Anthony Vidler – Phobic City: Psychopathologies of Modern Space

Lecture date: 1994-06-22

Anthony Vidler attempts what Walter Benjamin might have termed ‘A Small History of Modern Space’. Vidler resists the pull of overly developmental linear narratives that posit a trajectory that begins with externalising classical space and then moves through the spaces of modernism towards the internalising dispersed space of postmodernism. Exploring the phobic reactions to the modern metropolis found in the work of Le Corbusier and Ayn Rand, he charts the reciprocal and intertwined social and cultural relations between perspectival and psychic space that materialise through such spatialised maladies as agoraphobia and claustrophobia. Anthony Vidler is Dean of Cooper Union. He was Dean of Cornell, Professor of Art History at UCLA and Professor of Architecture at Princeton University for many years. An eminent architectural historian, he has also been a prolific critic of contemporary architectural work in such publications as The Architectural Uncanny and Warped Space.



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