Desire Lines: Space, memory and identity in the by Nick Shepherd

By Nick Shepherd

This flooring breaking new paintings attracts jointly a cross-section of South African students to supply a full of life and entire evaluation of the under-researched zone of historical past perform following the creation of the nationwide history assets Act. the day-by-day history debates, from naming streets to tasks similar to the Gateway to Robben Island, wish traces addresses the cutting edge ideas that experience emerged within the perform of defining, deciding on and constructing historical past websites. In a special multi-disciplinary procedure, contributions are featured from a huge spectrum of fields, together with the outfitted setting and public tradition and schooling. Showcasing paintings from journey operators and museum curators along that of university-based students, this e-book is a complete and singularly authoritative quantity that charts the improvement of recent and emergent public cultures in post-apartheid South Africa in the course of the making and unmaking of its city areas. This pioneering choice of essays and case stories is an integral advisor for these operating inside or learning historical past perform.

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Extra resources for Desire Lines: Space, memory and identity in the post-apartheid city (The Architext Series)

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Contemporary architecture in South Africa post-apartheid is arguably much like work anywhere else in the world where, in postmodern ways, styles, trends and influences are juxtaposed and coexist in cities that are increasingly hybrid and disjointed from their modernist and colonial masterplans (Murray 2006: 8). Yet at the same time there are moments in the making of buildings in which the translations of received forms and practices take on local characteristics – where place-making and identity-making intersect through a search by architects for a uniquely ‘South African architecture’.

One take on this argument – from the perspective of the centre – would be that it is impossible for anything authentic or new to be produced outside of this site of production. This reinforces notions of the margins as remote, detached and inferior sites of production, condemned to ‘receiving’ ideas from the centre which are then applied in an uncritical manner. The space of the margins, in this conception, is ‘stagnant and incapable of the invention of anything as urbane as modernism’. Another angle on this argument might resist the notion that the space of the margins is one of backwardness, simply caught in a time-lapse waiting to receive ‘secondhand ideas from the centre’ (Herwitz 1998).

In contrast, the second form exists at the margins where modernist art and architecture developed along significantly different lines (Herwitz 1998). If modernism originates in the first instance out of a specific form of urban life, then what does this mean to originate elsewhere, where that form of life is largely absent or minimal? In South Africa for example? (Herwitz 1998: 406) This raises questions about studies of the margins and specifically of the architecture that it produces. It follows that the transference of metropolitan modernist ideals cannot be seen to have circulated in any simplistic manner.

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