Magazine littéraire 406, February 2002 - Dossier: "L'effet Deleuze" [The Deleuze effect]
Deleuze, Pour Quoi Faire? 3 [Deleuze, What's the use?] - Jean Attali
Comments elicited by David Rabouin
"Architecture understsood as in movement
by Jean Attali
"There are some staggering expressions in Deleuze's works: 'The concept is the beginning (commencement) of philosophy, but the plan(e) is philosophy's institution (instauration). . . . Both of them are necessary, to create concepts and to institute the plan(e), like two wings (ailes) or two fins (nageoires)." This half-bird/half-fish creature, which designates the overflight or the swimming of philosophy, is not a metaphor: for the task of the philosopher is to reveal the sense of the concept while showing what separates it from every image and, precisely, every metaphor. The paradox lies in the fact that the intellectuality of the concept locates forms of expression in art or technique to which the concept corresponds. In this sense, the force of the concept has nothing to fear either from artifacts or from the fictional powers that they enclose. So, how does one seize "in flight" this relationship of the concept to the plan(e) that provides its support? I have tried to understand this in terms of architecture and the city today. What is a plan(e) for cities that keep extending and, as is believed, keep thinning out in space? And what architectures are going to pave this plan(e) or populate it? For Deleuze, architecture is the foremost of arts, since art begins with the house His formal resource is "to create plan(e)s and (sections of) walls (pans), and to join them", following an "interlocking of frames" that is imperative in painting and in cinema as well. But just as the plan(e) exists only through the concepts that populate it, the frame only functions through that which opens it onto the outside of the house. This 'outside' displaces architecture in relation to the popular myth of the house and to ancestral ideas of foundation and implantation. There is no native soil (sol natal) for Deleuze, no attachment to the dwelling, but a sort of inebriation of movement: the architectural figure itself is in movement within space, like the plan(e) of the city, which is a 'rising tide' (Le Corbusier). Several of the greatest architects today have seized hold of this force of displacement that places architecture in solidarity with the expansion and the plasticity of contemporary space: Rem Koolhaas in the Netherlands, Peter Eisenman in the United States."
** Jean Attali, agrégé and Ph.D. in philosophy, is associate maître de conferences at the École d'architecture Paris-Malaquais. He just published Le plan et le detail, Une philosophie de l'architecture et de la ville, editions Jacqueline Chambon, collection "Rayon Art," 2001.
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