Journeys

Even if the cold temperatures sound staggering to someone who is leaving ever mild Lisbon, I’m quite thrilled to fly off to Montreal tomorrow so as to participate on a panel on Experimental Writing, this Thursday at 6pm, at the Canadian Centre for Architecture.

The panel itself is part of CCA’s multi-faceted program that runs parallel to the current Journeys publication and exhibition – to which Infinite Index I’ve also contributed with a fictional short story, one that had been originally published in an artist’s book in Portugal and in Macedonia’s DOMA magazine.

While Journeys also introduces one of the first attempts to use the short-story format to convey the curatorial contents of an exhibition into print, it is great that this publication now provides for an exchange of ideas with Albert Ferré, from Barcelona’s publishing house Actar, and Kazys Varnelis and Naomi Stead, who had both recently been in Lisbon for the 1st International Conference on Architecture and Fiction, last October.

And while around here we are slowly gathering memento to kick off the publication process for that memorable conference, it comes to mind that such a gathering actually triggered a fantastic array of personal reflections, some of which I now obviously want to expand on for this particular conversation.

Namely, while introducing the editorial and curatorial project of Beyond, Short Stories on the Post-Contemporary, I want to dwell on how entering the realm of fiction, means not only to use “fictional tools” – to use Truman Capote‘s appropriate expression – but also to enter an interdisciplinary relationship between two fields with their own rules and autonomies.

And while this conflation can lead to potentially interesting clashes and problems for both fields, it also sets a somewhat different reading on how literary notions – and, for instance, Roland Barthesplaisir du text – may reshape the writing of architecture beyond traditional forms of criticism and academic theory.

Perhaps indeed it is about time to go back to semiotics, only no longer stressed by its momentaneous postmodern overtones.

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