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Cancelled Thresholds
Wasserstrom Warehouse, Detroit Michigan 1991

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Cancelled Threshold

The problem with architecture lies in the creation of the object. To evade this problem, architecture increasingly looks for justification outside itself, and most often, it looks to history (more accurately historicism) for legitimization of its products. Characteristically enough, architecture appropriates only the form of history. The (assumed) authority of history allows architecture (and all other power seeking enterprises) to solve twin problems of how and why to make an objectm and what and why the object means. Most importantly, it does not question the historian's construction of history and its relationship to authority by taking the position that a building is not in stasis. This work, as in previous projects, seeks to extend latent processes and structures in the building. By doing so, it places architectural meaning in memory, not history.

Histories (of the building) are surfaced and hidden. This parallels the act of remembrance itself - the effort to construct as we go, and this implication in the erasure of reality causes, on the psychological level, an anxiety and desire for verification. Culture wants instant history. To place the significance of architecture in memory is to place architecture in an essentially problematic condition. It creates an architecture which has no use value to power, authority, or capital. It creates an anarchitecture.

Terence Van Elslander, 1991