Au-delà Du Structuralisme

”An existing space may outlive its original purpose and the raison d’etre which determines its forms, functions, and structures; it may thus in a sense become vacant, and susceptible of being diverted, reappropriated and put to a use quite different from its initial one. A recent and well-known case of this was the reappropriation of the Halles Centrales, Paris’s former wholesale produce market, in 1969-71. For a brief period, the urban centre, designed to facilitate the distribution of food, was transformed into a gathering-place and a scene of permanent festival — in short, into a centre of play rather than of work — for the youth of Paris.”

”With the advent of modernity time has vanished from social space. It is recorded solely on measuring-instruments, on clocks, that are isolated and functionally specialized as this time itself. Lived time loses its form and its social interest — with the exception, that is, of time spent working. Economic space subordinates time to itself; political space expels it as threatening and dangerous (to power). The primacy of the economic and above all of the political implies the supremacy of space over time.”

“What is an ideology without a space to which it refers, a space which it describes, whose vocabulary and kinks it makes use of, and whose code it embodies?” Lefebvre demands. “What would remain of the Church if there were no churches?” The answer is nothing, for the Church does and can not guarantee its endurance otherwise. “The state and each of its constituent institutions call for [pre-existing] spaces — but spaces which they can then organize according to their specific requirements; so there is no sense in which space can be treated solely as an a priori condition of these institutions and the state which presides over them,” Lefebvre writes. “The world of commodities would have no ‘reality’ without such [spatial] moorings or points of insertion, or without their existing as an ensemble,” he reminds us. “The same may be said of banks and banking-networks vis-a-vis the capital market and money transfers.” It is only in space that each idea of presumed value “acquires or loses its distinctiveness through confrontation with the other values and ideas that it encounters there”; it is only in space that competing socio-political interests and forces come effectively into play.”

-Henri Lefebvre (16 June 1901 – 29 June 1991)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: