L'Architecture dans le Boudoir

1974 L'Architecture dans le Boudoir
1999.12.01 def: a-typological architecture
1999.12.04 operative versus historical criticism as reenactment(?)
2002.07.05 critical tools

Piranesi critiques in chronological order
I thought that the best way to begin a thorough critique of contemporary criticism/texts on Piranesi' Campo Marzio is to simply list them all in chronological order, and then from there analyze the contents of each text. As much as this is an organizational devise, it is also hoped to engender further insight into the whole emergence of the Tafurian point of view vis--vis the emergence of the theory of "reenactment".

2002.07.05 11:19
critical tools
One is tempted to prove that criticism/critical thought is indeed still possible today, just as critical actions are still possible today. Critical reenactment, for example, is often practiced within the architectural design process, but the modern mind-set, with it emphasis on progress and the ever new, has (psychologically) denied reenactment's 'critical' existence, thus manifesting a truly strange situation where reenactment (in design) occurs all the time, yet without designers really being aware of it (or at least not admitting it [even in a court of law?]).
One is likewise tempted to write and publish a 'paper' (a hypertext, actually) entitled "Critical Reenactment: the In Version" by 15 October 2002...

2005.05.05 11:08
Koolhaas versus the Actor
...just did a very quick scan of l'architecture dans le boudoir, and it seems a very good reference point, and a very good point of departure for further investigation regarding architecture and reenactment. (Thanks very much for making the contribution.) Now, taking l'architecture dans le boudoir and the non-Tafuri reading of the Campo Marzio plan may indeed deliver heretofore unexpected fruitful results in terms of understanding all the mid-late 20th architecture that Tafuri writes about.
Now I have to thoroughly re-read the essay, plus go through the A+U on De Foe in Quondam's collection, plus look closely at the Designs for the Bicentennial by Venturi and Rauch, plus republish those "Stirling's Legacy" essays that used to be at Quondam, and who knows what else.

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--

2005.05.05 23:19
Koolhaas versus the Actor
I just realized that there are (at least) two English "l'architecture dans le boudoir" texts by Tafuri. The 'first' was published in Oppositions 3 (May 1974), the 'second' is chapter 8 of The Sphere and the Labyrinth (1980). The text I starting reading today is the one from Oppositions, and I've now compared the two texts and they are not at all identical. For example, Piranesi is not referenced at all in the first text. Overall, much has been added to the second text to 'fill it out' and update it, but there are also some changes (although some of the changes may be due to different translators).
Yes, the concept of reenactment is there within "l'architecture dans le boudoir," but nowhere does Tafuri explain or even recognize it as such. Tafuri mentions that a "code" has been lost, and thus the language architects use is devoid of meaning, implying that if the code were still known, then the meaning would be known as well. For me, reenactionary architecturism is the code and the provider of meaning.
In English, the first chapter of The Sphere and the Labyrinth is "The Wicked Architect," and this chapter too was published earlier and separately, (or maybe I'm thinking of the first chapter of Architecture and Utopia).
Anyway, it looks to me like The Sphere and the Labyrinth is itself a bricolage, composed of disparate pieces that were ultimately brought together, which perhaps explains the very first paragraph (which I responded to with "How Ironic!"

2005.05.06 16:24
Koolhaas versus the Actor
aml, you write:
tafuri starts with the analysis of james stirling's leicester laboratory. initially it might be argued that this building is using a symbolic system [ships, machine aesthetic, other buildings], but tafuri argues the way this reenactment is being done [and one of the key points is reenacting other buildings, this second stage removement] splits it, removes it from the symbolic system... no longer a direct reference, architecture with stirling is referencing itself
can you provide some examples where architecture is a direct reference and thus not a reference to itself? what is a direct reference in general?
also, you write:
another way of looking at this is in general looking at the five architects. here again, we have an architecture of self-reference, the five architects referencing le corbusier's forms without a direct connection with the origin of the forms.
can you provide an example where le corbusier's forms are referenced with a direct connection with the origin of the forms?

2005.05.06 17:24
Koolhaas versus 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.

chapters of AinCC
1. [sic]
2. To Err with SuperGlue(TM)
3. Bilocation Syndrome
4. Going into Eclectic Shock
5. Surgical Double Theater
6. Waiting Room: Anxious, Reading, Liszt
7. Operation a Sucess; Patient Dead
8. Malpractice Case: House
9. Eternal Wrest
To ERr w/SG could be the whole Eisenman as Piranesi expose and an unraveling (somewhat) of Tafuri's interpretation (of the Campo Marzio). The missing notion of reenactment within "dans le boudoir" could happen here.




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