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The architectural edifice and the phantoms of history
journal contributionposted on 2003-08-01, 00:00 authored by Mirjana LozanovskaMirjana Lozanovska
Starting with the literal and physical role of the "ground," this article attempts to bring this "ground" into a discursive arena. In particular, the author is thinking about the period at the end of a war, the period in between destruction and reconstruction, exemplified in some classic postwar films in which the architecture of the city is in a state of ruin—deformed, eroded, and dark—but there is no further destruction. The article calls this period "a gap of history" and its investigation is set against a claim that architecture is a reconstructive practice, that it is enlightening and aspiring. History, on the other hand, is captured by scenes of the battlefield and dominated by a narrative of war and destruction. The article makes reference to the real and fantasy desire for destruction (war and history) and reconstruction (architecture), and how through the connecting plane of the ground architecture is entangled in war and history of destruction as it figures in reconstruction. Architecture is contingent on history as discursive—history that is not unified, fixed, or evolutionary but rather contested and rewritten within a conflictual battlefield.