Anthony Vidler The Architectural Uncanny Essays

Anthony Vidler The Architectural Uncanny Essays-53
Although “refugee” is a legal status, it is also not the same as citizenship.

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There are many examples that unpack the intersections of architecture and the uncanny.

One of the most recent and politically charged can be found in the Palestinian refugee camps, particularly those within the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank.

Invoking Freud’s definition allows us to unpack this anxiety as the result of the uncanny architecture of the Palestinian refugee camp, both in terms of the “homely and unhomely,” as well as its deconstruction of political, legal, and territorial boundaries.

The presence of Palestinian refugees is a deeply charged issue for Palestinians and Israelis, as well as for the neighboring Arab nations.

The term “displaced” is especially spectral and deconstructive—to “displace” means both “to move from its rightful place” and “to take over the position of.” In this way, the term “displaced” (and the doubly spectral status of “internally displaced”) hints at the work of the uncanny within refugee status—refugees are literally both homely and unhomely, deconstructing political and legal boundary, existing simultaneously inside and outside state power.

One politically ghostly aspect of refugee status specific to Palestinian refugees is the “right of return,” which Palestinians claim in resistance to Israel’s occupation. The Least of All Possible Evils: Humanitarian Violence from Arendt to Gaza. The second part considers the architectural process and how this relates to the use of architectural fantasy in animation film. In this chapter Suzanne Buchan describes some examples of animation film's particular "bending" or manipulation of architectural space and contrast this to our experience of space in architectural set design in live-action cinema.Implicitly however, Freud’s treatment of “heimlich” and “unheimlich” also provides a deeper, deconstructive orientation of the uncanny.The slippery exchange between the meaning of “heimlich” and “unheimlich” shows that what is uncanny is bound up in fundamental anxieties about the construction and instability of boundary itself.In his book Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation, architect Eyal Weizman references Palestinian refugee camps as uncanny spaces that “each side considers haunted” (227).It has also become common within the global movement of humanitarian journalism to invoke a language of spectrality and refer to refugees as “ghosts” and refugee camps as “ghostly,” “haunting,” and “eerie.” The narrative framing of refugee camps, as well as the belief in their haunting, points to the spaces of Palestinian refugee camps as particular sources of uncanny anxiety.Much Post Modern Architecture left the viewer with an odd feeling experience - one that was not based in "reality".Different means of portraying film sets, can create the same phenomenon.The Architectural Uncanny was explored in the mid 1990s as a series of essays that focused on the Post Modern in architecture.Post Modernism, in its way of reflecting on the images of the past, sometimes in a very theatrical way, can be seen as a parallel of sorts with the creation of sets for film - that may use the past, present or create a future, in somewhat a similar theatrical fashion.


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