Publication
Title
Slapstick homes: architecture in Slapstick Cinema and the Avant-Garde
Author
Abstract
Slapstick film comedies of the 1910s and 1920s are marked by a highly mechanical' use of space as indicated by its fascination for the skyscraper. First and foremost, slapstick's interest in architecture focuses on the house. Ridiculing bourgeois respectability, slapstick chuckled at the destruction of the bourgeois homeLaurel & Hardy in particular mastered this practice. In addition, slapstick celebrates the house as a mechanical object. In films by Charley Chase, for instance, the interior is presented as a precision mechanical apparatus for a perfectly timed choreography of characters chasing each other. Moreover, with their foldaway beds and electric utensils and gadgets, slapstick films present the home as a machine a habiter, which also fascinated avant-garde architects and designers.By focussing on slapstick's encounter with architecture, this article also addresses the relationship between slapstick cinema and the European avant-garde. While Dadaist, Surrealist and Constructivist artists as well as leading modernist architects such as Le Corbusier, Hannes Meyer and Karel Teige applauded American slapstick as the embodiment of mechanisation, slapstick's interest in skyscrapers and mechanised houses also shows unmistakably Dadaist and Surrealist sensibilities, particularly in its fascination for the conflation of bodies and machines, animated ready-made objects and obstinate interest in bathroom fittings. Celebrating both mechanisation and slapstick cinema, European avant-garde artists and modernist architects contributed to the cult of Americanism.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Journal of architecture. - Abingdon
Publication
Abingdon : 2018
ISSN
1360-2365 [Print]
1466-4410 [Online]
Volume/pages
23 :2 (2018) , p. 225-248
ISI
000427761900002
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Art 
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 04.05.2018
Last edited 19.10.2021
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