Differences brings together ten essays written over the past decade by the distinguished Spanish architect and theorist Ignasi de Sola-Morales. Contemplating the panorama of contemporary art and architecture, de Sola-Morales posits that there is no one way to describe today’s practice; instead he concentrates on elucidating the present dynamic of contrast, diversity, and tension.
In an unorthodox pairing, de Sola-Morales derives his inspiration from both phenomenology and Deleuzean poststructuralism. Combining these philosophical inheritances allows him to reinvoke the human subject without referring to classical humanism or announcing the death of the object. His retrospective review of the disciplines of art and architecture, particularly as they have developed since World War II, provokes him to design, draft, and ultimately build a description of Modernism’s lineage of subjectivity. The result is a provocative construction of fluid “topographies” that articulate, rather than depict, the shaky ground on which our current artistic and architectural production rests.
Sado-masochism: Criticism and Architectural Practice. Topographies of Contemporary Architecture. Mies van der Rohe and Minimalism. Architecture and Existentialism. Weak Architecture. From Autonomy to Untimeliness. Place: Permanence or Production. Difference and Limit: Individualism in Contemporary Architecture. High-Tech: Functionalism or Rhetoric. The Work of Architecture in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.