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Spectacular architecture, identity crisis, cultural politics and the reinvention of the significance of museums of modern art

Ferreira da Rocha e Silva, Ana Beatriz (2011) Spectacular architecture, identity crisis, cultural politics and the reinvention of the significance of museums of modern art. PhD thesis, University of the Arts London.

Type of Research: Thesis
Creators: Ferreira da Rocha e Silva, Ana Beatriz

Much of the available literature on the impact of the architecture of museums of modern art has centred upon the 'spectacularity' of such structures and the regeneration effect on sites and/or cities triggered by their presence, often highlighting their agency in promoting mass tourist activity. However, apart from these widely debated facts, more complex circumstances regarding major shifts in the socio-cultural and political arenas may have influenced the identity, conception, design and implementation of these architectural structures within cityscapes and urban fabrics - circumstances which are often overlooked.

Considering this complex contextual frameset, this work concentrates on a specific period of time, indicating the substantial renovation cities have been through since the industrialisation-boom of the 1950s, and ponders the relation between these physical and symbolic transformations and the consequences of this 'modernisation' process in the social-cultural panorama. Albeit assumed as a preponderant factor in cities' 'modernising' policies, this research does not aim to map the most significant or to construct a historiography of modern art museums. The objective is to discuss whether this 'modernisation' process is related to the transformations in the scope, form, function and identity of modern art museums in the last 60 years or so, highlighting the implications of the phenomenon that glorifies these architectural structures per se.

But to what extent, or in what sense, has the set of socio-cultural transformations seen since the 1950s conceptually/concretely affected the architecture of museums of modern art? How did this particularly elitist building type emerge as such powerful element in both politico-economic and socio-cultural terms, becoming a major agent in transforming cities' identities since the 1990s? The Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro (Affonso Eduardo Reidy, 1953-1967); the Centre de Culture et d'Art Georges Pompidou, Paris (Renzo Piano & Richard Rogers Architects, 1970-1977) and the TATE Modern, London (Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron, 1994-2000) were selected to illustrate these transformations. In fact, this work discusses these museums' relevance as architectural objects ; analyses whether they have contributed (or not) to set up a new agenda for modern art museums; and investigates if these (conceptual/concrete) transformations have corresponded (or not) to major shifts in paradigms in the arts, in social-cultural trends and in the architectural practice and thinking within the period.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Date: June 2011
Funders: Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2014 13:47
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2024 10:09
Item ID: 5645
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/5645

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