A metaphysics of space: the Quay Brothers atmospheric cosmogonies

Book chapter

Buchan, S. 2011. A metaphysics of space: the Quay Brothers atmospheric cosmogonies. in: Weinthal, L. (ed.) Toward a New Interior: an Anthology of Interior Design Theory New York Princeton Architectural Press. pp. 527-545
Chapter titleA metaphysics of space: the Quay Brothers atmospheric cosmogonies
AuthorsBuchan, S.

The book explores interior design as a relatively young discipline within the academic world of design, that has historically been interpreted as an extension of other fine arts. Narratives exist, but they all too often treat interior design as a function of architecture or display rather than experience. The chapter maps the architecture, spaces and objects of the Quay Brothers' films, and of Street of Crocodiles in particular, by investigating how the architectural constructions and materials create the spatialities particular to the film's notably experimental narrative 'world'. Distinct from the 'mythic' origins of their preferred authors' descriptions of matter, the objects, architecture, décors and other elements in their set designs for theatre and opera and their films' mise-en-scène have physical, tangible origins; they are constructed out of a variety of materials, including mirrors, posters, fabrics, glass, wood and metal. The films' sets are considered in a framework of Juan Antonio Ramirez's cinematic set design, collage principles, the concept of the miniature, Walter Benjamin's notion of detritus. It concludes that the Quay Brothers' engagement with spatial themes of inside / outside and imagined / experienced may mirror our own continual negotiation between the physical, phenomenal and a metaphysical world'. The chapter contributes to the editor Lois Weinthal's vision of a future where interior design is treated with parity to architecture and industrial design, a future with a new interior.

KeywordsQuay Brothers, interior architecture, miniature, puppet animation, set design, Bruno Schulz, Street of Crocodiles
Research GroupElectronic and Digital Arts cluster
Visual Culture and Curating cluster
Page range527-545
Book titleToward a New Interior: an Anthology of Interior Design Theory
EditorsWeinthal, L.
PublisherPrinceton Architectural Press
Place of publicationNew York
Publication dates
PrintDec 2011
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Mar 2013
Output statusPublished
Web address (URL)http://www.papress.com/html/book.details.page.tpl?isbn=9781616890308
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