the body | resist | be taken | form | unform | place


Our experience of architecture where the built environment through various negations and spatial conflicts becomes metaphorical for the complexities of the human condition. Spatial practices become a reflection of emotional states, their absurdities and their crises. My practice explores the subjective interpretation of the relationship of the body and the city as articulation, as construction and as symbol for the intracies of conflict.

The socio-spatial syntax of legislation and visual spatial typography can be examined to see how far the city can become a ‘curation’ beyond the conventional languages of social use. Architectural construction can be seen as a conflict between users and designers, architects and dwellers and raises the question – ‘can architecture become a vehicle of social control, striving to construct a uniformity of land use which is tailored to a notion of social interaction which may not be the intended spatial use?’

The built environment can be reviewed as a systematic construction of the human form; the mutual co-existence of the body in space, the visual and aesthetic experience of architecture and the political context, allow an understanding of the limitations to control and power of totality; and conflict manifested between human apparatuses and the built environment symbolize dynamic shifts in the cycles of power and its negotiations; as Foucault remarks; ‘War is a ferry man who makes it possible to move from one system of right to another.’(Foucault. M ( 1997)  Seminal to my research remains the ability to conceptualize the human form as both dominant and submissive to the negotiations of other human forms and the spatial container which becomes seminal tangible entity for these vivid intersections.


‘ The body politic is an artificial construct which replaces the primacy of the body. Culture is moulded according to the dictates of nature, but transforms nature limits.’( Grosz 1992)

Within this capacity; the nature of human civilisation and cultural idiosyncrasies can be formulated as an expression of human manipulation and can become then a projection upon the spatial container in which it manifests. This argument places prominence upon the nature of the human form to consciously or sub-consciously impact upon its spatial container; the study of such impact then, cannot be removed from the primary instigator, the human form. The potential here for conflict is vast; due to the sheer volume of potential inflicting and contradictory impact schemas which are invariably impressed upon the spatial container

The ubiquity of place within the wider frame of the societal apparatus, reveals the underlying fundamental complex notions of how humans are seeking loci in order of chaos. The built environment can be further conceptualized as a locus of social inequalities in dis-equilibrium, manifesting the city as a dimension of futility within citizen apparatus of democracy. If war can be conceptualized as a social phenomena, then shifts in the urban imaginary restrict participation by occupation and movement of the human form. The affects of radical spatial transformation and restriction on the human psyche can be reviewed as a transformative element to provoke a collision of contradictory trajectories.

the body rests now, lurking in a dark corner, eager to await the city as fuel, as resource, as construct. The performance we consume as we hurtle to another choreography of departures from the spaces we loathe to call a place. The body rests then, in the grass, in the white space which smells of bleach and constructs performance.

The city cannot contain more than we allow it to. Projecting tired metaphors, the apparatus of history, the postcolonial accident which we admit no blame for. The city which we fill with accidents of the post modern, endlessly repeating the same tired charade. The accidents which we name progress to effortlessly allow us to move slowly to visions of certain futures lamented. The city watched, but not observed, catered for our every need but not understood. Named but the identity undisclosed.

The body in the construct we name the city battles and torments to reflect itself as the power it resides it must be. The body becomes emblem, endlessly attempting to symbolise its endeavours. It’s  dwelling becomes an extension of such will; the abode in which the body surrenders to society’s surmount.

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~ by beatricejarvis on September 7, 2010.

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