Close-Up and Expanded Context: Potentials of ‘Image’ - in Production of Architectural Space

By Annette Svaneklink Jakobsen.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Recent years’ expressive presence of imagery in urban and building space has been highly influenced by cinematic work and the way cinematic imagery informs and inspires architecture. In connection to the New Acropolis Museum in Athens the work of Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein has again been mentioned by the museum’s architect Bernard Tschumi as a source of inspiration for designing the visitor’s movement through the building. Eisenstein himself drew interesting parallels between cinema and the perception of architecture, especially regarding the spatial experience of Acropolis in Athens as a sequence of images being connected through movement of the body - for instance as one approaches the Parthenon. The visitor’s movement through the exhibition of the Acropolis findings is the key concept of Tschumi’s museum. Being built in this culturally significant context the museum is however not only a museum of archaeological findings, but can indeed be considered a ‘museum of the site’. It directs attention and it presents its surroundings in carefully orchestrated ways that connect the museum space visually to the Acropolis. The experience of this ‘museum of the site’ is obviously both reflecting the site and at the same time reflected by the site. This interaction between building and site brings forward an understanding of imagery that goes beyond the sequential inspiration of cinema. Drawing on the concept of “affection-image”, proposed by Gilles Deleuze in “Cinema 1 – The Movement Image”, the relations between exhibited finds, i.e. the "close-up’s", and the original site of the finds raise an understanding of the reflecting/reflected that places the museum visitor in the centre as a perceiving interface to form the experience.

Keywords: Architecture, The New Acropolis Museum, Cinema, Bernard Tschumi, Gilles Deleuze

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.99-108. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.216MB).

Dr. Annette Svaneklink Jakobsen

PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, The Aarhus School of Architecture, Aarhus, Denmark

Architect, PhD in Architecture in 2009 from the Aarhus School of Architecture with the dissertation “Architecture in ‘the Public Image’”. The author’s research on The New Acropolis Museum is based on a 3 weeks stay in Athens in May/June 2010, granted by The Danish Institute at Athens, The Danish Arts Foundation and The Danish Architects Association.