- Argyro Loukaki, Hellenic Open University, Greece
This ambitious and innovative volume stretches over time and space, over the history of modernity in relation to antiquity, between East and West, to offer insights into what the author terms the 'geographical unconscious.' She argues that, by tapping into this, we can contribute towards the reinstatement of some kind of morality and justice in today's troubled world.
Approaching selected moments from ancient times to the present of Greek cultural and aesthetic geographies on the basis of a wide range of sources, the book examines diachronic spatiotemporal flows, some of which are mainly cultural, others urban or landscape-related, in conjunction with parallel currents of change and key issues of our time in the West more generally, but also in the East.
In doing so, The Geographical Unconscious reflects on visual and spatial perceptions through the ages; it re-considers selective affinities plus differences and identifies enduring age-old themes, while stressing the deep ancient wisdom, the disregarded relevance of the aesthetic, and the unity between human senses, nature, and space. The analysis provides new insights towards the spatial complexities of the current age, the idea of Europe, of the East, the West, and their interrelations, as well as the notion of modernity.
Contents: Introduction; Part I Archetypal Spatialities: The space of heroes; Sappho: light and the sacred cosmologies of the human body. Part II Byzantine Participatory Spatialities and Modern Art: Byzantine art, Cubism, Surrealism; Mediterranean fermentations in early modernity: El Greco’s Mare Meum. Part III Modernity as Urban Visual Experience: Paris-Patras: modern urban geographies of visual elation. Part IV Cosmopolitan Modernisms and the East: F.L. Wright, D. Pikionis and N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas: Japanese space as archetype and unconscious; Frank Lloyd Wright and Japan; Dimitris Pikionis, Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas and the East. Part V Past-Future Space: Baroque cyberspatialities; In place of conclusions: space and vision: retraining and rebooting; Bibliography; Index.
About the Author: Dr Argyro Loukaki is Associate Professor, Hellenic Open University, and Head of Department of Archaeological Works, 1st Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, Greek Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Greece.
Reviews: ‘The book you hold is a veritable intellectual tour de force. Precisely at a time when the debate over modernity seems to be over, Argyro Loukaki’s book opens up a radically new perspective that questions the very foundations of western-centric understandings of modernity. Her imaginative reworking of the geographical unconsciousness implies the need to take a stance articulated around a new aesthetic critique that breaks with post-modern indifference and embraces the ultra-modern necessity for a new ethics today.’
Erik Swyngedouw, Manchester University, UK
‘An ambitious, eloquent and sensitive excavation of ways of thinking and seeing landscapes, places and spaces over the ages. This is a book to restore faith in the human ability to shape diverse worlds in ways consistent with ancient and modern ideals of justice, beauty and morality.’
David Harvey, CUNY Graduate Center, USA
'It’s a collection of SNAPASHOTS that cuts through geography, art history, philosophy and cultural studies. What makes ME particularly excited is it’s art-historical ambitions'. Kostis Kourelis, Franklin & Marshall College
'The diversity of geographical expressions explored by Loukaki is really notable. While many of them have already been individually examined, it is the first time that all of them become part of a comparative study. Poetry, Byzantine iconography, painting, urban design and architecture are presented here as communicators of geographical knowledge'. Society and Space
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