D18 Picturesque Modernities
Picturesque Modernities. A Transcultural Enquiry into the Formation of the “Regionalist Style” in Architecture between Europe and South/Southeast/East Asia.
Coordination: Michael Falser
This project aims to overcome the territorial determinants of nation-states and evolve a multi-polar concept of space in global art history. It recognises colonies not as containers for European style imports and transformations but as highly innovative laboratories for architectural ‘neo-styles’ (like the Indo-Saracenic style in British India, the Indische Style in the Dutch Indies or the Style Indochinois in Indochina) that themselves were constitutive in the formation of ‘regionalist styles’ in the European metropoles. By conceptualising all picturesque forms of ‘colonial styles’ in Asian and European architecture as a transcultural, process/agency-based phenomenon and by testing it in the Euro-Asian colonial arena between 1850 and 1950 with major focus of ‘German-China’ in comparison with Indochina, British-India and the Dutch-Indies, this project aims to reframe the discipline of art history by reconfiguring the concept of ‘style’, one of its analytical core categories.