CEAA - Centro de Estudos Arnaldo Araújo


The Critic in the ‘moment of the archive’

The Critic in the ‘moment of the archive’

© Letter from Georges Boudaille to Jean Nouvel, Paris, 09/02/1985, Fonds Biennale de Paris (BIENN85_ARCHI_COU), INHA – collection Archives de la critique d’art.


Mapping Architectural Criticism Meetings



“The moment of the archive is the moment of the entry into writing of the historiographical operation”, as the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur wrote in Memory, History, Forgetting (2000). In fact, an archive is much more than a physical place devoted to collect, classify, or store documents. It is the place in which such documents intercept and interrelate, working as a crucial institutional framework in which the collection’s criteria, conservation policies and strategies of valorization have an undeniable participation in the research and writing practices of history.
In the second seminar of the series “Mapping Architectural Criticism Meetings”, we seek to address on the criteria, policies, and strategies of archival institutions holding large funds and collections in which the physical and digital materials of some architecture critics is currently stored — as manuscripts, letters, diaries, photographs, personal libraries, notebooks, and audiovisual recordings, among others. These materials are “personal gestures” that go beyond the retrospective practice of the history. They often build other (sometimes unpredictable) storylines, which describe the methods, intensions, doubts and conflicts that were involved in the writing of criticism as well as in the “moment of the archive”.
To briefly reflect on such matters and storylines, we invited a group of experts — who have been exploring specific collections of architecture critics and criticism —, to exchange ideas and share experiences on the practices of researching, teaching and writing architecture history.

13:30 Welcome Address
Hélène Jannière (Université Rennes 2) and Paolo Scrivano (Politecnico di Milano)
Coordinators of the Mapping Architecture Criticism Network

14:00 – 17:30 Public Lectures
14:00 Carsten Ruhl (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt – CCSA)
From Criticism to Projects: Histories from CCSA
14:45 Daniela Ortiz dos Santos (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt – CCSA)
Archives and Architectural Education: Curating Max Cetto Project
15:15 Frederike Lausch (Wüstenrot Stiftung – CCSA)
The Max Bächer Project. Architectural Competitions, Networks and the Public Discourse

15:45 Coffee Break

16:00 Jasna Galjer (University of Zagreb, Department of Art History)
The critic as a mediator in conceptualising architecture: the case study of Trigon in the context of the 1960s
16:45 Matteo Cassani Simonetti (Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Architettura)
Bruno Zevi, Leonardo Benevolo and Vittorio Savi Archives between Criticism and Design

17:30 Roundtable
Moderated by Paolo Scrivano and Rute Figueiredo (Université Rennes 2)

Guillemette Chéneau-Deysine (Université Rennes 2), Rute Figueiredo, Hélène Jannière, Antje Kramer-Mallordy and
Archives de la critique d’art.

This event is the second of a series of seminars conceived by Rute Figueiredo and Hélène Jannière in the scope of the scientific network Mapping Architectural Criticism, and organized with the support of EA1279 Histoire et critique des arts, Université Bretagne Loire and Université Rennes 2.