chapter  2
15 Pages

On time

WithGevork Hartoonian

Architecture re-presents its time by responding to the demands of new building types, available materials and construction techniques. History is full of examples of authoritarian decisions to demolish or keep buildings with historical significance. The literature exploring theoretical and philosophical issues of temporality, history and time is vast. The idea of the critical draws from a historiographic vision that is centred on a semi-autonomous understanding of architecture. This chapter discusses the historicity of the concept of time in reference to two images: Anton Raphael Mengs' The Triumph of History Over Time (1772), and Cesar Ripa's History (1600). It then provides several postcards as independent tableaus to demonstrate, among other things, Walter Benjamin's particular take on the history of historical criticism. One significant implication of the author's proposed critical inquiry aims to disqualify categories such as period style, and the modernist tendency for capturing the aesthetics attributed to the zeitgeist.