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Designs on the Body: Film /Architecture/ Writing

Author(s): David Wills
Reviewed work(s):
Source: Assemblage, No. 19 (Dec., 1992), pp. 96-105
Published by: The MIT Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3171179 .
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twenty miles fromwho knows where.clean and freshbut sweatingnevertheless. in the idiosyncrasywe call experience. July 1985.in the versionI know.He is the authorof a bookon surrealist poetry. I have no reasonfor it.It might just be the sitting for hours on a trainen route to the expectationof hot white nights.And into the belly of the Western world. has a Frenchcounterpartthat you missed because you nevercrossedoverby that route. Ventimiglia. Into a confounding of the two.The name is irrepressiblymarkedin a particular language.or at least penetration. It. coauthorof Screen/Play:Derridaand Film Press)and Theory(PrincetonUniversity WritingPynchon:Strategiesin Fictional of IllinoisPress).pronounceit and you have crossedunmistakablyinto Italian.Or so it seems beforeyou strikethe transpositions and transliterations.one that representsthe passage into the other.Ventimiglia. University Assemblage 19 © 1992 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Rome.Brenner/Brennero.nothing but the simplest 97 .where the dish of predilectionis knownby the tools that produceit .hot nights of slow sex in a patient exploration of a whole body eroticizedfrom toe to forehead. Media.Nice/Nizza. any season. howeverinsignificant.al pesto -done in the way of the mortarand pestle of unlimited suggestiveness. in spite of the linguisticsuspension.in spite of the gape of a wordthat it representsin yourown tongue.David Wills on the Body: Designs Film /Architecture/W DavidWillsis Professor of Frenchat LouisianaStateUniversity wherehe teachesfilmandliterarytheory.Crossinto Italyand you crossinto a confoundingof digestivedisorderand fecundation. from time to time the sound of a name that has no other. it might just be the traveling. too.Bordertowns.or into its sex.or by means of the idiosyncraticimpositionof history. For there is alreadythe desireto pass into the registerof the finalvowel. Mont Blanc/Monte Trst/Trieste.But there remains Bianco. Into Liguria. Vintimille. and Architecture(Cambridge Press).and it just doesn't have the same effect.for example.and Analysis(University coeditorof the forthcoming Deconstructionand the VisualArts Press:Art.assume such an importance.Ventimigliasounds like such a name.You say it.

L I~~~~ .

over againsta constipatedcreativity. provokingLouisato give birth (or provokedby her givingbirth) in the companyof the Italianorganizersof the exhibition. to Boullee'slast-knownor imaginedaddress. perhapsthe markof the supplement itself. sleepingonly when there is no more love to make or nothing else to eat.its countryside. Nevermore nor less than that.who have seduced her. except for the significanceit gives to the effect of a crossover. the appendedt might thereforestand for adjunction. like Boullee. an idiosyncraticassertion. There is much that could be said about these postcards.As an abbreviation for the name Stephen the signaturemight be easilyrecognizable.the piazzaand dome of St. of one.HerLoverof 1989 in additionto The Bellyof an Architect.its station.that of a personaltravelogue. It begins with the conjunctionof sex and (in)digestion.thrownup with almost predictableregularity.for instance. duringthe courseof the film.to the book of it.of expansion and constipation.or more precisely.the concurrenceof growthand decay. The Bellyof an Architectbegins with a traincrossingfrom Franceto Italy.who.architect. of course.the other barren.of bodilyparts:the whole parergonal gambit that I wish to implement here. many more of them in the book.' So if I have no particularexplanationfor the word. given the rarityof the forename. at least in A Zed and TwoNoughtsof 1985 and The Cook. wherehe will attempt to organize - and be thwarted at it - an exhibition honor- ing the eighteenth-centuryFrenchvisionaryarchitect Etienne-LouisBoullee. Desire for canonizationaside.engender the whole disarrayof the digestivesystem that this entails:eating when you should be sleeping. The progressionof events fromVentimigliathroughscenes organizedarounda seriesof Romanmonuments that in- spiredBoulleeor.2Some of the postcardsappearin the film.her father'scountrymen. the PiazzaNavona.that between practiceand theory:one fruitful. we cannot pretend that contrivance.ripetomatoes or fruiteaten with or without the skin.I have a sort of pleonastic reconfirmationof it in a film from 1987 by PeterGreenaway.the Forum. doing all three at once is enough to close down the metabolismor have the stomach and the bowels explode.here that of Louisa'sbaby.the language. that he inspired.the other collapsingunderits own visionary(over)weight.and has this all rot inside him to producewhat seems.that will structurethe whole film.conjunction 98 . one responsiveto the demands of the marketplace.There is no constipationwithout vomiting and diarrhea.throughVentimiglia.has veryfew buildingsto his credit.the periodof gestation.of languages.rarelymanagesto see his projectsto fruition. Invariably.The Thief.the Colosseum.the Mausoleum of Augustus.that of the Italianlanguage.the season.We are at best in some writingof it. peeled and consumed in a combinationof yourchoosing.as we see it handwrittenin the film: "St.of places. it turns out - in a train passing throughVentimigliaen route to Rome.His Wife.assemblage 19 ingredients. with the sight of monuments in varying stagesof decay. A series of events will plot out the countdownto the date of the exhibition. definingalso.its cemetery.the Specklers. For the time being. in the end.And so the film will end. We can have recourse. whereinGreenawayreproducesa seriesof one hundredand twenty postcardssent by Kracklite. no possibilityof Rome without each in close association with close repetitionsof the sexualact in turn. Peter's.desiredby both husbandand wife but a long time in coming . to be stomach cancer.makinglove when you should be eating. Kracklite.which is also a confounding.but I shall confine myself to the way Kracklitesignshis name.the EUR building. But in spite of all this we arenot in the film. in congruence. the baths of the VillaAdriana.as the film'soffer of excess.or creation.once pronounced.to the fatalconclusion will providethe narrativestructurefor the film.gently invertthe order.The name Ventimiglia. or competition. but Kracklite'sname is Stourleyand we cannot but read the second initial. something freshand moist. Throughthis same schema anotheroppositionmight also be drawn.the gender.the Pantheon.serveslittle purposehere. StourleyKracklite."The idiosyncrasyis extreme.that of Kracklite. It is in Rome that this will finallytake place. Repeatedwith some consistencyin a numberof Greenaway films. set for nine months from the beginningof the film.if there can be such a thing .and his wife Louisaaremaking love - she conceiving.like fichi e prosciutto.is a fairlyfamiliarmoralschema that contrastsand probablyvalorizesan idea of naturalcreativity.no travelingwithout some alternation of both.Kracklitewill fall to his death from the VictorEmanuelmonument.

Cs. of what the film concocts or contrives:notably.the numberof wordsthat sing with a final vowel before one makesan end of lovemaking in Italian.On the other hand.at postcardsnumbers 36 and 37. I mean the curveof buttocks caressedand slightly raisedas if profferedto the touch in a streetlikelycalled Via Rotonda.whereit all takes place.if you will. architecturalconstructionas the adjunctionof beams and creationof rightangles.some coefficient. factor. of itself as medium.and lastly. Architecturaldesign would thereforenecessarilypose a question about the heterogeneityof the medium.even encourageit .noncontrived.perhapsalso the numberof a hotel room wherethe same curvesmove and glisten undera film of perspiration.and the number45 will be displaced ratherthan revealed. it would inevitablyraisethe question of the limits to this heterogeneity.of the natural.or vice versa. The film.and in the city of monument and ruin of monument.say Hadrian'sPantheon.45 the numberof my excess. the creaseof a curvewherethigh meets pubis.or denominatorof bodies in Rome. of course I exaggerate.or contrivethe heterogeneityof any medium.it involvesaskingthe question of how to discover.in the extent of their interdisciplinaryreach.on page 135 of the screenplay.and what we might alreadycall the deconstructionof the traditionthat massivelyprivilegesthe squareat the expense of the hypotenuse.3The pretext for such a writing:imagininga plan for a building.this superpositionof sex upon the form of a city.wherebytwo forty-five-degree angles are joined to producethe rightangle . and of any medium.birth/deathsystem of oppositionsthat threatens to reducethe film.this reading'sgeneralizationof bodily functions . at what I could alwaysinsist was random.the curvebetween waist and hip.lies in the level of intellectual interestthat such artificesin his films generate.but that their roundnesspretendsto perfectproportions.displacedto become the numberof the angle that is both the foundingpossibilityof a dominant traditionof architecture. the exact degreeof my exaggeration. to yet anotherlogocentric complaint.The whole architecturalinvestmentlies in the playbetween the two.vaults. in my view.and the fiction of a numerologicalcryptdesigned.counting. Xs.And sex and Rome. All this and more.or the belly of an architecturalconstructionof meaning. for in writingof these one is automaticallyin the crypt. concamerationand disintegration.a numberchosen by chance or by design for the codes. there would be set in trainthe fiction of a voyageto Rome made on those dates some five yearslater. It is a profoundlyarchitecturalquestion.to the sexual function in particular.maybe no more than that to it. Ds. but especially. creation/decay.as blueprintscovered with measurementsreducedto all mannerof combinations of Is. Greenaway'stalent. Resistingsuch idealisminvolvesreadingthese intersectionsas points of radicaldeparture.to producethe number 45. the body/buildingrelationkeys into the whole fertility/degeneracy.and domes that constitute it.or my number. via Boulleeand Kracklite.the same wordwhy not whisperedforty-fiveor four hundredfifty times.not that they are perfectly round. to the extent that architecturesupposedlyinvolvesthe impositionof function overthe seduction of form. erectionand detumescence.the appendedt as the signatureof constructionitself. Hence if I were to open.but also this reading.How farcan this heterogeneitybe radicalizedbefore the buildingcollapses?In 99 .for its disclosureor discovery. as I see it here.the bowels. These seven letters could as well be the letters of architectureitself:graphicrepresentations of the columns. in fact. and Ms.like scenes glimpsedthroughthe windowof a speedingtrain. those dated 19 and 21 July 1985. or the diagonal. his intelligence.the intersectionof the body and architecture.Or 45 half the numberof degreesFahrenheitstandingin view of a Berninifountain in the PiazzaNavonalate at night aftercarpacciocon rughetta consumed in the shadowof Sant'Andreadella Valle.the crypts wherebythe secretsare concealedand divulgedin a crossplay of writing. their perfect roundness. and architecture.Forty-five. will be the pretext for such a pursuitof the sign as number. chiastic intersection.by some as yet undisclosedor undiscoveredseriesof calculations. arches. respectively. Vs. in the relationsbetween body and buildingthat this film.not that the film doesn't permit. the oblique.passingby the film in an inverserelation. the hermeneuticalbaiting that still conditions our readingafterall this time.the intersectionof structureand function.bringsinto focus. the ciphers.Wills itself. Ls.the effect of the lure itself. an idealized.preserve. or sphere.and privilegedspace.45 their number.prior.reducingthe playof contrivanceto an opposition whereinthe structureof contrivanceitself would be presumed to disappearin favorof the domain.

. framedimage for a line of spectatorsstandingon the platform.displayedon the borderbetween Franceand Italy."builtwith a perfectand enviablecenter of gravity". though not forgettingthe extent to which Kracklite'smalady might be readas male hysteriaor phantasmof maternity caressingthe belly involvesa flatteningmotion. it is no doubt the startingpoint for architecture:the idea of a roof overone's head. Not that the monument has no function. In the movement fromhouse to monument one can arguably see a movement from priorityof function to priorityof structure. and good food. where it becomes mausoleum. occurringas a tension in TheBellyof an Architect.in the attitude whose idiom is againborrowedfrom the Romans. a managementof the oikos (Greek.but his aspirations for it arediminutiveratherthan augmentative.pantheon.A crumblingRome is thereforeinevitablyerotic.bigger.Frommy point of view.if you will.But if the dome is at the beginningof architecture it is also at the end or outerlimit.is reasonedfrom a logocentrismor egocentrismthat is in question or in suspensionhere. the upturnedbuttocks that arethe beautyof and sign the sex of Rome.a function of architecture? In this film the dome functions as the thematic structureof the body/buildingrelationand as a particularlyfecund crypt of meaning.and it would "Aspiration" need to be understoodas repeatingthe structureof desire.impelledby the desireand imagination of the pubic caress.We have Batailleto remindus that eroticism is affirmationof the continuitythat is death by means of the prodigalityengenderedby decayand putrefaction.and I speakhere as one who has neverbeen pregnant. From those first prehistoricvaultsin the Istrianfields made of stones laid in carefulspiralsequence to createa self-supportingshelter.Here.the cushion of your 100 .as so many have before. We don't need Rome for this connection. its direction is vertical.And frankly.monument.de facto or de jure.But caressingthe buttockshas more of the circularabout it. a tergo.as the screenplaysuggestswhen Kracklite'sbuttocks appearin the windowas the trainpauses in Ventimigliastation. But my idiosyncraticcontention would be that in Rome sex is defined by the curveof the buttocksmore than anythingelse.5Caressingthe belly. A mausoleum is thereforethe antithesisof the domusat the same time as it is its apotheosis:a house for the dead to go on living in.at least not in Rome.A constant over-reachingof its own economy is what impels architecture.or at least not one without the other. from digestionthroughdefecationto sex. the movement of architectureis by definitioneconomic.in the body as originalhome.lighter. fromarchitectureto sculpture."4One might find here another originfor architecture. a placingof the thresholdsof readingand of sense. that the distancebetween sexualorganand anus is uncomfortablynegligible. an archwith you the tympanum.to the design of Hadrian'sPantheonarchinghigherand higher and finerand fineruntil the hole at the top crossesinto pure ethereality. Its perversitylies elsewhere.like the dome of the Pantheon.higher. at least in the Rome I know.a placingof the thresholdin general.and defecation ratherthan digestionor breathingas the signifierof the living.Or at least aspiration. for instance. not here and now. of domestication."house"):a controllingand thus necessarilyalso a testing of the limits of the domestic. as the sayinggoes: the upset stomach is the converseof the belly. might be the wordfor architecture. to what extent is permanence.assemblage 19 any case. it no longerconcernsliving itself. lyingwith Rome.as if there were everanywhere else.Afterthat.whereby digestionratherthan breathingbecomes the signifierof the livinghuman being.of satiation.And then Rome is defined by digestive problems. But he has just rolledover.He is almost proudof his . it all runson.downward. All this. In the contemporaryidiom the belly exists as something of a perversion.One can see it all beginningwith the dome.however strongthe desirefor the hands to move down and inward.. but its function no longerconcernsthe living. to remindourselves.whereasarchitecture needs to be readin terms of desire. more of a self-sufficiency. not in the Rome I know.This way union involvesmore of an architecturalfit. A domus. in other words. It is a matterof an upset stomach.to clutch and spreadthe thighs. Kracklite'sbelly appearsas such a threshold.He lies on his backafter makinglove and pats it.the belly does not workout that way for me.displayinghis belly as a sign of satisfaction.the constipationand diarrheathe film refersto. the hypernaturalsignifierof excessiveconsumption.tending to that point wherethe naturaltips over into monstrosity. with the dome as simulacrumof the human belly. speakingof the "homeof the dome and the arch . Lookat Kracklite. however. I would want to suggest.or house.that the dome worksbetter as a backside.cupola.

a falloutof nature. At least this is so if one paysattention to the specialFrench wordfor that curvatureof the haunches that is my inspiration or aspirationin this journeypast a film of Greenaway'sinto the bowels of Italy:the wordcambrureis derivedfromcamera (Latin/Italian.we are all dogs and wolfmen.and the matter is.and buildinga house is as well an irreversiblestep in the directionof the mechanical. We are mutant or prosthetized. one might say."7CaspasianSpeckler. where the primalscene is. it is a matter of either bad plumbingor structuralfailure. the bed finallystrippedof its mattress to become a pedestalfor a Buddha-likeKracklitesitting drawing. over-excitement. as he believes. renderedabyssalby a monumentalliving statue that implies the petrifactionof its model. Centauror wolfman. concentratedon or in the backside.In the screenplay Kracklite'sRomanapartmentoverlooksthe Tomb of Augustus. the word.assumingit could be provedto begin there. to all appearancesconfoundingentrances.genders.becoming the site of a mutation or a prosthesis.or cellularmutation. favorsthe latter.litteringthe floor along with books and models until the whole room is occupied by the proliferatingdisseminativeeffect of that firstor originarytheft or copy. Nothing more naturalthan copulation."room").after which he begins writingto Boullee.The room as model for the dome has been crowded inside out.species.toxicity.any construction.And this way also. the house.Thus nothing could be more architectural.is also a fact of etymology.an abominationagainst nature.preciselyits curvature. The drawings and graphicsinvadehis hotel chamber.and unfamiliarfood. assumingwe could knowwhereform begins and ends. againstmortalityby virtueof its durability.But whetherorganicallyor synthetically induced. in terms of the buttocks.for buildinga house is like any operationof the techne.He photocopiesand enlargesthe stomach regionof the sculptureas the basis for a seriesof drawingsand meditationsconnected with his deterioratinghealth and his suspicionthat Augustuswas a victim of poisoningby his wife. in Latin. usurperof his wife and exhibition.especiallyenterologyand gynecology.site of an articulationof the machine and the human body.Wills partner'sarsesnug in yourpelvisand againstyourbelly. the two imposing themselves as harmoniousbut at the same time raisingthe whole unansweredquestion of how defecationmight also relateto formsof beauty. but operatesalso in terms of bodily function in general."dyspepsia. like the tail. relates thematicallyto this sexualposition in terms of which the spectatorcannot distinguishwhich orificeis being entered. a cock for a keystone.the room can offer. Nothing particularlyarchitecturalabout any of this.6or the cancerit seems to turn out to be. by acidity.that of the ceiling or that of the loins where I burymy head to sleep a simulacrumof death afterreachingto the limit of whateverrecessesthe body. fallen on all fours.nothing more against naturethan a tergosex. The architecturalsignificanceof the backside. Coming in throughthe backdoor.his rival. the death of the room'soccupant.As a resultof which.buildingwhat.just as the belly as dome is invaginatedby diseasesrealor imaginarybut in all cases connected to the monstrosityof the architecturalproject. in Rome. on the thresholdof a prosthesis. But the Romanway is also that of a dog. Kracklite'sdigestivedisordercould be one of the three things suggested:poisoned figs.self-dividedand halfwayto a combination of human and machine. as it were.Kracklite concentrateson the former.the specificityof a room or chamber is.fatigue.nothing more catastrophicthan diarrhea.functions.excess .to all appearances.for protectionin the mannerof a cave. half-animalhalf-human." as the firstdoctor diagnoses.For the relationof anatomyto architecturedoes not end with form. Chicagoanscall the CharnelHouse. one that eats vomit.maybe also too much egotism.contend- 101 . In The Bellyof an Architectthe belly/dome/mausoleumcon- nection turnsaroundthe figureof Augustus.Nothing more natural than defecation.in contrastto Architect'sbelly/domerelation.both for and againstnature.one tail penetratinganother. lack of exercise and too much coffee . He producesgraphicsin which Augustus'sbelly is filled with multicoloredround formsthat could be stones or figs or fetal domes. Coming into the dome that bringsus back to one of the first prostheses.Earlyin the film he steals a stackof postcardsof the Augusteumand of a sculptureof the emperor. and the only dog in the film. This is the first sign that Krackliteis neglectinghis workon the exhibition in favorof a neurotic downturncentered on his health. one finds a closerand thus more architecturalrelation between bodily form and bodily function. "abuildingsuffering from excess cholesterol. accordingto his wife.

though Rome hasn't changed that much.Kracklite's stalled in the intestine.. For the nexus representedby Augustus.in the confoundingof inside and outside. the scene that follows (framedbeforeand afterby shots of his wife and her loverin bed) has Kracklitein a clinic about to undergoa gastroscopy.awayfrom saying"cunt".. It'sthe smellof deathI reckon.. A postcardfrom Krackliteto Boullee. Thursday.in popularLatin maybe. more than the bathroom. They are the prototypicalbearerof poison.smellsthe same.But it makesno sense to arguehere that one precedesthe other.reproduction . gender.as we are reminded. sleepson the pavement..the smellof the pissoirby the Spanish the Steps. even the internalorganic. its twenty-sevenfeet. say "Idon't give a fig"and you are in effect saying"Idon't give a fuck.somewhereit crossesover.He diedin 1799. sculpturebeforearchitectureor vice versa. somewherealong.. But in the book.his belly and his death.but rathera fleshyreceptacle.artbefore construction..withdisappointdustbinlorryat the Otellorestaurant ment I haveto reportthattheyall smellthe same. So would there be an architectureinspiredby the chemical senses to deconstructthat based on the visual?An idea of shelter.and the playof penetrationand expulsion.an economy that accounts for the most intimate functionsof the organism. only a gender.that'snearlytwohundredyears ago . burst. Kracklite is next encounteredsitting on the floorof an elevator with an eight-year-oldboy. Should we insist on furtherevidence of the analogybetween the buildingand the human formby wayof the domus. it'llhelphim findhis wayaround.Do I smellfunny? (He sniffs his armpits.That would be to repeatthe non-questionof whetherfunction comes before structure. He has just come from the baths and. collapse. especiallysex. of course.VictorEmanuelBuilding. Saythe word in Italianand you areonly a vowel.Botanistsdo not even considerthem a fruit. Augustusdied of them. In the film.andnowI am identifiedwithit..solidificationand disintegration?An architecture of the digestivetractfrom ingestionto defecation. returningus to the question of sculpture. such that in Englisha victim is said to be given an Italianfig.yet .a botanicalchamberthat bears seeds.variousorifices."Whether they arethe aphrodisiacLouisaopines them to be afterKrackliteforces one into her mouth or have the laxativevalue assignedto soft-fleshedmultigranulatefruit in general.The fact.whetherthey crackto evoke the female sex or the cambrureand form of the buttocks.Decayalways..has spilledhis postcards: I'msendingthemto myfriendin Paris.When they rot.stoppingat each floor.and crumble:at once carrionand ruin. He has admitted his own mortality.which is. function and form?Such an architecturewould necessarilyconfound its own relation to the body and to the artisticobject..essence or substance beforeornament.the insistent economy of relationsbetween interiorand exterior. his statue and his mausoleum.He is in an elevator. in the film at least.producesa move from architectureto sculpture.deflate..the driedexcrementalongthe TiberEmbankment. writingpostcardsand coiling twenty-sevenfeet of rubber tubing into a heap outside his belly..a solid object forcedthrougha narrowchamber. so the legend goes.assemblage 19 ing that "architectsought to know about everything. disgorgingin smallor largequantitieson the level of the street or continuingon into the basement or the bowels of the city.the architecturalequivalentof the intestine and defecation. poisoned or not. his mausoleumis thereforea monument to them.there wherethey meet their most intimate contradiction. sex .'° Kracklitehas spilledhis postcards.that's a long time . they crack. ultimately. encounteredhere. are the perinealfruit.figs are probablythe most corporealof fruitsand thereforethe most architectural.9 What is this relationbetween architectureand smell?Besides the obviousmattersof plumbingand garbagedisposal.2 January1986: I havebecomeobsessedwiththe smellsof decay:a dustbinof an old womanon the Corsowho maggotsat the Campidoglio. In any case. This piece of triviais told to Kracklitein a scene that takes place in the public baths.so that the sign of the fig is that of the clitorisprotrudingfrom the vulva. that both 102 .) .connecting sex to defecation. carryingtoo much as always.necessitybefore superfluity.and now his guts. ..in the confoundingof smells emanating from the armpit."8Figs.or digestiveorgan.moistened skin.

between home and mausoleum.still founded on the body.but merelyto point to moments or structures of rupturein the institution of architectureas subordination of function to form. But it seems not to realizethat these areless opposites between which to choose than variationsto be chosen among.the primalityrelayed.that they inhabit a common space. And the child watches Kracklitecry.and so on.there is a characterwho chisels noses off statues.he is encounteredselling them outside a police station on the Campidogliowhere Kracklite is being questioned in connection with his drunkenfrenzyof the previousnight.simulacraof the realtearsof separated love.with or without the eyes open.Wills intersectin the body suggestswhat the presentdiscussionhas alwaysassumed.makinglove to Louisa.of the film at least . Kracklite'sname is both the descriptionand the deconstructionof this idea. again.the belly connection not just some fantasy Kracklite-Augustus born of an imaginativephotocopieror filmscribe.eyes closed and head restingon the fleshycurvesthat constitute the realand the ideal of ancient and presentRome. that I am attempting to drawor outline here. then the photocopies of Augustusand the amputatednoses would simply inscribethat ruptureon the statue. would be posed as much by the removed noses as by the closed eyes. seeming to offer comment on the olfactoryor chemical senses.between celebrationand exhibitionism.down the corridorto anotherscene where the child'smother watcheshim watchingKracklite watching. the denial of the visual. where intimacy shatterslike a crumblingstone. exploitingbordercrossingsfor its own enjoyment. here. back to front of course. Justafterdawn on Thursday. Besides. in Italian)What'sthe mancryingfor? Child:(InItalian)He'sgot a draughtin his eyes. it seems. if my concern is not to establisha teleologyof architectural development.in the thematic schema of the film.who paradesnaked with a Boulleetowerfor a phallus. Augustus'seyes are closed. of shelterto design. between fecund belly and cancerousbelly.like this writing. home and statue.to become a name for his eyes. at a table acrossfrom that held by the purveyorof noses. this time. Child:(InEnglish)Whatareyoucryingfor? Kracklite:(Withoutmovinghis body. its generaldesireto give the appearanceof not seeing. wherethe house or home begins to be poor shelter. Woman: (Hervoicejust audible fromthe roombehindthe child. Granted. And the question of an architectureof rupturethat relatesto smell againstsight. How does one find the point at which it passesover. Kracklite comes home to the sound of laughterand sits transfixedin front of a keyholewatchingCaspasian. where the cruellight of day seeps throughthe shuttersyou thought were clamped tight. throwingup a seriesof constructionsarounda set of images called a film. or windingthat film arounda text of idiosyncraticmemoriesand projections. and then for everyeye in its tendency to close or squint.namely.and even the statues get cold. within the same structuralspace.Its passage would be signaledby the closing of the eyes. weavingin and out of the formsand functions made available to it.like a fixationon the buttockswith or without the scent of decay.the absence of the living eye. the removalof noses relates. Or perhapsnot even chosen among but rathernegotiated. Hence. or as well as sight. the question that is the whole architecturalquestion. He collects them in a bag and in the penultimate scene . It is supposedlythe moment of purest visuality. the firstfountains those imaginedtears. It is the undecidabilityof the one and the other. The interrogationtakesplace outside. The firstdomes are those closed eyes. like unnatural intercourse. There is a fissurein his name: it begins to divide and scatter.more obviouslythan to the matterof smell. the question of the line between architectureand art. form and function.coming to rest afterall else. the passagefrom human form to constructionwould indeed have a point of relayin statuary." 103 . If there were such an architectureof the nonvisual. to the idea of Kracklite'scuckolding and sterility. The childwatcheshim. an institution that derivesfrom a set of assumptionsconcerningthe natural hierarchicalconstructionof the human body.it can as well be readthroughthis schema as a sign of the confoundingof sexual function. and cry.But it is also wherethe inside breaksout.but lookingat the child) There'sa draughtin the keyholeandit's makingmyeyeswater.22 August 1985. close their eyes.purestspectacle. goes from diversionto perversion?The film makesits choices.

for in exploiting it here I will againbe seekingto emphasizethe effect of a passage.But there is much to retrieve.one mode or formby another. It is the crackin the dome.sexual relations.the belly turnedover. 104 .a draughtcomes through cracksin badlydesignedor badlyconstructedbuildingsor in those ruinedby age and fallen into decay.perceptualrelations.in terms of the film.that of Greenaway'sBellyof an Architect. the perfectform. Then.and linguisticrelations. Time now to backoff. the firstdraught. between architectand draughtsman.among those distinctionsthat continue to operateaccordingto the same principlesof demarcation.it is hardto hold back the contagionof senses of draughtsblowingin any numberof directions.in the first place. and these differencescalled into question. the firstact of perception. in the firstline that is drawn."the child says. the upset stomach.or on the nape of the neck as I inhale and exhale with acceleratingregularityand striveto expel what is inside me into the inside of you. to plot a trajectory.For if there were some differenceto be establishedor maintainedbetween sculptureand architecturein terms of whicheverof these formsremainsclosest to home. the draughtsignifies.a drawingin or toward. or passesfrom. on the other hand. that this primal scene leads us.at whateverpassesfor.It is somethingvaguebut chillingthat blowsbetween them and becomes a blurredline of demarcation between the artistand the technician. at least from the point of view of this backhandor backsidereadingof a film by PeterGreenaway.a draught more likelyfallson the back. to make an idiosyncraticvoyage. Againstthe grainof the logic of the firstpossibility. With this primalscene we arebackat the beginning.the eye is opened.then there would indeed be a certainlogicalcontinuum to this very undecidability.between builderand laborer."Diceche ha uno spifferodi aria negli occhi.I have tried to inscribe somethingof the second. but a draughtblows.to traceand crossa frontier. but all we can drawfrom it is a type of blur:a line that blursas it draws.In opening it violatesthe perfection.The firstcrackin the eye. so that inhalationbecomes exhalationor expulsion.extending all the wayalong the line of architecturalproduction.and so on. Two possibilities:The crackin the belly.It is throughsuch a compact logic.The firstline drawnslices the eye like a Bufiuel/Dalirazor.the originarywholeness.the originarycontaminationof one languageby another.as if blown away. if the home were alwaysalreadya body and the body alwaysalreadya home.Apartfromkeyholes.like so much else here. throughsuch a draughtin the eye.At the same time: to drawa line throughRome. it begins as a draughtin Englishand translates into Italianwherebythe peculiarusage of the English worddisappearsout the window. in the crackitself."The Italianworddescribesa currentthat blows. In French. throughsuch a system of relaysof object relations.between a prioritygiven to form and one given to function. and it all blurs. Or.the first visionarymoment. the Cesareanmoment. or tail. tell or drawa final tale. this tail. This much should have been obvious.To come to mean a currentof airthat blowslike some accident upon the body this sense must be turnedaround.trait is the word for whateveris drawn.between draughtsman and builder.tearsflow. the end of a gestation and the beginningof many things:an end for the film. an inhalation. when we come to architecture.at once the beginning and the end of all things.is the firstline drawn.a tergo. and if this were to be relatedin turn to a differencethat one might want to make between artistand designer.in the trait itself.Not that translationis to be conceivedof as an inevitableloss any more than a certaingain. there wherethey arebarelydistinguishable. With referenceto the body.one does not normallyget a draughtin the eyes unless one has a habit of lookingthroughkeyholes. It translatesas a "draught"in English. on the one hand.creatinga crack in the dome that is the eye.a storyof chasingtail. or to the body. on the other. Besides.all articulatedthrougharchitecturaland corporeallines and limits.Backat the firstcrackin the eye. end.the Romanway.assemblage 19 "Unospiffero.More precisely. The draughtis that disseminatingwind and it is there at the beginningof both the artisticand the architecturalmoment.A draughtis in this sense a failureof architecture. The line is drawn.the backsidethat is anothertype of eye. anothercrack.the beginning.Or of the architector againof his draughtsman.

on the other hand. the name Ventimiglia is derived from the Vento family of Genoa. 7. or autobiographicaldiscourse. 73-74. The Architectureof Death: The Transformationof the Cemetery in Eighteenth-CenturyParis (Cambridge. Since.Atlas historique: ProvenceComtat.. Boullee's cenotaph to Sir Isaac Newton.3. 11. 1984). 9.that attempts to produce two types of discourse within the same body of writing:on the one hand. 8. 174. Ibid. 47. 4.what suffers most from the truncations that have been operated is the play of numbers. what might go by the name of creative. 1969).Nice. 6. 1988). Monaco (Paris:LibrairieArmand Colin.. Greenaway. Ibid. what might be called an academic or theoretical discourse. 12.. 66. Ibid...entitled Prosthesis. 12. 10.The Belly of an Architect(London: Faberand Faber. In this shortened version. Etlin.Wills Notes FigureCredit What follows is extracted from a chapter of a book-in-progress. however.:MIT Press. As it turns out. 5.Georges Duby..Mass. their sparseand enigmatic mention here is not unrepresentativeof the role they play in the chapter as a whole. who established their fiefdom in the area in the middle of the thirteenth century before selling to the Grimaldi of Monaco in 1346. 41. Ibid. Orange. 105 .the numbers function as much as figures for hermeneutic operations in general as anything else. fictive. from RichardA. 2. 1. Ibid.The Bellyof an Architect. Ibid.. Ibid. and Ernest Hildesheimer. See Edouard Baratier. See Peter Greenaway. 3.

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