On the Hallucinatory Function of Architecture: Histories of Architecture in Walter Benjamin's Arcade

12 August 2010

Terry Smith, University of Pittsburgh
Introduction: Gevork Hartoonian, University of Canberra
Cohosted with the Power Institute for Art & Visual Culture.

About the talk
Benjamin's Arcades Project is a labyrinthine archive of data, images andinterpretations of Paris, to him the "capital of the nineteenth century,"and engine room of modernity. The arcades were his central image. Drawing on the work of Susan Buck-Morss and Gevork Hartoonian, I attempt to show that architecture meant more to him than metaphor, that a certain reading of the history of architecture - inspired by the early and lesser known work of Sigfried Giedion - was one of the key foundations of this entire enterprise.

About the speaker
Terry Smith, FAHA, CIHA, is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, and a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney. He is the 2009 winner of the Mather Award for art criticism conferred by the College Art Association (USA). Among his books are Making the Modern: Industry, Art and Design in America (University of Chicago Press, 1993; inaugural Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Book Prize 2009); Transformations in Australian Art, volume 1, The Nineteenth Century: Landscape, Colony and Nation, volume 2, The Twentieth Century: Modernism and Aboriginality (CraftsmanHouse, Sydney, 2002); The Architecture of Aftermath (University of Chicago Press, 2006) and What is Contemporary Art? (University of Chicago Press, 2009).

Time: 6.30 to 8.00pm

Location: Lecture Theatre 1, Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning, 148 City Rd, The University of Sydney

Cost: Free

Contact: Sue Lalor

Phone: 9114 0941

Email: 092f27480914145c34213117222d353f76522b3e4d2e3e

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