Symposium: Art Nouveau and Modernist Architecture: Building the Narratives of Women’s Professional Identity.
Wednesday 17th May 2017, 2pm, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD, Room G04

The symposium explores how women engaged with architecture around the turn of the twentieth century in order to produce public statements of professional identity. This session focuses on two iconic buildings: the Jugendstil Photo Studio Elvira in Munich (1896 by August Endell) and E-1027 (1926-1929) built in the south of France by Eileen Gray with Jean Badovici.

The constructed narratives of female identities are examined in the context of the wider cultural and gendered milieux of these buildings: on the one hand in Munich, a major European cultural centre, on the other in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, on the French Mediterranean coast, with an escape from the constraints of urban living to the idyll of the Côte d’Azur.

Dr. Sabine Wieber, Department of Art History, Glasgow University. ‘”Intimate Collaborations” at the Photo Studio Elvira in Munich’.

Dr. Tag Gronberg, Department of Art History, Birkbeck. ‘E-1027: Architectural Relationships Past, Present and Future on the Côte d’Azur’.

Dr. Patrizia di Bello, Department of Art History, Birkbeck. Response. ‘Women’s Practice: the View from Gordon Square’.

This event is organised by the Architecture Space and Society Centre and the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre as part of Birkbeck’s Arts Week. It is free of charge and all are welcome. Visit the symposium webpage to book your place.

 

This event will be followed on Friday 19 May 6pm by a screening of The Price of Desire (2014) (follow the link to book your place).

Eileen Gray’s iconic modernist villa E-1027 (1926-1929) in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin on the Côte d’Azur has recently been opened to the public, following extensive restoration. ‘The Price of Desire,’ directed by Mary McGuckian and starring Orla Brady and Vincent Perez offers an account of Gray’s career and professional reputation in the light of Le Corbusier’s subsequent controversial interventions in the villa.

‘The Price of Desire’ is the product of detailed research into the designer’s life. Much of the filming took place on site at Roquebrune and involved numerous reconstructions of Gray’s villa, along with its fittings and furniture. In a context where restoration on E-1027 remains ongoing, the film raises provocative questions regarding the production of modernist histories and how these relate to photography and film.

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