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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01hd76s267k
Title: The Cartographic Monument. Writing the Future in Stone in Mexico, Spain, and Brazil (1920s-1970s)
Authors: Caballero Vázquez, F. Miguel
Advisors: Gallo, Rubén
Contributors: Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures Department
Keywords: Brasilia
destruction
Francisco Mujica
monuments
preservation
Spanish Civil War
Subjects: Latin American studies
Architecture
Art criticism
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation picks up the humanist debate about the suitability of literature and architecture to know the past in order to reformulate it by questioning their potentialities to know —and produce— the future. It challenges the notion of monument as an artifact for collective remembrance to argue that not only literature but also monuments were used in the twentieth century as catalysts for potential futures during crucial historical transformations. Inspired by Deleuze’s notion of cartography, I have called ‘cartographic monuments’ to these transformative monuments projected towards the future. I study three paradigmatic cases in Mexico, Spain and Brazil: instances in which the proposal of a cartographic monument produced dialectical relations of concealment and revealing, construction and destruction. My theoretical approach combines cultural, literary, and architectural criticism, and is based on archive material. I offer close readings of a broad range of research objects: urban and architectural plans, novels, poetry, paintings, political propaganda, newspaper articles, memoirs, archaeological reconstructions, etc. Chapter 1 focuses on Mexican architect Francisco Mujica, a little-known figure who developed a theory of the return of the architectural repressed in the 1920s, arguing that skyscrapers should be understood as the return of the Meso-American teocallis that had been destroyed by the Spanish colonizers. He advocated for pyramidal skyscrapers inspired in teocallis as cartographic monuments to achieve future aesthetic emancipation. Chapter 2 studies the protection of Madrid’s monuments during the Spanish Civil War, when many landmarks were buried in sand and covered in structures that resembled modernist buildings. The notion of ‘state of exception’ is applied to monuments to analyze how their permanent exposure to destruction was counteracted by experimental protective structures, which became transient, cartographic monuments in their own right, producing a utopian landscape. Chapter 3 addresses the construction of Brasilia as a paradigmatic cartographic city-monument, and examines how writers, artists and intellectuals from around the world produced counter-narratives offering a fantasmatic reflection on Brasilia’s underground, imagining a city in ruins even before it had been inaugurated, to challenge official conceptions of Brasilia as a tabula rasa, and to make visible the repression carried out by a cartographic monument.
URI: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01hd76s267k
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog: catalog.princeton.edu
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures

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