Akademie der Künste
U-Bahn-Station Altes Landgut (U1)
Late twentieth-century American architecture is so saturated with various forms of irony that it seems suspiciously like the single unifying theme of the age.
The recourse to irony may seem singularly inappropriate to the field of architecture if by architecture one ascribes Durand’s “the art of the necessary.” Building as structure, material, and social program would seem to be the most direct and irony-free cultural phenomenon: structure and materials have a legal responsibility to function properly; and shelter is a basic human imperative. In this sense there is incontrovertible quiddity in the weight, expense, and purpose of architecture. But if one asks, along with Nikolaus Pevsner, if utilitarian structures such as the bicycle shed qualify as architecture, one is forced to recognize that architecture belongs to a discourse that goes far beyond the phenomenal acts of shelter and construction because it is circumscribed by texts and subject to interpretation. With the recognition of the textuality of architecture, the question of irony, a quintessential result of interpretation, becomes a significant effect of architecture, if not...
Not all theatrical performances create a contemporaneity. To create a contemporaneity is temporarily, ephemerally, to construct stable relationships between different temporalities.
Theater as a live art has a peculiarly complicated relation to time, and to the present, especially because sometimes it proves to be a mimetic art, and sometimes not. Not only is it a matter of the temporality of the theater itself, and then of the time of the play, and of the performance but it is also – and this since the original Greek dispensation of theater – a question of the time of the city, of the polis, of the community, if such a thing exists.
The object of this paper is theater as the production of contemporaneity, a temporal phenomenon which also turns out to be corporeal and political. The material consists of two theatrical performances; one by Dario Fo, titled La Fame dello Zanni (The Servant’s Hunger) and performed in what appears to be a university lecture hall in 1977 for RAI Due, Italian state television, and the...