264 BC


264 BC munus
135 Tomb of Hadrian, Circus of Hadrian
309 Tomb of Romulus, Circus of Maxentius
314 Basilica Santes Marcellino et Pietro
314 Santa Agnese fuori le Mura reenacts the Circus of Maxentius
1762 Bustum Hadriani
1971 Cemetery of San Cataldo

2001.09.04 11:00
4 September 1997 and today
Architect Aldo Rossi died in a car crash 4 September 1997, exactly at a time when virtually all of the world was very aware of another car crash death, namely the death of the quondam Princess Diana, 31 August 1997. Although I did not learn of Rossi's death until a week or two after it happened, I nonetheless vividly remember something I did 4 September 1997, which was to unexpectedly find the essay "Passage to the City: The Intrepretive Function of the Roman Triumph" by Alan Plattus in Ritual (1983). Given the fact that I was then soon to see an actual reenactment of the ancient Triumphal Way via the televising of Diana's funeral 6 September 1997, this series of events has (for me at least) over time become more and more compounding (hence EPICENTRAL).
Four years ago tomorrow, 5 September 1997, was the death of Mother Teresa, and the present's 6 September will witness the memorial service for Steven Izenour at Irvine Auditorium on the University of Pennsylvania campus.
Sometime in 1998 I learned of the Eugene J. Johnson article "What Remains of Man -- Aldo Rossi's Modena Cemetery" in The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (March 1982), where Johnson adroitly demonstrates how Rossi's cemetery design closely compares with Piranesi's Bustum Hadriani as delineated within the Ichnographia of the Campo Marzio. What Johnson does not point out however, is that Rossi essentially reenacted the Ichnographia's axis of death which actually intersects the Ichnographia's demarcation of ancient Rome's Triumphal Way. [Piranesi's plan delineations of the intersection of the axis of death and the Triumphal Way themselves manifest a reenactment of the ancient Roman camp/urban planed crossing of a cardo and decumanus.] As it happens, Aldo Rossi was born 3 May 1931, and because of a suppressive act of Pope John XXIII in 1960, May 3 is now more correctly the quondam feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross.
Triumph via death is not exactly considered a modern theme, yet it is nonetheless still quite capable of being pervasive in modern times. Without much exaggeration, it is indeed possible to view Diana's funeral as a modern event of very, very late antiquity.

quick notes
The Piranesi munus reenactment...

2005.05.05 18:37
Koolhaas versus the Actor
I've just read half of "l'architecture dans le boudoir" and yes it is exactly what I should be reading again right now. I haven't come across any reference to Piranesi yet (and I didn't find any in my initial quick scan of the text either). Let's put aside the notion of my interpretation of the Campo Marzio plan disqualifying Tafuri's whole argument, and focus rather on the question whether a good understanding of "reenactionary architecturism" is indeed missing from Tafuri's argument, and then whether a good understanding of "reenactionary architecturism" brings Tafuri's argument into much better focus. So far, I can at least note that Tafuri was unaware of Rossi's Modena Cemetery design reenacting Piranesi's design of the Bustum Hadriani within the Campo Marzio--

2005.05.06 17:24
Koolhaas versis the Actor
OK, I see what you mean, but....
There are many historical examples were architecture references itself, e.g., renaissance architecture referencing classical architecture, or even the second pyramid at Giza referencing the Great Pyramid at Giza.
Le Corbusier is just as much a reenactor as Stirling and the NY5 are reenactors. Le Corbusier reenacted machine forms and ship forms and American agricultural architecture forms. And Le Corbusier even ultimately reenacted himself--the Palais des Congres (1964) reenacts the Villa Savoye (1929)
I don't buy the notion of there ever really being a split from the symbolic system. Degrees of separation, yes, but no real split.
Stirling is a consumate reenactionary architect, and he knew it, but he put most of his clues in his architecture only--although his entry for Roma Interrotta is an overt reference to Piranesi's Campo Marzio plan and reenactionary architecturism. Just as Rossi reenacted the Bustum Hadriani with the Modena Cemetery, but it doesn't look like he ever told Tafuri about it. Yes, Rossi was silent, as are most architects when it comes to telling others where their real 'originality' comes from.

2005.07.07 15:23
Krautheimer and Johnson
[2005.06.11: And don't forget "Creating One's Own Virtual Museum of Architecture" will be presented by Richard Krautheimer and Philip Johnson on 7 July 2005 within the enormous subterranean arched vaults of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. ]
Yes, calendrical coincidence was all the buzz again. As was last weekend's London/Philadelphia bilocation reenactment. And now subterranean arched vaults...from the tube to front row seats.
Krautheimer is still just in awe of Tertullian's and Piranesi's "De Spectaculis II" delivered 14 May 2005. It just never occurred to him before that the Mausoleum of Romulus/Circus of Maxentius complex (which reenacts the almost two hundred years earlier Mausoleum of Hadrian/Circus of Hadrian complex) became the paradigm, albeit inverted, for all the Roman Christian "church" architecture immediately after the Basilica Constantiniani (St. John Lateran) and the Basilica San Pietro Vaticano. That aerial shot of the Mausoleum of Constantina (Santa Costanza) adjacent the circus-like dining hall first "basilica" of St. Agnes made it all so clear. If only the circus-like dining hall first "basilica" of Sts. Pietro and Marcellinus adjacent the Mausoleum of Helena were still to be seen from the air. How clever of Eutropia and Helena to invert the pagan 'munus' architecture into Christian 'munus' architecture, and how very clever of Piranesi to secretly hide all this architectural history information within the ever quaestio abstrusa Ichnographia Campi Martii. Krautheimer freely admitted he wants to "redux" his "virtual museum of architecture" the Corpus Basilicum Christianum Romae.

2012.01.05 11:51
Ury, now quondam, exactly 200 years ago
Read the passages in Halloway regarding the "circus" reenactment theory.




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