Performativity in the City
by Reena Tiwari
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Set against the contemporary thinking of the city as a spectacle, SpaceDBodyDRitual: Performativity in the City establishes everyday life in the city as a ground for authentic experience. Reena Tiwari emphasizes the city as a space of lived experience-an intricately layered space giving people a poetic experience, responding to their memories and desires. She also explores the conflict between two ideas: the idea of thee 'city as text' to be read and understood from a distance, and the 'city as body,' where the body, after writing the text through its performance, achieves the capacity to read and understand it. SpaceDBodyDRitual demonstrates that the abstract 'seeing' embedded in the 'city as a text' is underwritten by the idea of power operating at deeper levels in the city. This hidden power is the power of the user's body in space. Furthermore, Tiwari proposes that an understanding of the 'city as body' through lived experience-through rhythmanalysis, where rhythms of everyday and extra everyday practices are understood-leads to the design of an environment that is evocative and is able to generate a bodily response from the user. To understand the rhythms, it becomes essential to know the way users inhabit, understand and map or present the city spaces by their bodies. SpaceDBodyDRitual will compel its readership to think of the parameters of spatial design as cultural generator.
- Lexington Books, May 2010
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