Architecture as a Performing Art by Marcia Feuerstein, Gray Read

By Marcia Feuerstein, Gray Read

How do structures act with humans and between humans within the performances of existence? This selection of essays unearths a deep alliance among structure and the appearing arts, uncovering its roots in historical tales, and tracing a continuing culture of concept that emerges in modern perform. With clean perception, the authors ask how structures practice with humans as companions, instead of how they appear as formal compositions. They specialise in activities: the door that provides the potential for creating a dramatic front, the window that frames a scene, and the town road that's remodeled in carnival. The essays additionally examine the layout approach as a functionality improvised between many avid gamers and supply examples of modern perform that integrates theater and dance. This assortment advances architectural thought, historical past, and feedback by means of featuring the lens of functionality so as to have interaction the a number of roles that structures can play, with out decreasing them to sensible different types. through casting structure as spatial motion instead of as static shape, those essays open a promising road for destiny investigation.For architects, the essays suggest integrating functionality into layout via playful explorations which could display severe relationships among humans and position, and between humans in position. Such practices advance an architectural mind's eye that intuitively asks, "How may perhaps humans play out their tales during this place?" and "How may well this position spark new stories?" Questions comparable to those dwell within the middle of the entire essays offered the following. jointly, they open a place within the intersection among daily life and staged functionality to reconsider the position of architectural layout.

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Several philosophers and cultural historians have argued that the “space” that opens up between the spectators and the actors and is mediated by the chorus, the same space that is expressed by the physical configuration of Ancient Greek and Roman theater buildings, makes possible the appearance of the sacred for the audience. 8 Not surprisingly, Vitruvius speaks of the architecture of the theater as a cathartic event, not as a mere “building” or aesthetic object. ”9 Ruth Padel has explained that, indeed, the classical Greeks acutely felt their vulnerability to external forces and emotions, personifying them as demons and divinities.

Architecture as a Performing Art: Two Analogical Reflections 25 10 Ruth Padel, In and Out of the Mind; Greek Images of the Tragic Self (Princeton, NJ, 1992), p. 48. , pp. 189–91. 12 Vitruvius, Ten Books, trans. Morgan, p. 139. , p. 140. 14 Aristotle, Poetics [1447a]. 15 Alberto Pérez-Gómez and Louise Pelletier, Architectural Representation and the Perspective Hinge (Cambridge, MA, 1997), pp. 16–68. , pp. 281–316. 17 Claude Nicholas Ledoux, L’architecture considérée sous le rapport de l’art, de moeurs et de la législation (Paris, 1804).

Fortunately, the history of dramatic performance offers an alternative and complementary approach. 1 The Theater of Dionysus in 2009, viewed from atop the Athenian Acropolis. 28 Architecture as a Performing Art Greek play: Aristophanes’ comedy Peace of 421 BCE, in which the protagonist is called upon to actively “architect” in the course of performing and restoring theōria. 3 Although this comedy was staged close to twenty-five hundred years ago, I believe its remarkably vivid dramatization of architectural activity can still meaningfully animate and re-orient analogous performances of present-day architects, who—like Trygaeus (and Aristophanes)—must continue to seek and show such basic yet profoundly complex conditions as peace.

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