Alberto Pérez-Gómez: Polyphilo or the Dark Forest Revisited, An Erotic Epiphany of Architecture

Alberto Pérez-Gómez

MIT Press, 1992


1 op voorraad

This book explores the origins of architectural beauty in the dynamics of sexual desire. It is a departure from the conventional genres of architectural writing and an original reflection on the erotics of architecture. Perez-Gomez retells the love story of the famous Renaissance novel/treatise “Hypnerotomachia Poliphili” in late 20th century terms. The original work, long a cult book among architects and regarded as one of the most enigmatic books ever published, takes place in a forest. In the retelling, the forest has been replaced by the high tech and pop environment of appliances and airports. Both versions exist somewhere in the borderland between fiction, theory, and pornography. The text is paralleled by a running sequence of photographic collages merging the body and the machine. The original hero of “Hypnerotomachia”, Poliphilo, is lost in a dark forest searching for his lover Polia, for harmony and order in a vast maze of ruined antiquities – caverns, pyramids, theatres, and temples that are described with an almost fanatic erudition and unbridled lust. This modern version of the tale frames our own dark forest in terms of the technology that has become our “nature”. The hero finds himself in the most inhospitable and uncontrollable of spaces, the space of contemporary travel: in an airport and in flight. His voyage does not take him to real buildings, but rather to a jungle of deconstructivist forms – metal grids, plastic domes, computer hardware, blueprints, construction sites, and paintings where the erotic roots of architectural meaning are disclosed and the limitations of a world subjugated by doctrine and tradition are revealed. The sites visited range from the Carceri of Piranesi and the works of Ledoux, Boullee, and Lequeu to theoretical and architectural projects by Hejduk, Rossi, Libeskind and Eisenman.
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ISBN: 9780262161299

342 pages, b/w illustrations, 26 x 18,3 cm, hardcover, English