Crossings: A Conversation with Erika Naginski and Catherine Ingraham

Crossings, The Threshold

Threshold of the Church of Ura Kidane Mihret, Zeghie Peninsula, Lake Tana, Ethiopia

Two inquiries into architecture, sacred objects, limits, boundaries, exclusions, thresholds, property, aesthetics, governance, religion, voice, and space.

Format: Erika Naginski and Catherine Ingraham will each present their work (see excerpts below) and then respond to the other’s presentation. The subject matter is about crossings, echoed by the crossing of critique, which makes for a double-crossing event overseen by Andrew Holder, Assistant Professor of Architecture, GSD

Durkheim explains it in this way: One sees what a close rapport exists between this notion [of the taboo] and that of property. As with the sacred object, there exists around the appropriated object an empty space… [The] imposition of limits indicates that such limits are sacred things (res sanctae), and that empty space is not the wild emptiness of nature but is instead a sanctuary, in the deepest religious sense, for architecture.”
—Naginski in Architecture at the Threshold
Professor of Architectural History and Director of Doctoral Studies, Graduate School of Design

Architecture uses property systems (sometimes charismatically) but also lies outside of them. In order to construct itself, architecture must speak, for a time, in the vernacular of property to build its argument. This vernacular includes not simply the fact of a ground or site but also everything that property systems put into play. Property issues—in the form of legal-juridical structures adopted by state organizations versus territorial possession common to kinship organization—are central to Hegel and Butler’s discussions of the shift from kinship to state sovereignties.
—Ingraham in Architecture, Property, and the Pursuit of Happiness
Professor of Architecture, Pratt Institute and
Visiting Faculty, Graduate School of Design


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