The architectures of Robinson Crusoe
Research Project for El Ranchito Finland
The architectures of individualism
The architectures of Robinson Crusoe is a research project developed between Madrid and Helsinki, by the invitation of Matadero Madrid, within the project for El Ranchito Finland residences. This project forms part of an extensive research around the imaginaries of modern-day individualism that have determined the configuration of contemporary cities. Robinson Crusoe is a Promethean seminal myth, crucial to understanding how to configure the individualism that becomes in the modern citizen of liberal societies.
The history of the settlement of a shipwrecked sailor on an island is usually reported as a process of the individual overcoming process. As a battle between man and nature. Like the conquest of technical mastery and industrious knowledge, outside society. But, in reality, what the novel shows is the execution of a script pre-set by an actor who does not know that he plays a role. Robinson Crusoe is the representation within a representation: the manufacture of a replica, materialized on the island, of a lost civilization. The frustrated persecution of a fantastical original. The mechanical reproduction of a model that will never come back, because it only dwells in his memory. Crusoe does not wish, he recreates. He doesn´t let himself to be transformed by the experience, he reestablish himself through work. No room is left for the strength of the feasible, as he holds it back in his search for an origin. Although the first edition of the book of 1719 is titled the ‘Life and Strange and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe’, in reality, it had little to do with his fantastic life on the island. Little deviated from the model learned in his native land. The novel narrates a representation within a representation: Crusoe is determined to transform the island, with small architectural operations, in a setting where English civilization is represented. A scenario without an audience, a film set, where the island is a scenery, objects, props and the inhabitants, extras. Robinson Crusoe is a fiction inside another fiction. But it is a fiction that fantasizes about the elimination of the fantastical in favor of an economy reproduction of the world.
This project studies, on the one hand, the spread of the Robinson Crusoe myth in so many other texts that have considered him as a controversial interlocutor and have participated in its consolidation in the collective memory, as J. J. Rousseau, K. Marx, J. Joyce, G. Deleuze, M. Tournier, M. Mingley, F. Savater, etc., Moreover, explores the materials ecologies and visual ecologies thanks to which Robinson Crusoe architectures are deployed.
SCRIPT OF THE MOVIE
The story of Robinson Crusoe is normally told as a battle between man and nature. But, in reality, what the novel demonstrates is the transformation of the island into a cinema set.
Robinson Crusoe is a fiction within a fiction.
The heroic castaway, alone facing danger, is nothing but an actor that performs a script, playing a role on a stage.
Robinson Crusoe is a representation within a representation
He gradually transforms the island with small architectural interventions so that HIS SHOW can begin.
Robinson Crusoe survives on the island thanks to the vocabularies of morals and work, but inhabits a set thanks to techniques of drama.
Robinson Crusoe does not desire, he only reproduces. HE does not allow himself to be transformed by the island, he only replicates. HE does not allow room for other possible worlds in his VAIN pursuit of a phantasmatic original.
Robinson Crusoe it is the fiction which fantasises with the elimination of experience and the fantastical.
Robinson Crusoe is composed as a coral myth: the first BEST SELLER in the English language is NOW being disseminated through multiple voices that maintain this fiction alive.
The architectures of Robinson Crusoe are not architectures meant for survival, but routines for the materialization of a movie set, a stage without an audience. Here the landscape is a stage mechanism, the objects are props, and the inhabitants, extras.
The TRUTH is that only in the eye of the camera, the island is an island in the Pacific. A pacific Isalnd.
Arquitectos / Architects: elii – Uriel Fogué + Eva Gil + Carlos Palacios
Equipo/Team: elii- Ana Herreros + Eva Rubio + Pedro P. García + Alicia García
Gracias / Thanks to: María Jerez and Carlos Monleón
Promotor/Developer: Matadero Madrid
Fotógrafía/Photography: Miguel de Guzmán (www.imagensubliminal.com)
Fecha Date: 2014
Emplazamiento: Nave 16.1 Matadero Madrid