LECTURE: “Topie Impitoyable”: THE CORPOREAL POLITICS OF THE CLOTH, THE WALL, AND THE STREET / Brussels & Rio de Janeiro (2014)
“Topie Impitoyable: Les politiques corporelles du vetement, du mur et de la rue,” lecture at L’ISELP (Brussels, October 16, 2014)
This lecture was also given in English at the University of Southern California (April 2014), University of British Columbia (May 2014), and Columbia University Studio-X Rio de Janeiro (September 2014)
What is a body and what can it do? What are the normative processes that unfold their violence (racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, etc.) on it? How does design either amplify or diminish this violence? These questions are at the core of Léopold Lambert’s forthcoming book that gives its name to this talk, as well as constitutes a complement to his first book, Weaponized Architecture: The Impossibility of Architecture (dpr-barcelona, 2012).
The presentation is divided into two parts. The first approaches the body as a biological and political material assemblage: it blurs the limits between the body proper and its direct environment, studies how both interact with each other, as well as with other bodies. The second part approaches the body’s relationship to design through the three successive scales of the cloth (objects), the wall (architecture) and the street (city). From pieces of cloth produced as judicial evidence in historical trials to the barricaded streets of 19th-century Paris, objects and architecture carry a tremendous weight in the incarnation of politics that designers have interest in examining.