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Title: Collective Autobiography
Authors: Diaz Borioli, Leonardo
Advisors: Colomina, Beatriz
Contributors: Architecture Department
Keywords: Architecture
Luis Barragan
Subjects: Art history
LGBTQ studies
Latin American studies
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation investigates the process by which the figure of Luis Barragán was constructed and became emblematic of Mexican modern architecture. By examining the historiography of his public persona, the dissertation complicates existing understandings of Barragán and portrays him as a composite figure, simultaneously a modern and a postmodern architect. Beyond examining the figure of Luis Barragán, the dissertation seeks to theorize a collective enunciation of the subjectivity of an architect. In so doing, it traces the intersection of the making of Barragán’s name with disciplinary trends about local, national, and international modern architecture and with the geopolitics of oil and the Cold War. Through the analysis of exhibitions as well as of institutions and publications, the dissertation explains how and why a dilettante architect and real-estate developer with a handful of published projects became a nationalist icon in a modernizing welfare state—Mexico during the twentieth century. The dissertation also illustrates how and why a cosmopolitan intellectual was codified as a "poetical" version of the architect. The text is structured to resist a monographic reading that presupposes a single, stable figure at the origin of architectural design. Instead, the dissertation understands Barragán as an “author,” a discursive figure forged through a multiplicity of voices and forces that dissolves into fragments under close scrutiny. The dissertation loosens the unity of Barragán through the notion of a collective autobiographical enunciation that responded to morphing interests at play between the mid 1920s and the early 1980s. Based on new primary and secondary research involving archival materials from various holdings, the dissertation posits an alternative understanding of Barragán and of the architectural monograph.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Architecture

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