Andrei Tarkovsky Film Series

Afrekenen
Andrei Tarkovsky Retrospective
(text by: Marc Schoonderbeek)

Organized in cooperation with BORDER CONDITIONS/TERRITORY/PUBLIC BUILDING

While the discussion of spatial issues in cinematic discourse is well established[1], aspects of cinema in architecture are less evident. The discussion of the influence and relevance of cinema for architecture has unfortunately mostly focused on the stage sets created for the enfolding drama of films, with Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari or Blade Runner as the classic examples of subliminal architectural expression in film. Only in a few exceptional instances has cinema been discussed with less factual and directly translated considerations. Manfredo Tafuri’s analysis of the ‘ambiguity of language’ in Sergei Eisenstein’s study on Piranesi’s Caceri constitutes a theoretical discussion of formal principles and techniques implemented in both disciplines.[2] The Manhattan Transcripts of Bernard Tschumi[3] is another exemplary project that offers a clear and highly original treating of cinema in terms of an architectural inquiry. Tschumi’s project offers an analysis of New York based on small-scale events and their spatial consequences. In this specific project, the architectural consideration of cinema is especially intriguing since it combines the implementation of specific formal techniques with the development of a system of representation that is related to the exploration of urban space. By following the small scenario’s scripts, the city is presented as a potentially interesting field of research where the relationships between space, image and daily life are explored. In this instance, and through the implementation of specifically developed spatial representations, aspects of architecture and cinema are brought into close proximity.

Andrei Tarkovski passed away 25 years ago, on 27 December 1986, not long after finishing his eighth film, Offret/The Sacrifice. To commemorate his extraordinary work, the BC group of the department of Public Building (chaired by Michiel Riedijk) in cooperation with Argus offers a Tarkovski retrospective during which 4 films are viewed and the relationship between architecture and cinema will be discussed. With this retrospective, the organizers intend to offer an extended exploration of the relationship between cinema and architecture. In cinema, explorations of space express temporality via issues of ‘context’, ‘exploration’, ‘ordering’, ‘narrative’ and ‘sequential imaging’. Tarkovski’s work is considered particularly relevant for architecture, as the themes of his films not only cover a variety of spatial and architectural topics, they form a very elaborate and integrated body of work as well where several dimensions of architecture come together. In Nostalghia, the cultural heritage experienced by an artist in exile is part of an extended exploration of the quest for artistic relevance coinciding with a longing for ‘home’. In Andrei Rublov, the role of intuition and reason in artistic practice forms the kernel of the film’s meditations. In Stalker, the voyage into an industrial wasteland becomes part of an inner journey towards salvation while the question of the border, of inclusion and exclusion, of freedom and imprisonment, are also part of the film’s narrative.

Perhaps what connects these films is the systematic deconstruction of the house as home. In each of these films, the house is both the place of being and belonging, as well as a haunted space, a place where elements of decay and alienation play a crucial role in the overall experience of space. The minimal (house) versus maximum (zone) place of dwelling in Stalker; the invasion, doubling and ultimately sacrificial destruction in Offret/Sacrifice; the return to the distant, fatherly home in Solaris and Nostalgia, appearing in dream-like sequences; or even the house of god in Rublov, where perhaps painting becomes the ultimate place of home at the end of the movie, are different manifestations of a recurring architectural theme in Tarkosvki’s work.

 

Program:

The movies are shown on four consecutive Tuesday evenings in room C starting March the 20th at 18.00. (note the last movie showing on April 10th will start at 18.45) we’ll start each evening with an introduction of the movie and after the showing there is room for some drinks and discussions until we’re kicked out of the building. Drinks will be available for 1 euro and you’re able to order your pizza for each evening. You can order a pizza by the use of Paypal, iDeal (not yet) and cash.

Tuesday 20 March:

Stalker

introduced by Michiel Riedijk

Nostalghia

introduced by Stefano Milani

Andrei Rublov

introduced by Henriette Bier

One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich, a film by Chris Marker

introduced by Marc Schoonderbeek


[1] See, for instance: Pudovkin’s distinction between ‘filmic time’ and ‘filmic space’ or Stephen Heath’s ‘narrative space’ and David Bordwell’s ‘scenographic space’ in film.

[2] Manfredo Tafuri,  The Sphere and the Labyrinth; Avant-Gardes and Architecture from Piranesi to the 1970s (Cambridge (MA): The MIT Press, 1990), chapter 2: ‘The Historicity of the Avant-Garde: Piranesi and Eisenstein’, pp. 55-91.

[3] Bernard Tschumi, The Manhattan Transcripts (London: Academy Editions, 1994).


Stirling Exhibition

After a real fine trip to the UK we decided to sow eachothers impression of our journey. All the participants did a fantastic job to make this small exhibition a succes. For two weeks the red staircases were a bit less dull.

Excursion James Stirling

James Stirling (1926-1992) was a British architect that has been controversial from his early career during the fifties until today. His Leicester Engineering Building was the most debated work of architecture in the early sixties, his extension of the Neue Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart took that position in the late eighties. His work, labeled as “Brutalist”, “Late-Modern” and “Post-Modern” still provokes both lyrical admiration and powerful disgust.
He unveiled the dormant memory of the ailing modern movement, gave it a new set of design paradigms, and rehabilitated the art of composition. Later, he anticipated the growing interest for typological repertoire and urban morphology in architecture.

BIG JIM
With his flamboyant personality, he was an eccentric, a kind of animal that is a allowed by British tolerance. “Big Jim” preferred to have fun in life and architecture, while scholarly critics like Kenneth Frampton, Reyner Banham,Colin Rowe, Peter Eisenman and Charles Jencks were scrutinizing his works and put it in the focus of the evolving whirliwind of architectural debate.

His oeuvre provoked several monographs, a biography and an enormous amount of comments in the professional press. Last year, interest in his work had been raised again, because of an exhibition of the Canadian Centre of Architecture (CCA) in Montreal accompanied by several publications (a.o. by Anthony Vidler) based on research of his archives that are being kept there. (The exhibition is to be seen in Tate Britain, London until 21 August 2011). The History Thesis Workshop therefore can depart from the “state of the art” research on this topic. It can bring us to the details and anomalities of his work, the emerging design principles or to the turmoil of the exploding “grand narratives” that took place during his lifetime.

Several themes will suggested to you in the beginning. Also lectures will guide you in the beginning to build a rich framework of reference. The thesis workshop will start in september 2011. Deadline (for validaton for next P 2) 20 november 2011.

EXCURSION
Before the start of the workshop, The Architecture Students Association ARGUS offers a 5-day excursion , from sundaymorning the 23rd till thursdayevening the 27th of October 2011. Connecting the major Stirling flagposts, it will circle around London without entering it, and it will include fine new towns, garden cities, landscape gardens, Arts and Crafts houses and musea that are on our path. Roughly cost estimation E 300,-. This includes: planeticket, car rental and petrol, hostels (oxford and cambridge), breakfast and entrance fees. Only dinner is not included.

The program is roughly:

Day 1: Delft, Schiphol,London Heathrow, Stevenage New Town, Welwyn Garden City;
Day 2: Oxford, Florey Building, Leicester Engineering Building, Stowe Landscape Gardens (capability Brown);
Day 3. Haslemere Olivetti Training Centre, Guildford Grayfriars House (Voysey), Bexleyheath Red House (Phillip Webb, William Morris), Dulwich Art Gallery (John Soane);
Day 4: Cambridge, History Faculty, Norwich University of East Anglia (Dennis Lasdun), Sainsbury Wing of the Arts (Norman Foster)
Day 5: Cambridge, Heathrow, Schiphol, Delft (arr. 11 p.m.)

THESIS WORKSHOP
Participation of this trip is of course highly recommended by Hans, but not obligatory, if you want to join the thesis workshop. Also it is possibl e to work on a thesis on the “other excentricities” that we will pass.
Important is that you are prepared to attend the extra lectures and that you like to enjoy working in a group and share knowledge, insight and fun with your fellow students in presentations and debates.