"Energies of History" in Modernism : the case of Casa Malaparte"Energies of History" in Modernism : the case of Casa Malaparte
Faculty of Design Sciences
Faculty of Design Sciences - other
2015Oxford :Berg, 2015
Interiors : design, architecture, culture. - Oxford, 2010, currens
6(2015):2, p. 122-137
University of Antwerp
This paper takes Casa Malaparte as a case study for modernism's complex relation to history. Its design expresses the modernist desire for a tabula rasa, but at the same time remains strongly embedded in the architectural styles of the past. We want to demonstrate how Casa Malaparte functions as a spatial form of writing and thinking that mediates these paradoxes by bringing them together in a spatial constellation. Taking the lead from Walter Benjamin, we illustrate how the interior architecture of Casa Malaparte-despite its modernist character-can be interpreted as an exaggeration of the escapist bourgeois interior of the nineteenth century. But precisely in this exaggeration, the "dream space" that is Casa Malaparte can be used to turn the past into an imaginative and critical force, a creative energy within modernism itself.