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Uomo universale : the imaginary relation between body and mathematic(s) in architecture
journal contributionposted on 2009-12-01, 00:00 authored by Mirjana LozanovskaMirjana Lozanovska
What is the role of the human figure in the drawing of the uomo universale? Interlocked with the “master architect” as a constituent component of the canonical bodies of architecture, is the idea of the uomo universale, the universal man, an idea that was especially compelling to Renaissance masters. In contemporary social theory the uomo universale is read for its generic sense as the “universal subject”. Critical to this is a dialectical sense in which “man” confronts its non-neutral association with a gender specificity, either man or woman. This paper looks at the drawing and image of the uomo universale and explores the distinction between presence and representation, between the visibility of the image, its content and detail and the symbolic role of the image as constitutive of a canon of architecture. Though we are not meant to “see” the human figure as corporeal presence and rather focus our attention on the image as a geometric schema, my argument is that only through the figure is the uomo universale engendered as an image of the highest form of nature.