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‘(Queer?) Interiors’ for TMA03: in lieu of A844 Ex. 2.42 on McKellar ‘Peripheral Visions’ and 2.7 on Gandy ‘The Paris sewers'

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Blog: ‘(Queer?) Interiors’ for TMA03: in lieu of A844 Ex. 2.42 on McKellar ‘Peripheral Visions’ and 2.7 on Gandy ‘The Paris sewers’; Redeeming Material for Use on chosen topic ‘(Queer?) Interiors’.

This is a note to self. It is based on having enjoyed in a way Sec 1 & 2 of the Block. I am loathe to work on exercises when I know I want to work on Duncan Grant, and Bloomsbury ‘family’ interiors. These sections read as very bitty and like an introduction more suited to undergraduate work. This may be so with the relevant section on Interior spaces. However, I find things of interest that may feed forward theoretically into ‘Interiors’.

1.     In section 1, that would be the essay on Dumbarton Oaks. This raises issues about discussion of space in terms of dynamic-body phenomenology. If one can discuss ‘steps’ in relation to the experience of garden space, one can do the same with motive-objects in human dynamics in interiors like stairs and staircases, furniture, doors and windows. This will be important in looking at Omega furnishing as well as full interiors at Knole, Charleston etc.

2.     Section 2a would pick up McKellar’s analysis of ‘interstitial space’:

o.     Definition ‘interstitial’:

                                                i.     Interstice /ɪnˈtəːstɪs/ noun plural noun: interstices

1.     an intervening space, especially a very small one.

2.     "sunshine filtered through the interstices of the arching trees"

3.     synonyms:         space, gap, interval, aperture, opening, hole, cranny, crevice, chink, slit, slot, crack, breach, vent

4.     "the interstices between the soil particles"

ii interstitial /ˌɪntəˈstɪʃ(ə)l/ adjective: interstitial

1.     of, forming, or occupying interstices., "the interstitial space" ECOLOGY

(of minute animals) living in the spaces between individual sand grains in the soil or aquatic sediments. "interstitial fauna"

For McKellar’s purposes, the analysis is turned on immediate hinterlands of cities (Vauxhall in 18th C. London or Hampstead). These margins are also, I think, thinkable as ‘liminal’ since they are neither of one clear status or another and create a space where the intermediate levels of experience between categorical binaries can happen: male/female, civilised/wild, male/female. Aren’t interiors full of potential for ‘interstitial space analysis?

3.     In section 2b, the essay on Paris sewers raises transferrable theory in relation again to the phenomenology of the body and the splitting of use/waste, pure/filthy, that would animate features of interior design, after, if it existed Gandy calls (p.32) a ‘new intolerance under the sensory realignment of modernity., in the 19th C., where the smell of excrement lost any association of fertility and life and associated with ‘disorder, decay, and physical repulsion’.

This surely happens in the 18th C. (Norman Brown’s ‘the excremental vision’) not the 19th – else what of The Dunciad and Swift’s ‘Stella shits’. I suppose though one’s disgust in the 19th C. might be said to be so profound that one cannot even name it – just as Haussmann avoids mixing water with excremental waste in Paris sewers, at first at least.

So there you go some issues to carry forward to those that will appear in Section 3.


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