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Architecture Here and There

"Versailles," by Jean-Francois Rauzier. (http://www.waterhousedodd.com) “Versailles,” by Jean-Francois Rauzier. (http://www.waterhousedodd.com)

Roy Lewis has sent two marvelous illustrations, below, that remind me of my post on the “Hyperphotography of Jean-François Rauzier,” in particular his “Versailles,” above, which I used to illustrate a number of posts a year or so ago. When I first saw a smaller version of “Versailles” I thought it was a field of wheat. Feel free, indeed feel empowered by the link offered for free on this blog, to visit the website of Jean-François Rauzier.

The use of multiple imagery replicating a single masterpiece of architecture, variously manipulated, creates a scene that performs a happy jujitsu move upon the mind’s eye. You are not at first sure what it is or whether it is real. The artist/photographer has staged a coup, two of them below, one of which adumbrates a famous Stalinist building, Moscow State University. The other is a…

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Set in Stone


PiranesiCampo Marzio – Giovanni Battista Piranesi 1762

This is one of my favourite architectural drawings of all time. It was etched by the renowned Piranesi no less, and it depicts a slice of Rome, the city he dedicated many years to documenting. He was fascinated by the architecture of antiquity, the grandeur of the past, and in particular its beauty in ruinous decay.

In a way Piranesi was like a storyteller, painting the picture of an overlooked greatness of an unrivaled past, shining the spotlight on melancholic structures, in awe of the successes of a civilisation that was now over. Perhaps he saw an opportunity for his work to speak as a metaphor; a fading memory of what society had devolved from, the best was over and the skill and care that he offered in his own work could only be found in the masters of the past.

This feeling of nostalgia for…

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Cities within Cities


“… as the philosophers maintain, the city is like a large house, and the house is in turn like some small city…”
– Leon Battista Alberti

The Lost Places Forum series continued this week with an architectural debate entitled ‘Cities within Cities’, held in the exceptional interior of Bath Abbey’s north aisle. Four Architects were invited to talk about their work, ranging from the professional to the academic, to the personal obsession, and their varied interrogations of the cities that surround and shelter us.

Cities within Cities – Fergus Connolly

Fergus Connolly introduced the themes of the evening and shared excerpts from his sketchbooks, recounting a very personal journey uncovering the universal parallels that exist between architecture at all scales; identifying the urban proportions that can govern the furnishing of a drawing room, as well as the lessons that city masterplanning can learn from the composition of ornaments on a…

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New Otto Schade Works In The East End

London Calling Blog

Following the three pieces Otto Schade put up in London over the last month, he has put up a further three and repaired a damaged one also. Placing his works over previous pieces of his, at this stage defaced to varying degrees, he manages to maintain the same familiar locations yet keep his works fresh. On Old Street he placed this piece based on Breaking Bad character Heisenberg, replacing his previous work of Barack Obama. Opposite this he reworked a piece of his that had been vandalized. Finally on Hackney Road he replaced his piece depicting the Evolution of man going off a cliff face, with his new piece ‘Senseless‘, also produced in Camden Town. Great turnover by the artist and great new pieces.


‘Heisenberg’ on Old Street.


‘Scissors, Paper, Rock’ on Old Street.


‘Senseless’ on Hackney Road.


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Guy Debord exhibition in UCC and Psychogeography in Ciaran Carson’s Poetry.

Ireland - Text and Screen

           Guy Debord, 1953

UCC library currently features on exhibition on Guy Debord, “a visionary and artist who saw the future, the future where we now live – a world of mass media and the narcissistic menace of a global obsession with the image.” The title of the exhibition, ‘Diagrams of Revolution’ greets the visitor upon entry, with Debord’s dates nearby, 1931-1994. He is declared a “cultural, political critic, radical theoretician, filmmaker and provocateur”.

Debord’s main work was to counter what he saw as “the deadening hand of consumerism”. In order to do this, he saw the need for play, for urban wanderings, experimental life–styles, détournement and getting lost within the space of the city. A number of theories spring up from this, detailed below.

Debord’s concepts:

  • Détournement will abandon old ideas and re-appropriate them.
  • The dérive goes where it will, responding to psychological states.
  • The

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The Deal



What you’re looking at is one of the towers of Lasalle College, a small private art school in central Singapore. Built in 2007 to a design by RSP, it was extensively funded by the Singaporean government who have been enthusiastic promotors of all things ‘creative’ since the early 2000s. Of all the things I saw in Singapore last week, this was perhaps the most thought-provoking, less for the architecture (which is undeniably spectacular) than for the attitude that it embodies. It makes a simple deal: accept that the arts are in the service of the national project, and they will be funded with an inconceivable generosity.

The deal is legible enough in the window vinyls, the words ‘excellence’, ‘spectacle’ and ‘critique’ screaming out the message. For many UK humanities academics, this kind of of sloganising is simply grotesque: aren’t these words supposed to be a means of interrogating the very things they…

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