Spyros Papapetros Lecture in Barcelona
  • Santiago Borja: Suprasensible.

Spyros Papapetros – Lecture “Malicious Houses: Animism and Animosity from Mies to Murnau”

As a part of the intervention of Santiago Borja, the July 22nd will be celebrated the conference with the presence of Dr. Spyros Papapetros, profesor of History and Theory in the Architectural Faculty of the USA Princeton University. He will talk about animism and architecture linked with the Mies van der Rohe work.

From Mies’s Berlin to Freud’s modernist Vienna and the primitive jungle of Totem and Taboo, the basic presupposition that the early twentieth-century has bequeathed to us is that we are living in a hostile external world; that any relation of human subjects to external objects—including buildings—can be predominantly expressed in terms of mastery or destruction (which ultimately proves mutual). On the one side unfolds the play of light reflections on Mies’s Glass Tower model of 1922, and underneath that side, expands the dark horror of the void in Murnau’s Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror of the same year. The main argument presented in this lecture is that the vampires and animist spirits invented by expressionism’s literary and cinematic unconscious haunt the birth of modern architecture by foreshadowing an effigy of its phantasmatic Gestaltung.  



Spyros Papapetros is associate professor of history and theory in the School of Architecture and a member of the executive committees of the Program in European Cultural Studies and the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. He studies the intersections between art, architecture, psychoanalysis, and psychological aesthetics. He is the author of On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Architecture, and the Extension of Life (University of Chicago Press, 2012), the co-editor (with Julian Rose) of Retracing the Expanded Field: Encounters between Art and Architecture (The MIT Press, 2014), and the editor of Space as Membrane by Siegfried Ebeling (Architectural Association Publications, 2010).

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22-07-2015 20h

Organised with

Fundació Mies van der Rohe with the collaboration of Fundación Han Nefkens.


Mies van der Rohe Pavillon


To register, please email at confirmaciones@mahala.es or calling (+34) 902 181 478