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TheEndoftheClassical:TheEndofTheBeginning,TheEndoftheEnd: PeterEisenman Questions: 1 Whichfictionsinfluencearchitecture,andwhatwastheirunderlyingpurpose? 2 WhyisModernarchitectureapartoftheclassical? 3 Whatwastherelationoflanguageandrepresentationbeforethe renaissance? 4 Intheeighteenthcenturywheredidtruthreside?Andwhatwerethe consequencesofthischange? 5 HowdidmodernarchitecturetrytoliberateitselffromtheRenaissancefiction ofrepresentation? 6 Fortheauthorwhydidmodernarchitecturefailtoembodyanewvaluein itself? 7 Whydidn'ttheobjectiveformsofmodernismleavetheclassicaltradition? 8 Fortheauthorwhydoesn'ttheorderstodayhavenosignificance?

9 UnderthesubtitleThe"Fiction"ofReason:TheSimulationofTruth,how doestheauthorexplaintherelationreasonandtruth? 10 Whatchangedduringtherenaissance? 11 Whatwerethechangesintheenlightment? 12 Whatwastheconsequencesofthecrisisinthissecondfiction? 13 InThe"Fiction"ofHistory:TheSimulationofTheTimeless,howwasthe explanationoftime? 14 Whatwerethechangesafterthefifteenthcentury? 15 Howcanyouexplainzeitgeist,andpresentness? 16 Whatwastheideaoftimeduringthemodernmovement 17 Howdoestheauthorexplainthereasonofthecontinuityofclassisismand modernism? 18 Whatistheargumentoftheauthor,whenheconsidersfictionsas simulations? 19 Howisitpossibletoreconstructthetimeless? 20 Whatisagraft? 21 Shouldanotclassicalarchitecturehaveanend?Explainbriefly. 22 Ifarchitectureisatext,whatareitsproperties?

TheEndoftheClassical:TheEndofTheBeginning,TheEndoftheEnd: PeterEisenman

Architecturefromthefifteenthcenturyhasbeenundertheinfluenceofthreefictions: representation,reasonandhistory, Eachfictionhadanunderlyingpurpose:representationwastoembodytheideaof meaning,reasonwastocodifytheideaoftruth,historywastorecovertheideaof timelessfrom theideaofchange.Thepersistenceofthesecategoriesgivewaytoa

continuityinarchitecturalthought.Thiscontinuousmodecanbereferredas classical. Modernarchitectureisalsoapartofclassical,becauseitfallsintheabove3fictions. Todaytheperiodoftimedominatedbytheclassicalcanbeseenas"episteme"to employfoucault'sterm acontinuousperiodofknowledgethatincludestheearly twentiethcentury. ForEisenman,despitetheproclaimedruptureinbothideologyandstyleassociated withthemodernmovement,thethreefictionshaveneverbeenquestionedandso remainintact.Thisistosaythatarchitecturesincethemidfifteenthcenturyaspired tobeaparadigmoftheclassic,ofwhatwhichistimeless,meaningfulandtrue. The"fiction"ofRepresentation:theSimulationofMeaning Beforetherenaissancetherewasacongruenceoflanguageandrepresentation. Themeaningoflanguagewasina"facevalue"conveyedwithinrepresentation,in otherwords,thewaylanguageproducedmeaningcouldberepresentedwithin language.Thingsweretruthandmeaningwereselfevident,andthemeaningofa Gothiccathedralwasinitself.itwasdefacto.Renaissancebuildingsandafter, receivedtheirvaluebyrepresentinganalreadyvaluedarchitecture.bybeing simulacra(representationsofrepresentations).Themessagesofthepastwasused toverifythemeaningofthepresent.(Whereisthestartingpoint) Bytheeighteenthcenturyhistoricalrelativitycametosupersedethe"facevalue"of languageasrepresentationandthisviewofhistorypromptedasearchforcertainity, fororiginsbothhistoricalandlogical,fortruthandproofandforgoals.Truthwasno longerthoughttoresideinrepresentationbutwasbelievedtoexistoutsideit,inthe processofhistory.Thisshiftcanbeseeninthechangingstatusoftheorders:until theseventeenthcenturytheywerethoughttobeparadigmaticandtimeless afterwardstheirpossibilityoftheirtimelessnessdependedonanecessaryhistoricity: Thisshiftoccurredbecauselanguagehadceasedtointersectwithrepresentation thatis,becauseitwasnotmeaningbutamessagethatwasdisplayedintheobject. ModernarchitectureclaimedtorectifyandliberateitselffromtheRenaissancefiction ofrepresentationbyassertingthatitwasnotnecessaryforarchitecturetorepresent anotherarchitecturearchitecturewassolelytoembodyitsownfunction.Modern architectureshouldexpress looklikeitsfunction.Ittriedtostripitselfofthe outwardtrappingsof"classical"style.Thisprocessofreductionwascalled abstraction. Thisreductiontopurefunctionalitywasinfactnotabstractionitwasanattemptto representrealityitself.Functionalgoalsreplacedtheordersofclassicalcomposition. Realismwasrepresentedwithundecoratedfunctionalobject.Anarchitecture"asis" inwhichrepresentationisaboutitsownmeaningratherthanbeingamessageof anotherpreviousmeaning. Functionalismturnedouttobeyetanotherstylisticconclusion,thisonebasedona scientificandtechnicalpositivism,asimulationofefficiency.Fromthisperspective themodernmovementcanbeseentobecontinuouswiththearchitecturethat precededit.Modernarchitecturethereforefailedtoembodyanewvalueinitself. Themodernstryingtoreducearchitecturalformtoitsessence,toapurereality,they assumedtheyweretransformingthefieldofreferentialfigurationtothatofnon referentialobjectivity.Howevertheirobjectiveformsneverlefttheclassical tradition????Euclid'ebalolduuiin

Thecommitmenttoreturnmodernistabstractiontohistoryseemstosumup,forour time,theproblemofrepresentation. Theduck,abuildingthatlookslikeitsfunction Thedecoratedshed,islikeabillboardthatconveysamessageaccessibletoall. Thestripdown"abstractionsofmodernismarestillreferentialobjects,technological ratherthantypologicalducks. Architecture"asis",architectureasmessage. Thereplicationoftheorderstodayhasnosignificancebecausethevaluesystem representedisnolongervalued.AsignbeginstoreplicateorinJ.Baudrillard'sterm "simulate",oncetherealityitrepresentsisdead.Whenthereisnolongerany distinctionbetweenrepresentationandreality,whenrealityisonlysimulation,then representationlosesitsapriorisourceofsignificance,andittoobecomesa simulation. The"Fiction"ofReason:TheSimulationofTruth Thesecond"fictionofpostmedievalarchitectureisreason.Ifrepresentationwasa simulationofthemeaningofthepresentthroughthemessageofantiquity,then reasonwasasimulationofthemeaningofthetruththroughthemessageof science.Thisisstronglymanifestinthetwentiethcenturyarchitecture,asitisinthat ofthefourprecedingcenturies,itsapogeewasintheenlightment. Beforetherenaissancetheideaoforiginwasseenasselfevidentitsmeaningand importancewentwithoutsayingitbelongedtoanaprioriuniverseofvalues.Inthe renaissance,withthelossofselfevidentuniverseofvalues,originsweresoughtin naturalanddivinesourcesorinacosmologicaloranthropomorhicgeometry.Belief oftheexistenceofanidealoriginleddirectlytoabeliefintheexistenceofanideal end,thiswasrelatedwithabeliefofauniversalplaninnatureandcosmos,which broughtclassicalrules(order,hierarchyetc),wouldconferaharmonyofthewhole upontheparts.Herecompositionwasnotopenendedbuthadagoal. Reactingagainstthecosmologicalgoalsofrenaissance,enlightmentarchitecture aspiredtoarationalprocessofdesignwhoseendswereaproductofpure,secular reasonratherthanofdivineorder.InDurandtreatisesformalordersbecometype forms,andnaturalanddivineoriginsarereplacedbyrationalsolutionstothe problemsofaccommodationandconstruction.Rationalthinkinginsciencescanbe usedforarchitecture.Ifanarchitecturelookedrationalthatis,represented rationalityitwasbelievedtorepresenttruth. Inthissecond"fiction"thecrisesofbeliefinreasoneventuallyunderminedthe powerofselfevidence.Asreasonbegantoturnonitself,toquestionitsownstatus, itsauthoritytoconveytruths,itspowertoprove,begantoevaporate.Renaissance andthemodernreliedonasthebasisoftruthrequiredfaith. Analysiswasaformofsimulationknowledgewasanewreligion.Thereisno architecturalimageofreason.Analysisandtheillusionofproof,inacontinuous processthatrecallsNietzsche'scharacterizationoftruthisaneverendingseriesof figures,metaphors,andmetonymies. Onceanalysisandandreasonreplacedselfevidenceasthemeansbywhichtruth wasrevealed,theclassicortimelessqualityoftruthendedandtheneedfor verificationbegan.

The"Fiction"ofHistory:thesimulationofthetimeless Thethird"Fiction"isofhistory.Priortothemidfifteenthcentury,timewasconceived nondialecticalyfromantiquitytothemiddleagestherewasnoconceptofforward movementoftime.Artwastimeless.InancientGreecethetempleandthegodwere oneandhesame,architecturewasdivineandnatural. Inthemidfifteenthcenturytheideaofatemporaloriginemerged,andwithitthe ideaofthepast.Hencethelossofthetimeless,fortheexistenceoftheorigin requiredatemporalreality.Theattemptoftheclassicaltorecoverthetimeless turnedparadoxicallytoatimeboundconcepthistoryasasourceoftimelessness. Thetime'sforwardmovementcametoexplainaprocessofhistoricalchange.Bythe 19'thcenturythisprocesswasseenasdialectical.Withdialecticalcametheideaof zeitgeist,withcauseandeffectrootedinpresentness. Inthepolemicalrejectionofthehistorythatprecededit,themodernmovement attemptedtoappealtovaluesforthisharmonicrelationshipotherthanthosethat embodiedtheeternaloruniversal.Themodernmovementhadauniversalideafor history.Thezeitgeistwasseentobecontingentandofthepresentratherthan absoluteandeternal.Thesetofaestheticsalsochanged.asymmetryover symmetry,dynamismoverstability,absenceofhierarchyoverhierarchy.Modern architecturewasnotarupturewithhistorybutamomentinthesamecontinuum. Paradoxinthezeitgeist,asimulationofthetimelessthroughthereplicationofthe timeful. Zeitgeisthistorytooissubjecttoquestioninghisownauthority.Howcanitbe possibletodetermineatimelesstruthofitsspirit?Thushistoryceasestobean objectivesourceoftruthoriginsandendsonceagainloosetheiruniversality,(thatis theirselfevidentvalue)andlikehistorybecomefictions.Ifclassisismand modernismisacontinuity,andhasnoselfevidentvaluetimelessnesscanbecut freefrommeaningfulandtruthful.Sothereisnoonetruthandonemeaning,but merelythetimeless. Thisseparationmakestheorigin(natural,divineorfunctional)looseitsimportance, anditisnolongernecessarytoproduceaclassicthatistimelessarchitectureby recoursetotheclassicalvaluesinherentinrepresentation,reasonandhistory. TheNotclassicalarchitectureasFiction: Theabovefictionscanalsobeconsideredassimulations.Fictionsbecome simulationsiftheydon'trecognizetheirconditionsasfictionandtrytosimulatea conditionofreality,truthornonfiction. Thesimulationofrepresentationofarchitecturehasledfirstofall,toanexcessive concentrationofinventiveenergiesintherepresentationalobjects. Secondthesimulationofreasoninarchitecturehasbeenbasedonaclassicalvalue giventotheideaoftruth.Errorcanalsobe Thirdthepresentdayarchitecturemustbeareflectionofitszeitgeist,thatis architecturecansimultaneaouslybeaboutpresentnessanduniversality. ThesearearguedbyEisenman Foranarchitecturetobenotclassicalitmustbemeaningfree,arbitraryandtimeless creationofartificiality.ForEisenmanthisisnotasimulationbutadissimulation,in whichsimulationremovescompletelythedifferencebetweenrealandimaginary, dissimulationleavesuntouchedthedifferencebetweenrealityandillusion.The

relationbetweendissimulationandrealityissimilartothesignificationembodiedin themask.Suchadissimulationinarchitecturecanbegiventheprovisionaltitleof thenotclassical.Thenotclassicalarchitectureisnottheinverse,negativeor oppositeofclassicalarchitecture. Thenotclassicalmerelyproposesanendtothedominanceofclassicalvalues. Theendofthebeginning: Abeginningissuchaconditionpriortoavaluedorigin.Inordertoreconstructthe timeless,thestateofasis,offacevalue,onemustbegin,beginbyeliminatingthe timeboundconceptsoftheclassical,whichareprimarilyoriginandend. Theattempttoreconstructthetimelessnessmustbeafictionwhichrecognizesthe fictionalityofitsowntask.Timelessnesstodaymustnottrytosimulateatimeless reality. Notclassicaloriginscanbestrictlyarbitraryandwithoutvalue. Oneartificialoriginisagraft,insertionofanalienbodyinahosttoprovideanew result.Itisaninventedsitethathasnovaluesystem.itcontainsmotivationfor action,thatisthebeginningofaprocess.Changeisimportanthere. TheEndoftheEnd: Thesecondcharacteristicofanotclassicalarchitecture,isitsfreedomfromapriori goalsandendstheendoftheends. Theendoftheendalsoconcernstheendofobjectrepresentation,astheonly metaphoricsubjectinarchitecture.Hereanonrepresentationalfigurationinthe objectcanbeametaphorsoheretheclassicalaestheticoftheobjectisnot concernedbutthepotentialpoeticofthearchitecturaltextisconcerned.Thentexts andrepresentationsmustbedistinguished.Ifarchitectureisatextthentheremust beareaderinsteadauserorobserver.Theactivityofreadingmustberelatedwith therecognitionofsomethingasalanguage,withalevelofindicationratherthana levelofmeaningorexpression.

Wemustbegininthepresentwithoutnecessarilygivingavalueofpresentness