s untainted capacity to innervate the world. When the child grasps for the moon, it experiences a moment of mimesis that has little to do with visual similitude; instead, the child, by putting itself in a constellation with arcane correspondences, unintentionally salvages ancient rites into its present. At the same time, it performs a mimetic act – the successful prolongation of the equilibrium between the tendencies of semblance and play, which constitute every artistic event concerned with establishing ‘non-sensuous similarities’ [unsinnliche ¨ Ahnlichkeiten], ‘magic correspondences and analogies’ – like the reading of the stars, dances or hieroglyphs that, in ancient times, unconsciously permeated humans’ lives.91 By invoking the figure of the child that interacts with technology spontaneously and without inhibition, Benjamin distances himself from the association, in Marxist thinking and critical theory, of technology with the destructive and alienating character of modernity.92 Instead of permitting the subject to exercise his or her instrumental control over nature, ‘second technology’ permits, Benjamin writes, ‘the mastery [ . . . ] of the relation between nature and man.’93 Technology is the means through which this relation is established and maintained; play is the practice that displaces the locus of human actions to the hitherto unheeded in-between space of mediation between the subject’s exigencies and the world’s limitations and possibilities. In Benjamin’s anthropological-materialist conception of cinema, the modern collective reconnects with pre-linguistic rites and opens up a contingent world of waves, flows and currents that is situated outside the 215

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epistemological margins of positivist, exact sciences – a world where body and technology once again not only interact but innervate. The political dimension of film has hence little to do with the idea of simply employing the ‘right’ iconographic or narrative content in order to educate the masses. Instead, film is seen as a mode of play, a lever for the unleashing of playful innervations that connect symbolic registers and individual corporeality, ‘image-space’ [Bildraum] and ‘body-space’ [Leibraum]. According to Benjamin, the revolutionary potential emerges once Bildraum and Leibraum overlap: ‘Only when in technology body and image space so interpenetrate that all revolutionary tension becomes bodily collective innervation, and all the bodily innervations of the collective become revolutionary discharge, has reality transcended itself to the extent demanded by the Communist Manifesto.’94 Innervation is hence a form of participation, both radical and archaic, of a collective body that engages with, appropriates, and incorporates the technology to which it owes its existence and which, at the same time, is the medium through which participation occurs. Here, participation has little to do with a wider distribution or democratization of agency; rather, by letting new actors enter the field – the collective, things and media – the meaning of democracy changes. In Benjamin’s thinking, the notion of Spielraum is not exclusive to film. Elsewhere, in his descriptions of the ‘porous’ architecture of Naples, he employs the term again: Building and action interpenetrate in the courtyards, arcades, and stairways. In everything, one preserves the room-for-play [Spielraum] to become a theatre of new, unforeseen constellations. The stamp of the definitive is avoided. No situation appears intended forever, no figure asserts it ‘thus and not otherwise [so und nicht anders].’ This is how architecture, the most binding part of the communal rhythm, comes into being here.95

While the architecture of Naples embodies an unconsciously produced Spielraum that generates unpredictable constellations of ‘communal rhythm’, early twentieth-century artists and architects were consciously trying to design such constellations. This was the objective of Hellerau and especially of the Festsaal, where a time-based, dynamic light architecture replaced the static and homogeneous space of representation with a space of participation that incited human and non-human agents to interact, bodies and technology to innervate. While this ‘luminous body’ can be interpreted as another dubious phantasmagoria, the experiments undertaken at Hellerau nonetheless prepared the ground for an alternative modernity.96 At Hellerau, an architect like Mies could get the first glimpses of an 216

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Notes 1 ‘Der entfesselten Kr¨afte m¨ussen wir Herr werden und sie in eine neue Ordnung bauen, und zwar in eine Ordnung, die dem Leben freien Spielraum zu seiner Entfaltung l¨aßt.’ Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, ‘Die Voraussetzungen bauk¨unstlerischen Schaffens’ [1928], in Neumeyer, Fritz, Das kunstlose Wort (Berlin, 1986), p.365. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are mine. 2 Paul Claudel cited in Hartmann, Kristiana, ‘Reformbewegungen’, in Durth, W., (ed), Entwurf zur Moderne. Hellerau: Stand Ort Bestimmung (Stuttgart, 1996), p.31. On Hellerau, see De Michelis, Marco, and Vicki Bilenker, ‘Modernity and Reform, Heinrich Tessenow and the Institut Dalcroze at Hellerau’, Perspecta 26 (1990), pp.143–70, Lindner, Ralf and Hans-Peter L¨uhr (eds), Gartenstadt Hellerau: die Geschichte ihrer Bauten (Dresden, 2008), and Arnold, Klaus-Peter, Vom Sofakissen zum St¨adtebau: Die Geschichte der Deutschen Werkst¨atten und der Gartenstadt Hellerau (Dresden, 1993). Most recent, see Harry Fancis Mallgrave, Architecture and Embodiment: The Implications of the New Sciences and Humanities for Design (Abingdon and New York, 2013), which treats Hellerau as paradigmatic for a new, embodied design in concert with scientific research. 3 The fact that Mies scholarship has so far treated the Hellerau episode as an ancillary detail can certainly be explained by the scarcity of archival documents and the absence of personal comments from Mies regarding this period of his life. Nevertheless, some authors mention the connection to Hellerau. Berry Bergdoll, for example, has argued that the garden of the Werner House (1912– 13) recalls ‘both Schinkel’s staging of a portico and trellis in the landscape at the Charlottenhof and Adolphe Appia’s contemporary stage designs for Heinrich Tessenow’s Festsaal at Hellerau.’ Bergdoll, Barry, ‘The Nature of Mies’s Space’, in Bergdoll and Terence Riley (eds), Mies in Berlin (New York, 2001), p.78. Detlef Mertins argues that Mies’s visits to Hellerau could have familiarized him with the discourses on rhythm that would later resurface in the writings of the avant-garde. Mertins, Detlef, ‘Architectures of Becoming: Mies van der Rohe and the Avant-Garde’, in Bergdoll and Riley: Mies in Berlin, pp.107–33. Manfredo Tafuri’s attempt to connect Mies and Hellerau is discussed further down. 4 Latour, Bruno and Albena Yaneva, ‘Give me a Gun and I will Make All Buildings Move: An ANT’s View of Architecture’, Geiser, Reto (ed), Explorations in Architecture: Teaching, Design, Research (Basel, 2008), pp.85, 88.

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architectural space as Spielraum where solid volumes and static forms were replaced by a chronotopic play of dynamic interferences between visual, haptic and acoustic intensities – a space as a medium or tool that prepares the emergence of ‘new life forms’ to come.97

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5 Latour, Bruno, ‘A Cautious Prometheus? A Few Steps Toward a Philosophy of Design (with Special Attention to Peter Sloterdijk)’, Keynote lecture, Networks of Design meeting of the Design History Society, Falmouth, Cornwall, 3 September 2008, http://www.bruno-latour.fr/sites/default/files/112DESIGN-CORNWALL-GB.pdf, p.13, accessed 14 August 2013. See also Latour, Bruno, Nous n’avons jamais e´t´e modernes: essai d’anthropologie sym´etrique (Paris, 1991). 6 See for example Banham, Reyner, Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (London, 1960), pp.71–2, Cohen, Jean-Louis, L’Architecture au futur depuis 1889 (Paris, 2012), pp.77, 93, and Colquehoun, Alan, Modern Architecture (Oxford, 2002), pp.62–4. It is noteworthy that Sigfried Giedion does not mention Hellerau at all in his canonical work Space, Time and Architecture: The Growth of a New Tradition (Cambridge, MA: 1941). 7 See for example De Michelis, Marco, ‘Gesamtkunstwerk Hellerau’, in Durth, Werner (ed), Entwurf zur Moderne. Hellerau: Stand Ort Bestimmung (Stuttgart, 1996), pp.35–56. 8 Adler, Max, ‘Kulturfr¨uhling in Hellerau’, in M¨arz. Eine Wochenzeitschrift 6 (1912), p.13. ‘Komplex von wirtschaftlichen, sozialpolitischen, technischen und k¨unstlerischen Momenten. Die Luft eines neuen Lebenswillens umf¨angt uns hier.’ 9 Scheffler, Karl, ‘Das Haus’, in Die Schulfeste der Bildungsanstalt Jaques-Dalcroze ( Jena, 1912), p.3. 10 Rainer Maria Rilke cited in Helene von Nostitz, Aus dem alten Europa. Menschen und St¨adte (Frankfurt a. M., 1979), p.171. 11 Naumann, Friedrich, ‘Die Kunst im Zeitalter der Maschine’, Der Kunstwart 17/20 (1904), p.321. 12 B¨ucher, Karl, Arbeit und Rhythmus (Leipzig, 1899), p359. See also Hanse, Olivier, Rythme et civilisation dans la pens´ee allemand autour de 1900, Dissertation, Universit´e Rennes 2, 2007, pp.187–98. 13 Dohrn, Wolf, ‘Die Aufgabe der Bildungsanstalt Jaques-Dalcroze’, Der Rhythmus 1 (1911), p.5. 14 B¨ucher: Arbeit und Rhythmus, pp.383, 357. 15 Jaques-Dalcroze cited in Seidl, Arthur, Die Hellerauer Schulfeste und die Bildungsanstalt Jaques-Dalcroze (Regensburg, 1913), p.24. 16 Horneffer, August, ‘Jaques-Dalcroze in Hellerau’, Die Tat 4/3 (1912), p.127. 17 On rhythm as a modern ideology, see Baxmann, Inge, Mythos: Gemeinschaft. K¨orper- und Tanzkulturen in der Moderne (M¨unchen, 2000). 18 From the onset, the Hellerau project reflected the ambivalence of the Lebensreform movement. Already in 1911 Bruno Tanzmann founded an antiliberal, v¨olkische school for adult education alongside the progressive and cosmopolitan Eurhythmics Institute. See Nitschke, Thomas, ‘Die Gartenstadt

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Hellerau: weltoffene “p¨adagogische Provinz” und Gr¨undungsort f¨ur v¨olkisch gesinnte Bildungsinstitute’, in Ciupke, Paul (ed), ‘Die Erziehung zum deutschen Menschen’: V¨olkische und nationalkonservative Erwachsenenbildung in der Weimar Republik (Essen, 2007), pp.217–41. For a critique of the ‘reactionary-progressive’ aspects of the Hellerau project, see Cluet, Marc, ‘Cit´es-jardins et id´ees “r´eactionnaires-progressistes”’, in Koehn, Barbara (ed), La R´evolution conservatrice et les e´lites intellectuelles (Rennes, 2003), pp.177–99. ´ Jaques-Dalcroze, Emile, Die Bildungsanstalt f¨ur Musik und Rhythmus E. JaquesDalcroze in Dresden-Hellerau ( Jena, 1910), p.10. Dohrn: ‘Die Aufgabe der Bildungsanstalt Jaques-Dalcroze’, p.12. ´ Jaques-Dalcroze, Emile, ‘Was die rhythmische Gymnastik Ihnen gibt und was sie von Ihnen fordert’, Der Rhythmus 1 (1911), p.46. ´ As Emile Benveniste points out in his etymological analysis, rhythm is to be understood as ‘form in the moment of its realization through what changes, moves, and flows. [ . . . ] It is form that is improvised, momentous, changeable.’ In other words, rhythm allows for the production of temporal ´ form. Benveniste, Emile, Probl`emes de linguistique g´en´erale (Paris, 1996), p.333. Haenel, Erich, ‘Die Gartenstadt Hellerau bei Dresden’, Dekorative Kunst 14 (1911), p.336. Cited in Streisand, Marianne, ‘Rhythmische R¨aume’, in Stockhammer, Robert (ed), TopoGraphien der Moderne: Medien zur Repr¨asentation und Konstruktion von R¨aumen (M¨unchen, 2005), p.241. Adorno, Theodor W., Minima Moralia: Reflections on a Damaged Life, trans. Edmund Jephcott (London, 1997), p.39. Dohrn cites Theodor Fischer and his indeterminate definition of a Haus which does not exist ‘for the dwelling of individuals or families but for all, not for learning and becoming intelligent but for becoming happy, not for the worship according to whatever creed but for devotion and inner experience. Thus no school, no museum, no church, no concert hall, no auditorium!’ Dohrn: Die Gartenstadt Hellerau, p.27. During the late 1890s, Salzmann had studied painting in Munich, where he met Wassily Kandinsky. Before participating in the design of the Festsaal, Salzmann probably worked for Karl Schmidt’s Dresdner Werkst¨atten. Through the great success of his lighting installations for the performances of Orpheus in 1912 and L’annonce faite a` Marie in 1913, Salzmann became internationally known, designing the light installation for a performance of Pelleas et Melisande at the Th´eaˆ tre des Champs-Elys´ees in 1921. See Di Donato, Carla, ‘Alexandre Salzmann et Pell´eas et M´elisande au Th´eaˆ tre des Champs-Elys´ees’, Revue d’histoire du th´eaˆ tre 60/2 (2008), pp.153–70. Seidl: Die Hellerauer Schulfeste, p.31. See MacGowan, Kenneth, The Theatre of Tomorrow (New York, 1921), p.190. Seidl speaks of 3,000 light bulbs, MacGowan of 10,000.

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29 The costs of the lighting installation reached almost 10 per cent of the costs of the entire building (which was 800,000 marks), underscoring the central importance the Festsaal had for the entire Hellerau enterprise. See the figures published in ‘Die Bildungsanstalt in Hellerau bei Dresden’, Bl¨atter f¨ur Architektur und Kunsthandwerk 26/5 (1913), p.19. 30 There were two festivals that took place at the school. The first took place between 28 June and 11 July 1912. Besides one scene from the second act of Orpheus and Eurydice, students performed one of Jaques-Dalcrozes’s own creations, Echo und Narziss. In 1913, from 18 to 29 June, the second Schulfest was organized: besides demonstrations of rhythmic gymnastics, Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice was performed in its entirety. See De Michelis, Marco, Heinrich Tessenow: 1876–1950 (Stuttgart, 1991), p.208. 31 Unknown author quoted in Beacham, Richard, Adolphe Appia: Essays, Scenarios, and Designs (Ann Arbor, 1989), p.15. 32 Wolkonsky, Sergei, ‘Die Wende in meinem Leben’, in Heinold, Ehrhardt (ed), Hellerau leuchtete (Husum and Dresden, 2007), p.200. 33 Seidl: Die Hellerauer Schulfeste, p.13. 34 Having been a disciple of Jaques-Dalcroze since 1905, Albert later established a dance school in Paris based on the pedagogy of his teacher. He also wrote on the Swiss innovator of modern dance in L’Esprit Nouveau. See Jeanneret, Albert, ‘La Rythmique’, L’Esprit nouveau 2/3 (November 1920). ´ 35 Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, Letter to Auguste Perret, 30 March 1915, in Dumont, Marie-Jeanne, (ed), Le Corbusier – lettres a` ses maˆıtres (Paris, 2002), p.132. Le Corbusier repeatedly mentions Hellerau in his notebook, letters and writings. As late as Quand les cath´edrales e´taient blanches, published in 1937, he refers to Hellerau as a ‘spiritual centre’. See Cohen, Jean-Louis, Frankreich oder Deutschland?: Ein ungeschriebenes Buch von Le Corbusier (Berlin, 2011), pp.22– 34. 36 Rilke cited in von Nostitz: Aus dem alten Europa, p.171. By employing this scientific terminology, Rilke makes overt references to Wolf Dohrn, the son of the founder of the famous zoological research station at Naples, Anton Dohrn. In a letter to Marie von Thurn und Taxis Rilke writes about his experience of the Festsaal: ‘A Hellerau il se passe bien de choses curieuses, ce Th´eaˆ tre [ . . . ] donne pourtant a` penser, par ses intentions ou plutˆot par sa libert´e de vouloir tout, de comprendre tout, d’accepter tout, ce qui probablement sera un peu de trop a` la fin. C’est Wolf Dohrn, un des fils du Directeur de L’Aquarium de Naples, qui soutient ces id´ees larges qui permettent un nombre presque illimit´e d’exp´eriments et d’exp´eriences.’ Rilke, letter to Marie von Thurn und Taxis, 21 October 1913 in Rilke, Rainer Maria and Marie von Thurn und Taxis, Briefwechsel, ed. Ernst Zinn, Vol. 2 (Z¨urich, 1951), p.324. 37 On the two types of light, see Appia, Adolphe, Die Musik und die Inscenierung (M¨unchen, 1899), p.84.

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38 Jaques-Dalcroze: ‘Was die rhythmische Gymnastik Ihnen gibt . . . ’, p.50. 39 Appia, Adolphe, ‘Eurhythmics and the Theatre’, translated in Beacham, Richard C. (ed), Adolphe Appia: Texts on Theatre (London, 1993), p.93. The essay originally appeared in Der Rhythmus, Ein Jahrbuch 1 (1911). 40 Appia, Adolphe, L’œuvre d’art vivant (Geneva, 1921), p.42. 41 von Salzmann, Alexander, ‘Licht Belichtung und Beleuchtung: Bemerkungen zur Beleuchtungsanlage des Grossen Saales der Dalcroze-Schule’, in Die Schulfeste der Bildungsanstalt Jaques-Dalcroze, (1912), p.70. 42 Schmarsow, August, ‘The Essence of Architectural Creation’ [1893] in Mallgrave, Harry Francis and Eleftheris Ikonomou (eds), Empathy, Form and Space. Problems in German Aesthetics 1873–1893 (Los Angeles, 1994), p.289. Von Salzmann, ‘Licht Belichtung und Beleuchtung’, p.71. 43 See Hoormann, Anne, Lichtspiele: Zur Medienreflexion der Avantgarde in der Weimarer Republik (M¨unchen, 2003). Rousseau, Pascal, ‘Concordances: synesth´esie et conscience cosmique dans la Color Music’, in Duplaix, Sophie (ed), Son & lumi`eres: une histoire du son dans l’art du XXe si`ecle (Paris, 2004), pp.29–37. 44 Tafuri, Manfredo, ‘The Stage as “Virtual City”: From Fuchs to the Totaltheater’, in The Sphere and the Labyrinth (Cambridge, MA: 1987), p.111. 45 Ibid. 46 Mary Wigman interview with Ludwig Glaeser, tape recording, 13 September 1972, Mies van der Rohe: Research Papers, Documents and Tape Recordings Related to Mies van der Rohe and the Establishment of the Museum of Modern Art’s Mies van der Rohe Archive, compiled by Ludwig Glaeser. Canadian Center of Architecture (CCA). One should point out that prior to coming to Hellerau, Mies had already been familiar with the subject of the garden city. In 1910 he participated in a trip to London, organized by the German Garden City Association, to visit the International Town Planning conference, where parts of the Allgemeine St¨adtebau-Ausstellung, organized by Werner Hegemann in Berlin and D¨usseldorf, were shown. See Schulze, Franz, Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography (Chicago, 1985), p.41; see also Hegemann, Werner, Der St¨adtebau nach den Ergebnissen der Allgemeinen St¨adtebau-Ausstellung in Berlin (Berlin, 1911). 47 See the list of students printed in the first issue of Der Rhythmus in 1911. Amongst the 115 students inscribed as first-year students for the school year 1910/1911 we find the names of Bruhn and Marie Wiegmann (later Mary Wigman), Erna Hoffmann and Albert Jeanneret. 48 The groundbreaking of ‘Am Gr¨unen Zipfel’ in 1909 marks the beginning of development in Hellerau. The office of the Werkbund was located here, as was the residence of Tessenow. 49 Whether Mies first met Prinzhorn in Hellerau is not clear. We know that Mies became acquainted with Ada Bruhn at one of the gatherings at the house of the

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philosopher Alo¨ıs Riehl in Neubabelsberg, which Mies had designed in 1907. Apparently the Riehl children, who were friends of Bruhn, had also taken an interest in eurhythmics. Amongst the list of adult students taking courses at Jaques-Dalcroze’s school in Berlin, we also find the names of Wolfgang Bruhn (probably Ada’s brother, an art historian) and Eva Prinzhorn (possibly Hans Prinzhorn’s sister). It is therefore likely that Jaques-Dalcroze’s experiments had already been a subject of discussion at Riehl House before Mies visited Hellerau. Wigman: Interview with Glaeser, CCA. Prinzhorn, Hans, ‘Gestaltung und Gesundheit’, G: Zeitschrift f¨ur elementare Gestaltung 3 (1924), n.p. As early as 1923, Prinzhorn writes to Mies, informing him about his plans for the encyclopaedia. See letter of Prinzhorn to Mies, 4 September 1923, The Papers of Mies van der Rohe, Library of Congress, Washington D.C., Box 1, Folder B. In 1932, after Mies had become director of the Bauhaus, his invitation to Prinzhorn to give a lecture is further evidence for the longevity of their relationship. In the same year, Prinzhorn organized a declaration of confidence in the Bauhaus to avert its threatened closure by the Nazis. It was signed, amongst others, by Peter Behrens, Paul Bonatz, Graff von D¨urckheim, Theodor Fischer, Josef Hoffmann, Georg Kolbe, Wilhelm Kreis, Richard Riemerschmid, Fritz Schumacher and Heinrich Tessenow. Hans Prinzhorn, Vertrauenskundgebung f¨ur Mies van der Rohe, Archiv der Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, Nachlass Mies van der Rohe. See Hahn, Peter, Bauhaus Berlin: Aufl¨osung Dessau 1932, Schließung Berlin 1933, Bauh¨ausler und Drittes Reich; eine Dokumentation (Weingarten, 1985), p.36. Prinzhorn, Hans, Gottfried Sempers Aesthetische Grundanschauungen (Stuttgart, 1909), p.7. The rejection of formalism is a recurrent trope in Mies’s rhetoric. In a letter to Gropius, written in preparation for the Bauhaus Exhibition 1923, Mies writes for instance: ‘Because I reject all formalism, no matter what kind, and try to find a solution from the essence of the task, no formal kinship will connect the individual works.’ Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Letter to Walter Gropius, 14 June 1923, Library of Congress, Washington D.C., The Papers of Mies van der Rohe, Box 1, Folder G. Prinzhorn: Gottfried Semper, p.7. Ibid., p.3. The idea that social and technological changes precede the emergence of a new architecture, and not vice versa, resurfaces in the statements and notes Mies made during the 1920s. Here ‘life’ plays the role of an original, unnameable force upon which all reality, whether material, social, technological or architectural, is contingent. See, for example, the phrase Mies included in his notes: ‘We can only talk of a new building art when new life forms have been formed.’ Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, ‘Notes (1927/28)’, in

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Neumeyer, Fritz, The Artless Word: Mies van der Rohe on the Building Art, trans. Mark Jarzombek (Cambridge, MA: 1991), p.269. Semper, Gottfried, ‘Prolegomena’, in Der Stil in den technischen und tektonischen K¨unsten, Vol.1 (Frankfurt a. M., 1860), p.xxvii, available in English as Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts, trans. Harry Francis Mallgrave and Michael Robinson (Los Angeles, 2004), p.86. Prinzhorn: Gottfried Semper, p.41. Semper: Style (2004), p.84. Ibid, p.86. Semper: Der Stil (1850), p.xxvii. The notions of rhythm, repetition and sequence would later resurface in Prinzhorn’s writings on the connection between folk art (Volkskunst) and the work of children and the mentally ill as genuine prelinguistic expressions. See Prinzhorn, Hans, ‘Vom Urvorgang der bildnerischen Gestaltung,’ in Fraenger, Wilhelm, (ed), Vom Wesen der Volkskunst (Berlin, 1926), p.17. Semper: Der Stil (1850), p.xxvii. Ibid. Prinzhorn: Gottfried Semper, p.41. Ibid., p.43. Semper: Style (2004), p.93. Prinzhorn: Gottfried Semper, p.59. Wigman cited in Funkenstein, Susan, ‘There’s Something about Mary Wigman: The Woman Dancer as Subject in German Expressionist Art’, Gender & History 17/3 (2005), p.833. For a general introduction to Wigman’s work see Fritsch-Vivi´e, Gabriele, Mary Wigman (Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1999). Funkenstein, p.826. See also B¨ohme, Fritz, Der Tanz der Zukunft (M¨unchen, 1926). Mary Wigman quoted in Fritsch-Vivi´e: Mary Wigman, p.24. ´ Laban’s system is reminiscent of the motion studies of Etienne-Jules Marey and Frank Bunker Gilbreth. It is hardly surprising that Laban’s system for the measuring of movement, conceived at first as a liberating new language of rhythmic collective bodies, was later used for the optimization of work processes in industrial production. See Laban, Rudolf von and Frederick Lawrence, Effort: Economy of Human Movement (London, 1974 [1947]). Moreover, it is worth pointing out that choreutics, defined by von Laban as ‘the art, or the science, dealing with the analysis and synthesis of movement’, was meant as a practice that dissolves the distinction between art and science. See Maletic, Vera, Body – Space – Expression: The Development of Rudolf Laban’s Movement and Dance Concept (Berlin, 1987), p.57, and Wigman, Mary, ‘Rudolf von Laban zum Geburtstag’, Schrifttanz 4 (1929), p.65. Laban, Rudolf von, Die Welt des T¨anzers (Stuttgart, 1920), p.65.

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73 Laban, Rudolf von, Choreutics (London, 1966), p.4. 74 Laban, Rudolf von, Ein Leben f¨ur den Tanz (Dresden, 1935), p.200. See also D¨orr, Evelyn, Rudolf Laban: Ein Portr¨at (Norderstedt, 2005), pp.234–7. 75 Ebeling, Siegfried, Der Raum als Membran ist ein analytisch-kritischer Beitrag zu Fragen zuk¨unftiger Architektur, die u¨ ber das nackte Bed¨urfnis hinausgeht und hiermit sich legen m¨ochte in die gestaltende Hand aller Wissenschaft (Dessau, 1926). Available in English as Ebeling, Space as Membrane, ed. Spyros Papapetros, introduction by Walter Scheiffele, trans. Pamela Johnston and Anna Kathryn Schoefert (London, 2010). 76 The quote is from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, ‘Hochh¨auser’, Fr¨uhlicht 4 (1922), p.124. 77 Interview with Sergius Ruegenberg, tape recording, Mies van der Rohe: Research Papers, Documents and Tape Recordings, compiled by Ludwig Glaeser, Canadian Center of Architecture, Montreal. It is telling that Siegfried Kracauer employed the term ‘silhouette’ in describing Mies’s Glasraum at the 1927 Werkbund exhibition at Stuttgart: ‘In the indoor section of the exhibition one finds a strange room, rationally conceived [erdacher Raum] by Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich. Its walls are assembled with milky and dark-coloured glass plates. A glass box, transparent; the neighbouring rooms penetrate its inside. Every device and every movement inside of it magically project shadows onto the wall, bodiless silhouettes that float through the air and merge with the glass room’s mirror images. The incantation of this intangible, crystal spectre [Kristallspuk], which changes in the manner of a kaleidoscope just like light-reflexes, shows that the new house is not the final fulfilment.’ Kracauer, Siegfried, ‘Das Neue Bauen. Zur Stuttgarter Werkbund Ausstellung “Die Wohnung”’, Frankfurter Zeitung, 31 Juli 1927, p.2. Darkened outlines of human figures appear frequently in drawings and photomontages Mies produced during the interwar period. Black silhouettes can be founding, for example, in the charcoal elevation drawings of the glass skyscraper (1921) and his perspective drawing for the Neue Wache War Memorial competition. In his photomontages for the Friedrichstraße skycraper competition, Mies includes the blurred outlines of passers-by. 78 Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, ‘B¨urohaus’, G: Material zur elementaren Gestaltung 1 (1923), n.p. 79 For an in-depth discussion of Mies’s involvement with cinema, see Robbers, Lutz, ‘Filmk¨ampfer Mies’, in Pl¨um, Kerstin, Mies van der Rohe im Diskurs: Innovationen – Haltungen – Werke (Bielefeld, 2013), pp.63–96. 80 On the question of cinema and agency see Engell, Lorenz, ‘Kinematographische Agenturen’, in Engell, Lorenz, Jiˇr´ı Bystˇrick´y, Kateˇrina Krtilov´a, (eds), Medien denken: Von der Bewegung des Begriffs zu bewegten Bildern (Bielefeld, 2010), pp.137–56.

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81 Throughout the 1920s, van Doesburg remained preoccupied with connecting the moving image with the built environment. His redesign of the Caf´e Aubette (1926–28) with its Cine-Dancing space in Strasbourg can be seen as the most sustained attempt at realizing what he calls a ‘light and time architecture.’ See Doesburg, Theo van, ‘Licht- en Tijdbeelding (Film)’, De Stijl 6/5 (1923), pp.58–62 and Doesburg, Theo van, ‘Film als reine Gestaltung’, Die Form 10 (1929), pp.241–9. 82 Richter, Hans, ‘G’, G: Zeitschrift f¨ur elementare Gestaltung 3 (1924), n.p. 83 Mies van der Rohe: ‘Die Voraussetzungen bauk¨unstlerischen Schaffens’, p.365. 84 Benjamin, Walter, ‘Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner mechanischen Reproduzierbarkeit [zweite Version]’, in Schweppenh¨auser, Hermann, and Rolf Tiedemann (eds), Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. 7 (Frankfurt a.M., 1989), p.369. Walter Benjamin, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility’, second version, in Jennings, Michael W. and Howard Eiland (eds), Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Vol. 3, 1935–1938 (Cambridge, MA: 2002), p.127. 85 Hansen, Miriam Bratu, ‘Room-for-Play: Benjamin’s Gamble with Cinema’, October 109 (2004), p.6. 86 On the cultural-historical dimensions of play, see the seminal work by Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture (London, 1949). 87 Benjamin: ‘The Work of Art’, p.127. 88 Hansen: ‘Room-for-Play’, p.17. 89 Benjamin: ‘Das Kunstwerk’, p.359. 90 Benjamin: ‘Das Kunstwerk’, p.360; Benjamin: ‘The Work of Art’, p.124. Interestingly, this image of the child reaching for the moon had been a recurrent motif that probably originates in Ernst Mach’s widely influential Analyse der Empfindungen (whose first edition dates back to 1886). Walter Gropius interprets the child’s gesture as a cognitive error that evinces that the child is limited to the haptic sense. According to Gropius, media can be used to help correct such shortcomings and provide an ‘optical key’ that can serve as a ‘controlling agent within the creative art.’ See Mach, Ernst, Analyse der Empfindungen ( Jena, 1922), p.35. Walter Gropius, ‘MS Raumkunde’, BauhausArchive Berlin, quoted in M¨uller, Ulrich, Raum, Bewegung und Zeit im Werk von Walter Gropius und Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (Berlin, 2004), p.43. Later, in 1947, Gropius uses this image of the child trying to catch the moon again: ‘Similarly, a baby in the cradle, seeing the moon for the first time in his life, tries to catch it; what is at first a mere reflected image on the retina assumes, in later life, symbolic meaning by experience.’ Gropius, Walter, Scope of Total Architecture [1943] (New York, 1955), p.22.

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¨ 91 See Benjamin, Walter, ‘Uber das mimetische Verm¨ogen’, in Schweppenh¨auser, Hermann and Rolf Tiedemann (eds), Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. 2.1 (Frankfurt a.M., 1977 [1933]), pp.210–13. 92 Gropius’s ‘MS Raumkunde’ (the transcript of three lectures held at the Bauhaus in 1921/22) and its interest in the notions of play (Spiel and spielen) might be profitably compared with Benjamin, Walter, ‘The Cultural History of Toys’, ‘Toys and Play: Marginal Notes on a Monumental Work’, in Jennings, Michael W., Howard Eiland and Gary Smith (eds), Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Vol.2, Pt.1, 1927–1930 (Cambridge, MA: 1999), pp.113–121. 93 Benjamin, Walter, Einbahnstraße (Frankfurt a.M., 1955), p.125. ‘Und so auch Technik nicht Naturbeherrschung: Beherrschung vom Verh¨altnis Natur und Menschen.’ 94 Benjamin, Walter, ‘Der S¨urrealismus – Die letzte Momentaufnahme der europ¨aischen Intelligenz’, in Schweppenh¨auser and Tiedemann: Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. 2, p.310. 95 Benjamin: Einbahnstraße, p.309. Translated in Benjamin, One-Way Street and Other Writings, trans. J.A. Underwood and Amit Chaudhuri (London, 1997), p.169. 96 The fact that the Festsaal’s effect was sustained by a hidden apparatus capable of prompting the ecstatic dissolution of the self and promising the reconstitution of a lost Gemeinschaft make it susceptible to being interpreted as a phantasmagoria. Instead of responding to the emergence of new technologies with a new social order, the Festsaal can be regarded as another device to cover up the new with fleeting, potentially totalitarian illusions. The purpose of this essay is to open up alternative avenues of thinking about such animate spaces. 97 Mies repeatedly stresses that his designs were simply harbingers of new architecture to come. For him the creation of a new ‘Baukunst’ was not in the power of the architect, but dependent on the emergence of ‘new life forms’. Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, ‘Notizen’, in Neumeyer: Das kunstlose Wort, p.269.

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10 Participatory Aesthetics: Alexander Dorner’s Reorganization of the Provinzialmuseum Hannover (1923–1926) Sandra L¨oschke

With catch phrases such as ‘living museum’, or ‘the museum as laboratory’, the work of Weimar-era museum director Alexander Dorner recently reemerged in contemporary art and curatorial practices, was appropriated by Hans-Ulrich Obrist as an exemplary precedent for his own curatorial model.1 Dorner came to prominence as the Director of the Art Collections at the Provinzialmuseum Hannover, when he commissioned El Lissitzky to design a room for contemporary art (the Abstract Cabinet) in 1927 – a ground-breaking move received with widespread acclaim at the time, and a major influence on the well-known curatorial models of Alfred H. Barr and Philip Johnson at MoMA.2 In contrast, Dorner’s re-organization of the Provinzialmuseum’s art collections between 1923 and 1926 has been examined in a more critical manner: central elements of Dorner’s museum concept have been considered unoriginal in light of earlier reorganization efforts. Similarly, his introduction of ‘atmosphere rooms’ and a sequential itinerary were regarded as

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indebted to Romantic and Enlightenment traditions, and their simultaneous deployment has been pointed to as representing a grave inconsistency in his curatorial approach.3 Counter to these arguments, we might regard these seemingly contradictory strategies as the innovation in Dorner’s curatorial practice – a practice that demanded emotional and intellectual participation from its audience. At stake for the museum in the early 1920s, Dorner suggested, was not simply art historical erudition or connoisseurship, but rather the adequate resolution of ‘ourselves and our vital problems’.4 The museum’s mandate, Dorner insisted, was to generate a deeper understanding of the present situation, a goal that could only be accomplished if ‘the energies [ . . . surging up from the past’ were uncovered and mediated.5 For the realization of this aim, the museum would have to utilize ‘all possible sensory and intellectual resources of representation.’6 The particular challenge identified by Dorner was one of method – how could historical content be made relevant for the general public of Weimar Germany without alienating existing expert audiences? Something beyond scientific organization and representation was at issue – something that enlivened historic developments to reveal points of reference to contemporary life and thus ultimately support the harmonization and democratization of German culture after the collapse of the Wilhelmine Empire and the subsequent founding of the Weimar Republic. It is Dorner’s curatorial response to these challenges that is under investigation in this study, a series of positions that were made apparent in his reorganization of the Provinzialmuseum. In distinction to the efforts of his colleagues, Dorner enlivened historicism with psycho-technical interventions that transformed the way audiences would perceive the art objects presented to them – a participatory aesthetic intended to generate immersive experiences whilst simultaneously encouraging active reception and reflection.

The State of German Museums in the Early 1920s Through the course of his early career as a research assistant at the Provinzialmuseum cataloguing the drawing and painting collections, Dorner formed a comprehensive idea of the museum’s holdings. By the time he took over as director in 1923, the museum collections were in a state of disarray – more reminiscent of a curiosity cabinet than an art collection, the Provinzialmuseum represented a panoptic showcase of aristocratic and upper middle-class life, described by one staff member as a ‘trash room’ where one could find an altar next to a stuffed boar next to a painting.7 228

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ALEXANDER DORNER’S REORGANIZATION OF THE PROVINZIALMUSEUM HANNOVER (1923–1926)

This state of affairs had not gone unnoticed. In October 1920, shortly after Dorner had commenced in his position as a research assistant, two visiting art historians from Bielefeld published a scathing report on the Provinzialmuseum that appeared in newspapers across Germany.8 The museum’s art department was accused of leaving important art treasures to decay in its archives, while in the galleries, important and unimportant works were indiscriminately stacked on top of one another. The museum’s ‘high walls’, as Dorner later observed, ‘threatened to collapse under the load of the good and the bad.’9 This unsatisfactory situation was not the product of curatorial ignorance, but resulted from the fact that the majority of the museum inventory consisted of private collections that were on loan to the museum. The owners of those works had often stipulated the display of their entire collection in dedicated rooms – this was the case, for instance, for the 800 works provided by the Cumberland Trust.10 As a consequence of these legal agreements, arranging the material in accordance with art historical criteria was impossible, and the Provinzialmuseum functioned essentially as a depository for an array of diverse historic objects that were exhibited as singular items without meaningful interrelations – a ‘loose aggregate’, as Dorner called it.11 Visitors found themselves not only overwhelmed by the plethora of objects on display, but also entirely left to their own devices in engaging with the diversity of exhibits. Apart from the state of the collections, the museum’s badly lit and cold exhibition halls, as well as its overflowing and unattractively coloured rooms, were unacceptable to Dorner from a practical and aesthetic perspective. More importantly, he felt that the current state of affairs was irreconcilable with the museum’s educational mandate because it alienated visitors and obstructed the mediation of art historical content.12 Worse still, the Provinzialmuseum’s technological and scientific state rendered it obsolescent in comparison to other German museums and resulted in its relative isolation. Not surprisingly, visitor numbers were low and the museum played a minor role in the flourishing culture of the city, which was shaped by the diverse activities of art associations, artists, and other initiatives rather than its larger public institutions.13 Caught between tradition and change, conservation and experimentation, the developments in Hannover were representative of the wider museum landscape in Germany after the end of World War I and the fall of the Wilhelmine Empire.14 Prewar concerns over changing political and social circumstances and the resulting desire to preserve traditional structures had been at the very heart of many nineteenth-century museum foundations.

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As a reaction to the radical transformations brought about by progressive industrialization and modernization, museums were primarily intended as ‘asylums for the rescue and safe-keeping against the deterioration, displacement and dissipation of cultural and art historical antiquities’ and ‘fortified repositories against all hostile influences that threaten our cultural and artistic monuments’, as then-head of the Provinzialmuseum Jacobus Reimers declared in the museum’s 1909 yearbook.15 But in the early years of the Weimar Republic, the ‘hostile influences’ cited by Reimers became just what a younger generation of museum leaders sought to embrace. Driven by a desire to democratize culture, they embraced socio-political changes and steered their museums towards pro-active engagement with new audiences. Although museum reform efforts had commenced in the 1880s, in the radicalized political climate of the early Weimar Republic, quite different strata of society laid claim to active participation in German culture.16 Newly formed and politically motivated groups such as the Arbeitrat f¨ur Kunst (Working Council for Art) rallied for ‘the activation of museums as educational establishments for the people.’17 The museum, increasingly regarded as an public educational institution, had to leave behind its passive stance and engage in what Dorner described as an active museum practice – a practice that explored new methods of presenting art to the general public with the intention of making art historical developments not only visible but comprehensible to audiences previously unfamiliar with art. In his article 1919 article ‘Das Kunstmuseum der Zukunft’ (The art museum of the future), Gustav Pauli, director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle and co-founder of the democratically oriented Deutscher Museumsbund (German Museum Association), described the status quo of German museums as the consequence of a fusion of different historic museum typologies (the princely museum, the scholarly museum, and the public museum).18 According to Pauli, these hybrid museum types sought to complete their highly diverse collection areas with new acquisitions, and the ensuing drive for growth led to overlapping specializations and rivalries. As a result, ‘the systematic utilization of the cultural goods’ entrusted to museums for the benefit of the public remained largely unaccomplished.19 Pauli suggested that ‘the scope of a museum reduce[d] the intensity of its impact,’ and at the point where an overview was no longer possible, the effect on the visitor not only remained ‘largely representative’ but became ‘numbing and confusing’.20 Pauli’s levelled his sharpest criticism at his colleagues and their acquisition committees, whose latent disinterest in their lay audience, he asserted, led to their spectacular failure as mediators of knowledge:

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Pauli perceptively recognised that the auratic presentation of art in traditional museum environments encouraged passive modes of art reception that were incompatible with the educational goals of the new republic and only served to perpetuate the exclusivity of art by making it inaccessible.22 Yet, specific techniques that would change this state of affairs had not yet been identified: under what conditions could an audience with average education and frequently little or no prior experience of art partake in the aesthetic enjoyment of objects whose meaning was only accessible to those with adequate knowledge and expertise? How could art objects, whose target audience were experts and the cultured upper middle classes, be made more widely accessible? As Pauli highlighted, opening the museum doors, extending opening times, and reducing admission fees was not sufficient to create a meaningful involvement of the general public with the museum.23 Dorner underlined many of Pauli’s arguments in his own writings. Reinforcing earlier criticisms about outdated modes of art presentation and reception, he likened museums to monadic temples of ‘tranquillity and peace’ whose stifling effect was comparable to ‘a dead hand reaching forward into our lives and stopping them.’24 The traditional museum’s ‘idealistic basis’, its ‘quantitative accumulation’ of ever-increasing numbers of artworks, and its outmoded architectural typologies, in Dorner’s opinion, stood outside the ‘materialistic practical life of the day’ and prevented the museum from striking a rapport with general audiences who were largely unfamiliar with a cultural heritage shaped by aristocratic society.25 Initially, to overcome this alienation, Dorner shrewdly looked to advertising campaigns and educational events that used an accessible language to capture visitor interest:

ALEXANDER DORNER’S REORGANIZATION OF THE PROVINZIALMUSEUM HANNOVER (1923–1926)

[Museum] directors saw their main tasks in collecting and administrating; they opened the doors of their institute and left the artworks to speak for themselves. [ . . . ] They invoked the voices of illustrious individuals, who explicitly warned not to desacralize the enigmatic relationship between the viewer and the artwork through education.21

More strongly than before, the large masses must be drawn into the museum with advertising in factories, schools and shops. Similar previous attempts to attract the worker (adult education centres, etc.) have resulted in failure. These kinds of attempts, however, were doubtlessly misdirected. We therefore will have to consult with experienced men from industry. Guided tours and events in the art collections must consider the educational level of the worker. Only

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in this way can the widespread dangerous opinion that art museums are luxury institutions for a few experts and scholars be seriously opposed.26

Dorner also recognized that the traditional practice of minimizing the turnover of exhibitions largely ignored mass audiences and led to their alienation. To attract both an elitist circle of benefactors and experts, but also wider strata of society with no previous interest in art, he envisaged a constant change of exhibits from the collection, special exhibitions, events and lectures that would attract and engage a broad spectrum of visitors. Alternation and variety, as Dorner stated in his programme for the reorganization, were of great importance for a large museum in order to entertain and communicate with audiences.27 At a strategic level, such alternations motivated comparisons and critical judgment, and, in generating a more profound understanding of historic developments, they countered the tendency of many museums to submit exclusively to prevailing fashions and tastes.28 With a reorganization of the museum collections along art historic principles, a contemporary presentation style, changing exhibitions, and a network of informational campaigns and publications, Dorner hoped to attract and involve expert and lay audiences alike, with the ultimate goal of reinventing the Provinzialmuseum as a relevant player in the cultural life of the Weimar Republic.

Dorner’s Raumbild Theory When Dorner began to restructure the collections and gallery spaces of the Provinzialmuseum in 1923, he was able to draw on countless examples of museum reorganizations that had already been implemented across Germany. But the uniqueness of Dorner’s reorganization approach lay in his emphasis on changing spatial conceptions and their impact on artistic production. His central idea was the Raumbild, which can be translated as both spatial image and image of space, or, more loosely, as a conception of space.29 According to Dorner, art and culture were primarily manifestations of prevalent conceptions of space and thus represented immediate expressions of how people conceived of themselves as being in space and time, as well as their relation to objects and to one another. Thus, for Dorner, the history of art and architecture mapped the history of our relation to space and the self-image that we form in relation to it. With the concept of the Raumbild, Dorner acknowledged the emergence of an increasing preoccupation with the psycho-physiological aspects of space, and in his writing he cultivated 232

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ALEXANDER DORNER’S REORGANIZATION OF THE PROVINZIALMUSEUM HANNOVER (1923–1926)

an extensive vocabulary around this theme. For example, in his 1923 publication Die Romanische Baukunst in Sachsen und Westfalen (Romanesque Architecture in Saxony and Westphalia), he traced the changing interrelations between Bauk¨orper (built object) and Raum (space), and their equilibrium in what he termed Raumbau (space building or spatial structure). Dorner observed that the accentuation of the built object customary in Romanesque art was reversed in Westphalian Gothic. In that later style, ‘the built object recede[d] into the background as subservient’ and space assumed an allembracing unity. This movement from object to space was paralleled in the sensory impressions imparted by Gothic architecture, where ‘intensity and movement’ replaced ‘expansion and calm.’30 Dorner’s linkage of spatial and empathic conditions can be traced back to Alois Riegl.31 Dorner was a self-confessed ‘partisan’ of Riegl – an enthusiasm he developed during his studies in Berlin under Adolph Goldschmidt.32 Although Riegl never used the term Raumbild, ideas about space and the desire to intellectually capture it permeate his writings. Countering what he believed to be a preoccupation with the physical composition of architecture, Riegl observed that buildings also had a psychological effect upon us. In other words, architecture’s capacity to impart sensory impressions pointed to correspondences between composition and reception. In a series of lectures on the origins of Baroque art in Rome, Riegl vividly illustrated his ideas about Raumwirkung (spatial effect) by advancing a parallelism between Tiefraum (deep space) and Empfindung (sensation).33 Echoes of Riegl can be found in Dorner’s art historical writings, his museum guidebooks, and, indeed, his Raumbild concept.34 However, according to Dorner, his admiration for Riegl could not be extended to his practical attempts to reorganize the exhibition spaces, because Riegl’s philosophy of art and its exclusive focus on historic art could not be brought into relation with the art and life of the present.35 As Dorner frequently insisted, when it came to dealing with the integration of contemporary art, he had to look elsewhere for a theoretical basis to inform the curatorial challenges at hand. Not surprisingly, he turned his attention to the ideas of avant-garde artists and architects with whom he was in regular contact through his involvement in Hannover’s Kestner Gesellschaft and his own private networks. As someone with an astute sense for public relations and advertising, Dorner recognized the currency that avant-garde ideas would add to his curatorial work and their appeal to audiences. Increasingly inspired by avant-garde theory and rhetoric about dynamic time-space relations, Dorner’s writings charted the history of art as a history of space that began with the two-dimensional medieval Raumbild, its transformation into

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the three-dimensional perspectival space of the Renaissance, and, finally, the dynamic time-space conceptions of the art of his own time.36 Dorner’s history of art was not a positivist account but a personal interpretation that was subject to change along with his own evolving perceptions. With it, he intended ‘to show that there are much more profound forces of change at work in life, which unite past and present in a much intenser [sic] way, than we are accustomed to see.’37 In interweaving past and present (for example, by formulating comparisons between Italian Renaissance and Abstract Art – both of which, he insisted, captured intellectual ideas in a sensory perceptible form),38 Dorner’s brand of ‘dynamic history’ aspired to improve the circumstances of life in Weimar Germany. By revealing links between past and present, he hoped his audience would gain a deeper historic understanding and garner new intellectual ‘energies for [the] conduct of all life, artistic and otherwise.’39 If Dorner’s interest in avant-garde theories of space was reflected in his art historical publications, then the avant-garde’s experimentation with spatial perception manifested itself in Dorner’s staging of exhibits. For him, avantgarde painting and film represented efforts to forge a new dynamic image of the environment. Already scientifically registered by X-ray and radio waves, this image exploded perspective and seized what he interpreted as the polydirectional ‘expansiveness of the space in which we move.’40 In Abstract Art, Dorner believed, the viewer experienced the unconstrained space of the modern world in motion, that is, ‘in time’, and this constituted what he understood to be ‘four-dimensional seeing’.41 This seeing ‘on the move’ and from multiple perspectives – both physical and intellectual – essentially informed Dorner’s reinvention of the museum as an interplay between identification and disassociation, sensory experience and rational reflection, moving along and being arrested, as will be shown in the subsequent analysis of his curatorial method.

¨ Activating Exhibitions for the Public: Atmospharenraum and Information Material To modernize the art department of the Provinzialmuseum, Dorner reviewed the museum’s holdings as well as its spatial arrangements. The traditional museum’s inactive character and its incompatibility with dynamic modern life, as Dorner often stated, was built into its spatial systems – a ‘Baroque component, represented by the picture and sculpture gallery’ and ‘a component from the Enlightenment or Romanticism, represented by the 234

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ALEXANDER DORNER’S REORGANIZATION OF THE PROVINZIALMUSEUM HANNOVER (1923–1926)

period room.’42 Dorner’s condemnation of outmoded spatial and presentational practices was shared by many of his peers, who also highlighted the intimate connection between museum architecture and modes of art reception – a connection they thought was largely ignored. Paul Val´ery felt that museums often provided little guidance with regard to conduct and appropriate modes of engagement. Variously evoking the atmosphere of ‘a temple, a salon, a cemetery, or a school’, museums induced a strong sense of disorientation in the visitor.43 In his view, art objects amounted to an ‘incomprehensible jumble’ (m´elange inexplicable) when not submitted to a simultaneously spatial and intellectual logic.44 However, Val´ery warned that science ‘substitutes its hypotheses for sensation’, and therefore that art presented on the basis of purely scientific criteria becomes dead knowledge because it fails to acknowledge the sensory dimension of the museum experience.45 Pursuing similar goals as Val´ery, Dorner sought to overcome the divisions of knowledge embedded in previous museum typologies by integrating art objects and exhibition spaces. He was convinced that scientific order and sensory experience had to be synchronously mapped onto the spatial organization of the Neoclassical museum building in order to provide stimulating encounters with art for lay and expert audiences alike. In response to suggestions for a reorganization of the art department made by his superior Jacob Friesen, then-director of the Provinzialmuseum, Dorner asserted the leitmotifs of his own curatorial vision – ‘labelling that stimulated the intellect and spatial design that appealed to the emotions’ – such that both thinking and feeling were awarded equal importance, addressed through separate, though overlapping, techniques.46 Dorner argued that the provision of labelling was more than a technicality. Information on labels worked on several levels: first, describing individual artworks in their provenance, subject matter, and uniqueness of style; second, explaining art periods in their historical facts and their stylistic achievements; and third, outlining a broader history of art as a developmental sequence of styles, presented as a survey of human progress.47 If the provision of highly differentiated information might have more than satisfied Friesen’s very basic educational agenda, for Dorner the ‘emotional enlivening’ of the exhibition spaces represented the counterpart required to complete his vision of a fully mediated educational experience. The ‘coloration of the rooms as Ausdrucksr¨aume (expression spaces),’ Dorner suggested in a program attached to his response, would provide vibrant surroundings which would bring historic art periods to life. Again, the application of colour was

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considered with care. It had to be simple to allow the individual images to exert a pronounced effect, varied between rooms in order not to bore, and finally complementary and meaningful to reinforce the nature of the artworks’ respective periods.48 In his article ‘Was sollen heute Kunstmuseen?’ published in the same year (1924), Dorner mapped out his curatorial vision in a condensed and systematic manner (Fig. 10.1).49 Dorner’s planning was rigorous; he not only balanced experiential and informational aspects, but also envisaged their implementation across a range of scales: the wall, room, and museum itinerary would together generate a matrix of spatial, emotional, and rational principles. Thus, Dorner matched art experience to art objects and scales: intensity (individual work), calm (period) and harmonious overview (collection). Similarly, he calibrated modes of reading to different spaces – label (wall), poster (room), and guidebook (itinerary). The two central elements – the explicit knowledge gained in reading and the implicit knowledge acquired with experience – had to be ‘co-ordinated as smoothly as possible’ to mediate a deeper and intensely integrated understanding of art.50 The following analysis focuses on specific examples of the material realization of Dorner’s intended effects – his co-ordination of space, art, and text to a common end as a fully mediated exhibition experience.

Animating Raumbilder: Dorner’s ‘unframing’ of Artworks for New Viewing Experiences The idea of historically evolving spatial concepts was the central theme for the reorganization. Dorner believed that every period had its own Raumbild that was subject to regional and personal variations. To bring out its uniqueness and achieve the greatest emotional effect, each artwork was isolated. This meant a significant reduction of the number of paintings hanging on the wall, either as single-tiered hangings or in other discrete arrangements – a form of uncluttered display already practiced in Germany at the time.51 Widely spaced and mounted at eye level, only one artwork would occupy the visual field of the viewer, so that, as Dorner desired, ‘each painting, surrounded by a generous amount of [empty] wall space, receive[d] its own atmosphere, as it were.’52 Besides being isolated, paintings were reframed. Extensive reframing efforts had been undertaken in other German museums – for instance, Wilhelm Bode and Ludwig Justi had abandoned elaborate, gilded frames at their respective Berlin museums, in favour of more fashionable modern ones.53 In contrast, reframing assumed 236

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Fig. 10.1 Alexander Dorner (1924). Objectives for a Museum of the Future. Excerpt from ‘Was sollen heute Kunst-Museen?’, Der Sammler. Wochenzeitschrift f¨ur alte und neue Kunst 14/17, (15 September 1924). Illustration by author.

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an instrumental role in Dorner’s practice. He treated frames as conceptual devices that materialized historic conceptions of space by evoking architectural effects. His framing strategies used well-considered details for spatial and empathic impact, but also to enhance differences in art styles, or to highlight regional differences. This translation of artistic concepts of space into spatio-perceptual arrangements is exemplified in his treatment of Italian Renaissance and the Dutch Baroque paintings. Importantly, the historic transformations in the Raumbild hypothesized by Dorner are made explicit in the museum guidebooks, which represented an important counterpart to the viewing experience. Dorner discusses Italian Renaissance paintings in his guide to the period ‘From the Renaissance to 1800’.54 Focussing on ‘the registration of external appearance’, Dorner suggested that these works represented a decisive break with the medieval desire to reflect what was spiritual and hence beyond sensory perception.55 According to his interpretation, Renaissance art signified a near-reversal of medieval practices, in that ‘the capture of space became the artistic objective [and] the invention of perspective [ . . . ] made it possible to portray bodies and all other objects clearly delimited in space in their full plasticity and in their relations to one another.’56 The increasing importance of space and nature during the Renaissance, as Dorner understood it, was clearly articulated in its documentation of ‘the factual matter of the visible world with sharp outlines and hard and clear colours.’57 The viewpoint of the Renaissance Raumbild captured space as the homogenous expansion of threedimensional volumes – clearly defined objects layered and overlapping – and this, Dorner claimed, not only instigated a break with medieval spatial imagination, but more importantly, represented a prevalent conception of space that had not been fully overcome, even in the (then-)present. In this illusory Renaissance Raumbild, ‘the image is a view out of a window; the picture frame represents a window frame; the segment of [depicted] space lies in front of us like a stage seen from a fixed viewpoint.’58 To translate the illusory quality of the Renaissance Raumbild at the level of the exhibition space, Dorner selected frames that literally looked like window frames (albeit modern ones).59 Appearing to be cut into the walls of the room, the paintings were treated as architectural elements, integrated into the museum architecture. As a consequence, the viewer was submitted to the illusion of looking out through a window onto a stage set, and thus became part of the scene.60 The formal ordering of the exhibition space along geometric principles and the statically defined position of the viewer in front of the frame transfigured the rational and constructive aspect of the Renaissance Raumbild as a spatial experience.

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ALEXANDER DORNER’S REORGANIZATION OF THE PROVINZIALMUSEUM HANNOVER (1923–1926)

In contrast to his emphasis on frames and illusory space in the Italian Renaissance rooms, Dorner abandoned frames almost entirely for the Dutch Baroque paintings, selecting a black-brown frame colour to match the edge colour of the canvases. In Dutch Baroque, as Dorner’s guidebook informed the visitor, the perspectival frame of the Renaissance was ‘fused together [ . . . ] to form a total unity of space and physical masses’, producing a homogenizing spatial effect that began to erode the geometric Raumbild of the previous period.61 According to Dorner, ‘tone [was] one of the means with which Dutch art achieve[d] its new, big effects [ . . . ] light-dark contrast [was] the second.’62 The paintings of the Dutch masters synthesized these techniques to achieve maximum impact, whereby forms of figures and objects only emerged through a variation of the degree of tonality within the brown overall colour of the painting. This seemingly uniform palette could be lightened completely to attain white, or darkened to attain black, as Dorner observed in the guide.63 In the resulting fusion of spatial layers, objects in the foreground gradually disappeared in darkness towards the edges, leaving behind the tripartite structure of foreground, middle ground and background. For Dorner, this ‘synthesis of plasticity and spatiality’ gave rise to the idea of ‘something unbounded and infinite’.64 By matching frame and edge colour of the painting, it was not only Dutch art which stepped from the ‘stage set to unbounded scenery’, as Dorner put it, but by implication, the viewer did as well (Fig. 10.2).65 When read in conjunction with the guidebook descriptions, the logic behind Dorner’s reframing efforts emerges as an endeavour to reanimate the Raumbilder of diverse periods as corresponding spatial experiences for the viewers. These rooms aimed to evoke an emotional identification with each period of art by stimulating the visitors’ sensory perception. Reframing subtly manipulated the relationship between painting, wall, and viewer, allowing the effortless transfer of spatial concepts present in the artworks into the actual space of the museum. By extending the Baroque techniques of contrast (dark and light) and spatial fusion, as well as the geometric and visual systems of the Renaissance to the exhibition spaces, painterly concepts were reproduced as room-embracing aesthetic systems. In Dorner’s practice, curating became a spatially informed practice that worked with ‘building materials’ drawn from those of its subject: colour, light, tonality, contrast, volume, geometry, etc. To summarize, in blending the colour of the frame with the colour of the painting’s perimeter, Dorner ‘unframed’ the Dutch Baroque paintings, extending the pictorial space beyond the frame and into the sphere of the viewers.66 The stimulating effects caused by the immediate encounter

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Fig. 10.2 Provinzialmuseum Hannover (c. late 1920s). Room for Dutch Baroque art photographed after its reorganization. Photo courtesy: Nieders¨achsisches Landesmuseum Hannover – Landesgalerie.

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Atmosphere and Colour On a substantially larger scale than his reframing efforts, Dorner used room-specific wall colours to create an evocative setting against which all other elements would be staged. Steeped in a uniform hue, the colourfully appointed rooms were intended to intensify the effects of artworks – a strategy which according to Dorner reflected the latest developments in museum design. This was a significant undertaking and Dorner requested 400 square metres of new wall screens to conceal the original wall finishes and unsightly, wall-mounted hanging rails.68 His introduction of invisible fixings or discrete hanging wires allowed him to keep the coloured walls bold and simple (Figs. 10.3, 10.4). By organizing spaces and artworks as harmonized displays, each period or style was formally represented as a unified and distinct environment. Apart from the formalizing function of colour, Dorner assigned an activating effect to it and wished to employ it as a sensory aid for the instruction of inexpert viewers whilst at the same time acting as a provocation for the expert:

ALEXANDER DORNER’S REORGANIZATION OF THE PROVINZIALMUSEUM HANNOVER (1923–1926)

with the unframed works cancelled the visual distance between viewer and painting – the dissolution of boundaries between viewers and their environment would have produced a sense of boundlessness.67 We can speak of ‘unframing’ equally when Dorner dissociated the Renaissance frame from the artwork and re-associated it with the exhibition architecture, transfiguring it into a window frame and effectively turning the painting into a view. Retranslated into space, the Raumbild could now be experienced by the visitor on an environmental scale and without perceiving anything in detail – that is, at an atmospheric level. And this is precisely what Dorner pursued in the colour treatment of the Provinzialmuseum’s exhibition rooms, which he formalized as atmospheric environments.

A more passive attitude is seen in galleries where works of art are allowed to ‘speak for themselves’ through being placed, in all their wealth of stylistic variety, against neutral backgrounds. This treatment is more satisfying to the scholar or specialist, who often resists intrusion of a museum director’s philosophy, than it is to the general public, which welcomes such intervention as a help towards understanding. But the work of art isolated by its neutral background is a fish out of water. The more passive the attitude, it appears, the more likely the museum to revert to the uniform enfilades of the academic galleries.69

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Fig. 10.3 Provinzialmuseum Hannover (c. early 1920s). Room for Flemish Baroque photographed before its reorganization. Photo courtesy: Nieders¨achsisches Landesmuseum Hannover – Landesgalerie.

Fig. 10.4 Provinzialmuseum Hannover (c. late 1920s). Room for Flemish Baroque photographed after its reorganization. Photo courtesy: Nieders¨achsisches Landesmuseum Hannover – Landesgalerie.

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ALEXANDER DORNER’S REORGANIZATION OF THE PROVINZIALMUSEUM HANNOVER (1923–1926)

Dorner was probably familiar with some of the widely-discussed artistic and scientific colour theories at the time: Malevich’s suprematist palette, Kandinsky’s colour theory, Ewald Hering’s opponent theory with its four elementary colour sensations or psychological primaries, and Wilhelm Wundt’s colour cone with its psychological colour transition from yellow to blue (from liveliness to rest).70 However, despite his repeated emphasis on scientific principles, Dorner preferred his personal interpretation for matching colour with spatial conceptions, though he did not pursue this approach without care. To stress the value that Dorner assigned to audience reception, he frequently requested feedback from educated visitors about the effectiveness of his colour practice, enquiring about the perceived success of his aim ‘to pull out the organization of the rooms and in particular their colour from the usual neutrality, and make them actively support the feeling of the respective art period.’ In one such letter, addressed to poet and critic Theodor D¨aubler, Dorner even somewhat apologetically conceded that his enquiry might remind one of a commercial company testing a new product.71 But along with his social concerns, this is probably how he understood his practice – as a form of mass-market experimentation. Evidence for the exceptional importance Dorner assigned to the mediating role of his colourful exhibition environments can also be found in his acquisition strategy, though sometimes to the detriment of the museum’s collection. Selecting paintings to complement the environment rather than the reverse, he is known to have rejected paintings because they were deemed ‘too dark’ for their intended location within the museum.72 Dorner’s ideas represented a distinct break with the period room, a widely used display model that aimed at a truthful reconstruction of historic spaces, and whose contents corresponded to the prevalent historical style of a period. Dorner’s colour choices, in contrast, were unrelated to the preferences of a historic period (although sometimes these coincided), favouring, instead, his own interpretive history.73 Thus Dorner’s atmosphere rooms did not aim to convey the sensations of spaces where art works might have been originally displayed (aristocratic residences, churches etc.), instead trying to elicit sensations that spatially enlivened a period’s Raumbild. The use of colour in the context of exhibitions was not unusual at the time, and Monika Flacke suggested that it is possible that Dorner was inspired by comparable efforts at the Museum f¨ur Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg by Max Sauerlandt, who had introduced colour to represent a period’s predominant attitude towards life.74 The colourful appointment of the Hamburg rooms was intended to translate the specific weight of the period’s ‘spiritual timing’ (geistige Zeitabstimmung) into immediate sensory

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experience. Thus, medieval art was shown against a dark blue background, accentuating religious seriousness, and Baroque art against deep red-brown to emphasize its splendour. In these instances, correspondences between Sauerlandt’s and Dorner’s respective colour schemes can be observed: according to Samuel Cauman, Dorner used deep purple and darker colours to evoke the warm overall tone of the low-lit mystic spaces of medieval churches, and deep red velvet to convey the ‘deeper levitational quality’ of the Baroque.75 In other instances, substantial differences can be detected, particularly in their respective treatments of rooms for Renaissance art – Dorner used cool whites and greys to represent its sober, geometric character, which contrasted with Sauerlandt’s use of an energetic, golden yellow to represent manly, worldly joy.76 Colour was a popular didactic tool at the time, but, in its deployment as part of an overall mediation strategy, important differences in intent and method between Dorner and Sauerlandt can be detected.77 Dorner’s main theoretical concern lay in the mediation of the spatial concepts underlying the paintings and other artworks that reflected environmental-cultural relations. In that, he differed from Sauerlandt’s spiritually inspired approach that regarded art as the result of the artist’s ‘urge to plastically shape inexpressible feelings’, an approach that should be understood within Sauerlandt’s desire to understand an artwork’s larger ‘symbolic significance for the feeling of an epoch.’78 Whilst Sauerlandt’s plans for the addition of fragrances and classical music might have provided an initial inspiration, Dorner soon moved on to the more pragmatic idea of introducing radio broadcasts transmitted by loudspeakers to popularize the museum.79 Dorner’s striking arrangements of a few paintings against a continuous colour surface created a saturated ambiance that pervaded the room, giving the visitor an atmospheric image of an art period. This idea of providing the visitor with an ‘instant overview’ is evident in Dorner’s resolve to minimize distractions so that nothing would disturb the overall impression of the space. All elements of the room were subordinated to the atmospheric image. Black linoleum floors minimized the reflection of daylight and improved acoustics. Simple custom-designed benches and chairs executed in a dark colour visually merged with the linoleum floors (Fig. 10.5). Designed as low as possible and positioned at the centre of the rooms at a maximum distance from the paintings, these furnishings minimized any interference with the viewing experience. Thus, the entire horizontal plane was dematerialized and in its ‘blackness’ almost receded from appearance. In the vertical plane, windows were covered with opaque curtains in wall

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colours to regulate the light, avoid glare and keep out distracting views of the outside world as much as possible, so that the latter would not compete with the paintings.80 With the manipulation of wall surfaces and openings, Dorner attained complete control over the exhibition environment, permitting him to direct experiences and even predict the emotional responses of the viewer. But emotional engagement alone was not sufficient; in fact, it would have served to reinforce modes of Romantic art reception with modern means. Ultimately, Dorner’s goal was to transform the museum into a school for democracy, one that would instigate intellectual insights into human cultural development and, in turn, lead to a better understanding of the problems and opportunities of everyday life in the nascent Weimar Republic. Therefore, even if the efforts to stimulate the visitor’s perceptual apparatus with striking spatial scenarios seem enormous, they are insubstantial without Dorner’s subtle and clever manipulations, which transfigured experience and emotional engagement into reflective thinking and critical understanding.

ALEXANDER DORNER’S REORGANIZATION OF THE PROVINZIALMUSEUM HANNOVER (1923–1926)

Fig. 10.5 Provinzialmuseum Hannover (c. late 1920s). Room for Classical Art photographed after its reorganization. Photo courtesy: Nieders¨achsisches Landesmuseum Hannover – Landesgalerie.

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Fig. 10.6 Provinzialmuseum Hannover (c. early 1920s). Plan of the Art Department on the first floor of the Provinzialmuseum Hannover after the reorganization. Illustration by author.

Back and Forth: Atmospheric Experience and Intellectual Prompts Remarkably, Dorner’s endeavour to keep wall colouring ‘simple’ within each room was countered by his ambition to achieve the highest possible colour diversity between rooms, in order to keep the audience mentally alert and avoid boredom along the 45-room itinerary (Fig. 10.6).81 Dorner assigned prime importance to the visitors’ attention and thoughtfulness. To promote this, the atmospheric environments of the gallery spaces were punctuated with Dorner’s engaging rhetoric, which appeared in a variety of formats, variously directing the viewer’s attention to objects, reminding him of what he had just seen, making links, highlighting transformations, or in less subtle ways, jolting him out of illusory or immersive experiences and back into the present. These often barely noted interventions are what made the actual spectacle of Dorner’s museum experience possible by offering resistance to the one-dimensionality of atmospheric absorption. Dorner’s rhetorical ruptures critically illuminated the viewers’ immersive experiences, encouraging thoughtful reflection rather than passive reception. Dorner’s guidebooks, posters, and labels asserted his own voice and expertise as an integral part of the museum experience. Factual information 246

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in the form of labelling indicated every artwork’s provenance, content and style – a small intervention that nevertheless formalized the collections as a unified body of work. Cauman later reported that these labels were printed on coloured paper to match the respective wall colours, in order to be as inconspicuous as possible. ‘Placed on the wall at eye level,’ the visitor could ‘read along with little effort,’ Cauman asserted.82 In contrast, Dorner’s 1924 program for the reorganization outright opposed wall labels between paintings, cautioning that these would entirely destroy the harmonized overall impression of the rooms. He feared that the visitors would be constantly forced to very rapidly switch between empathic engagement and rational discernment, making the overall effect confusing. Dorner instructed that brief factual information about individual artworks should be provided on small signs discretely mounted on the art objects themselves (frame or pedestal). Only after the visitors had experienced and acquainted themselves with the artworks, and just before they were about to enter the next room, summary information about the period was to be made available. According to Dorner’s directives, larger information sheets were to be made available to the viewers before leaving a room and these were to be mounted on the insides of the doorframes. Standing in the door, still captivated by the spectacle of sensory impressions, the viewer was forced to reflect back upon his experiences, Dorner imagined, but now in light of the information provided on the sheets. In addition, Dorner installed small, coloured posters with slogans in the door openings that addressed the viewers directly and gave instructions, conditioning them for the subsequent room (Fig. 10.7): Do not regard this art as in competition with the art of our time, it was created under completely different conditions, but has advanced beyond the art of the previous period in its conception. Please consider this, and then look at the exhibition. [ . . . ] (Alexander Dorner)83

Together with the door curtains that separated different rooms as discrete environments, which had to be drawn open to leave or enter, the posters would have prompted the viewer’s awareness of reality. By pulling him out of the atmospheric experience of the exhibition room, and prompting consideration of what lay ahead, Dorner enforced intellectual closure. The short ‘slogans’ intermittently slowed the visitors’ ‘sequential locomotion’, necessitated by the consecutive arrangement of rooms.84 They also offered a form of immediate reading that was informed by the popular format and 247

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Fig. 10.7 Alexander Dorner (mid-1920s) Poster fixed in doorframe between exhibition rooms. Illustration by author.

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language of mass media rather than art historical terminology. The language, directly addressing the viewer, imparted the impression that Dorner was speaking to the visitor in persona, asserting his presence and expertise. Similarly, the critical catalogue of the elitist art temple was replaced by decidedly populist guidebooks in small, portable and user-friendly formats. Generously illustrated, these guides were made available to the visitors throughout the museum and represented a vital, easily legible counterpart to the visitor’s viewing experience. The exhibited art objects within each room served as a starting point for the narrative, and the texts explained their style and placed the artworks in relation to developments in other fields, such as architecture. The texts in the guidebook were also informed by the practical purpose of the artworks, their religious significance and economic context – Dorner envisaged that this facilitated comparison with other periods.85 If the atmospheric arrangements of the gallery spaces provided a sequence of highly differentiated and, at times, deliberately contrasting experiences, the guidebooks were instrumental in making these experiences comprehensible as a whole. To counter any potential feelings of ambiguity, the texts made the visitor aware of the intended juxtapositions of the curatorial strategy – in some cases, by creating historical links between rooms that housed related art, in other cases, by setting rooms apart to amplify regional variations of styles and stylistic innovations. For example, upon entering the first room of the collection, the viewer was alerted to the antagonistic relationship of antique and Romanesque art in metaphoric language: ‘With the memory of a Greek marble statue, we enter the Romanesque hall; here we are face to face with a spirit that relates to Antiquity like fire to water.’86 And similarly, the fundamental differences supposedly found in regional variations between Dutch and Flemish Baroque art were evoked together with the contrasting colours and ambience of the respective exhibitions spaces: ‘When we move from the red room of the Flemish into the light grey room of the Dutch, we come from a magnificent festivity to a silence that is solemn but not gloomy. There are rarely more striking contrasts, and yet both are Baroque.’87 To recapitulate, Dorner did not fear that linguistic explication would lead to a reductive, pre-mediated reception by the audience; instead, it was precisely at the interface between words and objects that powerful ideas unfolded, and this conviction was at the heart of his curatorial practice. To prepare new audiences for active participation in a democratized public culture, Dorner’s curatorial model insisted on the inextricable link between the mediation of deeper cultural knowledge and the advancement of art,

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culture and life in general. It highlighted the museum’s responsibility to help inspire and steer the new German democracy’s cultural identity and productivity, drawing on a full register of inventions and insights from related disciplines. Bold block colour, integration of space and art object, direct address of the viewer in texts, and minimization of secondary elements were all visual phenomena through which visitors became increasingly familiar with sensory spectacles in their everyday experience – advertising, neon signs and the commercial displays of businesses and department stores.88 Dorner’s display ethos was oriented towards more popular art forms that had begun to manipulate modern materials and formats to psychological ends: architecture, commercial display, graphics, and advertising. His formal treatment of the rooms thus made recognizable links to the language of consumerism, engaging viewers to highly calculated ends. Looking back on this strategy later in life, Dorner would observe: ‘I can see quite clearly today that my innovations, which involved the arrangement of objects, lettering, etc., were designed to introduce the concepts of modern science into the humane study of art history.’89

Dorner’s Curatorial Ethos Critics observe a fundamental conflict in Dorner’s curatorial model: on one hand, the audience’s empathic identification with an epoch precluded the possibility of a continuous consciousness along the itinerary; on the other hand, it was precisely the cognition of a historic continuity that Dorner sought to evoke with the realization of a concept of historic development. In short, the empathic identification pursued in the atmosphere rooms seems the reflection of a romantic consciousness, an approach that cannot be reconciled with the enlightenment notion of a developmental history pursued in the museum itinerary.90 These tensions between empathic identification and immersion on one hand and rational recognition of historical change and awareness of reality on the other hand, I suggest, are the actual innovation of Dorner’s curatorial ethos. In a subtle and clever way, Dorner used a variety of techniques to stimulate intellectual involvement and to permanently change the consciousness of his audience. In this regard, the carefully directed alternations between emotional involvement within the atmosphere room and the rational distancing effected by the didactic pauses afforded the visitor a deeper rather than cursory understanding. ‘A walk through the art collections of the museum,’ Dorner advised the reader of a catalogue, ‘unrolls the almost complete development of art from the year 1000 up 250

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until our day, and in beholding the artworks, we experience the great transformations that have occurred in such profound ways.’91 At the end of the 45-room itinerary, the visitor was expected to clearly recognize the processes of historical transformation and feel incited and ‘morally compelled to productive activity in the present.’92 It is evident that Dorner hoped to effect larger social transformations that went beyond mere art historical instruction: his new museum practice sought to intellectually and psychologically stimulate visitors to contribute to the life of the new German republic. In that, the museum was recast as an instrument for social change that prompted visitors to leave behind their traditional role as recipients of culture and assume the role of active participants and contributors to the cultural life of the emerging democracy. Dorner proposed that the capacity to consciously position oneself as part of a historical development played an important part in this activation process. In his article ‘What Can Art Exhibitions Do Now?’ published in Das Neue Frankfurt in 1930, Dorner suggested that art exhibitions of old masters could be reactivated for the present if reframed by a new philosophy: ‘Exhibitions should help to explain our present position in the course of historical growth. They should help to explain the meaning of our present controversies.’ Their explanatory value, he believed, fostered a wider understanding of a shared cultural history that could direct ‘our conduct of all life, artistic and otherwise’ and function as a potential ‘life-improving factor’.93 The lively participation strategy pursued in the arrangement of atmosphere rooms and related information material facilitated a kind of sensoryintellectual participation that sought to awaken audiences from the lethargic adulatory mode of reception induced by the traditional presentation styles. In that regard, Dorner’s participatory aesthetics recast traditional assumptions about the reception of art as either rational (via distanced contemplation) or empathic (via immediate experience). Most importantly, Dorner’s notion of an active museum practice acknowledged the audience as constitutive to the experience of art and cultural engagement.

Notes 1 Sans, J´erˆome and Mark Sanchez (eds), What do you expect from an art institution in the 21st century? (Paris: Palais de Tokyo, 2002), p.5. 2 See Staniszewski, Mary Anne, The Power of Display: A History of Exhibition Installations at the Museum of Modern Art (Cambridge, MA: 2001) p.21, and Kantor, Sybil Gordon, Alfred H. Barr and the Intellectual Origins of the Museum of Modern Art (Cambridge, MA: 2002), pp.181–6.

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3 Flacke, Monika, ‘Die Neuordnung der Deutschen Museen in der Weimarer Republik’, in Katenhusen, Ines and Renate Reuning (eds), u¨ berwindung der ‘kunst’ – Zum 100. Geburtstag des Kunsthistorikers Alexander Dorner (Hannover, 1993), p.137. 4 Dorner, Alexander, The Way Beyond ‘Art’, rev. ed. (New York, 1958), p.147. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid., p.146. 7 Interview by Monika Flacke with Bianca Claus, Dorner’s secretary at the time, cited in Flacke-Knoch, Monika, Museumskonzeptionen in der Weimarer Republik – Die T¨atigkeit Alexander Dorner’s im Provinzialmuseum Hannover (Marburg, 1985), p.36. 8 See Katenhusen, Ines, ‘Zwischen Lob und Tadel: Zur Beurteilung der Arbeit Alexander Dorner’s in Hannover’, in Katenhusen and Reuning: u¨ berwindung der ‘kunst’, p.71. It should be noted that the administration of the Provinzialmuseum was well aware of the issues raised by the newspapers and used the negative publicity to add weight to their own requests for change. These focused on extended negotiations with the Dukes of Cumberland for more autonomy in the arrangement of loaned art works, and funding requests to local government bodies for the modification of museum spaces to meet the latest standards. In a letter to the Directorate of Lower Saxony dated 12 August 1922, the Director of the Provinzialmuseum Wilhelm Behncke vividly described his frustration with the state of affairs at that time, calling for the immediate approval of financial support: ‘It is not only my own opinion that the current situation, which has endured for 20 years, is an impossible one. As far as the inappropriate architecture of the building is concerned, there is little room for improvement. But to the extent that the organization of the collection and the appointment of the rooms are concerned, significant improvements can be achieved. The visitor receives a confusing impression from a colourful jumble of non-coherent and accumulated objects, and the dull appointment of the rooms and the tasteless design of the display cabinets and other display material impairs the just appreciation of the individual objects seen by the visitor.’ Behncke, Wilhelm, Letter to the Landesdirektorium Niedersachsen (Directorate of Lower Saxony), 12 August 1922, Landesarchiv Niedersachsen, Hannover. 9 Cited in Katenhusen: ‘Zwischen Lob und Tadel’, p.71. 10 The five collections were the Cumberland Trust (comprising paintings by Holbein, Cranach, Poussin, Tintoretto among others), the Guelph Museum (comprising medieval altarpieces, Gothic embroideries, Medieval and Renaissance sculpture), the Hannover Society for Public Art Collections (comprising paintings from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries), Hannover State Art Collection (works from medieval times to the present),

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and the Municipal Picture Gallery (comprising more than 2,000 paintings from German Late Romantics and Impressionists, and more recent artists such as Lovis Corinth). See Cauman, Samuel, The Living Museum: Experiences of an Art Historian and Museum Director – Alexander Dorner, (New York, 1958), pp.30–1. With around 800 works, the Dukes of Cumberland were the Provinzialmuseum’s most significant patrons. Communication between the Provinzialmuseum’s directorate and the Dukes of Cumberland provide a detailed picture of the difficulties involved in renegotiating the then-existing legal agreements. At the centre of these discussions were: first, the separation of the collection into a display collection (on permanent exhibition) and a study collection (in storage but available for research purposes) to facilitate a scientific ordering of the museum collections according to quality and artistic category; second, permission to display works from the Dukes of Cumberland’s collection together with works from third parties to facilitate the filling of ‘gaps’ in the desired chronological arrangement of the Provinzialmuseum’s holdings; and third, the proposed sale of less important art works to free valuable display and storage space. Cf. Hartmann, Rudolf, Schatzrat (Treasurer), Minutes of a meeting with the Dukes of Cumberland and their representatives regarding the organization of the paintings of the Fideikomiss-Galerie, dated 30 April 1923, Landesarchiv Niedersachsen, Hannover. With the termination of the loan agreement by the Dukes in July 1924, and the sale of the collection, the museum seized the opportunity of acquiring some of its most important works whilst freeing itself from the burden of having to display the entire collection in separate rooms. 11 Dorner: The Way Beyond ‘Art’, p.16. 12 Dorner, Alexander, untitled manuscript (discussing the reorganization of the Provinzialmuseum, dated 7 December 1922), Landesarchiv Niedersachsen, Hannover. 13 According to Karl Hermann Jacob, Director of the Prehistoric and Ethnographic Collections at the Provinzialmuseum, Hannover’s public institutions were of minor importance in comparison to museums in other Lower Saxon cities such as Hamburg, Bremen and Celle. The main reason for Hannover’s reputation at the time as ‘the graveyard for art and science’, Jacob believed, was the fragmentation of the city’s museum collections, and he proposed to reorganize these on a grand scale with a co-ordinated exchange of art works between institutions. Increased specialization according to collection areas, Jacob hoped, would provide a clear focus of interests and facilitate the provision of ‘the best possible educational facilities’. Cf. Jacob, Karl Hermann, ‘Denkschrift u¨ ber den Plan einer Neugestaltung der Museen der Stadt Hannover’ (Memorandum of the Plan for a Reorganisation of the Museums in the City of Hannover), dated 1919, Landesarchiv Niedersachsen,

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Hannover, pp.3, 16. In contrast to Hannover’s public institutions, private initiatives flourished. Under the patronage of the Kestner Gesellschaft (founded 1916) and the Galerie von Garvens (founded 1920), Hannover developed into an important centre for Dadaism and Constructivism with regular exhibitions by avant-garde artists such as Kurt Schwitters, El Lissitzky, and Carl Buchheister. Cf. Helms, Dietrich, ‘Die Zwanziger Jahre in Hannover’, Das Kunstwerk 17 (M¨arz 1964), pp.12–19. For an extended discussion of cultural life in 1920s Hannover, see Katenhusen, Ines, Kunst und Politik: Hannovers Auseinandersetzungen mit der Moderne in der Weimarer Republik, (Hannover, 1998), in particular, the section ‘St¨adtische Kunst- und Kulturpolitik’, pp.53– 305. See Mai, Ekkehard, Die Deutschen Kunstakademien im 19. Jahrhundert: K¨unstlerausbildung zwischen Tradition und Avantgarde (K¨oln, 2010), p.365. Reimers, Jacobus, Jahrbuch des Provinzial-Museums zu Hannover umfassend die Zeit 1.April 1908–1909 (Hannover, 1909), p.3. See Joachimides, Alexis, Die Museumsreformbewegung in Deutschland und die Entstehung des modernen Museums 1880–1940 (Dresden, 2001). Taut, Bruno, ‘Arbeitsrat f¨ur Kunst in Berlin’, Mitteilungen des Deutschen Werkbundes 4 (1918), pp.14–15. Pauli, Gustav, ‘Das Kunstmuseum der Zukunft‘, in Pauli, Gustav and Karl Kroetschau (eds), Die Kunstmuseen und das Deutsche Volk (M¨unchen, 1919), pp.4–5. Pauli: ‘Das Kunstmuseum der Zukunft’, pp.10–11. Ibid., p.11. Ibid., p.7. At the turn of the century, empathy and emotional modes of art reception were positioned in opposition to the rational positivist sciences and the seemingly contingent conceptions of historicism were countered by the idea of a more immediate connection between art and life. Authentic knowledge of art was less associated with intellectual understanding than with physical encounters linking experience and empathy. In his article, Pauli criticized approaches relying on the communicative power of the art object alone, which he sees largely as a means to perpetuate the exclusivity of art by ensuring its inaccessibility to inexpert audiences. Pauli: ‘Das Kunstmuseum der Zukunft’, p.7. Dorner: The Way Beyond ‘Art’, p.147. Ibid., p.148. Dorner, Alexander, ‘Programm f¨ur die Weiterarbeit in der Kunst-Abteilung des Provinzialmuseums’ (appended to internal communication dated 15 October 1924), Landesarchiv Niedersachsen, Hannover. Ibid.

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28 Ibid. 29 Dorner himself translates ‘Raumbild’ more loosely as ‘reality concept’. Dorner: The Way Beyond ‘Art’, p.17. 30 The central problem of Raumbau, Dorner suggested, was only addressed in the architecture of the Italian Renaissance, which resolved ‘the problem of the equal confluence of Einheitsraum (unified space) and Einheitsmasse (uniform mass)’. Dorner, Alexander, Die Romanische Baukunst in Sachsen und Westfalen (Leipzig, 1923), pp.9–10. 31 Riegl, Alois, Die Enstehung der Barockkunst in Rom, ed. Arthur Burda and Max Dvor´ıak (Wien, 1908). 32 Dorner: The Way Beyond ‘Art’, p.15. 33 Riegl: Die Enstehung der Barockkunst in Rom, p.43. 34 One such example is Dorner’s discussion of spatial depth in altarpieces of the German and Italian Renaissance in a museum guidebook. See Dorner, Alexander, Amtlicher F¨uhrer durch die Kunstsammlungen des Provinzial-Museums Hannover (Berlin, c.1930), pp.7–8. 35 Dorner: The Way Beyond ‘Art’, p.16. 36 Similar ideas are developed around the same time by, for example, El Lissitzky, who outlined the history of space as a succession of stages, leading from ‘planimetric space’ to ‘perspectival space’, and finally via ‘irrational space’ to an ‘imaginary space’. Unlike Dorner, who builds his theory from his observations of art works, Lissitzky’s ideas are inspired by the interrelationship between art and mathematics, and in particular, geometry. See Lissitzky, El, ‘Kust und Pangeometrie (1925)’, in Conrads, Ulrich (ed), Rußland: Architektur f¨ur eine Weltrevolution (Berlin, Frankfurt a.M., Wien, 1965), pp.122–9. 37 Dorner: The Way Beyond ‘Art’, p.18. 38 Dorner, Alexander, ‘Die Abstrakte Art ist im “2”fachen Sinne keine Malerei von Bildern’ dated c. 1926, Nachlass Alexander Dorner at the Sprengel Museum, Hannover. 39 Dorner: The Way Beyond ‘Art’, p.18. 40 Dorner, Alexander, ‘Die Abstrakte Art ist im “2”fachen Sinne keine Malerei von Bildern’. 41 Ibid. 42 Dorner: The Way Beyond ‘Art’, p.148. 43 Val´ery, Paul, ‘Le probl`eme des mus´ees’ (1923), in Val´ery, Paul, Ouevres, ed. Jean Hytier, Vol.2, Pi`eces sur l’art (Paris, 1960), p.1291. 44 Ibid., p.1290. 45 Ibid., p.1293. 46 Dorner, Alexander, Letter (Internal Communication, dated 15 October 1924) in response to Jacob Friesen’s ‘Proposal for the development of the art department’ (dated 9 February 1924), Landesarchiv Niedersachsen, Hannover.

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47 Ibid. 48 Dorner: ‘Programm f¨ur die Weiterarbeit in der Kunst-Abteilung des Provinzialmuseums’. 49 In this article, Dorner publicly voiced his views on the provision of information material and emotional engagement in the museum. Its publication predated his formal response to Jacob Friesen’s proposal for an extension of the art department, Dorner, Alexander, ‘Was sollen heute Kunst-Museen?’, Der Sammler, Wochenzeitschrift f¨ur alte und neue Kunst 14/17 (15 September 1924). 50 Dorner, Alexander, ‘Erwerbungen neuer Kunst im Museum der Provinz Hannover’, Der Cicerone 17 (1925), pp.1157–62. 51 Dorner aligned his reorganization proposal for the art department of the Provinzialmuseum with a number of recent museum modernizations, listing the Kunsthallen Hamburg, Bremen, Mannheim; the museum in L¨ubeck; the St¨adel in Frankfurt; the museums in Dresden, K¨oln, Darmstadt, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Weimar, Breslau, D¨usseldorf and Essen. Dorner: ‘Programm f¨ur die Weiterarbeit in der Kunst-Abteilung des Provinzialmuseums’. 52 Dorner, Alexander, Untitled manuscript (discussing the reorganisation of the Provinzialmuseum, dated 7 December 1922), Landesarchiv Niedersachsen, Hannover. 53 During his relatively short time as Director of the St¨adel in Frankfurt, Ludwig Justi reframed extensively, a practice he had learned during his time at the Berlin Museums as an assistant to Wilhelm Bode. The reference to Bode’s reframing practices is mentioned in Klonk, Charlotte, Spaces of Experience: Art Gallery Interiors from 1800 to 2000 (New Haven & London, 2009), p.238, note 68. 54 Dorner: Amtlicher F¨uhrer, Part II, p.1. 55 Dorner, Alexander, Meisterwerke aus dem Provinzial-Museum in Hannover (Berlin, 1927), p.10. 56 Dorner: Meisterwerke aus dem Provinzial-Museum in Hannover, p.10. 57 Dorner: Amtlicher F¨uhrer, Part II, p.1. 58 Dorner, Alexander, ‘Die neue Raumvorstellug in der Bildenden Kunst‘, Museum der Gegenwart 2 (1932), pp.30–7, this quote p.30. 59 It should be noted that in principle this treatment reflected Renaissance practices whereby frames were ‘invariably designed as parts of an architectural interior and were frequently meant to harmonise with door and window surrounds.’ Paintings were often mounted in tabernacle frames in keeping with the architectural styles of Gothic cathedrals, and elevated the picture from the wall. Styles ranged from elaborate to simple depending on the client’s specifications. Later, Renaissance paintings were frequently reframed to match the interiors of their owners. See Newbery, Timothy J., George Bisacca, and Laurence B. Kanter (eds), Italian Renasissance Frames, exh. cat. Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1990), p.11.

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60 Flacke-Knoch, Monika, Museumskonzeptionen in der Weimarer Republik – Die T¨atigkeit Alexander Dorner’s im Provinzialmuseum Hannover, (Marburg, 1985), p.52; Cauman: The Living Museum, p.89. 61 Dorner: Amtlicher F¨uhrer, Part II, p.12. 62 Ibid., Part II, p.8. 63 Dorner’s description of Dutch Baroque art owes much to Riegl, who saw the main problem of the Baroque in the relationship between the individual figure and space. In Dutch art, this relationship is established by means of light and shadow, whereby the space in-between is as important, or even more important than the figures themselves, Riegl suggested. Riegl: Die Enstehung der Barockkunst in Rom, p.45. 64 Dorner: Amtlicher F¨uhrer, Part II, p.8. 65 Ibid., Part II, p.6. 66 It is possible to imagine Dorner discarding frames entirely and matching the dark edges of the paintings with a black wall colour to achieve an even greater sense of unboundedness. However, in the absence of electrical lighting at the Provinzialmusem at the time, a black wall might have darkened the rooms to an unacceptable degree. 67 This effect has recently been thematied by Peter Sloterdijk under the heading of ‘artificial immersion’. See Sloterdijk, Peter, ‘Architecture as an Art of Immersion’, in Interstices: Journal of Architecture and Related Arts 12 (2011), pp.106–9, esp. p.105. The effect is also not unrelated to Freud’s notion of the oceanic, which brings about ‘a sensation of ‘eternity’, a feeling of something limitless, unbounded – as it were, “oceanic”’. Freud, Sigmund, Civilization and Its Discontents (New York and London, 1961), p.10. 68 Dorner, Alexander, Letter to the Landesdirektorium (dated 21 February 1923), Landesarchiv Niedersachsen, Hannover. 69 Cauman: The Living Museum, p.83. 70 Gage, Stephen, Colour and Culture: Practice and Meaning from Antiquity to Abstraction (London, 1993), p.171. 71 Dorner, Alexander, Letter to Theodor D¨aubler, Berlin-Wilmersdorf (dated 26 March 1927), Landesarchiv Niedersachsen, Hannover. 72 Dorner, Alexander, Letter to Galerie G. Pfaffrath, D¨usseldorf (dated 4 August 1925), Landesarchiv Niedersachsen, Hannover. 73 Flacke-Knoch, Monika. ‘Das Museum in der Weimarer Republik: Alexander Dorner im Provinzialmuseum Hannover’, in Bracker, J¨orgen, (ed), Beitr¨age zur deutschen Volks- und Altertumskunde (Hamburg, 1986/1987), p.135. 74 Flacke-Knoch: ‘Das Museum in der Weimarer Republik’, p.145, note 95; and Klonk: Spaces of Experience, p.94. It should be noted that Dorner was aware of numerous museum reorganizations which deployed colour (for example, the St¨adel in Frankfurt) and made reference to these in his programme.

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75 Cauman: The Living Museum, pp.88–9. 76 On Dorner, see Cauman: The Living Museum, pp.89, and on Sauerlandt, Klonk: Spaces of Experience, p.94. 77 See Scholl, Julian, ‘Funktionen der Farbe. Das Kronprinzenpalais als farbiges Museum’, in A. Joachimides, S. Kuhrau, V. Vahrson and N. Bernau (eds), Museumsinszenierungen: Zur Geschichte der Institution des Kunstmuseums – Die Berliner Museumslandschaft 1830–1990 (Dresden, 1995), p.208. 78 Sauerlandt, Max, Emil Nolde (M¨unchen, 1921), p.11. 79 Flacke-Knoch: ‘Das Museum in der Weimarer Republik’, p.125. Dorner had initially envisaged events with music and had suggested small Bach concerts in the room for medieval art. Dorner: ‘Programm f¨ur die Weiterarbeit in der Kunst-Abteilung des Provinzialmuseums’. 80 For some of the rooms, protective curtains were required to avoid light damage to sensitive exhibits, for example, textiles on loan by the Dukes of Cumberland, whose representative expressly requested protective measures. See Busch, Kammerherr v.d., Letter to the Landesdirektorium (dated 3 Nov 1924), Landesarchiv Niedersachsen, Hannover. However, it should be noted that the Provinzialmuseum did not have electricity at the time and opening of curtains would have been necessary under low daylight levels. See Cauman: The Living Museum, pp.90–1. 81 Dorner: ‘Programm f¨ur die Weiterarbeit in der Kunst-Abteilung des Provinzialmuseums’. 82 Cauman: The Living Museum, p.93. 83 Cauman mentions this poster text as the last page of a colourful ‘gallery book’ that replaced an earlier guidebook, and provides a very loose translation of the poster text. Cauman: The Living Museum, p.93. In contrast, an exhibition catalogue identifies this text as an example of a poster hung into the door openings of the atmosphere rooms. See Katenhusen and Reuning: u¨ berwindung der ‘kunst’, p.27. I have used my own translation of the German text printed in the catalogue. 84 Bennett, Tony, The Birth of the Museum (London, 1995), p.43. 85 In his introduction to an edition of Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s writings, Dorner describes his own idea of art historical development as ‘wave-like’ in the sense that ‘it oscillates between similar polarities again and again, and continually upward, because it becomes progressively more complex and rich.’ See Flacke-Knoch: ‘Das Museum in der Weimarer Republik’, p.133. 86 Dorner: Amtlicher F¨uhrer, Part I, p.2. 87 Ibid., Part II, p.7. 88 Leo Conze’s discussion of the stylized displays of Berlin department stores highlights their transformative impact on the appearance of the urban environment, while Sven Spiekermann sees department stores as intrinsically connected to a

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wider network of places of modernity, where everyday activities where turned into spectacles. Colze, Leo, ‘Berliner Warenh¨auser (1908)’, in Schutte, J¨urgen and Peter Sprengel (eds), Die Berliner Moderne 1885–1914 (Stuttgart, 1987), and Spiekermann, Uwe, ‘Das Warenhaus’, in Geisth¨ovel, Alexa and Habbo Knoch (eds), Orte der Moderne: Erfahrungswelten des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts (Frankfurt/New York, 2005), p.209. Dorner: The Way Beyond ‘Art’, p.17. Flacke-Knoch: ‘Das Museum in der Weimarer Republik’, p.137. Dorner: Meisterwerke aus dem Provinzial-Museum in Hannover, p.9. Excerpt from an introduction to a catalogue of the Provinzialmuseum cited in Cauman: The Living Museum, p.205. Translation based on German edition, Cauman, Samuel, Das lebende Museum: Erfahrungen eines Kunsthistorikers und Museums-direktors: Alexander Dorner (Hannover, 1960). Dorner: The Way Beyond ‘Art’, pp.17–18.

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11 ‘The Ultimate Erotic Act’: On the Performative in Architecture Mechtild Widrich

Do architectural photographs ever include runners, fighters, lovers? Bernard Tschumi, ‘Violence of Architecture’, 1981

The new Acropolis Museum in Athens, designed by Bernard Tschumi (with Michael Photiadis) and opened in 2009, is elevated on pilotis to conserve an archaeological site discovered during the course of construction. But perhaps the most remarkable showpiece in the museum consists in the transparent floors (and ceilings) that allow for a view of visitors walking above from below (Fig. 11.1). The very real voyeurism of seeing underneath dresses and skirts reminds me of the small Biedermeier figurine my parents have at home (Fig. 11.2): a mirror positioned beneath the feet of the beautiful porcelain dancer allows one to see the carefully arranged layers of lacy underskirts. Of course, there is more to the experience in Athens than erotic dreams come true: the glass panels are held in place by a heavy grid of dark cross-beams that stand out in the Mediterranean light, framing the action into a moving image. This framing works both ways – we can look down from above to see antique fragments and statues or engage visually with visitors below, both parties watching one another and the artefacts. The Acropolis also participates in this play – it is prominently staged for the eyes of museum visitors looking out through the glass walls on the top floor 260

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Fig. 11.1 Inside Bernard Tschumi’s Acropolis Museum, Athens. Photo by author.

of the museum. Framed by the see-through architecture and the occasional colossal column, we walk and watch, separated by heavy glass, with the strange changes in perception that these episodes of framing and isolation bring about, an experience which recalls Manfredo Tafuri’s description of Mies van der Rohe’s house-dwellers as performing a pantomime.1 A metaphorical play on the act of digging is also at work: in looking up at other museum visitors, we take on the surprised upward gaze of the excavated past on the modern space encroaching upon it.2 Frame and movement, event and exposition, all are central to the design of this museum, conceived by an architect who rose to international prominence for his Derrida-influenced grids in the Parc de la Villette in Paris (1984–87), but who attracts more interest today for his early theoretical and pictorial output advocating an event architecture.3 From the vantage point of the present, Tschumi has staked his whole career on a preference for event over object and space over sign – a pair of emphases that seem to point in different directions, as does his love/hate relationship to architectural post-modernism. Both concerns inform his early manifestoes, especially his Manhattan Transcripts of 1976–81 (a work often compared to Rem Koolhaas’s Delirious New York of 1978). 261

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Fig. 11.2 Biedermeier Figurine. Photo by author.

This collection of drawings remains in many ways his most distinctive output: a precedent to which Tschumi, in the twenty-first century, still explicitly and self-consciously compares his museum in Athens.4 There is a paradoxical dimension to the inventive stream of posters and storyboards Tschumi created in the late 1970s and early 1980s; they invariably insist 262

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on the anarchic, lived power of space and architecture, yet this power is conveyed to us (if at all) in paper and text constructions.5 Anxious to distinguish himself from Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown in their built projects and their book Learning from Las Vegas, Tschumi insisted that architectural post-modernism misdiagnosed the failure of modernist function: the problem is not that architects have nothing to contribute to daily life through building programs, but only that they cannot dictate the course of events that take place within their buildings. From the point of view of recent scholarship on Venturi and Scott Brown, the purely negative thesis attributed to them might seem a misreading, but their emphasis on communication through surface symbolism may plausibly be read, as Tschumi did, as a theoretical reduction of space to surface: they see the modernist unified exterior, and the unified interior, as mere ‘space ornament’, both wasteful and obscure as iconographic programme. Their practical counter-proposal was to place commercial signage atop cheap functional structures (‘decorated sheds’).6 To Tschumi, this stance seemed not just politically complacent, but aesthetically unambitious as well. He contended that the reduction of space to surface and sign shortchanged architecture’s power to shape human life through the design of space as a dense, lived reality, a power he equated not with the technocratic control of human function, but with the setting of a stage for unique, unpredictable, and transgressive acts. Tschumi’s manifestoes are thus connected to the post-1968 discourse on the social construction of space, with its focus on dwellers, walkers, and actors – an active exploration and shaping of the environment by its inhabitants. These debates were especially prevalent in France and Switzerland, both of which claim Tschumi as their citizen. Switzerland, though less dominated by New Left Marxism with its focus on the critique of everyday life, was the home of sociologist and urban theorist Lucius Burckhardt, the first translator of Learning from Las Vegas and the eventual inventor of Promenadologie, ‘the art of walking’, recently reintroduced to architectural discussions by Hans Ulrich Obrist at the 2014 Venice Architectural Biennale.7 Salient figures in France were above all the social theorists Henri Lefebvre and Michel de Certeau, and Louis Martin has shown the influence of the authors of the Tel Quel Group on Tschumi’s ‘architectural eroticism’ in the vein of Bataille.8 But there is more to Tschumi than spatial utopianism and the erotics of deconstruction; what connects the Manhattan Transcripts to projects like the Acropolis Museum is a conviction that space and the events taking place in it are linked – the ways to intervene in one are ways to intervene in the other. This, as we will see, links him also to recent

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thinking about performance in architecture, but to see how, I first examine the consistency of Tschumi’s thinking in this regard. The Athens museum comes thirty years after the manifestoes, and is a solid, by no means revolutionary building. But the shift is not just, I believe, from page to object. The interest in rhythm and notation, sequence and drama, survive through the use of transparency and opacity in Athens, as does the confrontation of visitors through diagrams and frames. But with this consistency comes a problem, one that affects not just Tschumi but all art and architecture that claims to be in the service of anarchic events: how is one to plan the unforeseeable?9 If the disruptive, unpredictable, transgressive event takes place in real space, if city, building, and body are indispensable to the event, then how can books, or pen and paper, even supplemented by photography, conceptualize (not to mention actually bring about) spatial change? Tschumi certainly thinks they do, for he invested much time in aesthetic methods of conceptualization that he insists are not just decorative. Image and action are at stake here, and with them the opposition, perhaps prejudicial, of active, real, participation in space versus the passive, mediated, consumption of space in images. If Tschumi wants to rescue the tools of mediation – the plan, the collage, the concept – from second-class status and assert their centrality to architecture as an avant-garde practice, to do so he relies again and again on powers he attributes not to these tools but to encounters in real space.

Performing Spaces, Performing Words A way out of this dilemma is to approach the conception of space, event, and movement from the theoretical framework of performance. This might seem counterintuitive, because performance appears, at least from the standpoint of space and event, to be derivative: surely there are events in space before there is any bodily performance art.10 Perhaps. But performance art need not be body art, and as such can function, I will argue, without ‘real’ events. And when it does enter space in the form of bodies performing, performance art brings with it the conceptual link between image and action that Tschumi relies on without spelling it out.11 There is also a compelling biographical connection in the 1970s between Tschumi and the founder of modern performance studies, RoseLee Goldberg.12 Her 1979 book Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present gave performance an art-historical genealogy in Dadaism, Futurism, and Bauhaus theatre. Goldberg was director of the Royal College of Art Gallery while Tschumi taught at the Royal College.13 In 1975, they co-curated an 264

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exhibition entitled A Space: A Thousand Words. This show concentrated on the intersection of art and architecture in conceptual practices. Because of this focus, and possibly also due to low funds, they presented the exhibition’s 30 projects in a restrained style: photographs or plans and a short text, all in one room. The accompanying catalogue, pointedly claimed to be ‘identical to the exhibition’ in an essay by Goldberg, simulates the format of the exhibition space, printing an image with text below it for all 30 projects.14 In her preface to the catalogue, Goldberg self-consciously emphasized ‘the inherent ambiguity of the discussion on space, since here [on paper – MW.] space is presented in a two-dimensional way. The viewer, rather than being subjected to real space, is given glimpses into different spatial possibilities – landscapes or mindscapes.’15 Apart from this preface, there is also a one-page programmatic text by Tschumi, followed by the individual contributions, arranged in alphabetical order by first name, as well as the letter sent to potential participants outlining the concept and display conditions of the exhibition. In his own text, Tschumi asserts the inseparability of theoretical concept and real space. On one hand he insists that against the metaphorical uses of the word ‘space’ and its reduction to ‘the mere product of the socio-economic structure’, space simply is. It is hard not to read here a rejection of Henri Lefebvre’s La Production de l’espace (1974), understood or misunderstood as a reductive thesis about space being an effect of social practice.16 On the other hand, Tschumi insists that ‘spatial concepts have been made by the writings and drawings of space rather than by their built translations.’ In other words, when it comes to conceptualizing space, thinking, writing, drawing, and discourse have the upper hand, both in their flexibility and radicality, over literal use of space, with its practical difficulties. ‘The magic of space,’ Tschumi concludes, ‘is inseparable from its theoretical discourse.’17 And yet, the very same year, in an article published in Studio International right after Goldberg’s ‘Space as Praxis’, Tschumi warns sternly: ‘The concept of dog does not bark; the concept of space is not in space.’18 The ambiguity of Tschumi’s 1974 texts mirror the ambiguities, noted above, of his practice in general. This is particularly true of his doctrine of planning for unforeseen events, a method that makes urgent the distinction between mental and real space, along with an account of how to bridge the two. His own contribution to the exhibition, Fireworks (later reprinted as Manifesto 1) voices what was to become his master theme of pleasure in useless excess: ‘Striking a match for no other reason to see it aflame you get a good idea of the gratuitous aspect of good architecture.’19

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Transformations Manifesto 1’s image of striking a match is an eloquent clue to how planning the unpredictable works in Tschumi: but that is does work, and has a place in architecture besides such ephemeral gestures, is an opinion that came to be widely shared first in the 1980s, and has gained theoretical credibility only over the last decade. The terms ‘performative architecture’ and ‘performance architecture’ have surfaced prominently in recent years, but they have also been applied to starkly varying practices. Performance architecture often means today an extended idea of stage design, in which space, event, and temporary design interventions come together with immaterial elements like lighting, atmosphere, and patterns of movement. The first graduate programmes in performance architecture were founded in Australia and more recently in Britain; while not my main concern, I return to this practice briefly below.20 As for performative architecture, though there are competing definitions, architects have used the term ‘performative’ primarily for materials that have the ability to adapt or change, often in ways that reflect organic growth or allow for user interaction. Thus the Children’s Hospital in Basel by Stump & Schibli Architekten changes colour from yellow to orange and green and vice versa as one walks past, due to carefully orchestrated light reflections, called an ‘animated fac¸ade’ (the animation is provided entirely by the walker). Another project, developed by Sergio Araya in Santiago de Chile, features bio-manufactured structural elements that will grow and change with time in response to the metabolism of the microbes that inhabit and produce it. Araya’s MIT dissertation outlining this project is entitled Performative Architecture (2011).21 Without looking farther, there are obvious similarities between these two fairly disparate usages. In the first case – the expanded stage design of performance architecture – architects or designers create spaces to act in, taking an interest in the immersive quality of space, a synaesthetic approach of the Total Work of Art that overwhelms us, possibly acts on us, or makes us act in turn. In the second case, the building itself (its material, its surface) changes, making the event one with the architecture. In certain cases, as in Basel, the changes are not literally in the building at all but in the eye of the observer, but they are physically caused by the materials used and thus may be attributed to the building itself. Are these two conceptions of the performative in architecture sufficient? Would they help, for example, in understanding Diller + Scofidio’s Blur (Fig. 11.3)? Designed for the Swiss Expo in 2002 at Lake Neuchatel in Yverdon-les-Bains, the work consisted of a metal structure from which lake

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Fig. 11.3 Diller + Scofidio, Blur, 2001. Photo by Norbert Aepli. Creative Commons Licence.

water was sprayed into the air, producing a huge cloud of fog that was experienced from the inside. ‘Entering Blur’, the catalogue proclaims, ‘is like stepping into a habitable medium, one that is formless, featureless, depthless, scaleless, massless, surfaceless, and dimensionless.’22 Applied to materials, as per definition two, all of this is false: the cloud has form, depth, and scale, and even if it doesn’t have a rigid exterior shell like a conventional building (there was a conventional built scaffold, but that was not Blur), one could describe the behaviour of the fog as precisely as one could measure a marble palace. But that is beside the point. What the catalogue is getting at, and falsely presenting as an issue of technology, is Blur’s theatricality, its effect on the spectator.23 The experience of walking into Blur is one of disorientation and formlessness. Indeed, the work’s amusement-park or perhaps nationalpark functionality (there were employees distributing raincoats), its careful calibration to weather conditions, and Diller + Scofidio’s planning of a submerged sushi restaurant at the heart of the viewing platform all aim at a synaesthetic, Gesamtkunstwerk experience of water in its many forms – water as liquid and gas, protagonist and environment, or, put otherwise, as event and as space. Blur consisted in these shifting configurations of inhabitants and 267

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built elements, above all the water cloud: as its creators kept repeating in memo after memo, ‘Blur is not a building’. But if Blur is not a building, neither is the water vapour: the cloud, far from being merely a spacedelimiting formal occurrence or the unconventional outer surface floating atop a conventional metal scaffolding, gives the impression of a performance in its opacity and shifts, creating an expectation of authentic, unpredictable encounters. Architecture remains fascinated with anarchic experience in real space, a form of wishful thinking it shares with performance art: we could say that the difference between the two is that architecture works from space to the body, while performance from the body into space. Both stagecraft and eventful materials were at play in Blur: but it is neither of the two alone nor their mere addition that explains what makes it ‘performative architecture’: rather, it is the fact that they work together to form a genuine dramatic scenario. Blur is architecture that both stages – the solid structure is essentially an observation deck – and takes the stage for its own performance of the cloud. What binds these two aspects? Consider in this context Tschumi’s memorably titled essay ‘Violence of Architecture’, printed in Artforum in 1981: ‘There is no architecture without action,’ reads the first thesis.24 What kind of action? Tschumi does not say, but immediately qualifies his thesis: ‘there is no architecture without events, no architecture without programs’. This strongly suggests that programmes and events are one. But the familiar equation of planning with the unforeseen still remains to be explained. To do this, Tschumi goes on to describe the entry of humans into space as violence: not necessarily destructive, but necessarily erotic. Can erotic acts be programmed, be the subject matter of an architectural program? In 1981, Tschumi is optimistic, for he sees a necessary conceptual link between the program and event, like that between ‘guard and prisoner, police and criminal, doctor and patient, [ . . . ] hunter and hunted.’ The two things in all these cases, as he puts it, may exist separately, but they only assume their specified roles on meeting, in relation to one another. Another essay, published two years later by the Architectural Association, yokes both formalist and social concerns to this coexistence: ‘architecture – its social relevance and formal invention – cannot be dissociated from the events that “happen” in it.’25 We are getting closer to the link between plan and space, between program and event, in the symmetry between concept and object, but to get there we need to get the ‘happen’ out of scare quotes. One way to make sense of the literal connection of performance to architecture might be to say that performative architecture focuses on use rather than form, on dwellers taken as participants in space – that is, taken as such by other

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participants, or readers of architectural documents. To ‘take as’ is the essence of the performative, a term from the philosophy of language used to denote acts that change social reality by representing that reality in a certain way.26 In Tschumian terms, a declaration of love or war actually changes things between people; it does not just tell us that it does so. And the link does not just go from representation to reality: a speech act is legible as such (and distinguished from, say, a simulated or staged one) by the effects it has. A performative act is not just any event that takes place; it is one that is intended and conceptualized as such, one that relies on social convention to be understood and taken for what it is. As such, performatives in language, life, and art maintain in balance descriptive and prescriptive contents, an account of the world as it should be and of the way it shall be as a result of its effect. Tschumi’s montage works are paradigm cases of this: the Manhattan Transcript from which I have borrowed my title reads: ‘Architecture is the ultimate erotic act. Carry it to excess and it will reveal both the traces of reason and the sensual experience of space. Simultaneously.’27 One might think that written statements are particularly apt to combine a command with a piece of speculative philosophy. But how can a building be performative in this dual sense of prescribing and describing? A good test case is Tschumi in Athens, where conventions of ‘good behaviour’ and voyeurism meet, creating an interesting yet foreseeable change in the way we look at visitors on other levels within the museum. As with the risqu´e Biedermeier figurine, the glass floor-ceilings might be called instances of a material performative: a planned configuration of space that places persons near it in situations it foresees. That they may react unpredictably to the provocation is a possibility, not a certainty. This is not meant as a criticism, for what Tschumi has grasped, and what makes his architectural actionism possible even as a programme, is that to have events at all one must be able to identify and name what occurs. Paper and space go together after all.

A Choreographed Catalogue Performative architecture, then, to be substantive, might need to be performative in a literal sense. But how did Tschumi get there? One piece of historical evidence that he did or should have done so is his proximity to performance art, as Goldberg was curating and theorizing it in the mid-1970s. Is his architecture, or a relevant subset of it, performative? Looking more closely at performance art, which itself became an umbrella term during the 1970s for various activities from body art to scripted and improvised happenings, we might be able to get a better idea of the 269

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collaboration between Goldberg and Tschumi, and what this meant for architecture and its subsequent performative turn. Where to start this inquiry? A Space: A Thousand Words is not a bad place: I already cited from it Goldberg’s evocative alternatives to built space: ‘landscapes or mindscapes’. The catalogue entries range from paper architecture to the ‘spatial analyses’ of Tschumi’s architecture students, from Braco Dimitrijevic’s advertisement (well over a thousand words!) of his marble monument to a passer-by in a London park to Peter Hutchinson’s dry anecdote about recognizing art-historical landmarks by incidental details in photographic slides (English churches are surrounded by foliage, French churches by skylines, American churches by electrical wires). According to Sandra Kaji-O’Grady, the first scholar to interpret Tschumi and his students in terms of their collaboration with Goldberg, we should see the immense influence of Goldberg on Tschumi in her promotion of experimental art as a curator – besides art we would now call ‘performance’, her exhibitions included Bernd and Hilla Becher, Christian Boltanski, Brian Eno, Piero Manzoni, Anthony McCall, Christo and Jeanne Claude. But we should also appreciate the conflict that emerges from pitting ‘the cerebral approach favoured by Tschumi against an intuitive, performance-based practice that Goldberg introduced to his students.’28 Issues of gender stereotype aside (the cerebral male architect versus the intuitive female curator), Goldberg’s early texts suggest that she gave quite a bit of the conceptual impetus to Tschumi’s notion of ‘events’, ideas that he would later elaborate in texts of the early 1980s like ‘Violence of Architecture’. Let us then go to the source: Goldberg’s 1975 text ‘Space as Praxis’, published just in the wake of the show in a special issue of Studio International she co-edited with Tschumi. Leaving explicit architecture to her collaborator, who published his ‘Questions of Space’ in the same issue, Goldberg embarks on an ambitious and subtle taxonomy not of performance but of conceptual art, emphasizing artists’ dissatisfaction with the ‘dematerialization of art’ thesis.29 When in 1969 Seth Siegelaub, during a radio discussion with several like-minded artists (some of whom he represented), tried to define conceptual art as immaterial, ‘none of the artists agreed’.30 Goldberg traces this disagreement not to Dada and Futurism, as she would in her 1979 book on performance, but to attempts of conceptual art to show the materiality, indeed the concrete social force, of their ideas: performance, as she memorably puts it, is ‘the materialization of theory’.31 Though Goldberg does not adopt the linguistic terminology of the ‘performative’, her notion of the embodiment of concepts as events in space

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(not necessarily involving bodies: minimalism and land art are also treated) sets social force at the centre of performance and (what interested her more at this point in her career) of conceptual art in general. This comes out in her well-chosen examples, particularly as they were formulated in the periodical Avalanche (eight of her 18 footnotes are to this magazine). For instance, in the Fall 1972 issue, Acconci reminisced about being made to sing songs at family gatherings as a child, printed transcripts of works with titles like ‘Performing a Sentence’ and ‘Performing a Space’.32 What draws together these apparently acts of ‘performing’ material as ontologically diverse as a space, a sentence, and a sentimental song is precisely the aim of embodying a concept in space (often drawn or planned discursively in advance) and paying attention to the resulting experience. These experiences, often suggested by photographic documentation, might be imagined in turn. That is to say, concepts can give rise to new concepts, rather than requiring literal embodiment (this was after all Lawrence Weiner’s main point). The conventional speech act plays a role in shaping this experience, but Goldberg’s emphasis, like Tschumi’s, is on experience and the events that take place in conceptualized space. What both seem to neglect, though Goldberg is closer to saying it, is that the need for a viewer’s reception of the concept to make the performance intelligible makes it effective even on paper. The concept, therefore, has the potential to create a bridge from the programme to the city. This 1975 theory of performance as conceptual art is already a step beyond the ‘body art’ view of performance as ephemera, limited to human bodies in space and programmatically opposed both to planning and capture in photographic media; in this view, performance art consists of anarchic events differing from theatre by its spontaneity and the role of the audience.33 This idealized claim of direct participation was an important theoretical touchstone, particularly in the 1960s practices not yet called performance. These often involved equating following directions with free action, and discounting free action (which, in fact, often occurred) as theatrical over elaboration. For instance, when one of the spectators cutting away at Yoko Ono’s dress in Cut Piece (1965) seemed to threaten her with the scissors, the artist did not applaud the anarchic gesture, nor did she disapprove (at least officially) because she was threatened, but because the gesture was too theatrical.34 The analogy to Tschumi and architecture should be apparent: a naive notion of participation would be to get people to follow explicit instructions and then celebrate this as eventfulness; a more nuanced approach would take the performance of scripts or spatial

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possibilities offered by a plan and its various discursive dimensions (the conceptual content of architecture as discussed in manifestoes, criticism, etc.) as a practical means of architect-dweller interaction. If performance studies today insist on what remains – the more or less recent trend of investigating the afterlife of performance in documentary films, photographs, relics, and so on – Tschumi’s writings have trouble matching the slow temporalities of architecture to the human events that ‘happen’ in it (to restore his scare quotes).35 The aspect of time in built space, of course, is not just a punctual one, but also cyclical, concerned with repeated, habitual interaction between actor and environment. In this sense, performance, in its recent historical turn, may have come closer to architecture than the other way around. Indeed, in speaking of how the unpredictable, transgressive violence of human action could become part of the architect’s programme, Tschumi cites not just Bernini’s Counter Reformation festivals and Albert Speer’s ‘sinister and beautiful rallies’, but also the ramp directing traffic into Le Corbusier’s Carpenter Center at Harvard and ‘reenactment[s] of the storming of the Winter Palace in St. ˇ zek).36 But the Petersburg’ (an enthusiasm revived recently by Slavoj Ziˇ spectre of non-erotic violence is always around the corner: Tschumi warns of programmatic violence found in ‘slaughterhouses, concentration camps, or torture chambers.’37 Tschumi’s insists, however, that it is conceptual space, and conceptual violence, that interest him. In his own designs, since ‘the reading of architecture was to include the events that took place in it’, modes of notating it had to be developed, including ‘movement notation derived from choreography.’38 Such notations, I am arguing, are far less plausible as quixotic prescriptions of ‘real’, ‘unforeseeable’, ‘transgressive’ events than as invitations to conceive events, works of conceptual art in their own right.

Glass Finally, I’d like to ask: what is there for the architect to notate, and for performers of architecture to do? Is there in architecture always a moment of encounter, a performance repeated invariably by someone entering a building? This is a question of time as well as of space: to answer it, I turn to an early example of what is now called ‘performance architecture’. Take a performance adaptation of Marcel Duchamp’s famous work The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass, 1915–23). In June 1987, Susan Mosakowski restaged the encounter between the bride in the upper level of the work and the nine bachelors beneath, calling it The Rotary Notary and His Hot Plate, the third part of her Duchamp trilogy. The play, 272

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commissioned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, takes the Large Glass out of its role as object of display, however fragile, and materializes it, as it seems, in performance. Mosakowski worked in collaboration with Diller + Scofidio, who did not just design the set, but built prostheses for the actors and staged the spatial encounter through barriers, extensions, and projections. The subtitle of the play is, tellingly, ‘Delay in Glass’. Who is delayed? Duchamp? Is it the audience, latecomers to the wedding? We readers today are even more delayed. Delay may be thought to bridge the recent architectural embrace of performance and performance’s historical turn, a turn resting on the self-conscious insight that for every view of the past there is a belated audience inspecting that past through images, restaging, or imagination. Goldberg did not ignore this, but took this for granted in 1975: indeed, it formed one of the main ways for the concept to enter space. With the passing of time, more attention, and a more critical attitude to the document, as distinct from the event, have proven practically necessary. Performance, in other words, has learned to work through its temporality: to critically examine, in text and photographic image, events that for all their fugitiveness have been durably represented as occurring in a historical moment. The extension to architecture is apparent, and must have been so to Tschumi as he wrote ‘Violence in Architecture’, with its invocation of architectural photographs: photography reconciles duration and one-time action by encapsulating both in the durable reproduction of a moment. Just think of the way Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial is mediated to an international audience, which, whether it has visited the monument or not, knows about its visitors reflected in the shiny black stone. To see how this photographic capture involves a historical dimension as well as an experience of the one-time event, however, requires acknowledging the performative function of photography itself as the memorialization of acts, one Tschumi seems to repress in favour of the force of ‘real space’ in his unguarded reference to the boredom of traditional architectural photos. Tschumi himself, as a graphic artist, or better said, a conceptual artist, is a master in manipulating the rhetorical force of reproductive media to provoke viewer reaction: in 2012, he produced a critical contribution to David Chipperfield’s Architectural Biennale in Venice, with its somewhat anodyne theme of Common Ground (Fig. 11.4). ‘Common ground? Commonplace’, read one of Tschumi’s posters, contrasting colour photographs of the Canale Grande with the Venice Hotel, Las Vegas. Other posters paired the question ‘Common ground?’ with black-and-white contrasts of the Guggenheim New York and a spiral parking ramp, and of Giuseppe

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Fig. 11.4 Bernard Tschumi, Posters for the 2012 Venice Biennale Common Ground. Photo by Sabine von Fischer.

Terragni’s Casa del Fascio with an empty square and with the fascist crowd added in a famous photomontage. Tschumi’s commentaries read, respectively: ‘Architecture is not only what it looks like, but also what it does’, and ‘Architecture is not about the conditions of design but about the design of conditions’. With these 2012 declarations, we return to the core of performative architecture as it was first formulated by Tschumi in the 1970s. But the contrast of Fascist function and disfunction jars. Just what does it mean for architects to design conditions? Is it to turn their backs on everyday use and call forth unforeseen events, love and murder and the mass rally? Let us return one last time to the catalogue of A Space: A thousand words. The cover (Fig. 11.5) will suffice. On it we see an installation, presumably photographed before the opening: below the white walls with their photographs and texts (‘precisely’ reproduced in the book) is a wilderness of what looks like asphalt fragments, a ‘non-site’ resembling Robert Smithson’s gallery installations: somewhere between archaeological dig, land art and collapsed building, the uprooted earth or construction material a precursor of Walter de Maria’s 1977 Earth Room in Manhattan, or an echo of Robert Morris’ formless works cited by Goldberg in ‘Space as Praxis.’ The exhibition’s 274

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Fig. 11.5 Cover of exhibition catalogue A Space: A Thousand Words. Photo by author.

materialized concepts, represented in the framed photos and texts, are linked to the rubble by vertical dotted lines: as if they arise from formless space, which at the same time they shape and articulate like signposts. The shift from literal space to a space of conceptualized experience – whether entered physically or merely conceived – is palpable in this image. It shows that the performativity of architecture is more than a phenomenology of walking or materials. Meaning, Tschumi claimed in designing the Parc de la Villette, cannot be found in the design of a park (or a building), but in the experience of the visitor – a formula that echoes Derrida less than Goldberg.39 But this affirmation requires giving up the myth that events (experiences) outrun our ability to conceptualize them. In doing so, we might be less puzzled by the continued role of InternationalStyle modernism in global architecture today. Take the glass that Tschumi uses to stage the Acropolis. In his 2012 book, The Art-Architecture Complex, Hal Foster argues that combining old architecture with curtain glass leads to the flattening of place into consumable images fit for Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle.40 One wonders to what extent this thesis rests on easy photographic access to buildings around the world: actually walking into most glass-enclosed structures results in more than static images. 275

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But one needn’t go Athens to see what is wrong with Foster’s argument. The allegedly unconceptualizable events fashionably opposed to static power structures have been over-discussed: they are firmly conceptualized as events. Indeed, transparency is built into the concept of events, for we simply look past the conceptual work that allows us to apply them to the world and the potential events we imagine in our heads. But conceptual work takes place nonetheless. And that insight is not mine alone. ‘Transparency’ is the first word of Tschumi’s text in the Royal College catalogue: ‘Transparency may be the inherent quality of a substance, such as a glass wall. Or, by extension, it may be the inherent quality of a spatial arrangement, such as the crossing of a Renaissance church, whereby the planned ambiguity of interpenetrating spatial layers becomes visible.’41 Or it may be a way of entering a space, like the ruins and underpants on the Acropolis. Performance partakes of form and material but is reducible to neither. Our concepts can enter space in as many ways as events can take place in them.

Notes 1 Tafuri, Manfredo ‘Il teatro come citt`a virtuale. Da Appia al Totaltheater’, Lotus 17 (December 1977), pp.30–53. 2 Tschumi, Bernard, ‘Conceptualizing Context’, in The New Acropolis Museum (New York, 2009), p.84: ‘This relatively simple and lucid design concept cannot account for the complex layering of chronological times and conditions that the process of construction uncovered.’ 3 See Tschumi, Bernard, Cin´egramme folie: le Parc de la Villette (Princeton, 1987). 4 Tschumi: ‘Conceptualizing Context’, p.86: ‘The most revealing relationship to the design of the New Acropolis Museum may be found in an early drawing, The Street (from The Manhattan Transcripts, Part II, 1976–81), that invokes the cinematic theory of montage.’ And see Aesopos, Yannis, ‘The New Acropolis Museum: Re-making the Collective’, The New Acropolis Museum, p.63: ‘To paraphrase Tschumi when referring to the (fragmented) narrative of the Transcripts: Looking at the Frieze also means constructing it.’ 5 As late as 1994, in reply to critics of two recently published books and Museum of Modern Art retrospective, Tschumi faced the charge that his was a ‘“paper architecture” – flashy images – although four of the five buildable projects exhibited are either already built, in construction, or scheduled for construction.’ Tschumi, Bernard, ‘Urban Pleasures and the Moral Good’, Assemblage 25 (December 1994), p.7. 6 On the critique of modernist space as ornament, see Venturi, Robert, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour, Learning from Las Vegas, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, MA: 1977), especially the section pointedly titled ‘Space as God’, p.148.

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Tschumi opposes post-modern attempts to ‘strip architecture again of its social, spatial, conceptual concerns and restrict its limits to a territory of “wit and irony”, “conscious schizophrenia”, “dual coding”, and “twice-broken splitpediments”’ in ‘Architecture and Limits’, which appeared in three parts in Artforum in 1980–1, and is reprinted in Tschumi, Bernard, Architecture and Disjunction (Cambridge, Mass., 1996), p.105, and see also the explicit discussion of Venturi at pp.229–31. For a reading of Venturi and Scott Brown’s nonreductive understanding of space through film and movement, see Martino Stierli, Las Vegas in the Rear Mirror (Los Angeles, 2012), esp. chapter 4. Scott Brown in particular advocated the use of film in analyses of the city. Burckhardt’s translation was published in 1969 in the journal Werk, before the book even appeared in English, based on an excerpt that had appeared in Architectural Forum 128, no. 2. I would like to thank Martino Stierli for this information. See also Barzon Brock’s introduction in Burckhard, Lucius, Die Kinder fressen ihre Revolution auf (Colone, 1985), p.11. Obrist’s 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale project is called A stroll through a fun palace and honours Burckhardt and Cedric Price. See http://www.prohelvetia.ch/fileadmin/ user upload/customers/prohelvetia/Programme/Biennalen/Mediendossier 140305/140305 E MM Pavilion of Switzerland at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia.pdf, accessed 8 November 2014. Martin, Louis, ‘Transpositions: On the Intellectual Origins of Tschumi’s Architectural Theory’, Assemblage 11 (April 1990), pp.22–35. On Tschumi’s reception of Bataille, see note 29 below. In a 2004 interview, Enrique Walked asked Tschumi how much his theories were ‘operative’ in his designs. He replied: ‘I would say that my work is about designing the conditions, rather than conditioning the design. In other words, if I take a certain spatial condition and combine it with a certain programmatic condition in a certain way, that relation might help me design the conditions for an event to occur. But ultimately that will always be an unknown because events are not predictable in any way.’ ‘Avant-propos: Bernard Tschumi in Conversation with Enrique Walker’, Grey Room (17, fall 2004), p.119. To take an instance before my eyes at the time of writing, here is a call for papers for the 2015 College Art Association in New York with a focus on ‘performative architecture before the fact’. I have argued this position in several articles as well as in my book Performative Monuments. The Rematerialisation of Public Art (Manchester University Press, 2014). Rem Koolhaas and Bernard Tschumi, A Conversation, ETH Zurich, May 5, 2011: the moderator of the evening, Stephan Tr¨uby, suggested that a ‘performative turn’ within architecture could be found in the work of both

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during the late 1970s. ETH Zurich, 2011, video available online, http://www .multimedia.ethz.ch/episode play/?doi=10.3930/ETHZ/AV-75db5f75-5ff941af-a221-c48ab14f8aa5, accessed 8 November 2014. The biographical detail of this collaboration is not my focus, but rather the theoretical exchange between Tschumi and Goldberg, which can be verified in their publications of this period. The catalogue itself is a challenging spatial experience: the text of each project is printed sideways on the right page of each opening, ‘below’ the image at left, so that one must turn the book around to read it, or leaf through it vertically. Goldberg, RoseLee, ‘Preface’, in A Space: A Thousand Words, n.p. The architect’s key text of the 1970s, Tschumi, Bernard, ‘Questions of Space: The Pyramid and the Labyrinth (or the Architectural Paradox)’, Studio International 190/977 (September–October 1975), pp.136–42, is respectful but cool toward Lefebvre and Marxism: ‘This politico-philosophical critique has the advantage of giving an all-embracing approach to space [ . . . ] But by giving an overall priority to historical processes, it often reduced space to one of the numerous socio-economic products that were perpetuating a political status quo.’ Tschumi: ‘Questions of Space’, pp.137–8, and cf. note 3, p.139. Tschumi, Bernard, ‘A Space is Worth a Thousand Words’, in A Space: A Thousand Words, n.p. But Tschumi: ‘Question of Space’, p.140 cautions: ‘If it could be argued that the discourse about art was art and thus be exhibited as such, the theoretical discourse about space certainly was not space.’ Interestingly, Tschumi in the sentence just previous to this credits Goldberg with having shown that ‘there was no way in space to follow the Art-Language practice.’ In other words, perhaps there is a caesura between theory and experience in art as well as architecture. Tschumi: ‘Questions of Space’, p.142. The theme of the whole article is the difficulty of solving the ‘paradox of ideal and real space’ (p.142), manifested practically in the architect’s predicament of ‘both questioning the nature of space and at the same time experiencing a spatial praxis’ (p.137). Tschumi: ‘A Space is Worth a Thousand Words’, n.p. Manifesto 1 is printed in Bernard Tschumi. Architectural Manifestoes (London: Architectural Association, 1979), n.p., itself a reprint of Architectural Manifestoes, published by Artists’ Space in New York in 1978. ‘Questions of Space’ concludes with what could be a theoretical gloss on Manifesto 1: ‘Just as eroticism is the pleasure of excess rather than the excess of pleasure, so the solution of the paradox is the imaginary blending of the architecture rule and the experience of pleasure’ (p.142). Besides such programmes, there is a working group headed by Rahel Leupin and Dorita Hannah. I participated in the Second International Performance Design Symposium in January 2014, organized by Hannah and Olav Harsløf

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at the Danish Institute in Rome in January 2014 under the title Spacing Performance. Arraya, Sergio, Performative Architecture (Ph.D thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011). http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/68413?show=full, accessed 8 November 2014. Arraya also called his panels ‘performative’ in a lecture at the inaugural conference of the Art Architecture History Assembly (AAHA) at ETH Zurich in May 2013. Dimendberg, Edward, Diller& Scofidio + Renfro. Architecture after Images (Chicago, 2013) p.144. Dimendberg: Architecture after Images, p.155 asserts that ‘It [Blur] pushed architecture towards performance.’ Tschumi, Bernard, ‘Violence of Architecture’, Artforum, vol. 20, no. 1 (September 1981), reprinted in Tschumi: Architecture and Disjunction, pp.121– 137, this quote p.121. Tschumi, Bernard, ‘Spaces and Events’, in Architecture and Disjunction, p.139, originally published in Themes III. The Discourse of Events (London: Architectural Association, 1983). See J. L. Austin, How to do Things with Words. The William James Lectures delivered at Harvard University in 1955 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962). The linguistic detail is less important in this context than the coexistence of descriptive and prescriptive elements in every performative. See Austin, pp.133–47 and Widrich, Mechtild, ‘Memory in Action’, in Krzysztof Wodickzko, City of Refuge: A 9/11 Memorial, ed. Mark Jarzombek and Mechtild Widrich (London, 2009), pp.52–5. Reproduced in Tschumi: Architecture and Disjunction, p.75, where it unfortunately loses the full force of its striking colour photograph of the interior of Le Corbusier’s decaying Villa Savoye, headed ‘Sensuality has been known to overcome even the most rational of buildings.’ Kaji-O’Grady, Sandra, ‘The London Conceptualists. Architecture and Performance in the 1970s’, Journal of Architectural Education 61/4, (May 2008), pp.43– 51. Kaji-O’Grady’s article and her earlier ‘The London Conceptualists: Architecture and Conceptual Art in the 1970s’, in Repenser les limites: l’architecture a` travers l’espace, le temps et les disciplines, INHA ‘Actes de colloques’, (Paris, 2005), online at http://inha.revues.org/1773 (uploaded 3 November 2008, accessed 8 November 2014) are essentially the only work on the connection between Goldberg and Tschumi. Goldberg, RoseLee, ‘Space as Praxis’, Studio International 190/977 (September– October 1975), pp.130–5. ‘Space as Practice’, p.130. Not that Goldberg in 1975 ignored the early twentieth-century avant-garde: footnotes cite L´aszl´o Moholy-Nagy’s essay ‘Theatre, Circus, Variety’, and

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Oskar Schlemmer’s “Mathematics of the Dance’, references made more familiar in her 1979 book. Acconci had just performed Seedbed at the Sonnabend Gallery in January 1972. Goldberg cites from Acconci’s Avalanche interview a desire in Seedbed to ‘find an alternative to live performance, because it seems that a power field can exist without my physical presence . . . this interest hasn’t been totally devoid of an art context. It’s always been how to make an exhibition area viable . . . to make those spatial concerns “hard”.” ‘Space as Praxis’, p.132, citing Avalanche 6 (Fall 1972), p.76. See Butler, Cornelia (ed), WACK!: art and the feminist revolution, exh. cat. Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (Cambridge, Mass., 2007), p.276. On the archival turn in performance studies, see Widrich: Performative Monuments, chapter 1, Giannachi, Gabriella, Nick Kaye, Michael Shanks (eds), Archaeologies of Presence (London/New York: Routledge, 2012), and Ursprung, Philip, Mechtild Widrich, J¨urg Berthold (eds), Presence. A Conversation at Cabaret Voltaire (Zurich, 2015). Tschumi, Bernard, ‘Architecture and Limits’, Artforum, reprinted (with modifications) in Architecture and Disjunction, p.125 (Speer is also discussed at p.118). Tschumi: ‘Violence of Architecture’, p.134. Rather disconcertingly, the essay ends with this sentence. ‘At the same time, issues of notation became fundamental: if the reading of architecture was to include the events that took place in it, it would be necessary to devise modes of notating such activities. Several modes of notation were invented to supplement the limitations of plans, sections, or axonometrics. Movement notation derived from choreography, and simultaneous scores derived from music notation were elaborated for architectural purposes.’ Tschumi: Architecture and Disjunction, p.11. Blundell Jones, Peter, ‘1989 August: Parc de la Villette by Bernard Tschumi Architects’, The Architectural Review, 186 (August 1989), pp.54–9, available online at http://www.architectural-review.com/archive/1989-august-parc-dela-villette-by-bernard-tschumi-architects/8630513.article, accessed 8 November 2014. Tschumi is cited as follows: “the follies, as built, are nothing but a moment in the process of conception . . . abstract notations, meta-operational elements, a frozen image, a freeze frame in a process of constant transformation, construction and dislocation” (p.6, online edition). According to Foster, the enclosure of the British Museum courtyard and the dome of the Reichstag in Berlin, both designed by Norman Foster, transform historic buildings into contemporary ‘attractions’ generating distraction. Foster, Hal, The Art-Architecture Complex (London and New York, 2011), chapter 3. Tschumi: ‘A Space: A Thousand Words’, n.p.

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12 Echo-Logy : Working with Allan Kaprow Philip Ursprung

Claire Bishop, in her introduction to the reader on Participation, a publication on the series ‘Documents of Contemporary Art’, puts emphasis on the social dimension of participation as an alternative to the phenomenological aspect of participation, which is limited to issues such as the ‘activation of the individual viewer.’1 Beginning from this understanding of the social nature of participation, in the present chapter I would like to carry the discussion further by examining some aspects of the economic dimension of participation in art practice. Rather than limiting the analysis to the question of how participation in visual culture works, we should raise the question of who can participate in art, who can access art markets and knowledge about art and visual culture in general, and who cannot. These issues may seem remote to art, which, in modern democratic societies, is conceived as ‘open to all’. Umberto Eco’s 1962 book, The Open Work, is emblematic of this concept. Eco argues that the participation of the viewers is essential for the production of meaning in art. However, the art world often has hidden barriers to entry, invisible most of all to those who take part in its activities. It suppresses, particularly in its discourse, the embedded privilege of its practices. Especially since the millennium, trends of segregation and exclusion that endanger the coherence of modern democratic societies have been manifest in the realm of art. Openings of exhibitions, for instance, are structured hierarchically. Various ‘previews’ give priority to different categories of VIPs before opening to 281

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‘the public’. Many exhibitions, such as the Venice Biennale, take place in expensive tourist cities – not only is the entrance fee high, so is the travel and accommodation. In addition, access is effectively beyond the reach of anyone without a passport or visa that grants access to the European Union. Of course, the issue blurs into the terrain of politics, where participation within structures of power, wealth and rights is traditionally negotiated. (Recent debates concerning ‘pseudo-participation’ within democratic societies speaks to the importance of the topic.)2 Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, a long-term study of economic inequality, is currently an international bestseller in part because it addresses a widespread concern that economic segregation is undermining certain democratic ideals of participation.3 In the realm of architecture and urban planning, the issue of participation of the client and users in the design process have been discussed for decades. Furthermore, issues of spatial segregation and gentrification, as well as the struggle for access to space, air, water, light, and mobility is a continuing challenge for planners and theoreticians. Art, on the other hand, is still perceived as an extra-economic phenomenon. When works of art relate to economics, it is most often in the guise of studies of the art market, or artistic themes such as the depiction of money. It remains a challenge for art historiography to show how artistic practices that involve labour or aesthetic values also relate to economic concepts of value. If participation also means ‘sharing’, how can this concept help us understand art better? In considerations of participation in art, Allan Kaprow is a central figure – the first text in Claire Bishop’s reader on participation in art is an excerpt from his 1965 essay ‘Assemblages, Environments and Happenings’.4 I will focus on Kaprow’s work – and my own implication in it as an academic – in order to discuss the topic of participation from an economic perspective. A protagonist of Happenings, a prolific writer, and an engaged teacher, Kaprow reflected on the role of the public and its relation to the artwork throughout his career. To overcome the separation between the artwork and the audience and to problematize the difference between art and ‘life’ was his concern. He belongs to a generation of artists in New York who, during the late 1950s, attempted to escape the hegemony of easel painting by introducing alternative artistic media, such as collage, live performance, and music. One of his first concepts was to invite the audience to literally enter the picture space and become part of what he called an ‘Environment’. He also belongs to a generation that was confronted with a growing audience interested in new artistic trends. At the time, the notion of the ‘art world’ gradually replaced the earlier ‘artist’s world’. It signalled the fact that artists

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ECHO-LOGY : WORKING WITH ALLAN KAPROW

no longer produced their work solely for their peers and a handful of collectors, but that they were now addressing a much broader audience eager to discover the newest art. Capturing the attention of the public became the motor of artistic change. The ‘success’ of his own art, according to Kaprow, depended as much on himself as artist as it did on the visitors who were given a ‘much greater responsibility’ than they had before.5 One consequence of these shifts was reflected in Kaprow’s plea for the professionalization of the artist and the consideration of the economic function of art: ‘Middle-class money, both private and public, should be spent on middle-class art, not on fantasies of good taste and noble sentiment.’6 Kaprow became famous for his spectacular Happenings he carried out in the 1960s. Household (1964) took place on a garbage dump outside Ithaca, New York, with dozens of students performing a ritual battle, driving around in cars, building makeshift structures and demolishing them again. Gas (1965), held on the occasion of a Fourth of July parade, lasted several days. It included hundreds of participants in different locations – an urban centre, a dump, a road, and a beach – and was broadcast on television. But the oeuvre of Kaprow also consists of much smaller ‘Activities’ of the 1970s to the 1990s, such as Maneuvers (1976), which featured only a handful of participants and no audience at all. In fact, during the 1980s, Kaprow left the art world’s centre stage and focused mainly on teaching. His audience had shrunk and he was rarely present in museum and gallery exhibitions. To say that he was an ‘artist’s artist’ would be an exaggeration, because even among artists only some specialists knew what he was doing. When Olaf Westphalen, a former student of Kaprow’s at the University of California, San Diego in the early 1990s convinced Hedy Graber and myself that we should invite Kaprow to show at our independent exhibition space, a socalled ‘off-space’, the Kunsthalle Palazzo Liestal near Basel, Switzerland, I admitted that I didn’t know that he was still working as an artist. However, the two-day workshop entitled Performing Life that he conducted on 15 and 16 June 1996 changed the way I perceived art.

Performing Life Kaprow immediately accepted the invitation to come to Switzerland, although he opted against merely exhibiting his work in the Kunsthalle. He wrote to me, ‘as you know, I’m not especially interested in exhibitions.’7 We agreed to display photographs of his Happenings and Activities as well as some scores, but more as an illustration for the workshop and the public lecture ‘Experimental Art and Its Possibilities’, which would allow for a 283

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collective reflection during the workshop. He proposed to ‘carry out around 6 exercises doing very ordinary things (like tying a shoelace). Our interest will be to focus on how attention to something so routine changes the activity itself in unpredictable ways.’8 He suggested that the workshop could include ’15–18 persons. These may come from art backgrounds, the sciences and social sciences, business, or anyone who is interested.’9 We gathered a group of 18 participants, mostly students of art, art history, architecture, and theatre. Kaprow introduced us into his concept of the ‘non-audience performance’. He distinguished between ‘making’ – a product to be used by someone else and staged theatrically – and ‘doing’ – a process done for one’s own sake, without spectators.10 He insisted that nobody would simply be watching, but everybody present, including himself, would participate after agreeing to the rules of the Activities. The first Activity during the workshop required one person to draw a chalk line on the ground in a street, followed by another person rubbing the line out with an eraser. This event lasted until either the chalk or the eraser was used up. As I knelt on the ground outside the train station of Liestal, drawing my chalk line, with my partner diligently rubbing it away, a woman waiting nearby watched what we were doing. In the end she asked what we were up to. I replied that I was drawing a line, which my partner was rubbing out again, until either the chalk or the eraser was used up. She cried out, ‘Oh, but that’s just like life!’ We witnessed exactly the kind of ‘exception’ that Kaprow describes in the case of non-theatrical Happenings that are performed in public space. In his words: ‘Passers-by will ordinarily stop and watch, just as they might watch the demolition of a building. These are not theatre-goers and their attention is only temporarily caught in the course of their normal affairs. They might stay, perhaps become involved in some unexpected way, or they will more likely move on after a few minutes. Such persons are authentic parts of the environment.’11 For the following Activity, our group moved to an idyllic meadow in the countryside where nobody was watching (Fig. 12.1). Our Activity consisted in shaking hands. One participant had to ask their partner ‘is it warm yet?’ and wait until the other said ‘yes’, which would end the Activity. It made us focus on corporal proximity, on the meaning of rituals and gestures, as well as our relation to the site. Since we were not supposed to say anything except the agreed-on question, ‘is it warm yet?’ and the answer ‘yes’, we had to interpret the other’s gestures and movements. Would the partner tell the truth? Was he or she enjoying the handshake or was he or she displeased? Was the grip too firm, too soft? And of course, we were

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ECHO-LOGY : WORKING WITH ALLAN KAPROW Fig. 12.1 Allan Kaprow, Performing Life, Liestal, Switzerland, 1996. Photo by author.

all each other’s audience, asking ourselves for instance why the couple at the far end of the field shook hands so much longer than all the others, or why another couple ended the Activity after only a few seconds. Kaprow described this phenomenon in another text: ‘Without either an audience or a formally designed stage or clearing, the performer becomes simultaneously agent and watcher. She or he takes on the task of “framing” the transaction internally, by paying attention in motion.’12 Kaprow found our group very engaged and suggested that we invent, as a kind of homework, our own Activities for the following day. We decided that everyone should propose two Activities, namely the smartest thing we could think of doing and the dumbest thing we could think of doing. No Activity should last longer than three minutes. We immediately realized that the design of an Activity was not as simple as it seemed. Activities for one participant, such as ‘determining from which way the wind was blowing, facing into the wind, and blowing back, as if to stop it’ had some poetic value. But ‘finding a partner, facing each other, hitting each other on the back of the head while asking “is it ok?” and when answered “no”, the Activity was finished’ was obviously derivative to what we had already done. The concluding Activity of the workshop, again designed by Kaprow, consisted of individual gestures such as walking in the forest, whistling, 285

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observing our own shadow move slowly, or taking off a shoe. We could repeat these gestures as long as we wished. It proved that the degree of paying attention and actually sharing an experience depended less on a playful atmosphere than on formal precision, the composition of language, timing, the site – in other words on the quality of the work of art. We all had contributed an Activity and discussed, performed, and watched over two days. The impression of actually having done something exciting united the group. Yet we had also understood that none of us was qualified to compete with the quality of Kaprow’s scores – we had witnessed a shared experience, but not necessarily an act of ‘collaborative creativity’ (as might have been the aim of Joseph Beuys, for instance). We were not co-authors of a work of art. And even the artists among the group had to consider themselves art students, rather than professional colleagues of Kaprow. The authority of the artist as author was not questioned by the workshop. It was obvious that Kaprow knew more, had more experience, and was directing the activities like a master of ceremony in a ritual. But the role of the artist had changed. He was not confronting us with a completed work of art, but rather introducing us to an artistic method. In Kaprow’s own words: ‘The artist’s role is not merely to make performances. It is to guide agents and the public to their appropriate use.’13 The idea of guiding the public to the appropriate use of a performance has consequences for the topic of participation. More than being ‘activated’ or ‘entertained’, our group was ‘taught’. We actually knew more after the two days and were able to use the method presented by the artist. The situation was closer to a school than to an exhibition. As viewers of art, we were confronted with something unexpected, such as spending much time with others and the artist, moving around, eating and drinking, learning together. But we were simultaneously experiencing familiar rituals, remembered from school days, such as receiving chalk and erasers and being given homework.

Re-Enactment At the time of the happening in Switzerland, I did not see the economic aspect of the Activities. Of course I knew what Kaprow was talking about in his lecture, when he reminded us that the act of ‘performing life’ and producing Activities could not be separated from making a living. (He charged 10,000 dollars as honorarium, a substantial sum for our off-space.) But none of us felt exploited. The participants did not have to pay and were not paid. The Activity happened in their spare time, on the weekend. I was not aware of the ambivalence inherent in the notion of performance, 286

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ECHO-LOGY : WORKING WITH ALLAN KAPROW

Fig. 12.2 Allan Kaprow, Echo-Logy, Far Hills, New Jersey, 1975.

which Kaprow described as the ‘two meanings the word performance has in English: one refers to artistry, as in performing on the violin; the other has to do with carrying out a job or function, as in carrying out a task, service, or duty – viz. a “high-performance engine”.’14 I was still mostly interested in the idea of Kaprow’s work offering a critique of the art market’s focus on objecthood. I could not interpret his art as an articulation of the condition of labour and a mirror of economy, in general, and I was unable to insert my own practice as curator, historiographer, and teacher into this framework. Several years later I had a new opportunity to work with Allan Kaprow’s art, alas without him, as he had died in 2006. On 21 March, 2013, I re-enacted Kaprow’s Activity Echo-Logy with a group of 25 architecture students in small creek just outside the Antique site of Olympia, Greece.15 The re-enactment was the highlight of a fieldtrip, called ‘Ec(h)o-Logy: Greek Returns’ which led us to Athens and Olympia. The original Activity Echo-Logy was performed on the weekend of 3 and 4 May 1975 by Kaprow and a group of participants in the countryside of Far Hills, New Jersey. It was commissioned by the Merriewold West Gallery. There was no audience. All that remains is a booklet with the score and some photographs by Lizbeth Marano documenting the event (Fig. 12.2). 287

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1 carrying some downstream water a distance upstream bucket-by-bucket pouring it into stream transferring a mouthful of upstream water a distance downstream mouth-to-mouth spitting it into the stream 2 sending a mouthed silent word a distance upstream person-by-person saying it aloud to the trees propelling a shouted word a distance downstream person-by-person mouthing it to the sky 3 transporting a gas-soaked cloth a distance upstream (waving it gently in the air) person-to-person waving it gently until dry carrying a bagged breath a distance downstream each adding a breath opening the bag to the wind16

On the last page of the booklet, Kaprow explains the Activity, stating that it is ‘concerned with natural processes. Water flowing downstream is carried mechanically upstream, is dumped and flows back. Some is lost along the way. More water is transferred downstream mouth-by-mouth, loses oxygen, is mixed with saliva and is given back to the stream to be altered again’17 (Fig. 12.3). 288

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ECHO-LOGY : WORKING WITH ALLAN KAPROW

Fig. 12.3 Allan Kaprow, Echo-Logy, Far Hills, New Jersey, 1975.

Our re-enactment took place in the afternoon (Fig. 12.4). It was much shorter than the original two-day Activity, lasting about an hour. After my introduction, we rehearsed the score and discussed how to solve certain details. For instance, most participants were against the idea of literally exchanging the water mouth to mouth, and someone suggested that we simply fill a cup of water and then pass along this cup by using only the mouth. We had forgotten to bring gas with us, but since Greeks are heavy smokers it was easy to find a refill for gasoline lighters in the nearby grocery shop. Two members of the group offered to document the events with video and photo cameras. Although the creek was on public ground outside the archaeological park, no passers-by appeared. During the re-enactment, while I was waiting for the cup of water to arrive, I had time to reflect on our field trip and to recall my earlier experience with Kaprow in Switzerland. By using the metaphor of echo, we demonstrated our interest in the resonance of the past in the present. Echo also referred to the antique legend of Echo and Narcissus, known from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. After being rejected by Narcissus, the water nymph Echo dissolves and remains nothing but a voice without a body. Can one compare contemporary Europe to the self-absorbed Narcissus and Greece to 289

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Fig. 12.4 Re-enactment of Allan Kaprow’s Activity Echo-Logy (1975) with members of the Department of Architecture, ETH Z¨urich, Olympia, Greece, 2013. Photo by author.

the rejected Echo, left to her destiny? Would such a metaphor help us locate our own position within the field trip and help us perceive the political and economic stresses being experienced by Greek society more clearly? Would we, through re-enacting a work of art, liberate ourselves from the closedcircuit of l’art pour l’art and understand our economic and political context better? Was this what Kaprow had in mind when he interpreted the role of the performer as someone who leads other to performance? The cup arrived and I handed it over to the next member of the group, trying not to spill any water. Soon it would be poured into the stream, dissolved, gone. The notion of entropy came to my mind. And I recalled what we had seen and heard in Athens. Our Greek colleagues from the architecture school who guided us told us that new property taxation on apartments and houses imposed in 2011 was undermining their compatriots’ confidence in the future. Not only had most young people lost their jobs and most old people their pensions, but the very backbone of the social stability had been broken by these new taxes. What since the 1950s had been a guarantee for the middle-class – namely the family-owned apartment – had 290

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turned into an insupportable burden. Many people could no longer afford to pay the taxes, and there was no one to sell their flat to either. With the collapse of the value of real estate, the Greeks were literally losing the ground under their feet and had stopped participating in the initial prosperity of the European Union. Did our performance, standing in the cold water, eager not to slip, taking care of a tiny quantity of water, mimic what was happening in the country on a much larger scale? Were we participating in the misery of the people we met, or were we mere observers? Did our re-enactment help to focus our view, would it lead to action, give our academic guides access to grants, exchange programmes, co-operations? Or would it remain symbolic? I was reminded of Kaprow’s interest in the labour disputes of the 1930s, of which he writes: ‘Workers, carrying signs aloft, would pace a measured circle, accompanying their march with simple repetitive chants; the picket line could look remarkably like the mechanical assembly lines the workers were shutting down. Although they had stopped working, they continued working symbolically.’18 The next cup approached. The cup between the teeth, it became impossible to speak. Echo came to my mind, the poor water nymph, who could only mumble and mimic the sounds of what others said. Whose voices had we heard during the trip? Was it observers from the North – including ourselves – speaking about Greece, telling the Greeks how to act? Weren’t we just repeating what the politicians in the North were saying and the newspapers echoed, namely that it was Greece’s own fault? What about the voices of the Greeks? While the group now started to send the whispered word from one to the next, I remembered that, during my last trip with architecture students, during the preparation for the Olympics of 2004, I was impressed by the theatrical scenes in the street – people shouting, gesticulating, and exclaiming loudly as if they were on stage. Now, the voices were muffled, and the movements had slowed down, mere shadows of the past, echoes of better days. The plastic bag was now on its way, everyone adding a breath of air. The bag inflated, and the biggest fear was that it would deflate. Again, the headlines of the newspapers came to mind, talking about ‘inflation’, ‘deflation’, ‘stagflation’, withdrawn capital and the fate of the Euro. But next to symbolizing the economy, the plastic bag containing our breath – psyche in Greek – also visualized how the group of students and teachers had momentarily turned into a community. It was a community comparable to the group in 1996, although I was now in the role of the director of ceremony. Was I letting the students participate in the history of art,

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Fig. 12.5 Re-enactment of Allan Kaprow’s Activity Echo-Logy (1975) with members of the Department of Architecture, ETH Z¨urich, Olympia, Greece, 2013. Photo by Anne Kockelkorn.

activating them as subjects of a historic dimension, or was I participating in their spontaneous experience that was not tied to the past, being activated by them? What kind of community were we? In the otherwise highly hierarchic realm of academe, we had, at least for a brief time, acted as equal participants in a game. Perhaps the students would remember this more than anything else, perhaps it will resonate in the way they conceive their projects and involve people in architecture (Fig. 12.5).

Immaterial Labour In order to get back to the question raised above, namely the economic aspect of participation, I want to relate the structure of the Activities to the concept of ‘immaterial labour’, developed by Maurizio Lazzarato, Paolo Virno, and Antonio Negri, among others. Lazzarato defines ‘immaterial labour’ as the ‘labour that produces the informational and cultural content of the commodity.’19 Immaterial labour came about in the early 1970s, he writes, as part of the reorganization of production in the wake of deindustrialization and automation. Immaterial labour affects not only the 292

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composition, management, and regulation of the workforce, but also ‘the role and function of intellectuals and their activities within society.’20 According to Lazzarato, ‘immaterial labour involves a series of activities that are not normally recognized as “work” – in other words, the kinds of activities involved in defining and fixing cultural and artistic standards, fashions, tastes, consumer norms, and, more strategically, public opinion. [ . . . ] The split between conception and execution, between labour and creativity, between author and audience, is simultaneously transcended within the labour process and reimposed as political command within the “process of valorization”.’21 The transformation of industrial labour into the labour of handling information also involves the investment of subjectivity. As he puts it: ‘Workers are expected to become “active subjects” in the coordination of various functions of production, instead of being subjected to it as simple command.’22 Subjectivity thus becomes the crucial element, the ‘raw material’ of immaterial labour, and has led to an internalization of pressure, because we are all obliged to be subjective, to become active as consumers and communicators. There is no ‘outside’ to this new realm of labour, no privacy or leisure time to retreat to. Lazzarato’s definition of immaterial labour reads like a description of Echo-Logy – both the Activity performed in 1975 and our re-enactment in 2013 (as well as the Activity Performing Life in 1996) – especially when he states that immaterial labour ‘constitutes itself in forms that are immediately collective, and we might say that it exists only in forms of networks and flows.’23 The traditional separation between private life and work dissolves, because the ‘fact that immaterial labour produces subjectivity and economic value at the same time demonstrates how capitalist production has invaded our lives and has broken down all the oppositions among economy, power, and knowledge.’24 The participants of Echo-Logy and we, as participants of the re-enactment, were producers and consumers, agents and observers. The two meanings of performance – doing one’s job and performing something artistically – collapsed. Labour and leisure, learning and teaching, blurred. But Echo-Logy was not real immaterial labour, in many senses. On the one hand, it belonged to a subset of the general economy, namely art, which was not only spared by the recession of the 1970s, but flourished during that decade. At the peak of the energy crisis, the prices for artworks started to rise, triggered by the spectacular auction of Robert and Ethel Scull’s collection in 1973.25 The general prosperity of the art market and its accompanying institutions – both private galleries and public museums, grants, etc. – created the setting in which work like Echo-Logy could take place. It allowed the participants to act as if they were performing immaterial

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labour but at the same time protected them from exploitation (the ‘invasion’ of capitalist production into our lives, as Lazzarato describes it). Echo-Logy successfully accepts and articulates a new form of labour – one which at the time it occurred could not be framed theoretically. It neither applauds these new forms, nor criticizes them directly. Rather, it puts emphasis on common goods, on the interdependence of people, on the value of playful exchange, on sharing resources and on participation without the immediate need for profit. We can read it as a model of resisting exploitation, but it leaves open the question whether such freedom is possible without the protective framework of the art world. My students, however, unlike myself and my teaching assistants – and unlike Kaprow in the Activity of 1975 and in our workshop in 1996 – were not paid. On the contrary, they had to pay a substantial contribution to the costs of the field trip. Was I exploiting them in order to accumulate symbolic capital? Or were we all exploiting ourselves, as immaterial workers, potentially adding value to the estate of Kaprow, which after his death had entered the art market? Lazzarato writes: ‘The worker is to be responsible for his or her own control and motivation within the work group without a foreman needing to intervene, and the foreman’s role is redefined into that of a facilitator.’26 Was I the foreman? Or were the students the ‘facilitators’? Together, we produced affects, social relations, networks, experiences and memories. But unlike the immaterial labour the students provide as underpaid volunteers in architecture offices, where their images and ideas are taken and used by the architecture firms and their clients, the activity in the creek tried to resist exploitation. We constantly interrupted the productive cycle by loss, misunderstanding, non-communication, nonsense. The words were sent person-to-person, but too silent for us to hear, and then shouted ‘aloud to the trees’ and thus, from the viewpoint of productivity, wasted. The water was spat into the stream. The bagged breath is ‘opened to the wind’. The movement was, as Kaprow had put it in his text, always ‘back and forth’.27 In this process, we each constituted a kind of subjectivity – each of us, students and teachers, by participating in the re-enactment, contributed to it and became an indispensible part of the whole. At the same time, we immediately deconstructed this subjectivity by becoming silent, non-communicative, and by constantly changing our roles within the re-enactment. Our re-enactment in 2013 was not a work of art, but an academic activity. We were protected from exploitation by the framework of academe, much like Kaprow and his peers were protected, in 1975, by the framework of art. For Lazzarato, it was clear that ‘a collective learning process

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becomes the heart of productivity, because it is no longer a matter of finding different ways of composing or organizing already existing job functions, but of looking for new ones.’28 Were we, with our re-enactment, unwittingly looking for new job functions? It might be impossible to answer this question, when so little time has elapsed since the event. Perhaps the fact that one cannot really answer this question, that it remains ambivalent, is exactly what makes this kind of learning useless, economically. Our reenactment was exclusive and non-participatory in the sense that only the members of the excursion were included (although we had agreed that any passers-by would be welcome to join us if they wished). On the other hand, it was inclusive and participatory in the sense that it allowed those involved to participate in a common experience, to relate their experience of an artwork to a broader context both contemporary and historical. The participants had the choice to contribute to this experience or not. We learned that participation is not a given situation, inherent in the structure of the work of art, but a process, which has to be constantly negotiated, reflected, defended, and moved in order to persist.

Notes 1 Bishop, Claire, ‘Introduction, Viewers as producers’, in Bishop, Claire (ed), Participation (Documents of Contemporary Art) (London, and Cambridge, MA: 2006), pp.10–17. 2 See Miessen, Markus, The Nightmare of Participation: Crossbench Praxis as a Mode of Criticality (Berlin, 2010). 3 Piketty, Thomas, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, trans. Arthur Goldhammer (Cambridge, MA: 2014). 4 Kaprow, Allan, ‘Notes on the Elimination of the Audience (1966)’, in Bishop: Participation, pp.102–4. 5 Kaprow, Allan, ‘Notes on the Creation of a Total Art’, in Kaprow, Allan, Essay on the Blurring of Art and Life, ed. Jeff Kelley (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1993), pp.10–12, this quote p.12. 6 Kaprow, Allan, ‘The Artist as a Man of the World’ [1964], in Kaprow: Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life, pp.46–58, this quote p.57. 7 Kaprow, Allan, Fax to Philip Ursprung, 11 February 1996. 8 Kaprow, Allan, Fax to Hedy Graber and Philip Ursprung, 12 April 1996. 9 Ibid. The participants were Pauline Boudry, Yangzom Brauen, Linda Cassens, Christophe Ch´erix, Thomas Fischer, Anna Geering, Hedy Graber, Niklaus Graber, Sue Irion, Andrew Hioronymi, Allan Kaprow, Vrene K¨unzli, Francis

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LeBouthillier, Francesca L¨otscher, Heinrich L¨uber, Sascha R¨osler, Claudia Stanislau, Anthony Thomas and Philip Ursprung. For a chronology of the workshop, see Cassens, Linda, ‘Log Recipe for an (Allan Kaprow) workshop: “Performing Life”’, in Allan Kaprow, exh. cat. Kunsthalle Palazzo (Liestal, 1996), pp.41–6. Kaprow: ‘Notes on the Elimination of the Audience’, p.104. Kaprow, Allan, ‘Participation Performance’ [1977], in Kaprow: Essay on the Blurring of Art and Life, pp.181–94, this quote p.188. Kaprow, Allan, ‘Nontheatrical Performances’ (1976), in Kaprow: Essay on the Blurring of Art and Life, pp.163–80, this quote p.180. Ibid., p.173. The participants were Christina Albert, Dominik Arni, Theresa Behling, Basil Bolliger, Paola De Martin, Nicholas Drofiak, Josephine Eigner, Raffaella Endrizi, No¨el F¨ah, Natalia Ganahl, Michelle Geilinger, Samia Henni, Gian Hodel, Dora Imhof, Philipp Klostermann, Anne Kockelkorn, Damjan Kokalevski, Rosanna May, Andrea Micanovic, Stefan Neuner, Sabine Sarwa, Linda Sch¨adler, David Schildberger, Emily Scott, Berit Seidel, Yasmine Sinno, Henry Stehli, Andreas Thuy, Mena Traxler, Tenzin Dawa Tsamdha, Philip Ursprung, Myriam Wawrla, Veronica Weberbauer, Mechtild Widrich, Freya Winkelmann, Raymond Zahno, and Nina Zschocke. Kaprow, Allan, Echo-Logy (New York, 1975), n.p. Ibid. Kaprow: ‘Participation Performance’, pp.181–94, this quote p.181. Maurizio Lazzarato, ‘Immaterial Labor’, in Radical Thought in Italy: A Potential Politics, ed. Hardt, Michael and Paolo Virno (Minneapolis, 1996), pp.133–50, this quote p.133. [For consistency we anglicized the American spelling ‘labor’ in quotations from this book – eds.] Ibid., p.134. Ibid., p.135. Ibid. Ibid., p.136. Ibid., p.142. Kirschenbaum, Baruch D., ‘The Scull Auction and the Scull Film’, Art Journal 39/1 (Autumn 1979), pp.50–4. Lazzarato: ‘Immaterial Labor’, p.136. Kaprow, Allan, ‘Untitled text’, in Kaprow: Echo-Logy, n.p. Lazzarato: ‘Immaterial Labor’, p.135.

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13 Documentary (Non-)Interventions: Mediated Presence in Public Space and its Artistic Reflection Katja Kwastek

The display of images, symbols, or signs in public places has always served as means of representation and guidance, of communication towards an audience, local and foreign. Since antiquity, buildings have been accredited to their owners through the display of inscriptions, and later, of coats of arms. The building’s function was symbolized by means of sculptural elements, or its importance was emphasized by particular architectural characteristics. Equestrian statues, triumphal arches, or ostentatious fountains served further purposes of visual representation in public space. These public images addressed citizens, but also foreign visitors. Public places have thus long served as ‘sited images’, but they have also frequently been documented through images. Vedute – paintings, drawings and prints of urban buildings and prospects – were intended to spread and memorialize the image of a city and its buildings. The number of people actively involved in the production of these images was small, however. Painters like Giovanni Antonio Canal (better known as Canaletto) and Francesco Guardi produced elaborate paintings of famous buildings or sites. Engravers like Giovanni 297

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Battista Piranesi executed extensive series of etchings, often commissioned by the authority who owned or accounted for a building. These paintings and prints were bought by tourists and pilgrims as a lasting memory of their visit.1 While the tourist’s desire for images extends to the present day, the introduction of new media has significantly altered the means of image production and dissemination, as well as tourists’ attitudes towards public space. This chapter will explore these changes, both theoretically and by means of a discussion of artistic projects that scrutinize them. While formerly artists where assigned the task of fabricating the ‘official’ images that served tourist desire to bring home visual souvenirs, this task has long since been taken over by both commercial imagery and lay photography. If contemporary art still plays a role in the tourist’s quest for images, this role consists in uncovering and critically reflecting on the relevant media technologies and practices. As will be shown, artists have found ways to manipulate, deconstruct or creatively appropriate tourist imaging practices, with the goal of uncovering the tacit assumptions and social preconditions which guide these practices.

Tourist Photography Traditionally, tourists who wanted to bring home images of the sites they visited had to buy graphic reproductions produced especially for this purpose (if they weren’t able or willing to draw their own sketches). But in the second half of the nineteenth century, a new kind of image entered the realm of tourism: the picture postcard.2 While it was initially based on traditional graphic printing techniques, towards the end of the nineteenth century, photography became the dominant medium of the picture postcard. As was the case for earlier prints, its motifs were selected and arranged by a few professionals, this time photographers, graphic designers and specialized publishing houses. But the picture postcard significantly differed from the earlier prints, above all in that it could be mailed immediately. By sending a postcard, the tourist generated proof of his presence in a certain place and time, often while still travelling. The sender not only individualized the postcard by adding a personal note; his presence on-site was also certified by the postmark indicating date and location of dispatch. But soon, another practice of documenting one’s presence at a certain location came into being: the shooting of one’s own photographs. As soon as the photographic apparatus had become portable (at the end of the nineteenth century), tourists started to bring their own cameras to document 298

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their journeys.3 Tourist pictures of public sites are shot – among other reasons – in order to document one’s presence at a site.4 Famous views or monuments are best suited for this endeavour, due to their recognition value – which is in turn heightened with each image of it circulating. As noted above, the visual appearance of these sites has mostly been carefully constructed as a meaningful representation of their function and history, and they have often become landmarks of their respective cities. People may record themselves (or their fellow travellers) standing in front of a famous site, but they may also photograph just the site and trust that the photo suffices to prove their (past) co-presence. Like the postcard, the resulting photographs serve as a proof of presence of the photographer at the site they capture, though by different means. No longer does the postmark attest one’s presence on site; now, having taken the photo personally is regarded as an indexical trace of having been present somewhere in person. However, contrary to the postcard, until recently these photographic documents couldn’t be looked at, shown or sent immediately. It is only with the advent of smart phones that the practices of shooting one’s own pictures and sending images home have started to merge. I will come back to this topic at the end of this chapter. Though the assertion of an indexical nature of photographs, established by Charles Sanders Peirce and taken up by Roland Barthes, amongst others, has been rightly questioned as an ontological thesis about the nature of photography, indexicality remains an important aspect of the common understanding of photography.5 Barthes, in his discussion of the indexical quality of the photograph, did not strive for a scientific understanding of photographic technology, but instead reflected upon the psychological attraction of certain types of photographs. This text takes a similar approach in investigating a specific form of the common use and understanding of photography – the tourist photograph as a souvenir and proof of presence – though it does not speculate on the ultimate nature of photography or the photograph. In addition, I focus on the process of taking photographs, but not on the photographic image as its result.6 On this premise, I suggest extending the assertion of photography’s indexical qualities to the relation of the photographer to the photographed object. While most theories that discuss the referentiality of photographs focus on the relation between the referent (the motif captured) and its photographic record, there exists, I argue, also an assumed indexical relation of photographer to referent. Though we have learned that the indexicality of the photograph is questionable in ontological terms (there is no direct physical relation between the referent and its photographic representation), we still take this

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indexicality for granted concerning photographs we have taken ourselves. Barthes’ famous description of the photograph as ‘that-has-been’ is not only applicable to the motif captured in the picture, but also to our assumption of a presence of the operator ‘on site’ at the moment the picture was taken.7 Most studies of private imaging practices focus on family portraits, and thus on the importance of photography to establish, ratify and document social bonds and family biographies.8 This chapter, however, centres on photographic records of the built environment, starting from an investigation of the touristic activity of ‘snapshotting’ sites and buildings, and moving on to a discussion of ‘virtual tourism’ and its artistic reflection.9 In short, the chapter attempts to extend the interpretive method of Barthes and others – that of photography as a social practice – towards the specific analysis of tourists photographing famous sites and buildings. Tourist activity in public space is regarded as informed primarily by disinterested contemplation, as opposed to acts of looking dedicated to orientation, which usually determine the behaviour of the local resident. Often, tourist activity is shaped by the act of taking photographs. Locals take photographs of their neighbourhood much less frequently; they do not feel the need to record their surroundings, as they inhabit them on a daily basis. For the tourist, taking photographs of sites has become a way of looking itself. Taking a picture is a means of acknowledging the (aesthetic, political, or historical) importance of a site. It also implies selecting an appropriate perspective, and recording a specific moment; it thus gives form to the act of disinterested contemplation. As Susan Sontag points out, taking photographs gives shape to an experience: ‘stop, take a photograph, and move on.’10 Furthermore, as has been frequently argued, taking photographs is a means of appropriation, in the sense of making the seen part of one’s own journey and thus of one’s biography.11 Sontag, however, also considers taking photographs a refusal of experiences exceeding those that can be photographed. Taking photographs is, according to Sontag, an ‘act of non-intervention’, and sets up a ‘chronic voyeuristic relation to the world.’12 She nevertheless describes this practice as a form of participation, in the sense of ‘encouraging whatever is going on to keep on happening.’13 Her notion of participation thus relates to the concept of civic participation introduced by J¨urgen Habermas – that is, an active contribution to the public sphere – even if ex negativo.14 Concerning tourist photography, Sontag argues, this activity consists exclusively in a voyeuristic affirmation of the status quo. One might object that this argument applies only to the act of taking photos of (local) people and their activities, while there is no point in

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describing the act of taking a photo of a public building as an act of voyeuristic affirmation. Nevertheless, by taking photos of specific buildings, sites and places from specific perspectives, one might affirm the status quo by constructing an image that relates, in one way or another, to the official image of a city – that is, to the way the city is intended to be memorialized. By means of selecting motifs and choosing perspectives, one might affirm the importance traditionally ascribed to specific buildings, sites and viewpoints, and one might question those values as well. Though this form of participation – in terms of a collaborative, ongoing negotiation of public places – is not identical to the concept of public reasoning that informs the notion of the public sphere, the two are closely interrelated. This is not the place to elaborate in detail on the controversial notion of the public sphere and its complex conditions. The rapidly changing relations between consumer culture and political culture, as well as between the public and the private, as formulated by Habermas, have dominated scholarly debates on this issue.15 Suffice it to say that, while one of the main arguments, brought up frequently in these debates, concerns the increasing importance of mass media for the development (or decay) of the public sphere, in this chapter I will focus on individual imaging practices. I thus shift the attention from the individual as consumer of images to the individual as producer of images. As has already been indicated by Sontag, private imaging practices play a significant role in the complex social fabric of the public, if not of the public sphere properly. This text also shifts the attention from the citizen, usually addressed as prime actor of the public sphere, to the tourist. Though tourist photography may at first be regarded as an individual practice, it takes place in public and informs the spatial and social structure of public places. The notion of participation underlying the following observations is thus informed by spatial practice, in the sense of an inhabitation and appropriation of public spaces through active presence.

Tourism and Photography as Forms of Spacing and Synthesis Spaces can structure, trigger, or prevent participation: Michel de Certeau, for instance, characterized space as the result of human action and movement.16 Martina L¨ow goes even further in identifying space as a more or less fluid individual or collective construction, which can be material or exist only in perception, ideation, or recall.17 She sees space as ‘a relational ordering of living entities and social goods.’18 According to L¨ow, this ordering comes about as a result of processes of ‘spacing’ and ‘synthesis’. She defines ‘spacing’ as the placing of things, people, or markings, as in the 301

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alignment of items in shops, of groups of people, of architectures. ‘Synthesis’ by contrast is defined as the cognitive part of spatial construction: ‘goods and people are connected to form spaces through processes of perception, ideation, or recall.’19 This notion of space, I believe, is pertinent also to the tourist’s inhabitation of public space. Even if tourists are first and foremost observers, coming to see and experience ‘the other’, they do in fact substantially shape the places they visit, both in terms of places being arranged for tourists and places being inhabited by tourists.20 Nevertheless, the tourist’s presence in a certain place is informed by his desire to commemorate and document this very presence. If we revisit tourist imaging practices in public spaces with L¨ow’s distinction in mind, we see that they are informed by processes of spacing and synthesis alike. Firstly, public spaces are often arranged to prevent or facilitate photographic representation;21 and imaging activities significantly shape the movement and behaviour of people in public places, or, at least, of tourists visiting famous sites.22 Tourist imaging practices are thus significantly informed by processes of spacing. Secondly, the actual act of taking photographs is a form of synthesis. It does not only structure and shape our perception of space in the very moment of being there, but it includes ourselves indexically documenting our past presence at this very place.

Hacking Mediated Public Space To reiterate, these acts of construction of our individual image of public spaces are based on the assumption that the apparatus we use faithfully records our selections. Although in theory we know that photographs may be subject to substantial manipulation, we usually don’t doubt the indexical function of the pictures we took ourselves, because we authored the process of their becoming. In digital photography, we can even immediately verify if the picture just taken faithfully represents the motif we are confronting. We rely on this accuracy for the construction of our records. The faithful representation of the site as we have seen it is a necessary precondition for the picture to become an individualized record. But what if we were to discover elements in these records that did not correspond with what we were intending to document, and with what we saw? What if symbols on buildings, sentences on signposts, appeared on our tourist pictures without having a referent in reality, and which even turn out to be critical commentaries on the place or the event we are witnessing, of the motif we are capturing, and even of our act of taking the photo itself? 302

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Fig. 13.1 Julius von Bismarck, Intervention with Image Fulgurator at Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin.

Berlin artist Julius von Bismarck avails himself of the discrepancy between the technical process of taking photographs, on the one hand, and the physiological process of perception, on the other, to ‘hack’ our snapshotting activities. Standing in midst of groups of tourists or audiences in public places, he operates an apparatus that looks like a photographic camera, but functions in reverse. It does not take pictures, but ‘expels’ them – this is why he named the apparatus Image Fulgurator. Exactly in the very split second someone nearby is taking a photo, von Bismarck’s apparatus projects a sentence or symbol on the targeted motif. This moment is too short to be captured by the human eye, but long enough to be registered by the photographic camera. It is captured in our picture, though we did not see it while taking a photo, not before and not afterwards (Fig. 13.1).23 The motifs, places and events which von Bismarck targets have been staged, constructed, or preserved as highly symbolic or historic, they thus virtually call for being photographed. At the former site of Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, von Bismarck projected the sentence ‘Hundreds of people died last year by trying this at the U.S. – Mexico Border’ onto the sign ‘You are entering the American Sector’, which has been left in place as a reminder of the former border between East and West Berlin, the Russian 303

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and the American sector. He reminds people that though in Berlin this sign is today no more than a tourist attraction, a remnant from times that luckily belong to the past, there are still borders in the world that impede free traffic. At Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, he projected a dove of peace onto the portrait of Mao Zedong that dominates the monumental Gate of Heavenly Peace, thereby questioning the glorification of China’s former ruler and the political system established by him. And during Barack Obama’s 2008 Berlin speech, dramatically staged in front of the Siegess¨aule, von Bismarck projected a tiny cross onto the speaker’s podium, challenging the solemn atmosphere of the event. What Julius von Bismarck does is not entirely different from prior works of Polish artist Krzysztof Wodiczko, especially his 1985 intervention at Trafalgar Square. Wodiczko was commissioned to stage a work in the Square, and projected an image of a missile onto Nelson’s Column (which commemorates the British victory at Trafalgar during the Napoleonic wars), underscoring its militaristic origins. While the projection was on, the news spread that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had increased financial help for South Africa. To criticize the British government for supporting a racist country, Wodiczko turned one of his projectors around to target the building of the South African embassy, located at the east side of Trafalgar Square. He projected a swastika onto the pediment of its Neoclassical fac¸ade, alluding to parallels between South Africa’s policies and those of National Socialist Germany.24 Von Bismarck also projects temporary images of a highly symbolic quality onto sites with political or historic significance to make critical statements about their historical context or symbolic instrumentalization. But by relating his intervention to the individual act of photographing, von Bismarck’s approach differs significantly from Wodiczko’s public projections. While Wodiczko uncovers the often problematic subtexts and contexts of historic monuments and sites, von Bismarck especially targets the act of taking photographs of such sites. He exposes what Sontag calls the voyeuristic attitude of the tourist-photographer. A signpost may have become a picture motif because of its historic relevance. But, especially in the context of Checkpoint Charlie’s post-reunification development into a theme park-like tourist attraction, it is mainly staged as a curiosity or ‘photo op’.25 By projecting his text onto the sign, von Bismarck reassigns a significance to it which it should ideally have retained – as a prompt to critically engage with the (geo)political situation it once marked, and to relate it to similar situations in the present. Barack Obama is presented to the public in a situation that has been set up as suitable for iconic pictures; by

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taking a photo one follows this invitation and confirms the desired effect. This is exactly the mode of participation, ex negativo, which Susan Sontag critically alludes to. Von Bismarck, by intervening directly into this process, personally addresses the photographer with his unsettling commentary, inscribing his statements directly into the private pictures of others. This prompts a realization of the staged character of public sites and events, as well as the tourist/photographer’s affirmative participation therein. Furthermore, and on a more general level, von Bismarck challenges the trust we still have in the indexical qualities of the photographic camera, particularly when operated by ourselves. He reveals the potential of manipulating even private photographs. To be precise, he does not manipulate the actual photo, but intervenes into the act of taking the photo itself, and thus into our process of appropriating public space. While we assume an authorial role in selecting our motif and the precise moment to be captured, von Bismarck ‘hacks’ this very process. By intruding into the very action of ‘taking the photo’, von Bismarck occupies a process that we consider under our control. He thereby demonstrates that taking photos is a media practice, which may be subject to manipulation like any other media practice.

Virtual Tourism? Von Bismarck also targeted Berlin’s Brandenburger Tor, projecting a Google logo onto its pediment. He thereby mocked the marking of sites with the Google signature familiar to every Google Maps or Street View user. Von Bismarck applied a mark used to claim authorship of a visual representation onto the captured object itself, thereby alluding to the increasing interdependence of the one and the other, of the physical object and its digital representation. Google Street View is at the same time a photographic rendering, a map, and a navigable simulation of the city. We could thus argue that the picture resulting from von Bismarck’s intervention – showing five girls posing in front of the Brandenburger Tor, marked with a Google signature – feigns to be the documentary proof of a virtual visit to the Brandenburger Tor via Google Street View (Fig. 13.2). Such an interpretation would be perfectly consistent with Google’s claim that Street View enables virtual visits to cultural landmarks.26 But von Bismarck’s intervention also highlights the shortcomings of this claim. Navigating Google Street View affords activities that are reminiscent of physical movement in a city, imitating movement in space. Nevertheless, the assumption of an indexical relation of the visitor to the site becomes absurd in terms of our traditional notion of physical co-presence. While we can suspect that Google keeps 305

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Fig. 13.2 Julius von Bismarck, Intervention with Image Fulgurator at Brandenburger Tor, Berlin.

track of our movements within the simulated city, our ‘visit’ does not become visible to others, and we cannot generate a picture as a visual proof of it. We cannot inhabit this city simulation, and we cannot record our presence by means of photographs. The reason is not only that we are facing a simulation, but also that this simulation is based on past recordings. When using Google Street View, we live-navigate a mediated image of a city, recorded in the past. The only means to actually become part of the simulation is to intrude into the moment of its production, or, to be precise, into the moment of production of the photographs which constitute the feedstock for the simulation. As Berlin artist Aram Bartholl recounts, on 13 October 2009 he was sitting in his favourite caf´e when he saw a Google Street View car passing by. He ran out and followed the car waving wildly, hoping to become part of the picture. He had to wait a year until Google Street View Germany went online to see that he had been successful: Bartholl had become part of the digital representation of Berlin’s Borsigstraße. ‘Just go there’ – I am tempted to write – and you will see him running and waving (Fig. 13.3).27 Exactly this temptation to describe Bartholl’s alleged presence in the present progressive is what characterizes the ambivalent temporality of the Street View application. Formerly, when being shown a 306

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tourist photograph, we knew we were looking at a record of a past event, or at a picture of a building taken in the past. Simulations like Google Street View challenge this clear distinction of past and present. The fact that we may live-navigate the simulation encourages the conceptualization of the displayed environment as live, even if we know, theoretically, that it is based on past recordings. Like von Bismarck, Bartholl has made an intervention in public space with the ultimate goal of affecting its mediated image. This time, it is not private photography but a commercial software application that served as the artist’s target. To prove his presence in Berlin, he did not take photographs himself, but intruded into a photographic representation recorded by others. By becoming part of Google’s Street View representation of Berlin, Bartholl created a lasting public trace of his presence in Berlin. This proof is at the same time a memory of a past presence in the physical city, as it constitutes an actual presence in the virtual city.28 Again, Bartholl’s intervention is not without predecessors. In the 1990s, the Surveillance Camera Players staged street performances with view to public recording. They sought out CCTV cameras installed in public space and performed adapted stage plays in front of them in order to point out critically that surveillance cameras are ‘turning the streets into stages’. They argued that ‘people perform either by ignoring the cameras, or they know that they’re there and perform in conformity with societal norms.’29 The

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Fig. 13.3 Google Streetview Screenshot Berlin Borsigstraße, featuring Aram Bartholl. Courtesy: Google Streetview and Aram Bartholl.

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Surveillance Camera Players’ intent was not primarily to have their plays archived; they couldn’t even know if the cameras were just transmitting to a control room, or if the footage was actually taped. They performed both for a live audience of passers-by, to make them aware of the surveillance systems, and for the unknown person or system that did the monitoring.30 French artist Denis Beaubois went even further in revealing that CCTV cameras constitute an active agent in public space. In his project In the Event of Amnesia, the City Will Recall (1996/1997), Beaubois positioned himself in front of a pivoting CCTV camera. Using self-made cardboard signposts, he addressed the camera directly, by asking it to ‘seesaw’ to agree or disagree with his quest for obtaining a copy of the recorded video footage. He thereby alluded to the fact that the public couldn’t know if the camera movements were automated or controlled by a hidden operator. He also showed another signpost, displaying the warning that ‘You may be photographed reading this sign.’31 He thus addressed the surveillance camera as a communication partner, who may in turn be subject to observation. Like the Surveillance Camera Players, Beaubois thereby uncovered the fact that surveillance cameras do not neutrally document what is going on in public space, but actively affect the behaviour of passers-by, who are increasingly aware of the probability of being videotaped. While CCTV monitors events at a fixed place over an extended time span by means of a static camera, Google Street View uses a car-mounted camera in constant motion, capturing each site at one fixed moment in time, to later assemble them for the construction of the city simulation. The time-delayed publication of the photographic records actually constitutes Google’s main argument against accusations of violating privacy laws.32 However, as with the assumed indexicality of photography, there is a big discrepancy between Street View’s technical characteristics and its conceptualization and understanding. Though Street View is based on recording consecutive still images, their montage results in a navigable application, which becomes processual through use. It allows for active exploration, at any given time and for any given duration. Our experience is less that of visiting a historical record, than of a live visit, not ‘that has been’, but ‘that is’. Living entities captured – voluntarily or involuntarily – on Google Street View appear like ghostly, frozen portraits within a navigable city simulation. While Bartholl found a way to partly bypass this by running after a Street View car, thus being captured several times, allowing his movement to be ‘replayable’ in a kind of stop motion animation, Italian artist Paolo Cirio availed himself of the ghostly effect to conduct a further turn in the

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Fig. 13.4 Paolo Cirio, Street Ghosts, Ebor Street, London, 2008. Courtesy: Paolo Cirio.

artistic attempts to break the matrix between the various virtual and physical layers of this newly emerging, hybrid public space. In his 2012 Street Ghosts project, Cirio traced images of people who – in contrast to Aram Bartholl – where unconsciously captured by the cameras of Google Street View cars and thus have become involuntary inhabitants of Google’s city simulations. The artist enlarged them to life size, printed them, cut them out, and placarded them onto the walls of the buildings in front of which they had originally been captured (Fig. 13.4). Bringing this static, frozen, and historic image back to its site of origination results in the direct juxtaposition of the past record and its present site. It exposes the ambivalent temporality of the digital simulation, and highlights the ultimate inanimateness of a simulated space intended to be perceived as live and processual. This is why Cirio describes the Street Ghosts as ‘a digital shadow haunting the real world.’33 According to Google, ‘virtual tourism’ via Google Street View may serve as preparation for a physical visit, but it may also replace such a visit. Julius von Bismarck fabricated an alleged record of such a visit. Aram Bartholl and Paolo Cirio scrutinized the mismatch of a past record being used to produce a live-navigable city simulation. Munich artist Alexis Dworsky 309

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takes Google at their word by actually making the visual representations of public places and famous sites the destination of his tourist visits. He outdoes ‘virtual tourism’ by actually realizing it – literally. Even more so, he even manages to prove the success of his attempts by creating authentic records. In his project Mit Google Street View um die Welt reisen (travelling the world with Google Street View) Dworsky conducts ‘virtual journeys’ of the world.34 He takes advantage of the fact that the Google applications directly connect to the ‘space of flows’ of the internet, by displaying internet addresses of shops, restaurants, companies and institutions within the city simulation.35 Dworsky, while navigating ‘the world’, follows these links and engages in email and chat room conversations via the provided forms and addresses. Afterwards, he presents the documentation of his journey in the form of a public slide show lecture, alluding to the 1990s format of the ‘Multivision’ lecture presentations with lab-dissolve projections. These presentations promoted the alleged uniqueness and authenticity of the respective travel records as worthwhile of being communicated to a public audience. But while Multivision lectures were based exclusively on records of past experiences, Dworsky intersperses ‘live performances’ of virtual visits, including a drive down Californian’s famous Highway One, which he facilitates by fixing a bar clamp to his keyboard to keep the enter key of his notebook pressed, so as to automatically ‘keep moving’. Dworsky thus proves his virtual touristic activities not only by recording chat room conversations, but also by inviting an audience to witness his live interactions with virtual public spaces. Again, though theoretically we are aware of the ontological difference between physical and virtual presence, such projects not only prove the persuasive power of the rhetoric of the virtual, they also herald the increasing factual interrelation of the immaterial space of flows and the physical space of places. Virtual public space not only supplements physical space, it actually starts to interfere with it. A further step in this direction is the staging of real buildings with view to their representation within Google Maps. Not only are company names written on the roofs by means of huge letters, companies even start to display QR Tags on the roof of their buildings, aimed at being machine readable once the building appears on Google Maps.36 Though Street View is based on static photographs documenting a past condition of the city, here is another means to directly link the virtual city to its factual counterpart. This is a further step towards merging physical and the virtual space, because – in contrast to the textual links to internet sites implemented into the code of the program – these visual links are beyond the control of Google, and thus a means for the public to appropriate the commercial system. Visual

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Collaborative Spacing and Synthesis of Mediated Public Space Throughout this essay, I have shown how artists scrutinize tourist imaging practices as an act of looking and proving on-site presence. I have further discussed projects exploring how navigable simulations based on photographic reproductions of public space challenge the very concept of presence and the temporality of pictorial representations, within and extending the realm of tourism. I began by presenting photography as an effective means to individualize one’s records and to prove presence, on the premise of an assumed indexicality. However, concerning the temporality of distribution, until recently photography also constituted a step back from the picture postcard in that it couldn’t be shown or sent to family or friends immediately. But with the advent of smart phones (and other mobile networked devices), the practices of shooting one’s own photographs and sending pictures home have started to merge. Photographs may now be sent to friends or published online via social networks immediately after having been shot. This results in the increasing practice of immediately sending images via instant messages services to one’s peers as a mode of communicating what one is doing.37 Instead of generating a proof of ‘what has been’, photography becomes a report on ‘what is going on’. Photographs as proofs of presence are not any longer intended primarily as documents for our memory, consolidating our individual processes of synthesizing public space, but as proofs of presence in the here and now, as acts of spacing within a distributed social network. Taking photographs even becomes an act of spacing within a networked global public, as it results in thousands of pictures of public sites being freely available on the internet, most of them having been shot and uploaded by non-professionals. Some artists especially investigate the fact that these pictures, though each of them taken individually, together obtain a different meaning. French artist Corinne Vionnet, for example, while visiting the tourist attractions of Pisa, observed that tourists tended to take very similar photos of the famous local sites, choosing the same viewpoint and perspective. She therefore

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representations of public sites are no longer just means of promotion or recall, they are becoming more and more processual. They become active links between the space of flows and space of places. They can be operated and instrumentalized by both the producers and users. Although, they may put into question this very distinction, they are embedded into a complex system of power relations, which artistic projects like those presented in this chapter attempt to uncover.

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Fig. 13.5 Corinne Vionnet, Ath´ına, Series Photo Opportunities, 2006. Courtesy of: Corinne Vionnet.

started to wonder ‘if we were trying to reproduce the image that we already know.’38 To confirm this assumption, she created her Photo Opportunities series. She started to collect tourist photos of landmark buildings from the internet, to merge them into faceted images of the respective sites, consisting of dozens of photographs superimposed as semi-transparent layers.39 The results are fuzzy but clearly identifiable images, presenting the traces of dozens of individual ‘acts of looking’, which however differ only marginally not only in terms of the selected motif, but also concerning the chosen perspective and angle (Fig. 13.5). While this project confirms the theory that tourist photography often serves to affirm official and established images of public sites, it also clearly shows that both such images and the pictures iterating them are collaborative constructions by their nature. Though taken individually, the photographs are born out of and insert themselves into global social networks and media systems. Vionnet’s project can be taken as a metaphor of this collaborative synthesis. While Vionnet highlights the unimaginable number of photographs capturing one and the same location from quasi-identical perspectives, Berlin artist Sascha Pohflepp is interested in the equally unimaginable number of photographs shot at one at the same moment all over the 312

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world. To highlight this fact, he created a device named Buttons – mainly a black box with an LCD screen and a single, very prominent red button, resembling the release button of 1980s snapshot cameras. As soon as the operator presses the button, the device connects to the internet to query pictures taken at exactly the moment the button was pressed. It thus takes advantage of the practice of immediately posting pictures to social networks, so that they are available virtually in real-time. The Buttons camera’s LCD screen presents a random example of these pictures to its operator, who can thus see ‘through a stranger’s photograph’. Pohflepp wants to show that the process of taking photographs has extended ‘from preserving a moment to an act of telecommunication’, influencing the ways we perceive reality, and ‘how we make our memories and how we create a narrative from it.’40 Photography has thus changed from an act of looking and affirmation into an act that contributes, in real time, to the collaborative construction of social and spatial networks. By posting photos, exchanging them with greater groups of people, and uploading them to the internet, the space of flows merges with the space of places. While the mediated public space becomes processual and collaborative, the habitation of physical space is aimed at inserting itself into the mediated networks. As of today, there is still a gap between the forms of ‘virtual tourism’ in spatial simulations like Google Street View and the increasingly image-based social networks just discussed. Artists like Alexis Dworsky show that a merging of both practices is foreseeable.

Conclusion The arts have always played an important role in the creation of cultural landmarks, by designing and decorating buildings and monuments, and by perpetuating them via representations. In the twentieth century, the potential functions and forms of public art were multiplied, amongst other reasons, due to the emergence of abstract sculpture. Towards the end of the twentieth century, however, ongoing discussions on the role of ‘public art’ in relation to the public sphere led to the emergence of new forms of artistic practice in public spaces. These ranged from happenings via performance to a direct engagement with existing social structures, by means of so called ‘Art in the Public Interest’ or ‘New Genre Public Art’.41 Furthermore, as a reaction to the increasing mediatisation of both public space and the public sphere, public art started to embrace various forms of new media. In addition to the work of Krzysztof Wodiczko, artworks by Jenny Holzer or Barbara Kruger for example reflect upon the ambivalent 313

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use of various imaging technologies in public space. Other artists aim at combining the reflection of effects of mediatisation with attempts to invite new forms of participation in the public. Probably the most famous example is Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, who erects large-scale interactive projections challenging passers-by to engage with the projected images, which they may reveal or activate through their own movement. Without doubt, these works invite the formation of (temporary) social relations, as has been argued by Annet Dekker and others.42 However, my focus was on another form of artistic practice, challenging notions of public participation in view of newly emerging forms of mediatization. The artists discussed aim at directly scrutinizing or intervening in our everyday activities of appropriating public space via different media practices. They address a specific aspect of the increasing mediatisation of public space, which I consider to be at the core of the topic: the merging of the city and its images, in terms of two navigable systems across which the individual processes of spacing and synthesis that shape our perception of public spaces are more and more equally distributed.

Notes 1 See, amongst others, Dell’Arco, Maurizio et al., The Grand Tour: Landscape and Veduta Paintings (Atlanta, 1997). 2 See Prochaska, David, and Jordana Mendelson (eds), Postcards. Ephemeral Histories of Modernity (University Park, 2010), a book that also illustrates clearly that the scope of the picture postcard obviously extended far beyond tourism, and that pictures of public sites were only one of many of its motifs, though a central one. 3 See amongst others Slater, Don, ‘Consuming Kodak’, in Holland, Patricia, and Jo Spence (eds), Family Snaps: The Meanings of Domestic Photography (London, 1991). 4 Inevitably, essays like this one are in permanent danger of generalization. There are of course other practices of tourist photography, and there are no clear boundaries between snapshotting, amateur and professional photography. Tourist activities and attitudes towards the places they visit are manifold. The focus of this essay is, however, tourists’s is snapshots of public sites. 5 See the excellent summary of this discussion in Geimer, Peter, Theorien der Fotografie zur Einf¨uhrung (Hamburg, 2009), pp.13–69. Though Barthes does not use the notion of the index itself, his deliberations about the referential nature of photography are closely related to this concept. 6 Richard Shusterman has recently emphasized that ‘there is more to photography than the photograph’, highlighting the performative process of

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photography. His focus, however, is the photographic portrait, and thus he investigates the interactions between the photographer and his sitter. See Shusterman, Richard, ‘Photography as a performative process’, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 70/1 (2012), pp.67–77. Barthes, Roland, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, trans. Richard Howard (New York, 1981), p.75. See amongst others Bourdieu, Pierre, Photography. A Middle-brow Art (Cambridge, 1990). The notion of snapshotting is used here to distinguish these practices from professional and amateur practices, often characterized by a commercial interest and/or a more conscious application of aesthetic criteria. Sontag, Susan, ‘In Plato’s Cave’, On Photography (New York, 1973), p.10. Sontag argues that ‘to photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed.’ Sontag: ‘In Plato’s Cave’, p.4. Tom Holert distinguishes the ‘appropriativefascinated gaze’ of the tourist-photographer from the behaviour of the flˆaneur, now however having ‘an actualized repertoire of visualization-techniques at his disposal.’ Holert, Tom, ‘Introduction’, in Imagineering. Visuelle Kultur und Politik der Sichtbarkeit (K¨oln, 2000), p.28, note 29. And Marc Aug´e argues that taking pictures is at the same time an act of appropriation and transformation of space. Aug´e, Marc, L’Impossible Voyage. Le Tourisme et ses images (Paris, 1997), p.162. Sontag: ‘In Plato’s Cave’, p.11. ‘Even if incompatible with intervention in a physical sense, using a camera is still a form of participation.’ Sontag: ‘In Plato’s Cave’, p.12. Habermas, J¨urgen, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere [1962] (Cambridge, MA: 1991). See amongst others the essays in Calhoun, Craig (ed), Habermas and the Public Sphere (Cambridge, Mass., 1992). De Certeau, Michel, The Practice of Everyday Life (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1984), pp.91–110. L¨ow, Martina, Raumsoziologie (Frankfurt am Main, 2001). This book is in part summarized in L¨ow’s English-language essay ‘Constitution of Space: The Structuration of Spaces Through the Simultaneity of Effect and Perception’, European Journal of Social Theory 11/1 (2008), pp.25–49. L¨ow: ‘Constitution of Space’, p.35. The term ‘ordering’ refers both to the fact that spaces are embedded in social systems and that they can be configured processually through actions. Ibid. The tourist has been the subject of extensive research, especially in the disciplines of sociology, ethnology and anthropology. Concerning the tourist’s relation to public places and buildings, see especially Lasansky, D. Medina

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and Brian McLaren, Architecture and Tourism: Perception, Performance and Place (Oxford and New York, 2004). While tourist traffic around the White House in Washington, for example, is arranged in such a way as to guide tourists towards the garden side of the house and is secured by an iron grating which obviously allows for ‘photographing through it’, in front of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum huge sculptural letters signalling the message ‘Iamsterdam’ have been placed, so as to be photographed together with the building. On the Pariser Platz in Berlin, for example, most tourist activities seem to be focused on shooting group photos in front of the Brandenburger Tor, and performers in various costumes stand ready to complement these photographs. See the project documentation at http://www.juliusvonbismarck.com/bank/ index.php?/projects/image-fulgurator, accessed 14 November 2013. See Crimp, Douglas et al., ‘A conversation with Krzysztof Wodiczko’, October 38 (1986), pp.23–51, here pp.48–50, and MacCorquodale, Duncan, Dick Hebdige, Denis Hollier, Lisa Saltzman, Krzysztof Wodiczko (London, 2011), 70–73. Holert: ‘Introduction’, Imagineering, p.25. ‘Making Google Maps more comprehensive with biggest Street View update ever’, Google Latlong Blogpost, 11.10.2012: ‘Street View, as you know, is a useful resource when you’re planning a route or looking for a destination, but it can also magically transport you to some of the world’s picturesque and culturally significant landmarks,’ at http://google-latlong.blogspot.de/2012/ 10/making-google-maps-more-comprehensive.html, accessed 14 November 2013. See the project documentation on the website of the artist: http://datenform .de/15-secs-of-fame.html. Bartholl called this project 15 seconds of fame. Though Google Street View does work with static images, they document and enable time-based operations. Bartholl was in view of Google’s cameras for 15 seconds, and it may take 15 seconds to navigate the part of the street that shows his picture. There have been other artists presenting Google Street View portraits. See Carlo Zannis’s Self-Potrait with Dog (2008) and Self-Portrait with Friends (2012). Schienke, Erich W. and Brown, Bill, ‘Streets into stages: an interview with Surveillance Camera Players’ Bill Brown’, Surveillance & Society 1/3 (2003), pp.356–74, available online at http://www.surveillance-and-society.org, accessed 14 November 2013, p.360. Schienke and Brown, ‘Streets into Stages’, p.361. See also Surveillance Camera Players (eds), We Know You Are Watching: Surveillance Camera Players 1996– 2006 ([San Diego], 2006).

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31 See the project documentation at http://www.denisbeaubois.com/Amnesia/ In%20the%20event%20of%20Amnesia%20copy%202.html, accessed 14 November 2013. 32 The other arguments being the limitation to public space and the blurring of recognizable faces and licence plates. See the Street View Privacy Statement on Google Maps homepage, http://maps.google.co.uk/intl/ALL uk/ help/maps/streetview/privacy.html, accessed 14 November 2013. 33 See the project documentation at http://streetghosts.net/, accessed 14 November 2013. 34 See the project documentation at http://www.alexisdworsky.de/zimmerreisen/ index.html, accessed 14 November 2013. 35 Manuel Castells coined the term ‘space of flows’ to denote the global economic, social, and political communication flows and relationships organized around various nodal points that parallel the ‘space of places’. See Castells, Manuel, The Rise of the Network Society (Oxford, 1996). 36 Phillips, for example, offers a service called Blue Marble, which helps customers to install such QR-Codes on their roofs, see http://bluemarblebrand.com/, accessed 14 November 2013. 37 Cf. John Urry and Jonas Larsen, who argue that with the possibility of immediately posting one’s pictures, our view of the very act of taking photos has again changed, and our photographs have become what they call ‘live postcards’. Urry, John and Jonas Larsen, The Tourist Gaze 3.0 (London, 2011), p.183. 38 Bainbridge, Simon, ‘Photo Opportunities’, British Journal of Photography 157 (2010), pp.19–26. 39 See the project documentation at http://www.corinnevionnet.com/site/1photo-opportunities.html, accessed 20 July 2013. 40 See the project documentation at http://www.blinksandbuttons.net/intro en .html, accessed 14 November 2013. 41 See a critical discussion of this development in Kwon, Miwon, One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity (Cambridge, MA: 2002). 42 Dekker, Annet, ‘City Views from the Artist’s Perspective: The Impact of Technology on the Experience of the City’, in McQuire, Scott, Meredith Martin and Sabine Niederer (eds), Urban Screens Reader (Amsterdam, 2009), pp.221–31.

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Author Biographies Kenny Cupers is Assistant Professor of architectural history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of The Social Project: Housing Postwar France (2014), editor of Use Matters: An Alternative History of Architecture (2013), and co-author of Spaces of Uncertainty (2002). Mohamed Elshahed completed his Ph.D in 2014 in the Middle East Studies Department at New York University (NYU). Mohamed’s research focuses on modern urban and architectural developments in the Middle East, particularly Egypt, from the nineteenth century to the present. His dissertation, Revolutionary Modernism? Architecture and the Politics of Transition in Egypt, 1936–1967, was supported by the Social Science Research Council and the American Research Center in Egypt. Gavin Grindon is Visiting Research Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum and Lecturer in contemporary art and curating at Essex University. He co-curated the exhibition Disobedient Objects (V&A, 2014–15) and is currently completing a monograph on histories of art and activism. He has published in Art History, Oxford Art Journal, Third Text and The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, and co-authored A User’s Guide to Demanding the Impossible (Autonomedia/Minor Compositions, 2011). Werner Hanak-Lettner, Dr. Phil., is a curator and museologist. Trained in theatre and communication, he has been the Head Curator at the Jewish Museum Vienna since 2011 and curator since 1995. In 2013 he curated the new permanent exhibition Our City! Jewish Vienna – Then to Now. He lectures at the University of Vienna and was a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Bard Graduate Center in New York City in 2004. In 2011 he published Die Ausstellung als Drama. Wie das Museum aus dem Theater entstand.

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Elke Krasny is Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her work as a curator, critic, cultural theorist and urban researcher focuses on urban transformation, the critical history of architecture, the politics of history, and the historiography of feminist curatorial practices. Her edited volume Hands-On Urbanism 1850–2012. The Right to Green appeared in 2012 and her exhibition by the same name was shown at the Architecture Centre Vienna, the Museum for Contemporary Art Leipzig and included in the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012. Katja Kwastek is Professor of modern and contemporary art at the VU University Amsterdam, with a research focus on media aesthetics. Previously, she taught at Ludwig-Maximilians-University (Munich), Rhode Island School of Design (Providence), LBI Media.Art.Research (Linz), and Humboldt-University (Berlin). Publications include Ohne Schnur – Art and Wireless Communication (Revolver, 2004) and Aesthetics of Interaction in Digital Art (MIT Press, 2013). ´ is Assistant Professor of Latin American Art and Architecture Ana Mar´ıa Leon at the University of Michigan. She recently completed her doctoral dissertation at MIT. The project examines social housing in Buenos Aires as a Mediator between the avant garde’s fascination with the unconscious and the state’s mandate to control crowds. ¨ Sandra Loschke is Senior Lecturer in Architecture and Director of Design Research at the University of Sydney. Her research investigates links between aesthetics, design and technology in museum and exhibition architecture from the 1920s to the present, and explores how these links progressed new disciplinary paradigms and shaped the culture of architectural knowledge. As an architect, her projects include award-winning buildings for Foster and Partners in London and Stephan Braunfels in Munich. Asja Mandi´c is an associate professor of modern and contemporary art and museum studies at the University of Sarajevo. Until 2007 she worked as curator of the Ars Aevi Museum of Contemporary Art, Sarajevo. She has curated over 20 exhibitions, including the first pavilion of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Venice Biennale. She is the author of six exhibition catalogues and the book Challenges of Museum Education: Contemporary Art and Visual Thinking Strategies (Sarajevo: Dobra knjiga, 2014). Lutz Robbers teaches architectural theory at the RWTH Aachen. Previously he was a research fellow at the Internationales Kolleg f¨ur Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM) at the Bauhaus-Universit¨at Weimar, taking part in the research group ‘Tools of Design’. He holds a Ph.D. in the History and Theory of Architecture from Princeton University.

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Philip Ursprung is Professor of the History of Art and Architecture at ETH Z¨urich. He earned his PhD in Art History at Freie Universit¨at Berlin after studying in Geneva, Vienna and Berlin. He taught at the HdK Berlin, Columbia University and the University of Z¨urich. His most recent book is Allan Kaprow, Robert Smithson, and the Limits to Art (University of California Press, 2013).

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHIES

Martino Stierli is The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Swiss National Science Foundation Professor at the Institute of Art History at the University of Zurich. He is the author of Las Vegas in the Rearview Mirror: The City in Theory, Photography, and Film (2013).

Mechtild Widrich is Assistant Professor of Art History, Theory and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, author of Performative Monuments: The Rematerialisation of Public Art (Manchester, 2014), and co-editor of Ugliness: The NonBeautiful in Art and Theory (London, 2013) and Krzysztof Wodiczko, City of Refuge. A 9/11 Memorial (London, 2009). She has published in Grey Room, Log, The Drama Review, JSAH, Art Journal, and Texte zur Kunst.

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Index 123 Occupy, 159, 160, 161 Abu-Lughod, Janet, 138, 139 Acconci, Vito, 271 Acropolis, 191, 260, 275, 276 Acropolis Museum, 260, 261, 263, 264 agora, Greek, 189, 191, 192, 193 Agora of Dronten, Netherlands, 24, 25, 26, 30 Agora of Evry, France, 30 Ali, Muhammad, 138 Animation Hall, Brussels, 31, 32, 33 Antonios, Raymond, 140 Appia, Adolphe, 201, 204, 205, 206, 207 Arab Spring, 131 Araya, Sergio, 266 Architects’ Journal, 24 Architectural Association, 268 Architectural Review, 82 Ardencote Arts Club, 23 Arendt, Hannah, 53, 55, 58, 74 Ariosto, Ludovico, 186 Arman (Armand Fernandez), 114, 115 Arquitectura/M´exico, 45, 46, 47

Arquitetura Nova, 82 art exhibitions decorum in, 184, 185 origins of, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 192, 194 relationship to antique theatre, 185, 186, 187, 188, 192, 193, 194 Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 110 Artaud, Antonin, 84 Arte Povera, 78 Artforum, 268 Artigas, Jo˜ao Batista Vilanova, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 85 ARTPLAY, Moscow, 173 Atelier Populaire, 170, 171 Athens, 290 Odeon, 191 Olympic Games, summer 2004, 291 Pnyx, Athens, 191, 192 Theatre of Dionysus, 191 Avalanche, 271 Ayrout, Charles, 140 Barr, Alfred H., 227

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Barthes, Roland, 299 Bartholl, Aram, 306, 307, 308, 309 Baucher, Lucien Jacques, 31, 32 Beaubois, Denis, 308 Beaudouin, Eug`ene, 18 Begi´c, Azra, 117 Behrens, Peter, 207 Benjamin, Walter, 213, 214, 215, 216 Bernini, Gian Lorenzo, 272 Bill, Max, 78, 82 Billingham Forum, 23, 24, 25, 30 Blanqui, Auguste, 168 Blur building, 266, 267, 268 Bo Bardi, Lina, 77, 78, 82, 83, 84, 85 Bode, Rudolf, 199 Bode, Wilhelm, 236 Bodiansky, Vladimir, 18 Bogdanovi´c, Zoran, 110, 111, 112, 113, 115, 116, 117 Bosnia, war of 1992–1995, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 121, 122 Bourriaud, Nicolas, 119, 121, 122 Bragdon, Claude, 206 Brandenburg Gate, 305, 306 Brandenburg-Polster, Dora, 201, 202 Bras´ılia, 71, 74 Bread and Puppets Theater, 156, 157, 168 Brigi´c, Dubravko, 118 Broodthaers, Marcel, 31, 32 B¨ucher, Karl, 199, 200 Burckhardt, Lucius, 263 Butler, Judith, 55 Camillo, Giulio, 186, 187, 188, 193 Canal, Giovanni Antonio (Canaletto), 297 ˇ car, Predrag, 110, 111, 112 Canˇ

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Casa dos Triangulos (Rubens de Mendonc¸a House), 78, 79, 80 Cascaldi, Carlos, 78, 79 Casta˜neda, Luis, 48 Centros Populares de Cultura (CPC), 75 Checkpoint Charlie, 303, 304 Chicago, Judy, 89, 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 98 see also The Dinner Party Children’s Hospital, Basel, 266 Chipperfield, David, 273 Cirio, Paolo, 308, 309 Clark, Lygia, 68, 69, 72, 74 Commedia dell’ Arte, 184 Communist Manifesto, 216 Communist Party of Brazil, 78 conceptual art, 271, 272 concretist movement, 78 Cordeiro, Waldemar, 78, 79 Costa, Lucio, 71, 77 Coypel, Charles-Antoine, 183 Cultral Centre of Dilbeek, 30 cultural centres, postwar Europe, 14–35 architectural designs of, 22, 27, 30, 31, 34 ideological foundations of, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 typological antecedents of, 15, 16, 17, 18 see also Agora of Dronton, Netherlands; Agora of Evry, France; Billingham Forum; Cultural Centre of Dilbeek; Midland Arts Centre Cultural policies in 1960s Europe, 20, 21, 22 Cumberland Trust, 229 D¨aubler, Theodor, 243 de Certeau, Michel, 73, 263, 301

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Ebeling, Siegfried, 210 Echo-Logy, 287, 289, 290, 292, 293, 294 Eclectic Electric Collective, 159 Eco, Umberto, 281 Edrei, Max, 140 Eggeling, Viking, 212, 213 Egypt 1919 revolution, 137, 139 1923 Constitution, 137, 139 1952 revolution and military coup, 139, 140 2011 revolution, 128, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 136, 145, 168 Arab Socialist Union (ASU), 140 British occupation of, 137 Cairo, protests in 1977 and 2005, 133 High Dam, 141 Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), 139 El Lissitzky, 227 English, John, 22 eurhythmics, 197, 200, 208, 209, 211

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euro (currency), 291 European Union, 291

INDEX

de Maria, Walter, 274 Debord, Guy, 275 D´ıaz Ordaz, Gustavo, 48 Diderot, Denis, 183 Diller + Scofidio, 266, 267, 273 Dimitrijevic, Braco, 270 Dinner Party, The, 89, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 98 see also Chicago, Judy Dohrn, Wolf, 200 Domus, 53 Dorner, Alexander, 227- 239, 241, 243-251 Duchamp, Marcel, 272, 273 Dworsky, Alexis, 309, 310, 313

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Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, University of S˜ao Paulo (FAU-USP), 77, 78, 80, 81, 82 Fahim, Gamal Eddin, 141 Fahmy, Ziad, 138 favela, 66, 71, 72, 75, 76, 85 Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art, 98 feminism, 5, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102 feminist art, 90, 92, 93, 95 Ferguson, Missouri, 173 Ferro, S´ergio, 82 Festsaal, 198, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 211, 216 Festspielhaus, 201 Foire Saint-Germain, 183, 184 Foreman, Dave, 168 Foster, Hal, 70, 275, 276 Foster, Norman, 131 Foucault, Michel, 107, 108 Friesen, Jacob, 235 Gallery Obala, 113 German Museum Association, 230 Gesamtkunstwerk, 267 Gezi Park, Istanbul, 173 Ghirardo, Diane, 143 Gluck, Christoph Willibald, 200, 202 Goldberg, RoseLee, 264, 265, 269, 270, 271, 273, 274, 275 Goldschmidt, Adolph, 233 Gonz´alez de Canales, Francisco, 53 Google, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 313 Graeff, Werner, 213 Graham, Dan, 188 Gropius, Walter, 82 Gruber, M´ario, 78, 79

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Grupo Frente, 68 Grupo Neoconcreto, 68 Guardi, Francesco, 297 Gullar, Ferreira, 68, 69, 70, 75 Habermas, J¨urgen, 53, 54, 132, 300, 301 Habitat, 82 Hamburger Kunsthalle, 230 Hansen, Miriam Bratu, 214 Happenings, 282, 283 Harvey, David, 133, 136 Hausmann, Raoul, 213 Heliopolis, 142 Hellerau, Germany, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 206, 207, 208, 209, 211, 212, 216 relationship to modern architecture, 199 Hering, Ewald, 243 Hirschfeld-Mack, Ludwig, 206 Hoffmann, Erna, 207 Holzer, Jenny, 313 Hoppenbrouwers, Alfons, 30 Horta, Victor, 16, 18, 22, 31, 34 Hutchinson, Peter, 270 ‘immaterial labor’, 292, 293, 294, 295 Imperio, Fl´avio, 82 Incarnation Plaza, Seville, 49 Institute for Applied Autonomy, 158 Institute for Rhythmic Gymnastics, 199 Institute of Social Security for State Workers (ISSSTE), 44 Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), 42, 48 Inter-American Development Bank (IDP), 41 International Dinner Party, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 102

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Ismail, Khedive, 138 ´ Jacques-Dalcroze, Emile, 197, 199, 200, 201, 203, 205, 207, 208, 209, 211 Jeanneret, Albert, 203 Jewish Museum, Vienna, 180 Johnson, Philip, 227 Juki´c, Sanjin, 113, 116, 118 Juri´c, Ante, 110, 111, 112, 113, 115, 117 Justi, Ludwig, 236 Kamal, Ahmed Ali, 140, 141 Kandinsky, Wassily, 243 Kaprow, Allan, 93, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 294 Karim, Sayed, 141, 143 Katarista movements, 157 Klages, Ludwig, 199 Kruger, Barbara, 313 Kubitschek, Jucelino, 65, 71, 82 Kunsthalle Palazzo Liestal, 283 Lacy, Suzanne, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102 L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, 27, 28, 29 Lazzarato, Maurizio, 292, 293, 294 Le Corbusier, 41, 42, 43, 71, 130, 131, 203, 272 Learning from Las Vegas, 263 Lefebvre, Henri, 135, 263, 265 Lef`evre, Rodrigo, 82 Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, 186 Leigh, Mike, 23 Libya, 2011 revolution in, 168 Lin, Maya, 273 Lods, Marcel, 18 Lozano-Hemmer, Rafael, 314

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Madinat Nasr City, 142 Maison du people, Brussels, 16, 22, 34 Malevich, Kazimir, 243 Malraux, Andr´e, 20, 25, 26 Manhattan Transcripts, 261, 269 Manifesto 1, 265–266 mapping, 99, 100, 101, 102 Marano, Lizbeth, 287 Marcuse, Herbert, 74 Martin, Louis, 263 Mayer-Hermann, J¨urgen, 40, 50, 51, 52 Melnikov, Konstantin, 17–18 Mendes da Rocha, Paulo, 77 M´erida, Carlos, 45 Merriewold West Gallery, 287 Metropol Parasol, 40, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 58 Mexico City Aztec history of, 43, 45 demonstrations and massacre in 1968, 48, 49, 53, 55 Olympic Games, summer 1968, 47, 48, 49, 55, 58 use of mass media in, 54 Mexico, twentieth century economy of, 40, 41, 42, 45, 48, 56, 58 Midland Arts Centre, 22, 34 Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 197, 198, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 261 Barcelona Pavilion, 206, 210, 212 Caf´e Samt und Seide, 210 Stuttgart Glasraum, 210, 211 Tugendhat House, 210 Minimalism, 70 Molotov cocktail, 167 Morris, Robert, 274

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Morsi, Mohamed, 144 Mosakowski, Susan, 272, 273 Mubarak, Hosni, 127, 134, 136, 140 Mumford, Eric, 130 Munich Kunstkammer, 187 Museu de Arte, S˜ao Paulo (MASP), 78, 82, 83, 84 Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro (MAM), 73, 74, 75 Museum f¨ur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, 243 Museum f¨ur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, 64 Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA), 227 Museum of Revolution, Cairo, 134, 135 Muslim Brotherhood, 135 Muthesius, Hermann, 201

INDEX

Lyotard, Jean-Franc¸ois, 179, 189

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Nahas, Antoine Selim, 140 Nasr City, 128, 129, 141, 143, 144 Nasser, Gamal Abdel, 128, 132, 141, 143 National Museum of Roman Art, Spain, 190 National Students’ Union, Brazil (UNE), 75 National Urban Mortgage and Public Works Banks (Banobras), 41, 42, 44 Naumann, Friedrich, 199 neo-concrete art (neoconcretismo), 68, 69, 70 Neoconcrete Manifesto, 68 Niemeyer, Oscar, 71, 77, 82 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 199 Nolde, Emil, 207 Nonoalco-Tlatelolco Housing Complex, 41-49, 56

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Nouvel, Jean, 131 Numankadi´c, Edin, 113, 116, 117 Obala Art Centre, 109, 113, 114, 118, 120 Obama, Barack, 304 Obrist, Hans-Ulrich, 227, 263 Oe, Hiroshi, 82 Ohtake, Ruy, 77 Oiticica, H´elio, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 80, 84, 85 Olympia, Greece, 287, 290, 292 Ono, Yoko, 271 Open Stage Obala, 113, 117 Orpheus and Eurydice (opera), 200, 202 Ovid, 289 Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 31, 32 Palladio, Andrea, 186, 193 Pani, Alberto J., 41 Pani, Mario, 40–48, 54–56 Panopticon, 107, 108, 110 Pape, Lygia, 68 Parangol´es, 66, 72, 85 Parc de la Villette, 261, 275 Paˇsi´c, Nusret, 113, 114, 115 Pauli, Gustav, 230, 231 Paulista School of Architecture, 65, 77, 78, 82 Pedrosa, M´ario, 71 Peirce, Charles Sanders, 299 performative architecture, 266, 269 Perret, Auguste, 203 Philadelphia Museum of Art, 273 Piketty, Thomas, 282 Piranesi, Giovanni Battista, 297, 298 Plaza of the Three Cultures, 40, 45, 46, 48, 49, 55, 57, 58

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Pohflepp, Sascha, 312, 313 Political Art Documentation and Distribution Archive, Museum of Modern Art, 170 Price, Cedric, 24, 30 Prinzhorn, Hans, 207, 208, 209 protests, political 15-M movement, 53, 57 Acampada Sevilla, 40, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58 climate justice marches (2014), 173 Occupy movements, 171 Occupy Wall Street, 159 tree-sits, 159, 163, 164 Prouv´e, Jean, 18 Provinzialmuseum Hannover, 227, 228, 229, 230, 232, 234, 235, 240, 241, 242, 245, 246 Pruess, Linda, 94, 97 Quiccheberg, Samuel, 187, 188 Ram´ırez V´azquez, Pedro, 46, 48 Reclaim the Streets, 158, 164 Reich, Lilly, 210 Reidy, Affonso, 73, 76, 77 Reinhardt, Max, 200 revolutions, political symbols used in, 158, 164 materials used in, 159, 163, 164, 165, 166 Richter, Hans, 212, 213 Riegl, Alois, 233 Riemerschmid, Richard, 201, 207 Rilke, Rainer Maria, 199, 203 Rocha, Glauber, 78 Rogers, Ernesto Nathan, 82 Roˇs, Stjepan, 117 Roˇs, Tanja, 117 Royal College of Art, 264, 276

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Sadat, Anwar, 141 salons, 182, 183, 184, 186 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 89, 90, 91, 92, 94, 93, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99 Sarajevo, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 121, 122 Post Office Building, 110, 111 St. Vincent Church, 110, 111, 119, 122 Sutjeska Cinema, 113, 114, 115, 117, 118, 119, 120, 122 Sarajevo Film Festival, 108 Sauerlandt, Max, 243, 244 Schein, Ionel, 26 Schmarsow, August, 205 Schmidt, Karl, 199, 200 Scott Brown, Denise, 263 Scriabin, Alexander, 206 Semper, Gottfried, 207, 208, 209, 211 Sennett, Richard, 189, 191 Serpa, Ivan, 68 Seville, 40, 49, 50, 51, 53, 54, 57, 58 shaykhs, 138 Siegelaub, Seth, 270 Skopljak, Mustafa, 113, 115, 117, 118 Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, 98 Smith, Stephanie, 98 Smithson, Robert, 274 Sontag, Susan, 300, 301, 305 Speer, Albert, 272 Spielraum (room-for-play) 197, 198, 213, 214, 216, 217

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Steiner, Rudolf, 199 Studio International, 265 Stump & Schibli Architekten, 266 Swiss Expo, 266

INDEX

Ruegenberg, Sergius, 212 Ruptura group, 78 Russian Constructivism, 78

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Tadi´c, Radoslav, 113, 116, 117 Tafuri, Manfredo, 206, 207, 211, 261 Tahrir Square, Cairo, 127, 128, 131, 133, 134, 135, 144 Tasso, Torquato, 186 Taut, Bruno, 18 Teatro Olimpico, 186, 193, 194 Tel Quel Group, 263 Tessenow, Heinrich, 201 Thatcher, Margaret, 304 theatre, antique history of, 186, 187, 188, 189, 191, 192, 193 ‘Theatre of memory’, 186, 187, 188, 193 Theory of the Non-Object, 68 Thys, Herv´e, 31 Tiananmen Square, 304 Tlatelolco, 40–51, 53–56, 58 Trafalgar Square, 304 Train Workers Union, Mexico, 44 Tschumi, Bernard, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 276 Twitter, 158 Tzara, Tristan, 213 University of California, San Diego, 283 Urbanism Workshop (Taller de Urbanismo), 42 Val´ery, Paul, 235 van Doesburg, Theo, 213 Van Klingeren, Frank, 24, 25, 30

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Venice Biennale, 282 Venice Biennale of Architecture, 263, 273, 274 Venturi, Robert, 263 Victoria and Albert Museum, 154, 156, 171, 173 Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC, 273 Viglius (Wigle Aytta von Zwichem), 187 Vionnet, Corinne, 311, 312 von Bismarck, Julius, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 309 von Laban, Rudolf, 210 von Salzmann, Alexander, 201, 205, 206 Waldegg, Petar, 113, 116, 117

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Weimar Republic, 228, 230, 232, 234, 245 Weiner, Lawrence, 271 Wigman, Mary, 207, 209, 210 Wilfred, Thomas, 206 Wilhelmine Empire, 228, 229 Wiphala flag, 157 Wodiczko, Krzysztof, 304, 313 Wolkonsky, Sergei, 202 Working Council for Art, Germany, 230 Wright, Frank Lloyd, 130 Wundt, Wilhelm, 243 Yates, Frances, 186 Zananiri, Albert, 140 ˇ zek, Skavoj, 272 Ziˇ