Manifestos

‘Manifestoes’resemble contracts that the undersigned make with themselves and with society. As with all contracts, manifestoes imply certain rules laws and restrictions. But they soon become independent from their authors. At this point, a masochistic realtionship begins between the author and the text itself, for the manifesto-contract has been drafted by the very person who will suffer from the restrictions of its clauses. No doubt such carefully devised laws will be violated. This self-transgression of self-made laws adds a particularly perverse dimension to manifestoes. In addition, like love letters, they provide an erotic distance between fantasy and actual realisation. In many respects, this aspect of manifestoes has much in common with the nature of architectural work. It plays on the tension between ideas and real spaces, between abstract concepts and the sensuality of an implied spatial experience. (B. Tschumi, preface of Architectural Manifestoes, London, 1979).

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