i’m a whole week behind on posting about this, but it’s always better late than never, right?*

last friday, as part of the architecture + philosophy series, design research institute and the urban interior research group from RMIT, jane rendell – writer, architectural designer, art critic and historian from the bartlett (ucl) in london- gave a presentation: to and fro: site writing.

she spoke about the role of writing in terms of art/architecture, the role of critique, the influence of ego and the id on critical architecture and the inevitable interstitial space between public and private.

i left the lecture almost bursting with ideas. in fact, i almost left myself a voicemail message as a reminder of all the cool stuff i had heard. i kind of wish i did because, 7 days later, all i can remember is the feeling and a faint connection to the notes i took.

she does have a new book coming out soon – site-writing, in which the process of critique and writing has been developed into a more formal process-based work, in which the various forms of language about site and experience are interspersed, a collage of sorts, even.

and as interesting as that is, a point of discussion which we had included the importance of purely functional writing and/or critique. where the traditional roles of object and outcome remain separated and the writer takes on the role of designer – responding to a brief: to articulate the nuance and visual code of an artist/architect/performer’s work

there were a couple of key points, which i thought were particularly interesting.

1. immersive critique – whereby the writer responds to the work, not as a detached observer, or dissociated object, but from within the space. it reminded me about andrea fraser’s ‘little frank and his carp’ – the video work she did where she responded to the guggenheim by literally following the directives of the audio guide – rubbing herself on the smooth walls, etc.

2. repression presents itself through repetition. i thought this was a particularly interesting concept. coming from a ‘history never repeats’ aspect, but i guess from an aesthetic position, it’s something i’d be interested in researching some more.

3. the relationship of feminist theory and psychoanalysis to architecture. luce irigray is prime example, but i love being part of a discussion where the concept of design acknowledges gender politics and sexual identity. goodness abound.

i’m hoping that her presentation/paper will be uploaded to the arch+phil site soon, because i need a refresher course, but in the mean time, here is link to her presentation for one day sculpture in nz.

and some pics of my notes. you know, writing as image and back again [click to enlarge].

*except having your period. then it’s always better never.

thanks for subscribing to she sees red by lauren brown. xx

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