Scandalous practice: between architecture and art

Alessandro Zambelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Between disciplines of making lies the scandalous space of transgressive practice. Barbara Maria Stafford in Visual Analogy describes the kind of space which might be inhabited by this kind of practice, as universe-as-wunderkammer, and as an analogical universe. Elsewhere I have been investigating what happens when architectural practice is allowed to spill over into the realms of archaeology and, to a lesser extent, anthropology (where those disciplines are construed as design disciplines that is disciplines of making). But for one evening last year this architectural work was allowed to transgress territory normally reserved for art practice. Made in a school of architecture by an architect and designed for the investigation of archaeological practice, this work was, instead, exhibited at the galleries of a school of art: the work was described as art and its makers as artists. Of course, architectural work is also exhibited, but on this occasion traditional and recognizable relationships of work and practice to institution, space and audience were uncomfortably subverted and the work scandalized. This paper describes the attempt to unravel, account for and then use the analogical universe which allowed these transformations to occur. It contends that between disciplines of making there exist deep correspondences which are the result of their homologous development that is a development of resemblance through common origin. It also maintains that common origin is not enough to explain the particularity of this interdisciplinary affinity. Instead, analogical tools are required to reveal their suppressed kinship, whilst the scandalous transgression of architecture into art begins to reveal the unspoken and sometimes restrictive paradigms under which both practices operate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of the Arts in Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2011


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