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Foreign Rights




Journey to the end of the city


In July 1972 the Pruitt-Igoe, a Le Corbusier-style residential complex built by Yamasaki between 1952 and 1955 at the outskirts of Saint-Louis, was demolished at the request of its inhabitants. Some thirty years from that emblematic event, on September 11, 2001, the collapse of another of Yamasaki's creation, the Twin Towers, was yet another moment of historical rupture. Was it chance, fate or maybe just an all-too fitting sign of the times? Journey to the end of the city investigates the crisis of the metropolis and the imaginary of an age whose inexorable decline can be gleaned through the transformation of its cities. Thus, Pruitt-Igoe and the Twin Towers symbolically trace the locus of the postmodern moment whose ever-changing fabric of the metropolis has shown the ailing symptoms of the tragic decline of the West. While intellectuals, philosophers, urban sociologists, novelists and film directors have described such catastrophic dystopia in the making, artists have striven to find a melancholic haven in urban heterotopias. It would seem as if such dialectical movement fatefully contains the destiny of our present age

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