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Title: Overlapping itineraries through arts: constructing and reconstructing an urban image
Authors: Pacheco, Mónica
Keywords: Urban
Issue Date: Mar-2013
Publisher: Dakam Publishing
Abstract: The urban image of a city relies both in real and imaginary constructions and reconstructions embedded in diverse cultural manifestations such as architecture, literature, cinema, photography and visual arts. There are places and spaces that dwell somewhere between reality and imagination as extensions of filmic fictions, particularly in cities like New York and Venice. Accordingly, the literary universe itself comes to the definition of places like the London of Dickens, kafkian Prague or Joice’s Dublin, relating specific features of these authors and their works with cities they described in a particular way. “The City that Never Sleeps”, “The City of Light” or “The Eternal City”, just to mention some, belong to the collective memory beyond their physical experience and the reality of vision. Thus, the experience of a place is simultaneously framed by the spaces we actually know and experienced elsewhere, as well as by the hunting and recollection of other’s personal experiences, that is, by looking at something through someone else’s eyes, building up an imagetic memory with spatiotemporal depth. In line with Maurice Halbwachs, a memory is always a memory of memory, and it is that memory that defines the image of a city. This paper focus the ways to on the explore the heterotopic nature of the city of Lisbon through the image conveyed by key figures and events of Portuguese culture, and their role in shaping its urban character. The syllabus of the course established urban itineraries that were organized in four blocks named as following: “Architectural Promenades”, “Cinematographic Viewpoints”, “Stage Mappings in Literature” and “Artistic Spatial Narrations”. Each explored different creative interpretations of the city and specific conditions of the urban through different artistic formats highlighting qualities and identities and therefore overlapping disparate realities. The aim was to develop an historical imagination, to see events and issues in their contemporary setting through different interpretations, rather than relying on current hermetic descriptions. By migrating from one interpretation to another that could, sometimes, meet and interfere, students were supposed to hold in their possession a collection of perceptual and personal images, from which to draw their own urban map of the city through a graphic or written piece developed from processes of association, a kind of psychogeography as formulated by the Situationist International. The conceptual conception stemmed from speculative, plural and fragmented interpretations sets the stage for multiple relational processes with a existence of its own, beyond its original setting, allowing an understanding of the real both as tangible and fictional, and the creation of “another real”, more complex and personal derived from mutual interactions of real and mental sites implying subtle associations by means of mnemonic processes of collage. Accordingly, this paper aims to relate the discussion with a broader theoretical reflection on how representation can be understood not as an autonomous feature but rather as a potential device to (re)transform reality and anticipate the future.
Peer reviewed: Sim
Appears in Collections:DAU-CRI - Comunicações a Conferências Internacionais

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