Against Architecture: The Writings of Georges Bataille by Denis Hollier

By Denis Hollier

Over the previous 30 years the writings of Georges Bataille have had a profound impression on French highbrow idea, informing the paintings of Foucault, Derrida, and Barthes, between others. opposed to structure bargains the 1st critical interpretation of this hard philosopher, spelling out the profoundly unique and radical nature of Bataille's paintings.

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Extra resources for Against Architecture: The Writings of Georges Bataille

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Hegel fixes on the externality of the end, in order to exclude from art any construction subjected as a means to such an end. But the second reproach made to the traditional version of the be­ ginnings of art, going back to the first, throws the economy of his argument off balance, because he no longer brings in the positioning of the end (extra- or intra-aesthetic) but takes into consideration only the status as means. Any means, in fact, is means to an end from which it is separate, which is external to it not simply for accidental reasons varying according to the nature of the end, hut by virtue of a necessity intrinsically bound up with the status of means.

Then by the "Transition from Independent Architecture to Classical Architecture," with Indian and Egyptian subterranean buildings, housing for the dead such as pyramids, utilitarian architecture, etc. The origin of architecture, its original status as symbol, is found with the Tower of Babel. The Symbol "The symbol is prima facie a sign. " But it is not just any sign. " 1 1 No doubt the symbol, fo r Hegel, is first and foremost a sign, but a very specific sign since it is defined by the absence of the property that has just been used to characterize the sign.

In some ways all of Bataille's work will be a rewriting of this initial text, a reworking intended to dismantle such a beginning and draw out its silences. But once again, not because of a paralyzed guilt; rather because this text itself is the almost anonymous (and for this 23 On Bataille reason negligible) result of the vast ideological system symbolized and maintained by architecture. In order to loosen the structure that is hierarchical and at the same time creates hierarchy, Bataille will intro­ duce the play of writing.

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