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“Then There Was War:” John Hejduk’s The Silent Witnesses as Nuclear Criticism

“Then There Was War:” John Hejduk’s The Silent Witnesses as Nuclear Criticism AbstractDrawing on the reflections contained in Roland Barthes’ lectures on the “Neutral,” this article reconsiders John Hejduk’s The Silent Witnesses installation (1976), often thought a peripheral work despite the architect’s assertion that it is his most important statement. While discussions of silence normally presume the presence of a listener, I argue that this work concerns that which – if we can still describe it as silence – endures beyond any possibility of audition. This is the condition emblematized by the final blank gray volume of Hejduk’s installation, whose radical erasure of all traces gestures toward the absolute archival destruction – characterized by Jacques Derrida as an “apocalypse without revelation” – presaged by the nuclear age. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Architecture and Culture Taylor & Francis

“Then There Was War:” John Hejduk’s The Silent Witnesses as Nuclear Criticism

Architecture and Culture , Volume 6 (2): 16 – May 4, 2018

“Then There Was War:” John Hejduk’s The Silent Witnesses as Nuclear Criticism

Architecture and Culture , Volume 6 (2): 16 – May 4, 2018

Abstract

AbstractDrawing on the reflections contained in Roland Barthes’ lectures on the “Neutral,” this article reconsiders John Hejduk’s The Silent Witnesses installation (1976), often thought a peripheral work despite the architect’s assertion that it is his most important statement. While discussions of silence normally presume the presence of a listener, I argue that this work concerns that which – if we can still describe it as silence – endures beyond any possibility of audition. This is the condition emblematized by the final blank gray volume of Hejduk’s installation, whose radical erasure of all traces gestures toward the absolute archival destruction – characterized by Jacques Derrida as an “apocalypse without revelation” – presaged by the nuclear age.

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References (14)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
2050-7836
eISSN
2050-7828
DOI
10.1080/20507828.2018.1478375
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractDrawing on the reflections contained in Roland Barthes’ lectures on the “Neutral,” this article reconsiders John Hejduk’s The Silent Witnesses installation (1976), often thought a peripheral work despite the architect’s assertion that it is his most important statement. While discussions of silence normally presume the presence of a listener, I argue that this work concerns that which – if we can still describe it as silence – endures beyond any possibility of audition. This is the condition emblematized by the final blank gray volume of Hejduk’s installation, whose radical erasure of all traces gestures toward the absolute archival destruction – characterized by Jacques Derrida as an “apocalypse without revelation” – presaged by the nuclear age.

Journal

Architecture and CultureTaylor & Francis

Published: May 4, 2018

Keywords: architectural theory; Jacques Derrida; John Hejduk; nuclear criticism; Roland Barthes; silence; The Silent Witnesses

There are no references for this article.