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TOWARDSACRTQUEOFARCHTECTURALDEOLOGY, MANFREDOTAFUR

Tafuribelievesthatmodernityisanongoingprocessandisrelatedwithcapitalism.The dissapearanceofthesubjectturningtoobjectisthecharacterofthemetropolis.Utopianism comestobetheuniversal,systematicplanificationofcapitalism.Andthatcapitalismhas takenawaytheutopiafromarchitectureandarchitectureisobligedtoreturntopure architecture,tosublimeuselessness. Byreturningtoitsorigins,(enlightment),correctlyidentifiedintheperiodofstrict correspondencebetweenburgeoisideologiesandintellectualadvancesonebeginstoseethe wholecourseofmodernarchitectureasaunitarydevelopment. Reasonsadventures:NaturalismandtheCityintheCenturyof Enlightment Theformationofthearchitectasideologueofthesocialtheindividuationoftheproperarea ofinterventioninthephenomenologyofthecitytheroleofformaspersuasioninregardto thepublic,andasselfcriticisminregardtoitsownconcernsthedialecticonthelevelof formalinvestigationbetweentheroleofthearchitectonicobjectandthatofurban organization:onwhatlevel,andwithwhatsortofawareness,dotheseabstractconstantsof themodernmeansofvisualcommunicationbecomeconcretizedinthecurrentsof Enlightmentthought? Laugierin1765,formulatedhistheoriesonthedesignofthecityandhehadatwofold influence:thedesiretoreducethecityitselftoanaturalphenomenon,ontheotherhand,the wishtogobeyondallaprioriideasofurbanorganizationbyextending,totheurbanfabric, theformaldimensionsassociatedwiththeaestheticsofthepictoresque.Fortheaestheticsof thepictoresqueAlexanderCozenprovidedaveryrichandimportanttheoretical foundation.1759. Nowtakingforgrantedthatforthetheoristsoftheeighteenthcentury,thecityfellwithinthe sameformaldomainaspainting.Selectivityandcriticismimpliedtheintroductionintourban planning,ofafragmentaryapproachthatplacesnotonlyNatureandReasonbutthenatural fragmentandtheurbanfragment,onthesamelevel. Laugierscityasforestwasmodeledonnothingmorethanthevariedsequencesofspaces buthistheoryinpiredLeCorbusierattheVilleRadieuse. Generallyspeaking,architecturalcultureplayedapredominantlydestructiveroleinthe18 and19thCenturies.Nothavingatitsdisposalamaturesubstratumofproductiontechniques correspondingtothenewconditionsofbourgeoisideologyandlaissezfaireeconomics, architecturewasforcedtochannelitselfcriticaleffortsintwodirections: Firstofall,forpolemicalreasons,ittendedtoglorifyeverythingthatmayassumeananti Europeansignificance.Piranesisfragmentationismisaproductof anewbourgeoisscienceof historicalcriticism,whichisalso,paradoxically,criticismofcriticism.Takingfragmentsfrom differentcultureswaswithoutirony.Thearchitectsoftheenlightmentwiththeutterofthe criticsbeganasystematicandfatefulautopsyofarchitectureandallitsconventions.

Secondly,evenwhilebracketingitsownformativeroleinregardtothecity,architecture presentedanalternativetothenihilisticprospectclearlydiscernablebehindthehalucinatory fantasiesof aLeqeue,aBlanger,oraPiranesi. Renouncingasymbolicrole,atleastinthetraditionalsense,architectureinordertoavoid destroyingitselfdiscovereditsscientificvocation.Ontheonehanditcouldbecomean instrumentofsocialequilibriuminwhichcaseitwouldhavetoconfrontthequestionoftypes headon whichDurandandDubutinfactdid.Ontheotherhanditcanbecomeascienceof sensationsandthisisthedirectionwhichLedouxand,moresystematically,LeCamusde Msiereswouldsteerit.Typologyandarchitectureparlantesymbolism,thesame themeswhichPiranesibroughtintoconflictwitheachother,andwhichinsteadofleadingto solutions,wouldaccentuate,throughoutthe19thcenturytheinternalcrisisofarchitectural culture. Architecturenowacceptedthetaskofpoliticizingitsownhandiwork.Asagentsofpolitics, architectshadtotakeupthechallengeofcontinouslyinventingadvancedsolutionsatthe mostgenerallyapplicablelevels.Towardsthisend,ideologyplayedanimportantrole. TheutopianismofEnlightmentarchitecturemustbestudied,itwillbeseenthattherewas nothinginthe18thcenturyarchitecturethatwasnotrealized,andtherewasnosocialutopia thatwasonlyontheformallevel.AlthoughBoullandthepensionersoftheAcademiehad giganticscalearchitecturaldreams,theywantedthemtobeexperimentalmodelsofanew methodofdesign. Theenlightmentarchitecturehadanideologicalrole,andithadtoredefineitselftofitthe bourgoiscity. LaugierstheoreticalinsightswereusedbyPiranesi.InhisCampoMarziotherewasntthe varietyofthelateBaroque,butorder.Butthisorderdoesnotleadtoharmony.Sothe Piranesianforest,likethesadisticatmosperesofhisPrisons,showsthatitisnotonlythe sleepofreasonthatproducesmonsters,reasonawakecanalsodeformity,althoughthe goalisthesublime. InCampoMarziothereisthedefinitivelossoforganicform,thewholeanduniversalisin crisis. Rationalismwouldseemtorevealitsownirrationality.Inattemptingtoabsorballitsown contradictions,architecturalreasoningusesthetechniqueofshockasitsownfoundation. Essentially,itisthestrugglebetweenarchitectureandthecitythatassumesanepictonein PiranesisCampoMarzio. ThefragmentationismintheoryofLaugierwasalsofeltbyMilizia. Laugier,Piranesi,Miliziapointedouttothenotionofcontroloverarealitylackingorganic structure. Thepressureoftraditionalismroseagainstthesehypothesis.ForinstanceGiovanniAntolini withhistheoreticalapproachandpraxis, FortheNapolenicplanofMilan,anintellectualoppositionoccuredbetweenAntoliniandthe membersoftheplanningcommission.Thecomissionwantedtoworkdialecticallywiththe citiesstructure,asitevolvedinthecourseofhistory,thestructureofthecityhadtobe rationalizedandclarifiedinformandfunction.OntheotherhandAntolinithoughtthatthe

cityasauniverseofdiscourseorsystemofcommunicationcanbesummedupinanabsolute peremptorymessage. Thuswecanseetwopathsofmodernartandarchitecturedelineated.Thedialecticisthesame inallmodernartthroughhistory,todigdownintotheverybowelsofrealityinordertoknow andassimilateitsvaluesandshortcomings,againstthosewhowanttopushbeyondreality,to constructnewrealities,newsymbols. BetweenLaugiersforestandAntolinisaristocraticreserve,therewasathirdway,whichwas destinedtobecomethemainforcebehindanewwayofinterveninginandcontrollingthe urbanmorphology.Theamericancitiessincemid1700adoptedurbanplanningprinciples thatsidedwiththeforcesthat spurredthemorphologicaltransformationofthecities,controllingtheseforceswitha pragmaticapproachforeigntoEuropeanculture. Usingaregulargridgavetheopportunitytogiveabsolutefreedomtosinglearchitectural fragments,whicharesituatedinacontextthatisnotformallyconditionedbyit.The Americancitygivesmaximumarticulationtothesecondaryelemetsthatshapeit,whilethe lawsgoverningthewholearestrictlyupheld.Urbanplanningandarchitecturearestrictly separatedfromeachother.Theopengridgaveastableframeofreferencethatcanexpand. FormasregressiveUtopia: Asasummarythe18thCenturyarchitecturalcultureisrelatedwiththecrisisofthetraditional conceptofform.Thisarisesfromanawarenessoftheproblemofthecityasanautonomous fieldofcommunicativeexperiences. Theprinciplesofcontemporaryartwere,thedisarticulationofformandtheinorganicnature ofstructure. Astheresultoftechnologyauniverseofprecisionwascreated,andthecitybecamea specificsiteoftechnologicalproductionandreducedarchitecture toameremomentinthe chainofproduction.Inthe19thcenturythebourgoiscitybecomesPiranesisabsurdmachine Andzoningbecomesanelementtomaskitsclasscharacter. Theendofutopianismandthebirthofrealismarenotautomaticmomentsin theformative developmentoftheideologyofthemodernmovement.Onthecontrary,aroundthe1830s realistutopianismandutopianrealismbegintooverlapandcomplementeachother.The declineofsocialutopianismconfirmedideologyssurrendertothepoliticsofthingscreated bythelawsofprofit.Architecturalideology,inbothitsartisticandurbanforms,wasleftwith theutopiaofformasaprojectforrecuperatingthehumantotalityintheidealsynthesis,asa wayofmasteringDisorderthrough Order. Architecture,therefore,insofarasitwasdirectlylinkedtotherealityofproduction,wasnot onlythefirstdisciplinetoaccept,withrigoriouslucidity,theconsequencesofitsalready realizedcommodification.Startingfromproblemsspecifictoitself,modernarchitecture,asa whole,wasabletocreate,evenbeforethemechanismsandtheoriesofPoliticalEconomyhad createdtheinstrumentsforit,anideologicalclimateforfullyintegratingdesign,atalllevels, intoacomprehensiveprojectaimedatreorganizationofproduction,distributionand consumptionwithinthecapitalistcity. Asanideologicalinstrumentofcapital,themodernmovementcanbebrokenintothree successivephasesbetween1901,1939, 1Theformationofanurbanideologyasawayofovercomingarchitecturalromanticism.

2Theriseoftheartisticavantgardeswiththeirideologicalprojects 3Architecturalideologybecomingtheideologyoftheplan. TheDialecticoftheAvantGarde BenjamininThesituationoftheWorkingClassinEngland,movesfromEngels descriptionofmassestohisthoughtsonBaudlairesrelationshipwiththemassesthemselves. InjudgingonEngelsandHegelsviewsonurbanreality,Benjaminnotesthattheparisian flaneurthatmovesthrough thecrowdbecomesnaturalmodesofconductforthemodernuser ofmetropolis. Toremovetheexperienceofshockfromallautomatism,tousetheexperienceasthe foundationforvisualcodesandcodesofactionborrowedfromalreadyestablished characteristicsofthecapitalistmetropolisrapidityofchangeandorganization,simultaneityof communications,acceleratedrhythmsofuse,eclecticismtoreducethestructureofartistic experiencetothestatusofpureobject(an obviousmetaphorfortheobjectcommodity),toinvolvethepublicasaunifiedwhole,ina declaredly interclassandthereforeantibourgoisideologysucharethetasksthattheavantgardesofthe twentiethcenturyovertook. Withcontinoustechnicalrevolutionsthelawofassemblagewasfundamentalforallarts.The experienceofshockoftherevolutionwastoughtnottobesufferedbuttobeabsorbed. Soartwasamodelofactioninthemachineuniverseandcontradictionsarosefromit.Picasso andBraqueintroducedreadymade. Startedwithreactionscubismwantedtocreateamodeofbehaviour.Cubismsintentionwasto demonstratetherealityofthenewnaturecreatedbycapital,anditsnecessary,universal character,inwhichnecessityandfreedomcoincide. ThisiswhythecanvasesofBraque,PicassoandtoanevengreaterextentJuanGrisadoptthe techniqueofassemblagetogiveabsoluteformtothelinguisticuniverseofthecivilisation machiniste.Primitivismandantihistoricismareconsequences,notcauses,ofheirfundamental choices. CubismanddeStijlareexplicitinvitationstoactions. DeStijlandDadadiscoveredthatthereweretwopathsforthesuicideofartsilentimmersion ofinthestructuresofthecitythroughtheidealizingofitscontradictions,ortheviolant insertionoftheirrational. DeStijlbecameamodeofformalcontrolofproduction,whileDadawantedtogive apocalypticexpressiontoitsinherentabsurdity.ThenihilistcritiqueformulatedbyDada, howeverendedupbecomingatoolforcontrollingdesign. WhileDadaandSurrealismcanbeseenasparticularexpressionsofanarchic.Spirit.DeStijl andBauhausdidnothesitatetopresentthemselvesasglobalalternativestopoliticalpraxis, alternativesassumedallthecharacteristicsofeticalchoice. DeStijlopposedchaosandplungedintochaos.Chaosofcourseisagiven,whileorderisa goal.Itisorderthatconfersmeaningonchaosandtranslatesitintovalue,intofreedom. Withtheplantheytriedtoachieveaformforthecitybuttheywereincapableofgivingitany form.Architecturewastheonethatcouldgivetherealanswerstothedemandsmadeby Cubism,Futurism,Dada,DeStijl,andallvariousconstructivismsandProductivisms. TheBauhausfulfilledthistask.Butdesigntoo, despiteitsrealism,presentedunsatisfied demands,andittoocontainedahintofutopianism.

Sotheplanningformulatedbyarchitecturalandurbantheoristslikewisepointedtoward somethingotherthanitself:towardarestructuringofproductionandconsumptioningeneral. Soarchitecturemediatedbetweenrealismandutopia.Oncetheplancamewithinthescopeof thegeneralreorganizationofproduction,architectureandurbanplanningwillbecomeits objects,notitssubjects. Againstthisarchitectural culturedefineditselftechnically,thedeathofartwasovercameby thepurelytechnicalroleoftheintellectual. Themethodofdesignwasadoptedfromtheidealizedstructureoftheassemblylinebythe centralEuropeanNeueSachlichkeit.Fromthestandardizedpartandthecelltothesingle block,theSiedlung,andfinallythecity.Sonottheobjectsbuttheprocesswastobe evaluated.TheuserwascalledtofilltheopenspacesofMiesandGropius.Thepublicwas calledtoparticipateinthedesign,butitalsoforcedtheideologyofthepublictomakealeap forward. RadicalArchitectureandtheCity ForHilberseimer,thearchitectureofthelargecitydependsonthesolutiongiventotwo factors,theelementarycellandtheurbanorganismasawhole.Thelargecityisatrueunity andstructurallyitisanenormoussocialmachine.Thecellisnotonlythefirstelementin thecontinousproductionlinewhoseultimateproductisthecity,itisalsotheelementthat determinesthedynamicsofbuildingaggregations. Intherigidarticulationoftheproductionplan,thespecificdimensionofarchitecture,inthe traditionalsenseoftheterm,disappears. HereforHillberseimertheformtobevalidforeachelementmustbereducedtocubicforms whichcanrepresentthebasicelementsofallarchitecture. Mieswithhisprojectsexploreswhatmarginsofthereflectiveapproachstillremainedtothe architect. ErnstMaysplanforFrankfurt,MartinWagnersBerlin,FritzSchumachersHamburg,and CornelisvanEesterensAmsterdamarethemostimportantchaptersofthehistoryofmodern urbanplanning. ThetwopolesofExpressionismandtheNeueSachlichkeitonceagainsymbolizedthe inherentriftinEuropeanculture.ThesubjectivismofofHaringandMendelsohn,inthis sense,assumesacriticalimportinregardtothetaylorismofHilbersheimerorGropius,Butit isacritiquemadefromarearguardpositionthatisthereforeincapable,byitsverynature,of proposinguniversalalternatives. Thearchitecturalproject,theurbanmodelitspawned,andtheeconomicandtechnological premisesonwhichitwasbasedpublicownershipoflandandsystemsofindustrialized constructionmodeledonproductioncycles,programmedwithintheurbanspherewere indissolublyinterconnected.Architecturalsciencebecamefullyintegratedintotheideologyof theplan,whileformalchoiceswereonlyvariablesdependentonit. TheutopianismoftheCentralEuropeanarchitecturalcultureofthe1920slaypreciselyinthe fiduciaryrelationshipestablishedbetweenleftistintellectuals,advancedsectorsofcapital,and politicaladministrations. Thecrisis,inthespecificareaofarchitecturecameinBerlinSiemenstadt.Itisquiteincredible thatmodernhistorianshaveyetacknowledgedthefamousBerlinSiedlung,plannedby Sharoun,asacrucialhistoricalmomentinwhichoneofthemostseriousruptureswithinthe modernmovementoccured.

Siemenstadtrevealedtheutopiancharacterofthepremisethatdesign,initsdifferent dimensionalscales,couldpossessmethodologicalunity.Incontrasttotheassemblylineof GropiusandBartningtherearetheallusiveironiesofSharounandtheostentatiousorganicism ofHaring. TheCrisisofUtopia:LeCorbusieratAlgiers Toabsorbthatmultiplicity,totempertheimprobablewiththecertaintyoftheplan,to reconcileorganicstructureanddisorganizationbyexacerbatingthedialecticalrelationship betweenthem,todemonstratethatthehighestlevelofproductiveplanningcoincideswiththe maximumproductivityofthespiritweretheobjectivesofLeCorbusier. Hismainideawasthatformassumedthetaskofmakingtheunnaturalworldoftechnological precisionauthenticandnatural. ThelandscapeforCorbusierbecamethelivingsubjectonwhichthereorganizedcycleof buildingproductionmustlayitsemphasis. ButLeCorbusieralsodiscoveredthatfinancialprudence,individualisminenterprise,andthe persistenceofarchaicincomemechanismssuchasgroundrent,periluoslyobstructedthe developmentofcivilization,theexpressionandappraisalofproduction,andthehuman yieldofthisexpansion. ThedominohousestheplanvoisinwentbeyondthemodelsofGermanrationalism,intuiting thecorrectdimensioninwhichtheurbanquestionmustbeconsidered. WithhisplansforMontevideo,BuenosAires,SaoPaulo,RioandfinallyAlgiers,he formulatedthemostadvancedtheoreticalhypothesisofmodernurbanism,whichtillthisday remainsunsurpassedonboththeideologicalandformallevels. IncontrasttoTaut,MayandGropiusLeCorbusierbroketheunbrokenassociativechainof architectureneighbourhoodcity.Theurbanstructureinitself,asaphysicalandand functionalunity, becametherepositoryofanewscaleofvaluesitwastothedimensionofthelandscapeitself thatoneshouldlookforthemeaningofitscommunication. FortheobusplaninAlgierstheeconomicpremiseoftheentireoperationwascleartheobus planwouldnotlimititselftodemandinganewterritorialstatuethatbyovercomingthe earlycapitalistanarchyoflandaccumulation,wouldmakethewholeareaavailableforthe unitary,organicreorganizationofwhatwouldtherebybecomeanurbansystemintheproper senseoftheterm. Inthereorganizationofthecity,thefullavailabilityoftheterrainisnolongerenough:itis nowthewholethreedimensionalspacethatmustbecomeavailabletobeshapedbyaplanned technologization.Thusthetwolevelsofinterventionwithintheunifiedcitymustbe distinguished:thecyclesofproductionandconsumption. Therestructuringoftheentireurbanspaceandsurroundinglandscapethuscorrespondstothe needtorationalizethetotalorganizationoftheurbanmachine:onthisscale,technological structuresandtransportationsystemsmustconstituteaunitaryimage. LeCorbusiertousesthetechniqueofschock:theobjectsareactionpolitique,howeverare nowconnectedwithoneanotherwithinadialectical,organicwhole.Corbusierusedthe secondaryeffecttheindirectstimulus. Inhislowestlevelthecellthegoalwastogainmaximumflexibility,interchangeability,and possibilityofrapiduse. Freedomwasimportantinhisdesignsalsointheproduction.

LeCorbusierworkedlikeanintellectualinthestrictsensehedidnotbecomeassociatedwith localgovernmentpowers.AndhealsoworkedjusttheoppositewayoftheWeimer intellectuals,fromthespecificandparticulartothegeneralanduniversal. Hismodelshaveallthecharacteristicsoflaboratoryexperiments,andinnocasealaboratory modelcanbetranslatedwhollyintoreality. ButthefailureofAlgiersandCorbusieringeneralcannotbeunderstoodwhenseeninthe contextoftheinternationalcrisisofmodernarchitecture. CapitalistDevelopmentConfrontsIdeology: ModernhistoriansputtheblameofthecrisisofmodernismonFascismandStalinism. Although,theinitialhypothesisofTafuriisthatideologyoftheplanissweptawaybythe realityoftheplanthemomenttheplancamedownfromtheutopianlevelandbecamean operantmechanism. Artwascalledtogivethecityasuperstructuralfacebytryingtodissimulatethe contradictionsofthecontemporarycity,resolvingtheminpolyvalentimages,figuratively glorifyingtheformal complexity. Artthatrefusestoplaceitselfinthevanguardofthecyclesofproduction,demonstrateswell beyondallverbalchallenges,thattheconsumptionprocessextendstoinfinity,andthateven rubbish,whensublimatedintouselessornihilisticobjectscanassumeanewusevalue,thus reentering,ifonlybythebackdoor,thecycleofproductionandconsumption. Yetthisrearguardisalsotheindicationofthecapitalistplansrefusalperhapsonly temporarytofullyresolvethecontradictionsofthecityandtransformthecityintototally organizedmachinewithoutarchaicformsofwasteorgeneralizeddysfunctions. Insuchaphaseasthis,onemustacttoconvincethepublicthatthecontradictions, imbalances,andchaostypicalofthecontemporarycityareinevitablethatsuchchaosinitself, infact,containsunexploredriches,unlimitedpossibilitiesobeturnedtoaccount,brightand shiningvaluestobepresentedasnewsocialfetishes. critiqueofartandarchitecture" Marcusianmythologyisusedtodemonstratethatitispossibletoachieveavaguelydefined collectivefreedomwithinthecurrentrelationsofproduction,andnotthroughtheir subversion. Withthereassertionofartsroleasamediatoronemayagainassigninthenaturalistic attributesthatenlightmentculturehadgivenit. Thedestinyofthecapitalistsocietywithitsorderanddisorderisnotatallextraneoustothe project.Theideologyoftheprojectisessentialtotheintegrationofmoderncapitalism,with all itsstructuresandsuperstructures,intohumanexistence,asistheillusionofbeingableto opposethatprojectwiththetoolsofadifferentprojectorwiththosewitharadicalanti project. Itmayevenbethatmanymarginalandrearguardrolesexistforarchitectureandplanning.Of primaryinteresttous,however,isthequestionofwhy,untilnowMarxistorientedculturehas deniedorconcealedthesimpletruththat,justastherecanbenosuchthingasapolitical economicsofclass,butonlyaclasscritiqueofpoliticaleconomics,likewisetherecannever beanaesthetics,artorarchitectureofclass,butonlyaclasscritiqueofaesthetic,art, architectureandthecity.