In this world where the fetishization of the self has become a central tenet of the social order, where we are obliged to continuously produce the effects of selfhood – to “possess” autonomous agency, youthful beauty, rich personality – where we approximate ever more closely the status of what Mario Perniola has called “feeling things,” is it time to allow for the possibility that things, too, might have become, in Brecht’s term, gestisch? This question comes to mind when considering artist Christopher Williams’s Stage Play, presented over the course of three nights in late May 2017 at a small theater in Zürich.
Tom McDonough (Assoc Prof, Art History) teaches and writes on aspects of the European avant-gardes, modern art and architecture, and twentieth-century French cultural and intellectual history.
5:00 PM in FA 143
Julia Walker will be speaking at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) on Wednesday, October 17 at 12:00 in LN 1106. Her paper is titled “’Form is nothing but emptiness, emptiness nothing but form’: Brigitte D’Ortschy and Frank Lloyd Wright in Germany, America, and Japan.” All are welcome to attend.
This paper examines the understudied German architect and planner Brigitte D’Ortschy. Born in Berlin, D’Ortschy spent much of her architectural career in Munich, first at the Technische Universität and later as a founding member of the Bavarian Committee for Urban and Regional Planning. Yet in between, she came in contact with Frank Lloyd Wright, in whom she would find a resonant intelligence—one who privileged the mental and spiritual in architecture and one who contemplated the powerful effects of silence, space, and absence. Her interactions with Wright, I aim to show, laid the groundwork for her later pursuit: becoming a Zen master of the Sanbo Kyodan school in Japan. Through analysis of D’Ortschy’s essays, letters, talks, and photographic archives, this paper reveals her intensive engagement with Wright’s ideas, from his theory of “organic architecture” to his thinking about the importance of flow and continuity in architectural space. I hope to show that D’Ortschy’s developing interest in Zen and Japan, aided by Wright’s philosophy, led her to view architecture as yet another form of the ideal “emptiness” she sought in spiritual contemplation.
On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, Nancy Um will speak in the Sydney Asian Art series, hosted by The Power Institute. Her talk is entitled, “Boxes Fit for Kings: Aromatic Gifts around the Late-Seventeenth- and Early-Eighteenth-Century Indian Ocean.”
The Material and Visual Worlds TAE is delighted to announce the first talk in its annual speaker series. George Marcus, Chancellor’s Professor of Anthropology, UC-Irvine, will deliver a talk on Thursday, October 4 concerned with contemporary experiments in collaborative research across a range of fields of expertise. “Ethnographic Fieldwork, Scenic Design Interventions, and the Consequences of Aesthetic Decisions: Three Collaborative Projects Over Five Years,” will be presented in FA 258 at 6:00. Everyone is welcome!