The Architecture of the State

Xavier Wrona giving his presentation The Architecture of the State followed by Q&A with Sarah Rifky, at March Meeting 2015
Photo by Alfredo Rubio

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Xavier Wrona and Sarah Rifky during Q&A of The Architecture of the State at March Meeting 2015
Photo by Alfredo Rubio

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Description

For the French philosopher Georges Bataille,architecture is not the production of buildings but rather the production of the ideological order that ought to govern the design of buildings. What we call a state now appears to be part of the expansive nature of architecture: if architecture is that by which a territory is organised according to the desires of an ideology, then a state is architectural. Applying a language, borders, an administration to a territory is an operation identical to the production of an architectural building. Within this understanding, the history of architecture and the history of the state melt into one: the birth of the first modern state, France, coincides with the birth of the French architectural style. If the state can be understood as architecture, i.e. as a designed apparatus, it implies that the modalities of its existence can be redefined. This session will explore how the ties between state and architecture unveiled by Georges Bataille allow us to reconsider the form of the state.

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