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Garagem Sul | Architecture Exhibitions

Jean-Louis Violeau

The Great Refusal? May 68 and the French architects


It’s the end of Fine Arts! It’s the 1968’s in France, enough imitation... Let’s invent! What, where are we heading? We'll see... There are still multiple directions, and the crossroads are sometimes dangerous. But what does it matter, these architects are young, and still strongly committed for the most part. Politically committed, to the left-wing of course, but inextricably drawn to theoretical renewal: it’s time for speculative structuralism with its ‘effect-ology’, borrowing elements from both mathematical logic and linguistics. The youngest architects thus massively dismiss construction as part of a double-edged rejection: downwards (the lack of skills existing in large agencies) and upwards (the figure of the bourgeois architect). But denying one’s identity as a ‘traditional' architect does not signify a mass rejection of architecture. On the contrary, it is through a return to the project and the rediscovery of its own story that this generation will soon reach the limelight. Even if it is built primarily on rejection, no generation can crystallise without simultaneously creating an ideal and seeking to convey some of the references and representations shared.


Jean-Louis Violeau
is a sociologist and professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Nantes, as well as a lecturer at the Ecole Urbaine at Sciences Po in Paris. He belongs to the editorial board of the journals Place Publique and Urbanisme. He regularly collaborates with the journals L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui, AMC-Le Moniteur architecture and d’architectures. He leads the collective curatorship of an exhibition on Les années 68 et l’enseignement de l’architecture which will open in 2018 at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris. He contributed to two displays held as part of the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2014, Radical Pedagogies and the French Pavilion catalogue. He is currently preparing a publication on the years of May 1968 in Les Halles for spring 2018 ( De la contre-culture à la culture parallèle) and has just coordinated the translation of an anthology of the journal Utopie. Texts and Projects, 1967-1978 supported by publishing houses Semiotexte and MIT Press. His thesis on Les architectes et mai 68 was published in 2005 by Recherches, distant heirs of the eponymous journal released under the aegis of Félix Guattari and the CERFI. The sequel Les architectes et mai 81, was published in 2011 by the same publishing house.

October 16, 2018
7 pm

Luís de Freitas Branco Room
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