The Embodied Image: Imagination and Imagery in Architecture
All artistic and architectural effects are evoked, mediated and experienced through poeticised images. These images are embodied and lived experiences that take place in ‘the flesh of the world’, becoming part of us, at the same time that we unconsciously project aspects of ourselves on to a conceived space, object or event. Artistic images have a life and reality of their own and they develop through unexpected associations rather than rational and causal logic. Images are usually thought of as retinal pictures but profound poetic images are multi-sensory and they address us in an embodied and emotive manner.
Architecture is usually analysed and taught as a discipline that articulates space and geometry, but the mental impact of architecture arises significantly from its image quality that integrates the various aspects and dimensions of experience into a singular, internalised and remembered entity. The material reality is fused with our mental and imaginative realm. The book is organised into five main parts that look at in turn: the image in contemporary culture; language, thought and the image; the many faces of the image; the poetic image; and finally the architectural image. The Embodied Image is illustrated with over sixty images in pairs, which are diverse in subject. They range from scientific images to historic artistic and architectural masterpieces. Artworks span Michelangelo and Vermeer to Gordon Matta-Clark and architecture takes in Modern Masters such as Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Alvar Aalto, as well as significant contemporary works by Steven Holl and Daniel Libeskind.