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Architecture's Historical TurnPhenomenology and the Rise of the Postmodern$
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Jorge Otero-Pailos

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816666034

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816666034.001.0001

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Christian Norberg-Schultz’s Demotion of Textual History

(p.146) Chapter Four Photo[historio]graphy
Architecture's Historical Turn

Jorge Otero-Pailos

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter focuses on Christian Norberg-Schulz, one of the most influential architecture theorists of the 1960s and 1970s. He was a key interpreter of phenomenology in general and of Martin Heidegger in particular for architectural audiences. Through his carefully staged photo-essays, Norberg-Schulz theorized the history of architecture as the recurrence of visual patterns. The chapter argues that his photo[historio]graphy was fundamentally antihistorical; it attempted to ward off critical reflection by concealing its own historical construction. Norberg-Schulz passed off his photographs as universally valid visions of a timeless natural order that modern architects were invited to return to, in order to escape history.

Keywords:   Christian Norberg-Schulz, architectural phenomenology, photography, history, photo-essays

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