„Threads”. The lecture by Aleksandra Czupkiewicz and Łukasz Wojciechowski

30 september, sunday

The lecture will take place after the screening of the film Florida Project”.

By the end of 70’s Bernard Tschumi published his manifesto Manhattan. Transcripts where he talks about architecture through users experience and not through technical drawings. Tschumi observed how users, actors to be precise, act within the space. He notes down the relations that are formed between all the elements of space (user and space; object and space; user and object; space and occurence, etc.). According to Tschumi architecture is not only about the quality of space, or its form, but more about the action: there is no space without event, no architecture without programme.

Telling a story of the street through film analysis is another way of displaying Tschumi’s theory. Moving images help to understand the real dimension of a space. The way of directing, leading actors through space can sometimes highlight the utilitarian element of architecture, even if the way is a bit gaudy. Street is a background for variety of events – actually there’s no event that would not be possible on a street. And there’s no person that is not a user of it. People and situations – that’s what creates a street.    

In ‘The Night’ by Michelangelo Antonioni the street is a scream of modernity. Mark Lamster writes in his Architecture and film that we can see right from the beginning that architecture will have a much bigger role than just playing the background in this movie. In the biggest at the time building, Pirelli tower (designer by Gio Ponti), we can observe the reflection of entire Milan. Main character – Lidia – takes a walk through the streets of this modernistic city. And even that we see her ‘meeting’ people on her way we cannot truly say that she has met anyone. We observe a rather lonely society on a screen. In ‘Brooklyn Boogie’ (dir. Paul Auster) or in ‘Smoke’ (dir. Wayne Wanga) we have a tobacco shop placed, well, on Brooklyn and run by Auggie Wren, that becomes a centre of boroughs life. When we watch Spike Lee movies we get a similar vibe – the street is a place where different stories combine and create tension. On the other hand in Bakers ‘Florida Project’ a street does not exist. Is it a new american reality? Is city with no streets something that we gonna experience one day?

Aleksandra Czupkiewicz, Łukasz Wojciechowski