Koolhaas versus the Actor
aml, you write:
tafuri starts with the analysis of james stirling's leicester laboratory. initially it might be argued that this building is using a symbolic system [ships, machine aesthetic, other buildings], but tafuri argues the way this reenactment is being done [and one of the key points is reenacting other buildings, this second stage removement] splits it, removes it from the symbolic system... no longer a direct reference, architecture with stirling is referencing itself
can you provide some examples where architecture is a direct reference and thus not a reference to itself? what is a direct reference in general?
also, you write:
another way of looking at this is in general looking at the five architects. here again, we have an architecture of self-reference, the five architects referencing le corbusier's forms without a direct connection with the origin of the forms.
can you provide an example where le corbusier's forms are referenced with a direct connection with the origin of the forms?
maybe this covers both examples: le corbusier was fascinated with the forms of machines- fans, ships, and the like. he referenced those shapes. the five architects, and stirling, are referencing le corbusier. thus referencing previous architecture. you need to 'know' le corbusier to 'get' those references.
the references of stirling and the five architects, thus divorced from their original meaning [fans, ships, machine aesthetic] are empty symbols, they do not refer to their actual meaning [or original intention, le corbusier's intention] but to the second meaning: le corbusier's building.
this is a parallel to roland barthes mythologies: signified and signifier --> the sign, but sign appropriated for another signifier, plus new signified --> the signification, taking language to the level of myth.
this introspection or self-referentiality of the medium referencing itself is what tafuri considers to be 'dans le boudoir,' but he sees it as a condition with several different manifestations [silence, speak, etc].
[ok stirling is referencing several things besides corb, but i don't remember all the buildings right now- just read that as referring to the five archs]
OK, I see what you mean, but....
There are many historical examples were architecture references itself, e.g., renaissance architecture referencing classical architecture, or even the second pyramid at Giza referencing the Great Pyramid at Giza.
Le Corbusier is just as much a reenactor as Stirling and the NY5 are reenactors. Le Corbusier reenacted machine forms and ship forms and American agricultural architecture forms. And Le Corbusier even ultimately reenacted himself--the Palais des Congres (1964) reenacts the Villa Savoye (1929)
I don't buy the notion of there ever really being a split from the symbolic system. Degrees of separation, yes, but no real split.
Stirling is a consumate reenactionary architect, and he knew it, but he put most of his clues in his architecture only--although his entry for Roma Interrotta is an overt reference to Piranesi's Campo Marzio plan and reenactionary architecturism. Just as Rossi reenacted the Bustum Hadriani with the Modena Cemetery, but it doesn't look like he ever told Tafuri about it. Yes, Rossi was silent, as are most architects when it comes to telling others where their real 'originality' comes from.