Anthony Vidler: From Nietzsche to Koolhaas

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By Anthony Vidler

Nietzsche’s aphorisms on architecture, its loss of rhetorical meaning in the modern world, were influential on Bataille’s ascriptions of the dissolution of architecture in Documents, and were pursued analytically by Denis Hollier in his book La Prise de la Concorde, translated later as Against Architecture. Bataille’s early essays on Rheims cathedral and on the institutional formations of architecture  drew heavily on Hegel’s theories of symbolic form as the prelude to the death of architecture at the hands of the philosophical spirit. In turn, Bataille’s meditations were directly taken by Foucault in his own institutional critique of architecture, and thence were fundamental to a generation of post-’68 architects including Bernard Tschumi and Rem Koolhaas.

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