Common Conversations Revisited: Ines Weizman

21 Feb, 2018

Common Conversations Revisited: Ines Weizman

On February 14, 2017, architecture professor Ines Weizman hosted a lecture about Adolf Loos. Weizman prefaced her talk by expressing her interest in how architecture starts to move with the medium of representation, citing photographs as an example. Looping in Loos' work, she explained how difficult it was to take photographs of the spaces he had created and pointed out how architecture may be a space, but it is also an abstract form when it decides to play against the gaze of the photograph.

Weizman also spent time pondering Loos' personal life. One important facet of his life was his hearing impairment. Weizman questioned how his architecture developed around that disability — perhaps, Loos even making the architecture his own hearing apparatus. Loos' relationships with others was noted as well, especially his fascination with African American dancer Josephine Baker. Baker came into the Parisian scene in the 1920s; wild and eclectic, Loos was enchanted and designed a house for her. Although Baker rejected the plans, renderings of Baker's house were created after Loos' death as people were intrigued by its design.

Ownership over Loos' work is a contentious topic. Weizman brought out central figures like his spouses, editors, collaborators — and even the owner of Loos' archives. Documents such as letters and wills inform our contemporary understanding of posession and Weizman offers her own experiences encountering the ownership debacle through her studies of Loos' architecture.

2018 Commons Conversations Ines Weizman