Summer Semester 2020
• Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
Art History Department
History and Theory in Architectural Periodicals
Daniela Ortiz dos Santos
05.05 Sarah Borree, “(Un)seeing Photographs in Der Baumeister 1925-1932″
Between 1925 and 1932, numerous articles published in German architectural mainstream periodical Der Baumeister featured references and remarks that either commented on photography more generally or the qualities or uses of specific photographs within the articles. Through a close reading of two articles, I develop the argument that in such remarks surface the authors’ uncertainty regarding the role of photography in architectural publishing and their relationship with photography more generally. I conclude the presentation by proposing that the underlying issues surfacing here have never been fully resolved and briefly address the implications for working with architectural photographs and researching architectural history through mass media.
19.05 Guest: Phoebus Ilias Panigyrakis, “The limits of criticism. Lewis Mumford and the Architectural Record”
Editor-in-chief of the Architectural Record, Emerson Goble was flat against criticism throughout his tenure of 1958-1967. In his opinion editorials characteristically titled “Criticism of criticism” he would denounce public criticism of buildings as hurtful to the profession. Doctors and lawyers don’t do that, why should architects? Despite that, Goble held high in his esteem the famed critic Lewis Mumford whose contributions in Goble’s Record were numerous, paid generously and in his own accounts, opened him to a selected audience of professional architects. This presentation will focus on the paradox of Mumford’s employment in the professional architectural journalism of the 1960s Architectural Record and comment on the competitive, financial and editorial reasons that shaped the relationship of the critic with his audience. The presentation will make use of notes and findings of the TU Delft PhD research titled Architectural Record: 1942-1967. Chapters from the history of an architectural magazine (2020).
07.07 Frederike Lausch, “The Staging of (French) Theory in /ANY/ – The Anyone Corporation’s magazine from 1993 to 2000”
The ANY magazine, published by the Anyone Corporation (founded in 1990), was published for the first time in May 1993. It began with an issue number zero to mark a beginning without value, which was entitled “Writing in Architecture.” The publisher Cynthia C. Davidson emphasized in the editorial that writing necessarily entails ambivalence and indecision, for example puns and ambiguities like the magazine name itself (ANY being an acronym for “Architecture New York” as well as meaning “some” or “whichever”). ANY was supposed to close the gap between popular magazines, academic writings and the less theoretical professional architectural journals. It was deliberately delimited from comparable architectural theory journals: „In the U.S. we had Oppositions, which dealt directly with interpretations of history, and then Assemblage, which fused theory and history. ANY viewed history more as a resource or a backdrop against which to test new thinking.“ (Davidson 2004) This new way of thinking, embodied by the so-called “French Theory,” becomes clear both in terms of content and graphics: an academic tone gives way to a playful, affirmative approach to intellectual fashions, and the overlapping of texts and illustrations leads to a visual spectacle.
Sarah Borree received her PhD in Cultural Studies from the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) at the University of Edinburgh in 2019 and is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Goethe University Frankfurt.
Phoebus Panigyrakis is an architect and PhD candidate. He holds a professional diploma from the University of Patras, Greece and teaches at TU Delft and Fontys Academy. Link: www.iconic-ironic.com.
Frederike Lausch studied architecture at the Bauhaus-University Weimar and the METU in Ankara and completed her PhD on Deleuze and the Anyone Corporation at the Goethe University, is currently a postdoc fellow at the RWTH in Aachen.
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