THE ARCHITECTURE OF DAVID LYNCH Review

by Timothy Ivison

02 November 2014
AA Bookshop, 32 Bedford Square

 

On the 23rd of October, there was a huge turnout for author Richard Martin’s new book ‘The Architecture of David Lynch’. The launch event at the AA Bookshop featured the author in conversation with architectural theorist Adam Kaasa, leading to a discussion of not only the book in question but the larger issues around film, photography and architecture and Richard’s ideas about the ‘architecture of film’ as an area of research.

 

Crowds gather in the AA Bookshop for the launch of The Architecture of David Lynch Image credit: Eduardo Andreu Gonzalez

Crowds gather in the AA Bookshop for the launch of The Architecture of David Lynch
Image credit: Eduardo Andreu Gonzalez

Judging from the turnout for this launch, the book is sure to put David Lynch squarely into the discourse on cinematic architecture, as well as introducing film scholars to a new kind of architectural analysis. In classic AA style by 9pm the book had sold out, the beer was all gone, and a sizeable group headed out to Club Fitzrovia to continue the discussion well into the night.

On the following Saturday, I invited Richard Martin to speak with students about his work and also the larger context of ‘architecture and its image’. We were specifically interested in discussing the Barbican exhibition Constructing Worlds, for which Richard had recently been a guest, introducing Lynch’s Mulholland Drive in the City Visions film series that accompanies the exhibition.

 

The Saturday talk was part of a series of discussions that I have been organising at the AA through the History and Theory programme where I invite London-based artists, theorists, architects, and other professionals to join me in discussing exhibitions around London. Titled AAActions, the series gets its name partly from the Action Communications Centre (ACC), an AA student publication from 1964 that provided information on cultural events throughout London and stimulated a cross-disciplinary discussion among architecture students.

 

Richard Martin and Adam Kaasa debate the spatial properties of David Lynch's films Image credit: Eduardo Andreu Gonzalez

Richard Martin and Adam Kaasa debate the spatial properties of David Lynch’s films
Image credit: Eduardo Andreu Gonzalez

In this tradition, our conversation with Richard ranged from the nature of filmic space and the architecture of film to the curatorial choices that were legible in the exhibition and what we thought it might have to say about the photographs on view. Having taught at Birkbeck, the Tate galleries, and more recently at King’s College London, Richard effortlessly wove together philosophy, cinema, literature, and the visual arts at a level of discussion that I think was enjoyable for me as much as it was for the first year students and other visitors that joined us.

 

Looking forward in the series, I have arranged to have artist and educator John Hill to join us on Wednesday, 5 November in the Soft Room. John works at the Flat Time House, John Latham Archive and I’ve asked him to come to the AA to discuss his work with small non-profits in London and artist-run spaces, as well as the specific issues concerning the Flat Time House.

 

For more information:

Richard Martin

The Architecture of David Lynch (ask to order a copy at the AA Bookshop)

For more information about the AAActions series, please follow @aaactions on twitter and check the AA website for upcoming events.

There is also a selection of books on exhibitions available in the AA Library, with more being added in the next few weeks.