28th March 2014
Visiting Research Tutor ESALA | Assistant Professor & PhD Candidate
Institute of Architectural Theory, History of Art and Cultural Studies at TU Graz
The Dead End of the Political… In Architecture and in Politics
In the face of the endless expansion of the generic and formless neoliberal urbanization, Italian architect and theorist Pier Vittorio Aureli has proposed the uncompromised recuperation of the architectural project as a means of introducing anchors, confines and form to the city. In his view, the architectural form as such should be seen as a critical instrument for opposing the neoliberal city development. The role of form in Aureli’s architectural theory consciously resembles the role of the political in the political theory of the philosophers such as Carl Schmitt and, more recently, Chantal Mouffe. Aureli’s attempt to translate the concept of the political into architectural theory might seem suspiciously abstract and formalistic, because it fully ignores the agonistic (political) character of the production of space, and places the political in a rather metaphorical fashion, only at the final product (the architectural project). However, a further examination leads towards the conclusion that Aureli’s formalism merely replicates and relocates the formalistic character of the concept of the political itself as it has been deployed within the afore-mentioned stream of the political theory. The paper formulates a skeptical answer to the question: is it possible to revolutionize the agency of architecture and politics, if we deliberately detach both from their specific contents and contexts, and merely strive to recuperate their form?
Born in the early 80s in SFR Yugoslavia, Ana Jeinić is a PhD candidate and Assistant Professor at the Institute of Architectural Theory, History of Art and Cultural Studies at TU Graz. She studied architecture and philosophy in Graz and was a guest scholar at the University IUAV in Venice and TU Delft. She is a regular contributor to GAM—Graz Architecture Magazine, and the co-editor and co-author of the book Is There (Anti)Neoliberal Architecture? Her current research focuses on the relationship between architectural concepts and political strategies in the era of neoliberalism.