Report about an acute educational state of emergency at the
'Institute of Art History', University of Tuebingen, Germany
By Nold Egenter
Most of those who are dealing theoretically with architecture, certainly know the name of Amos Rapoport and the title of his book 'House Form and Culture' (1969). Not all, however, have become aware that the discipline of architecture itself has initiated something fundamentally new, namely the objective scientific research of the phenomena related to building and architecture. This research is called 'architectural ethnology' or 'architectural anthropology'. During three decades this field has developed tremendously. Since 1986 the University of California at Berkeley (USA) is the most important center of this worldwide research into traditional buildings and settlements. In 1999 Cambridge University Press published an encyclopedia on the ethnology of architecture in 3 volumes. Today, approximately 3000-4000 scholars worldwide are doing research into architectural ethnology, many also into the wider field of architectural anthropology (Egenter 1992). In numerous disciplines of the humanities, the new outlook has already found considerable interest. A wide spectrum of domains like primatology, paleoanthropology, prehistory, archaeology, history, ethnology, folklore studies, also philosophy and theology, as well as japanology, sinology, indology etc. have announced their interest.
It is evident that the established trustee of the conventional combination of architecture and science bristles with anger. The new terms related to global research put the Eurocentric art parlour into the offside. Research into architecture as art is outdated, at least in view of a valid 'architectural theory'. The new themes of architectural anthropology are some numbers too large for the European art historian. We are talking about the so-called "science of the arts".
There is no better example to illustrate this new tension than by shedding
light on a small episode which recently happened in relation with an art
historian's essay. It was written by Regine Prange (Prange 1995). The author
of the book 'Architectural Anthropology - the Relevance of the Primitive
in Architecture' (Egenter 1992) was asked to provide the printing rights
of some of the pictures in his book. On this occasion, a short correspondence
developed regarding the compatibility of anthropology and the Eurocentric
history of art. The author expressed his very sceptical attitude (Prange1955,
Note 43). But now this study is published. As could be expected, it is
a scientifically dilettantic attempt to legitimate conventional and very
outdated views. In addition the study is in many ways incredibly ignorant
in regard to modern anthropology. It is easy to apply Brecht's "what is
falling should further be pushed". One thing is clear: the history of art
has no business being in recent architectural research.
BRUNO TAUT'S IDEAS ABOUT ARCHITECTURE
IN THE MILL OF THE ART HISTORIAN
Regine Prange's essay was published in a collection of papers with the title "Fascination or the Organic" a title which makes one prick up ones ears. (1995, Iudicium-Verlag, Munich). Explanations summing up the book suggest the idea that in a figurative sense the organic remained alive as wishful thinking "in literature and history of thought since the times of enlightenment". But, "in the 20th century, at the latest, the arbitrariness, absoluteness and ideology-proneness of any type of synthetic thought related to organisms" became evident. This seems to have sharpened the historical awareness. Implied are essentially the legitimation strategies of the organic since the art period around 1800. At the time of Goethe already, the "glorification of the organic announces the salvation from the mechanical, strengthening of the individual internally against the outer forces of the modern world...."
Well, already here we have to clean our ears out. Fairly subtly this introduction abstracts from the factual. Long roundabout phrases make their meaning difficult to understand. Processes of idealisation are introduced. Quintessence: any type of dealing with the organic potentially loses its objectivity. It is not difficult to understand from where the wind blows. Anthropological and biological reasonings are diluted to psychological "defence strategies". Evidently a very ancient powerful tradition, well versed in idealisations, pulls its strings in the background.
With this program of the organic as her wishful dream, we can find Regine Prange at work devoted to the history of art in her parlour. She has collected a lot of materials of and about Bruno Taut. Gradually she becomes aware that all these fantastic ideas, these "architectural fantasies" as they are called, can be tinkered into a system. According to Prange they all can somehow - organically or inorganically - be combined with nature. Taut's glasshouse with its "swinging silhouette" immerses us into "the impression of a vegetable-like springing up. In a movie made by Bruno Taut a "growing building" expresses the genre of a fantastic spectacle projected into cosmic dimensions. "Reinforced concrete ribs" are "vegetabilically romanticized" into "wickerwork". This is the general tune throughout the essay!
The vague art historian's jargon should not disturb us here for the time being. Paul Hofer, a well known Swiss art historian, has quite some time ago sarcastically coined this ridiculous "language fauna" of his own guild as "word ghosts" and "word jellyfish". Ultimately the acceptance of this verbal delirium is based on the fact that the history of art as a discipline, similarly to theology, on one hand platonically deduces, and on the other hand is methodologically obliged to medieval hermeneutics. Though Prange, in fact, deals with architecture, with the exception of some few objective examples, her study is essentially hermeneutical, that is, interpreting written words. Thus in 'architectural theory' she belongs to those who have trust only in what is written about architecture, not objectively in architecture, that is, what is factually built. Consequently, the terms she uses remain somehow nebulously hanging in the air. Architectural phantasms copulate with vague ideas about nature, about culture, and consequently the goal is reached very quickly: Bruno Taut is suspected of "ideology". On the other hand it is evident: with all these nebulous ingredients, any kinds of special soups can be cooked which always find their customers in the nicely panelled halls of the historians of art. But in the more recent domains of architectural science this type of product is definitely not marketable any more.
There are essentially four conceptual circles Prange uses to deal with her 'fantastic' topic. There is the "crystalline", the "vegetable", also a little bit of the "cosmic", each with a rather arbitrary domain of diffusion. Ultimately there is a forth world law in her approach - we are not surprised - sex (served in great quantities!). With these 4 parameters attributed to Bruno Taut, Prange easily lifts architectural imaginations into higher, more general domains of nature-culture-speculation, whereby ideas like 'crystalline' can be interpreted arbitrarily as organic or anorganic. Buildings can be taken as plants, or plants as buildings. Originally architecture was "body-like" but loses this "body-likeness". We are then confronted with the insatiable delight of many architecture-related art historians, namely the spherical cosmos-symbolisms of the 18th century (Ledoux etc.) and Laugier's idea of the primordial hut endlessly gone over and over again, finally Ernst Haeckel's consumptive "Monism". All this should provide historical depth to this bizarre blab. Even natural science is mentioned. In short, anything can be postulated in this terminological dough-bowl and also withdrawn at the same time. Prange wants to show us that Taut's originality was not so remarkable, that his ideas were close to a wider historical framework which considers nature in the sense of creation or science (sic!), respectively from a basic legality. According to Prange, Bruno Taut with his social concepts and his world views suddenly finds himself in the embarrassing light of a very conservative mentality, which - and this is Prange's triumph - stands definitely in contrast and contradiction with his socialistic and progressive humanistic ideas.
Nota bene, art historians themselves are fairly sinister figures, particularly if they are active in domains related to architecture. The art historian works in an intermediate area to which he does not belong. He is neither artist nor historian. The artist is productive, often deals intensely with very elementary material conditions. Exactly this, the art historian does not want. He has higher aspirations. He wants to grasp the spiritual aspect of art, directly and immediately! The historian on the other hand has to do with objective facts. He deals with reports of battles, for example. In contrast to this, the objects of the art historian are ambiguous, material AND spiritual, particularly in the domain of architecture. Paradoxically, particularly if he emphasises his role as a representative of science, this brings him to the highly questionable borderlines of legitimacy, because science categorically delimits ambiguities. Either art is nilor...? Most art historians flee in the direction of the spiritual, use the pseudotheological milieu, favouring abstractions of the third degree.
Prange is a good example of this. Her 40 pages of gabbling can to some extent be taken as a highly problematic expression of the art historian's method. Since as an art historian she has no access to Bruno Taut's architecturo-immanent 'illogical' metaphors, she tries to bend them towards outside, to measure them with the socially sanctioned, tries to find them in the historically documented. She is not able to describe nor to understand the nucleus of all this! This is made very clear in her study, Thus Taut - programmed through this type of method - ends somehow simplistically at the "ideology" cage.
Really, a tragic result, a monumental misunderstanding. Its structural conditions are clear. The architect in our modern society is scientifically incapacitated. Essentially through the pressure of the history of art, the architect in his social role is mythically genialised: the post-medieval myth of the profaned creator genius. Architecture - thus the doctrine - since its aesthetics are part of creation, it can only be explained to the 'laic' part of society through the 'clerus' of the history of art.
From this pseudo-theological position it is not far to the autistic way Prange deals with Taut's 'fantasies'. This autism is a further mechanism of the history of art. The ant-like build-up and destruction of the 'Zeitgeist', the often artificially constructed values of aesthetics, of 'style' etc. Outdated schemes like raise, heyday and decay. If they are in their heydays, the architects are glorified with all possible medial means - like Botta for instance, at the moment. If they are passé they are quickly present, the decay-bacteria of the history of art, the ant like gravediggers with their insect-like tongues. They make small what was grandiose, turn into rubbish what was significant before. Or, within the clerical image, it is the old parenté between the high priests and the gravediggers. In this handyman role too of an esthetically blown up cyclism - a gigantic waistline architecture - Prange's study is a programmed product of her guild.
It has to be noted here that with an open horizon, Taut's ideas can
well be understood. With his polar terms, with the central and basic importance
of the built in hisontology he somehow foresees a post-historistic, or
an anthropological architectural theory. But this must be conserved for
a later study.
PRANGE'S DILETTANTIC ATTEMPT TO (D)EVALUATE
So far regarding the professional mechanisms immanent in Prange's work. However, even if one would accept the topic somehow in view of the conditions of the history of art, there are subjective factors in her essay which make this study totally unacceptable. Above all there is Prange's antiquated, hermeneutic autism, her cluelessness in regard to structural differences between different cultures, her absolute incompetence in matters of ethnology, Asian studies and anthropology, particularly where she stage-manages her superficial encroachments. These 'scenes' clearly show the dilettantism of her work. Is this study related to the recent (d)evaluation of the humanities?
Prange's world of "bisexual meaning"
Until about the middle of her roughly 40 page essay Prange seems to have frustrated herself with the historistic paper tigers of the "crystalline", of the "vegetable springing up" or of "the cosmically extending" to such an extent that she now suddenly opens the faucet of her most private evidently problematic intimate sphere to full extent. It looks like if by this she wants to convince the reader fairly bored of her previous reasoning. A colossal immense and powerful giant, a world-master builder is blown up and implored. He is declared as "the law of life" itself.
All this is fairly grotesque because it is related to a small picture strip of Taut which he produced by filming the "gestalt of a cathedral" from above towards below. But the mere idea of a "growing building" leads Prange into a incredible delirium. Note that this negative judgement is not due to any negative attitude of the reader. It is rather produced through very explicit expressions hailing down on him. We read about the "symbolic erection of the tower", about a higher type of "constructive lust", about a "fathering process of cosmic dimensions".
This hysterical phallic-vulvic fathering palaver projected into cosmic dimensions then goes on to beseech "male and female in one gestalt"...united as symbolic "coitus" and "parthenogenesis"! A cathedral thus becomes "at the same time phallus and vagina ...". And this type of "bisexual gothics" then guides the reader towards Taut's image of the "big flower" which - with some notes scribbled into the picture by Bruno Taut - glorifies a "primordial wisdom" as "again living": "complete nakedness in sexual matters....".
It is not difficult, however, to find out about the origins of this 'noblesse of the naked'! Definitely not from the Greek or Roman gods. They showed a very different nakedness, not related to flesh, mythical, as an antithesis to the profane. In addition these anthropomorphous forms are not ancient. Egypt and Mesopotamia show quite different expressions of the divine. The noblesse of the naked evidently developed under the influence of Rousseau's glorification of the primitive. It is consequently a rather modern "wisdom" and not at all of "cosmic dimensions". Evidently it is closely related to photography. We are referring to all the endless pictures of nakedness among the so called "nature-peoples" found in exotic jungles which found their ways into the corresponding and very popular European literature. In other words, what Prange presents us as primordial knowledge in Bruno Taut's set of ideas is a very modern view, a relatively late accumulation. In addition not at all grown in the architectural milieu of Europe. And, further, "Phallus and rosette again holy symbol" This too is neither "primordial wisdom", nor is it poetic, nor has it been originally brewed in architectural circles. It is not cosmically ecstatic, but - already in view of its tense decency - an absolutely fictive Eurocentric construction of the history of religion. In more precise terms, it is in fact a centuries old celibacy-sludge which was used to primitivise all what was not yet under control of the concept of the original sin and the corresponding repression of drives. Fairly tasteless this 'art-theological' revival of outdated exotic missionary male night-sweat-dreams of "fertility cults" and the like. Let us end this idiotic Eurocentric nonsense of sexual projections on "nature" peoples and let us stop this useless way to go into effusive raptures.
Prange's precarious "side-glance"
With this phallic-vulvic-cosmico-delirious apparatus Prange produces a fatal "side-glance" as she calls it: She looks towards Japan. She has found a book on Japanese cult symbols of reed and bamboo. In her opinion their forms are very closely resembling Taut's "phallus and rosette"-motive, are alluding to his idea of the big flower. The connection is drawn quickly: Taut was in Japan! Thus in Prange's opinion this study can factually support herphallic-vulvic interpretation, the more since the book mentions the term "gender symbolism". However, all this is meant in a quite different context.
The village monograph "Sacred seats of reed and bamboo" (Egenter 1982) and a further study not mentioned by Prange, a detailed survey of about 250 pages with about 1000 illustrations referring to the same topic, but now related to 100 villages (Egenter 1980, 1994), both these studies are basically dealing with scientific architectural research (architectural ethnology).
Japanese folklore studies and Japanese history of religion are maintaining the idea that the Shinto-cults researched in these studies were essentially conditioned by fire as a cultic element (himatsuri). In contrast to this theory fairly established in Japan, both studies clearly document very convincingly (1) that in terms of architectural theory the cult symbols shown represent a type of "semantic building" conventionally not taken into consideration. They were mentioned in the ethnology of religion as "fetishes" and the like, but were never objectively researched. And (2) both studies show that this semantic architecture represents an extremely expressive tradition which very clearly is of prehistorical character technologically and in view of other aspects. Consequently the studies can provide new answers for numerous anthropological questions regarding the evolution of architecture, art and culture (religion). In addition (3) both studies made very clear distinctions between an architecturo-genetic "structural symbolism" and a secondary type of symbolism, which accumulated later from outside due to pre-existing primary structural conditions. Both studies clearly describe these facts technically, formally and terminologically. There are also two further studies related to this particular topic (Egenter 1981,1994a). All these studies show how the primary "structural symbolism" can enter into relation with outer phenomena through categorical structural analogies (tree, spatial elements of settlement, Chinese YinYang thought [jap in-yô]). Thus, a problem of cognition is involved. Among the secondarily accumulated symbolisms there are some examples of categorically expressed gender- (not related to physical sex organs!) symbolisms. They have nothing to do with the male penis or the female vulva, but are dominantly characterised by their architectural nature. Thus, both volumes first mentioned are devoted to the attempt to answer culturo-genetic questions (architecture, semiotics, symbolism, aesthetics, metaphysics) in new ways by referring to this universally widespread type of 'semantic architecture', in the wider sense by using the new domain of architectural anthropology. Evidently Prange has not read the study about 100 villages, or she has purposely suppressed it. In view of these acribically documented surveys all what Prange writes in her "side glance" is pure nonsense.
"Reed bundles bound together in this way" she says (are there also reed bundles not bound together?) - "for the rest [?] have been interpreted as a cultic prototype of the anthropomorphous or rather of the bisexual meaning of Ionian and Corinthian column orders." (How can one pack so much nonsense in one phrase?). First, there is the framework topic. The matter must somehow have to do with the organic. Consequently, Prange emphasises the term 'anthropomorphous' which, in her fixation on the art historian's general credo that architecture was primarily anthropomorphous is now put into the foreground - completely unwarranted. The form shown by Prange is not anthropomorphous. The reed bundle fixed in the upper part of the pillar incorporates the sunwheel (jap. "nichirin"), as a whole it represents a Yin-Yang type of symbol, which, however - described clearly in both books - is basically derived from architectural criteria and implies harmonious correlations of contradictory categories. If Prange also interprets the abstract Yin Yang symbol in her reductive terms of bisexuality, it is difficult to help her out in regard to any knowledge in the framework of Asian studies.
Further, Prange's conclusion bridging from Japan to the Ionian and Corinthian "column orders" (note the Vitruvian jargon!), is fairly far fetched. Very autistically she turns the architectural connections to the drawings of Andrae into her sexual symbolisms, omits the architecturo-anthropological explanations, which support an anthropological foundation of aesthetics, and finally has the impudence to present the author of the study as a sexual neurotic. "The author is certainly trying hard to definitely avoid the allusion to phallicism and the like and intensely emphasises the origin of all the forms in the domain of the structural. But evidently he shares the repressive character of his concept of an 'evolution of building' with the expressionistic generation (....)". Obviously this has nothing to do with science! It is close to a quasi-clinical autism, which does not perceive the world of the other anymore and what little rests of the perceivable is 'organically' bent into one's own world.
If we would follow what Prange suggests, the author of these architecturo-anthropological studies might feel honoured to have spent about 10 years in Japan to study genitals! Symbolically covered up of course but nevertheless. There are different ways to react to such insinuations. One can feel amused, or feel pity with the acute educational state of emergency of Regine Prange or get angry about one's works being fed to pigs.
Prange's meagre construction of an "ideology"
In her 9th chapter Prange blurs her symbol idea with a further side glance. As was to be expected somehow we arrive in Sigmund Freud's world. The "function of the symbol turns into "cancellation of knowledge,... " the "displaced content...can only be revealed" through "an analysis..." (of the condensation processes).
Here too Prange mixes vigorously very heterogeneous things. Taut seems "to justify this psychoanalytical notion of the symbol." Master Eckhardt then contributes a little bit of religious thought. Finally - referring to the 8th chapter - the "absolute power" of the ornament is postulated and "with the suspension of syntax and sense,... " the whole thing falls down on the level of the mystery monger at the same time preserving "the fiction of a whole" in a rather totalitarian sense. In the 10th chapter, this totalitarian element of the ornament provides the basis to critically give Taut's fantasies a dressing down "as part of an ideology formation". Typically enough this is done in a modernistic line and at the same time with an "antimodernistic direction". The modern "Bildersturm" clings "to an idealistic creator cult."
This too is a clear perversion of the factual conditions. Since the discipline of the history of art has the elitarian social means at its disposal (museums, galleries, media) it forces the artist into this type of existence. Not least this is to secure the corresponding existential means for their own subsistence. Thus even in modern democracies art has remained anaesthetically deductive creation myth and it is incredible to blame the poor artist dreamer for a totalitarian ideology which is mainly profitable for the apparatus of the art historians.
The nest building behaviour of the great apes viewed from the art historian's parlour
The most precarious aspect of the whole study, however, is Prange's final attempt to interpret "architectural anthropology" in her own ways. What is most frightening in this venture: shortly before the entry into the third millennium, someone can speak blithely about anthropology as if we were still in Bishop Wilberforce's library. Prange has never heard that in the meantime this one and only history which explained everything and which everyone believed has split into at least eight very precisely defined histories. And each one is based on its own science and methods. Poor Frau Prange! Laugier's primordial hut and Boullé's spherical hut, a little bit of Haeckel's monism, a lot of misinterpreted Tautian phantasms, in addition a miserable fuss of nature-and culture-speculations! And that is the way to speak about anthropology? Frightening what is taken out of the junkyard, this nature-concept of the 18th and 19th century. With its crystals and phallic allusions it is a reminder of a flea market. This messy world view has fairly collapsed during the last 100 years at least among scientifically serious persons. Dowe not speak of milliards, millions, thousands of years, and quite at the end only of Prange's two-hundred-years-old art history tricks. In short, what Prange completely misinterprets into her little art historian's parlour, is in fact based precisely on these eight scientific histories. With its basic developments it refers to the term 'constructivity' suggested by primatologists (R. M. Yerkes 1929). Its concept of space is based on an anthropological study of space (O. F. Bollnow 1963). Besides this, there are some other new concepts, which, in the conventional mosaic of a scientific anthropology, might manage to give some new more 'constructive' meanings to the whole, as others have shown it already (Wilson 1988). If Prange thinks that this concept of an architectural anthropology is in any way touched by her drivel, she betrays herself: she gives proof of her own acute educational state of emergency.
However all that forms only the background of the factual situation. Here too the demands of the frame program (the organic as ideology) form a puzzling tangle, in which Prange goes astray. What a pitiful situation! Evidently she did not consider it necessary to read the article 'Ape Architects' (Egenter1983). She uses the title, but does not care what it means.
This article was stimulated by American primatologists (Yerkes 1929). It deals with a detailed survey of all theoretical and descriptive materials available until 1980 and related to the nest-building behaviour of the great apes. Evidently the "concept of an evolution of building" did not originate on a palm tree (as Prange concluded from seeing a photograph in this article) but is rather supposed to have started - as the paper maintains clearly -with the important type of ground nests. Similarly it is incredibly absurd to write - as Prange does - that the nest is an "instinct-creation of the Orang Utan". The article clearly describes the learning processes of this 'subhuman tradition' as surveyed and observed by several authors. In addition, Prange puts conclusions of meaningful reasonings at the beginning thus signalling her 'ideology-suspicion' concept. She does not care at all for distinctions like 'subhuman' and 'human' thus forcing things into their opposites. Prange even maintains that the author of the Ape study believes that "the natural becoming can be shown empirically in the non-human domain". This claim is close to absurd theatre. Evidently Prange has never heard anything about anthropological classifications.
She changes the scientific discussion containing precise architectural and anthropological terms into prattle which uses a vague notion of nature. Evidently she does not know what a definition is. "The differentiation already metaphorically abolished between high architecture and lower building by the growth of the settlement and the crystal-house of Bruno Taut is dissolved completely in a nature term, ..." Unbelievable, it leads us into fits of laughter! An art historian plays art brut. The correct justification is of course found on the cover of the book from which Prange has cut her collage. The differentiation is dissolved in the framework of architectural anthropology, because architecture is now defined anthropologically. Evidently, this does not mean that architecture evolves under natural conditions! Nor that aesthetics disappear from our view. Obviously Prange has not read this or has not understood it: aesthetics are founded anthropologically, are not postulated in historico-fundamentalistic deductions anymore. Due to the "aesthetic relevance" thus directed into the offside, Prange's absurd 'naturalisation' of the anthropologically defined architectural evolution leads directly into the gigantic "slums in the countries of the third world", which, if one would take this universal historical monism into serious consideration would appear in a mythico-primordially transfigured light."
It is not surprising, the architectural anthropology thus distorted
in all possible ways finally ends there where the book-program wants it
to end: close to Bruno Taut's phantasms. Not only this. It is not only
the point of being entangled into ideologies. Our architectural anthropology
ends, together with Taut, simply there where this would be best for Prange's
worldview: it should end on the garbage heap. For her stimulating plea
for the "hunting-hordes and killer-bands of prehistory as "view on the
humane particular" Prange should be congratulated personally: the award
for "primitivism", she deserves it in every respect!
ONLY MASQUERADE? -
THE MATTER BECOMES ALARMING
The hair-raising slovenliness of the inquiries, which make possible all the absurd allegations, on the other way shows that there is a kind of 'art of distortion' involved - for instance how Haeckels 'monism' appears again at the end, or how the paper steers towards the goal of the whole, the garbage heap. Do as if...? Theory of art covered up as polemics?
But, now this matter gets dangerous, alarmingly dangerous. Note that we are neither in the humoristic corner of a daily newspaper, nor in some satirical journal. Prange's work is not journalism. We are at an institute of public education, at a university, a very renowned one, with an ancient very renowned name: Eberhard-Karls-University, Tuebingen, Germany.
Did Prange maybe only pretend, did she just disguise as dilettantic
inexperienced art girl? Did she stage-manage this dilettantic drivel to
disqualify this architectural anthropology, which she did not like, or
which a superior authority of hers did not like? The suspicion is justified
and since the days when the Swiss State Academy of the Humanities distributed
the "Money is Mind"-Theory of the Ticino entrepreneur Tito Tettamanti ('il
Magnifico')  free of charge to all Swiss academicians, it can well
be considered possible. There is another important reason to accept this
suspicion: the whole humanities would in this way potentially finish on
the garbage heap. If it becomes normal that at our universities we can
- with much money - employ any kind of clown or puppet who with lots of
tomfoolery, fuss and dirty jokes have a go at some disliked books, to make
fun of them and thus make them end on the garbage heap of history, under
such conditions? Science? No thanks! Note that this most unworthy and most
dangerous potential lives in the mind of the present writer today - as
the most sinister suspicions related to the past. Of the German kind, by
the way. But, let us not assume the worst case!
The most unfortunate aspect of Regine Prange's study is the fact that all those who have seen the basic studies supporting the concept or architectural anthropology immediately are aware of Prange's problematic educational level. That the enlightened methods used by architectural anthropology are not liked by everybody is comprehensible. But this would mean: of an university with the name of Tuebingen one would have expected much more in this critical direction. Prange's pathetic attempt is of such a slovenly kind that the whole book program falls on it with full force. She appears now in the footlight of ridicule, in the light of an incredible "arbitrariness", of the "absolute" nonsense of distorted facts, fixed on the "ideology" of her small art historian's parlour. She is stuck in a deep and totally non-scientific mire of self-defence, in an absolutely autistically stage-managed "legitimation-strategy"! Not architectural anthropology, but her art history manipulable at will in the form of this miserable sorry effort will end on the garbage heap. See introduction, second paragraph.
Luckily and as already mentioned our architectural anthropology in the meantime has first been acknowledged by many other disciplines of the humanities. And second it is competently multidisciplinary in its structure. And third it appears in 3 languages. It can therefore well cope with the poor attack of Regine Prange and her Institute of the history of art at the Eberhard Karls University, Tuebingen, Germany.
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Volkskult. Eine bauethnologische Untersuchung,dokumentiert an 100 Dörfern
Zentraljapans. ETH, Zürich
The Sacred Trees Around Goshonai. Japan. A contribution of building
ethnology to the subject of tree worship. Aisan Folklore Studies XL-2:191-212,
Göttersitze aus Schilf und Bambus. Jährlich gebaute Kultfackeln als Male,
Zeichen und Symbole. Eine bauethnologische Untersuchung der
,ujigami'-Rituale des Volksshintô um die Stadt Omihachiman, Japan.
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Affen-Architekten. Die Nestbautraditionen der höheren Menschenaffen. In:
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Architectural Anthropology: Semantic and symbolic Architecture. An
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WILSON, Peter J.
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YERKES, R. M.
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