Abstract/Details

Le Corbusier's seeing things: Ambiguity and illusion in the representation of modern architecture


1996 1996

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Abstract (summary)

In the twentieth century, more so than at any other time, media transformed architecture. No architect employed media as extensively and as consciously as did Le Corbusier in the conveyance of a modern architecture, an architecture that ostensibly privileged structure, function and material. Yet in his hands the very act of mediation served to transform architecture, de-materializing it, and eventually leading to an architecture of illusion. As a Purist painter, he believed the goal of art to be the evocation of an elevated sensation. He achieved this goal through mathematical regulation of the canvas and its contents. Such ordering resulted in ambiguous and illusory visual space, space that had a physiological effect on the viewer. He 'applied' this order to both his architecture and the image of his architecture. Photographs of buildings were made to conform to Purist vision, underscoring the illusion of representation and evoking in the 'reader' a sensation parallel to that of an ordered architecture. Such representation offered Le Corbusier new space, and he strove to translate this into a three-dimensional architecture by making representation itself into architecture. With his photo murals, photographs became walls. With his exhibition pavilions, publicity became facades. An architecture of illusion evolved which valued phenomenal sensation over the 'thing' itself. Such sensation became the essence of Le Corbusier's 1946 theory of architecture in which a synthesis of the arts would result in what he termed "ineffable space," the 'four-dimensional' equivalent of the sensation of illusion found in the Purist canvas. With illusion the basis of a new architecture, a dialectical relationship with material reality itself was established. In this way, representation served Le Corbusier not to record modern architecture, but to transform it, opening the door to an architecture antithetical to its principles.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Architecture;
Art History;
Mass media
Classification
0729: Architecture
0377: Art History
0708: Mass media
Identifier / keyword
Communication and the arts; Switzerland
Title
Le Corbusier's seeing things: Ambiguity and illusion in the representation of modern architecture
Author
Naegele, Daniel Joseph
Number of pages
387
Publication year
1996
Degree date
1996
School code
0175
Source
DAI-A 57/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780591019346, 0591019345
Advisor
Rykwert, Joseph
University/institution
University of Pennsylvania
University location
United States -- Pennsylvania
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
9636188
ProQuest document ID
304312625
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304312625
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