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Next week I will be ging the opening lecture of the ‘Foros’ lecture series at the School of Achitecture of the UIC Barcelona – Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, thanks to a kind invitation by Fredy Massad and Guillem Carabí, organizers of the 2020 edition. This year’s series, titled ‘Co-Benefits’, will focus on the multiple overlaps of architecture and the arts, from dance and sculpture to photography, cinema and comics (ahem).
The series will feature lectures by sculptress MADOLA, dancer Carme Torrent, critic and curator Maroje Mrduljaš, as well as Elsie Owusu, Éric Fassin, Jorge Gorostiza, and yours truly. Below you can find the poster for the series, with the speakers’ Bios and a general description of the program.
See you all there, if you can make it. There’s a possibility that some prints might be awarded to those members of the audience who ask interesting questions.
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Architecture has perhaps been the Fine Arts discipline that historically has most heavily drawn from the other arts. From ancient civilizations up until the 19th century, its necessary condition of habitability enabled architecture to incorporate painting, sculpture, music and literature, to its façades, its roofs, on the outside and the inside of buildings.
However, at the beginning of the 20th century, the emergence of the artistic avant-garde meant that architecture had to swing between the adapting of its forms in response to a new way of perceiving the world, and the pressing need to solve the housing shortage in war-torn Europe. This produced a pendulum motion where the arts, as an escape valve for a continent in ferment, influenced a significant proportion of architectural designs, inevitably moving them closer to the new visual arts. And, at the same time, the absence of distinct ornamentation revealed, from the nature of the architecture itself, its own artistic quality.
A hundred years later, looking back we can continue to observe a fruitful feedback process between the arts: while the various manifestations of contemporary art draw on numerous occasions from architectural elements, freed from any connotation of habitability, architecture in turn draws from the various artistic disciplines to emphasise its emotional nature and thereby reconnect with its users. In this way, dance, sculpture, thought, or the newer arts like photography, cinema and comics become, deservedly, both components of and interpreters of contemporary architecture.
Direction of Foros. Guillem Carabí, Fredy Massad.
Aula Magna UIC Barcelona