Lectures 2006
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"Ritualist-Ritual space" Koukoula Anastasia

The analysis of the term “ritual ceremony” reveals the value it had and the place it occupied in primitive societies over time. The ritual ceremonies of primitive man do not do not constitute one-dimensional expressions of religious feeling, but comprise fundamental human needs. Wittgenstein argues that “man is a ritualistic being”[1], namely that the spirit- along with the flesh- is of equal importance to human nature.


In the modern era, the ritualistic element of life is clearly manifested in post-1960’s art, and more particularly, in ritualistic live performances. This is the time point when art escapes from narrow realm of the image and expands to space. Art now uses ritualistic and archetypal symbolism. An analysis of the parallel developments in architecture shows that, by contrast, architectural creation is increasingly liked to the image. Nevertheless, the stir of emotions that contemporary architecture causes leads one to wonder whether the ritualistic dimension of architectural space is implied rather that clearly stated.

This thesis attempts an exploration of this question. In the end, ritual ceremonies are ways of life and thinking and cannot be separated from everyday life. This is the essence of the Wittgenstein argument. Humans occupy space as ritual beings and architects could and should design space in a ritualistic way.     

[1] Wittgenstein, Ludwig [1990], Language, Μagic, Rite, Αthens: Κardamitsa: p.3