Out of Site: A Social Criticism of Architecture

Diane Ghirardo, Editor Bay Press (WA) $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-941920-19-3
In her introduction Ghirardo ponders whether architecture can be ``conceived as an autonomous entity with no necessary or important connection to any other issues related to building.'' In the essays that follow, she and fellow scholars examine the questions surrounding this polemic using both theoretical analyses and case studies. Kenneth Frampton thoughtfully probes architecture's ``emergence . . . as a self-conscious individual practice.'' Vincent P. Pecora's more complex piece begins with a modernist reading of architecture and goes on to review several issues of the journal Oppositions ; in particular, he scrutinizes the belief of one of the journal's cofounders, Peter Eisenman, in the ``autonomous profundity of architecture alone against an unfeeling world.'' In a fascinating essay on the relationship betwen public art and urbanism in New York City, Rosalyn Deutsche discusses a utilitarian artwork called the Homeless Vehicle Project, a mobile cart that provides facilities for eating and sleeping. Although recondite at times, this volume offers a thorough, evenhanded overview of the social relevance of architecture today. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
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