Jan Vredeman de Vries, Perspecive.
What does it mean to use a book, rather than read it? How do books define the conditions of their own use, and in so doing imagine the social and theoretical significance of that use? This exhibition explores the inseparable relationship between technologies of book use and forms of thought and theory in the period between 1500 and 1700. Prioritizing the material and social phenomenon of book use, in contrast to the relatively abstracted notion of reading, foregrounds the place of practice in the history of the book. It thereby disrupts clear distinctions between author and reader, text and context, the book as knowledge and the book as material object. Understanding the early book as a practical tool makes it possible to see its many material forms (e.g., binding, typography, title page, margins, index, illustrations) in terms of the knowledge systems that both shaped and were shaped by them.
To use a book is to engage with it as a set of forms and as a condition of thought; in this sense, the history of book use and the history of theoretical speculation are entwined. Drawing examples from professional texts in the disciplines of law and medicine, from literary, religious and educational texts, and from practical manuals on cooking, carving, measuring, memorizing, praying, surveying and traveling, the exhibit explores how early books invited a wide range of uses, asking readers to move within them in particular ways, to write in them, manipulate them, apply them in worlds beyond the book. Crucially, the show argues that where books reflected on such uses and on the textual practices that made them possible, they discovered (or invented) theory.
Bradin Cormack and Carla Mazzio Exhibition Curators
This is probably the most interesting shot of the Villa Savoye I’ve seen yet.
There was once a guy called Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, but that name was a bit of a mouthful, so he called himself ‘Le Corbuser’ instead, which was a whole lot more awesome, especially in 1920 - though these days, and with those glasses, he’d probably be considered a pretentious hipster.
(The image above is from the book “On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time” which looks like an interesting read)
A Gothic pillar and entabulature.
In this early treatise and design-book on Gothic architecture - dating from already 1742, when classicism was still very firmly rooted in Western architecture - Gothic architecture is treated not as a living, highly artisan form of architecture, but just like classicism as a formalised and theoretically thought-through way of building. The effect is endearing and rather strange.
You can read the whole book and see the other strange plates here.