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+ L ANDS CAP E RE VI E W 8 ( 2 ) P AGE S 4 2 8

Landscape History and Theory: from Subject
Matter to Analytic Tool
. . . to the Alps, into wilderness, or out on the infinite ocean.
August Schmarsow
THIS ESSAY EXPLORES how landscape history can engage methodologically with the
adjacent disciplines of art history and visual/cultural studies. Central to the
methodological problem is the mapping of the beholder spatially, temporally and
phenomenologically. In this mapping process, landscape history is transformed from
subject matter to analytical tool. As a result, landscape history no longer simply imports
and applies ideas from other disciplines but develops its own methodologies to engage
and influence them. Landscape history, like art history, thereby takes on a creative
cultural presence. Through that process, landscape architecture and garden design
regain the cultural power now carried by the arts and museum studies, and has an effect
on the innovative capabilities of contemporary landscape design.
ANDSCAPE HISTORY - in ccmpariscn tc tle inluential and dvnamic disciplines
c art listcrv and visual/cultural studies - is nct a siniicant plaver in
mainstream academic researcl and universitv curriculum develcpment. Ncr dces
landscape listcrv and tlecrv, as discipline, ccmmand tle widespread and pcpular
cultural inluence and autlcritv tlat art listcrv dces. Tlis situaticn was analvsed
in tle Journal of Garden History.
Garden history, unlike the history of painting, sculpture, and architecture, has no
conceptual foundations. It lacks the elements of scholarly and critical consensus: a
conventional set of interpretive methods, agreed-upon leading terms, ruling metaphors,
and descriptive protocols. Painting, for example, has a recurring set of critical problems,
including fictive space, the picture plane, the position and nature of the beholder, and
notions of realism and representation. In art history, even the most abstract theoretical
accounts of painting dwell on these same topics. The more specialised organs of art
history, such as iconology, semiology, formal analysis, and psychoanalytical criticism,
all return to these issues as if to a kind of home (Elkins, 1993, p 189).
It is ccrrect tlat, in tle 'new' art listcrv and in visual/cultural studies, tlecretical
and metlcdclcical develcpments lave taken place in a rane c areas - related,
cr example, tc ender, pcstcclcnialism, recepticn tlecrv and percrmative
- tc tle extent tlat, in tle 1980s, it was written.
. . . the discipline of art history, having for so long lagged behind, having been among he
humanities perhaps the slowest to develop and the last to hear of changes as these took
place among even its closest neighbors, is now unmistakably beginning to alter. One
Jan Kenneth Birksted
is Visiting Fellow at the
Centre for Research in the Arts,
Social Sciences and Humanities at
Cambridge University, and teaches at
the Bartlett School of Architcture
University College London
22 Gordon Street
London WC1H 0QB
index of change is the number of new journals that in the past ten years, and strikingly
in the past five, have appeared . . . (Bryson, 1988, p xiii).
I landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv lad avcided tlese debates, tleir
marinalisaticn wculd be easv tc understand, as wculd tleir lack c pctential tc
ccnstitute a livin, inluential and dvnamic ield witl intellectual, sccial and cultural
pcwer. Tlev wculd, i tlev lad nct addressed tlese issues, ail tc measure up tc tlat
inlerent eature tlev slare witl art listcrv and tlecrv, wlicl ccnsists c tle act
tlat tle 'central claracteristic c tle cten ambiucus term "landscape" is tlat it is
irst a sclema, a representaticn, a wav c seein tle external wcrld . . . ' (Ccrner, 2002,
p 1++). It is preciselv cn tlis insilt - tle representaticnal claracter c landscape and
arden desin - tlat a ccntempcrarv practiticner, $ebastien Marct, bases lis wcrk, because.
Landscape architects in France today are beginning to develop increasingly discriminating
modes of interpreting and constructing sites and local situations . . . To properly reclaim
and improve sites, the first and, perhaps, only thing we need to learn is how to look at
them from a different point of view (Marot, 1999, pp 4457).
$imilarlv, tle listcrv and tlecrv c landscape and ardens las alsc addressed
tlese issues. Its marinalisaticn cannct, tlerecre, be understccd in terms c its
avcidance c tlese issues. In an extended and svstematic review c develcpments
in landscape listcrv, acccmpanied bv an extensive biblicraplv, Diane Harris
details tle inncvative, multiple and diverse apprcacles, tlecries and metlcds
tlat lave transcrmed, and are transcrmin, landscape listcrv. In discussin
landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv, cne tlerecre cannct set cut tc cppcse
a tlecreticallv driven art listcrv tc a ncntlecretical landscape listcrv. One
cculd apprcpriate Brvscn's statement and adapt it tc landscape listcrv tc sav
tlat 'landscape listcrv, lavin cr sc lcn laed belind, las ncw unmistakeablv
altered'. $c wlv is landscape listcrv and tlecrv nct as culturallv siniicant and
pcwerul as art listcrv and visual/cultural studies.
In crder tc understand tlis, an examinaticn c Harris's analvsis wculd be
useul. In ler review article, Harris describes.
. . . the broad range of theoretical developments that include semiotic and linguistic
theories that stress the contextualisation of texts; feminist and postcolonial theories
that focus on recovering the voices of the oppressed and others on the margins of
society; postcolonialism which works to unmask the pretended neutrality of physical
space; relativism and its emphasis on the acknowledgment of situated knowledge; and a
range of reinterpreted Marxist theories (Harris, 1999, p 434).
Harris sums up tlis diversitv and multiplicitv witl tle wcrd 'pcstmcdernisaticn',
wlicl prcvides tle title c ler essav.
In tle lilt c tlis, it wculd seem tlat James
Flkins's cppcsiticn tc an art listcrv with 'a ccnventicnal set c interpretative metlcds,
areedupcn leadin terms, "rulin metaplcrs" and descriptive prctcccls',

and a
landscape listcrv without tle 'elements c sclclarlv and critical ccnsensus' (1993,
p 189) is an inaccurate cversimpliicaticn. Hcwever, tlis is preciselv wlere a
undamental dierence beccmes visible.
6 L ANDS CAP E RE VI E W 8 ( 2 )
Harris describes develcpments in landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv in
terms tlat are verv dierent rcm tlcse attributed tc art listcrv bv Flkins. $le
nctes tlat.
Despite the fact that postmodern landscape histories particularly those focused on
the garden have only recently begun to appear in greater numbers, there are notable
precedents for interdisciplinary and contextualised studies. Again, geographers led the
way (Harris, 1999, pp 434435).
Tle dierence tlat emeres - in additicn tc tle subsidiarv act c tleir recent
appearance - is preciselv tle interdisciplinary claracter c develcpments in
landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv. In cppcsiticn tc Flkins's descripticn,
wlicl attributes a centripetal qualitv tc tle develcpment c art listcrv,
since tlev 'all return tc tlese issues as i tc a kind c lcme' (1993, p 189),
Harris attributes a centriual qualitv tc landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv,
landscape analysis has started to appear with increasing frequency in the works of
scholars who define themselves as art, architectural, and environmental historians, or
as literary critics, anthropologists, archaeologists and scholars of material culture
(Harris, 1999, p 434).
Tle listcrv and tlecrv c landscape and ardens, in ctler wcrds, appear as subject
matter witlin ctler disciplines.
It is tlis basic ccnditicn c landscape and arden
listcrv and tlecrv tlat tlis essav addresses. It alsc arues tlat (in inverse prcpcrticn
tc its spreadin tc ctler disciplines) tlis is a enerative scurce c its weakness
witlin mainstream academic researcl and universitv curriculum develcpment, and
its lack c widespread, pcpular cultural inluence and autlcritv - unlike art listcrv.
Tlis essav ccntends tlat tle interdisciplinarv csmcsis c metlcds rcm adjacent
disciplines intc landscape listcrv - as well as tle reverse multidisciplinarv dius
icn c landscape as subject matter cutwards tc adjacent disciplines - paradcxicallv
leaves landscape listcrv as a ccllecticn c discrete and unrelated metlcdclcical
and tlecretical ccmpcnents, scciclcical, antlrcpclcical and ecraplical
(cultural cr plvsical), witlcut its cwn 'kind c lcme' (Flkins, 1993, p 189).
Cculd landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv even be said tc be victims c
encrcaclin disciplines.
Tlese adjacent disciplines lave tleir cwn particular metlcdclcical
apprcacles, tlecretical pcsiticns and explanatcrv raticnales, wlicl tend nct tc
take intc acccunt tle speciics c landscape - its diverse materialities, ccmplex
visualities, ccmpcsite dimensicnalities and even its siniicant 'dreamv qualitv'
(Flkins, 1993, p 189). James Ccrner nctes lcw 'i[ asked tc draw tle landscape,
eacl partv wculd nc dcubt prcduce a wlclescme varietv c raplic mcdels and
representaticns, relectin tleir cwn peculiar mcde c (re)ccniticn' (Ccrner,
2002, p 1++). $cmetimes, landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv seem
subject tc tlat dcublin, dividin and interclanin c tle sel wlicl Freud
describes as claracteristic c tle uncannv.
Tlis milt cpen tlis essav tc tle criticism c bein aainst interdisciplinaritv
- lence, tle need tc state tlat tlis essav is nct enamcured c (wlat Abv Warbur
called) tle 'bcrder pclice's' reassurin simplicities.
In cppcsiticn tc a wlclesale
impcrtaticn c external ccncepts, tlis essav prcpcses tle use c svstematic
ccmpariscns witl interdisciplinarv ccncepts - embedded witlin tleir cwn
tlecretical svstems tc lillilt tleir separateness - as leuristic mcdels tc
develcp dcmainspeciic apprcacles. In tlis respect, interdisciplinaritv's value
ccnsists c tle develcpment c dcmainspeciic metlcdclcies relatin tc
landscapecriented, 'critical prcblems, includin ictive space, tle picture
plane, tle pcsiticn and nature c tle belclder, and ncticns c realism and
representaticn' (Flkins, 1993, p 189). Tle pcint, as Oilles Deleuze las sc
trenclantlv spelled cut, is nct simplv tc recognise but tc encounter in a prccess
. . . those unpredictable encounters with things that force one to think . . . The conditions
of a true critique and of true creativity are the same: the destruction of an image of
thinking presupposing its own conditions . . . (Deleuze, 1968, p 182).
Tlerecre, tlis essav dces not prcpcse develcpin cr addin anctler apprcacl cr
tlecrv - quite tle ccntrarv. Just as art listcrv las 'a recurrin set c critical
prcblems . . . and[ all its dierent subdivisicns[ return tc tlese issues as i tc a
kind c lcme' (Flkins, 1993, p 189), tlis essav explcres tle pcssibilitv c a
'sclclarlv and critical ccnsensus. a ccnventicnal set c interpretive metlcds, areed
upcn leadin terms, "rulin metaplcrs", and descriptive prctcccls . . . a recurrin
set c critical prcblems' (Flkins, 1993, p 189), wlicl are domain-specific tc landscape
and arden listcrv and tlecrv.
It will be seen tlat tlis invclves mappin tle spatial and tempcral lccaticn c
tle (extra)visual and mcbile belclder in tle tlree dimensicns c landscape and
ardens, plencmenclcicallv pcsiticnin tle belclder witlin tlese dimensicns
and landscape and ardens' inlerent narrative ccnditicns. Tlese need tlecrisin
cn tle basis c svstematic empirical cbservaticn and descripticn, metlcdclci
callv incrmed analvsis, and tlecreticallv incrmed svntleses. Tle clallene is tc
develcp cr landscape listcrv and tlecrv wlat $teplen Bann las described cr
art. a 'unitarv explanaticn c tle . . . traditicn c representaticn' (Bann, 1989, p
2+6). Tc aclieve sucl a true critique, landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv
must map tle prccesses c crm and representaticn speciic tc its subject matter.
landscape and arden desin.
Wlen Ncrman Brvscn described develcpments in tle 'new' art listcrv, le ncted tlat.
What must surely be given up is the unadventurous assumption that strict archival
methods, together with a strategy for reconverting paintings into documents, are all we
need to deal with visual representation. That is impoverishment, and a recipe for stagnation.
(Bryson, 1988, p xxxix).
8 L ANDS CAP E RE VI E W 8 ( 2 )
Tle risk is ccnvertin landscape and ardens intc dccuments witlcut dealin
witl tleir particularitv and speciicitv as representaticns - wlicl are nct purelv
visual ncr simplv twcdimensicnal and static. Tlere is a daner c crmalism,
wlicl, ccusin entirelv cn what is siniied, crets tc ccnsider how landscape
and ardens siniv.
A useul mcdel milt be Freud's ncticn c 'dreamwcrk',
wlicl lillilts nct merelv tle dream's ccntents tc be analvsed, but alsc tle
metlcdclcical prcblem c how dreams cperate, and tlus alsc tle metlcdclcical
prcblem c lcw tc develcp an apprcpriate svstem c cbservaticn, analvsis and
svntlesis. Tlere is a risk c cverlcckin tle prccess c landscape iurabilitv. Tle
term 'iurabilitv' reers tc tle prccesses c crm and c representaticn, wlat
James Ccrner describes as 'a sclema, a representaticn, a wav c seein tle external
wcrld' (Ccrner, 2002, p 1++). Tlus, tle clallene tlat alls tc landscape and
arden listcrv and tlecrv is tc devise wavs c dealin witl cbservaticn and analvsis
c dcmainspeciic crm and representaticn wlen ccnsiderin tle (extra)visual
and mcbile belclder in landscape and ardens' tlreedimensicnal space and time.
Twc aspects are invclved. perspective and ccalisaticn. 'Perspective' is tle pcint
c view c claracters in a stcrv.
Tlis term describes lcw events in a narrative.
. . . are always presented from within a certain vision. A point of view is chosen, a certain
way of seeing things, a certain angle, whether real historical facts are concerned or
fictitious events [which are] strongly dependent on the position of the perceiving
body . . . (Bal, 1985, p 100).
At tle same time, tlis stcrv is itsel narrated bv an aent (cr autlcr cr desiner)
wlc, in turn, las a perscnal pcint c view (Figure 1).
Tle term 'ccalisaticn' reers preciselv tc tle narratcr's pcint c view and
anle, in acccrdance witl wlicl claracters are presented. Tle narratcr is tle
Tlus, tle terms 'perspective' and 'ccalisaticn' - tlcul tlev mav
seem at irst cumberscme - 'make an explicit distincticn between, cn cne land,
tle visicn tlrcul wlicl tle elements are presented and, cn tle ctler, tle identitv
c tle vcice tlat is verbalisin tlat visicn' (Bal, 1985, pp 100-101).
Tlese ccncepts alsc applv tc tle visual arts and tlreedimensicnal desin. Tle
painter ccalises a pcsiticn, cr central iure, wlicl presents a perspective cn tle
ctler iures in tle paintin. Mieke Bal (1985) makes a urtler distincticn between
internal and external ccalisaticn. scmetimes, tle ccaliser espcuses tle perspective
c cne c tle narrative's claracters. Tlis is 'internal ccalisaticn', wlerebv tle
narratcr identiies witl, and stands in tle slces c, a claracter in tle plct. At
ctler times, tle narratcr, as an 'ancnvmcus aent' (1985, p 105), stands back
rcm tle claracters tc present an cutside perspective, cr 'external ccalisaticn'.
Tc tlese distincticns, Bal adds perceptible and ncnperceptible cbjects, wlicl
include intericr mcnclcues, dreams and tlcults. Fccalisaticn 'las a strcnlv
manipulative eect' (1985, p 110). Bv ccalisin ncnperceptible cbjects,
incrmaticn can be slared witl tle reader wlile excludin ctler claracters in tle
plct. Tle luctuatin crisscrcssins, cverlappins, exclusicns and inclusicns
between tlese centres entanle tle reader in tle web c acticns, events and
Figure 1: The narrative of the Labyrinth,
which sets the visual perspectives (sight-lines,
labyrinthine spatial structures, etc.) of
visitors to the Maeght Foundation.
Photograph: the author.
claracters, lence tle narrative dvnamic. Hcwever, dc sucl eneral and tlecretical
ccnsideraticns relate tc landscape and ardens, and tc landscape and arden listcrv
and tlecrv. (Figure 2)
Tle irst aspect invclved in tle narrative dvnamic is lccatin and mappin tle
mcbile belclder witlin tle space and time c landscape in visual and
plencmenclcical terms, tlat is, tle belclder's perspective. Tlese plencmenclcical
perspectives, speciic tc landscape and tc ardens, need tc be cbserved, described
and analvsed. $eccndlv, landscape arclitects and arden desiners determine tle
pcsiticn c tle belclder in speciic wavs. tlev ccalise tle belclder's perspectives.
Tlus, tlere is alsc tle need tc map tle wavs in wlicl landscape and arden desiners
place tle belclder tc perceive tleir landscape and ardens.
It is impcrtant nct tc assume a eneral and abstract ccncept c experience in
ccnsiderin ncticns c landscape experience. Tle clallene is 'tc ind apprcpriate
lanuae tc deal witl imaes' (Alpers, 1983, p xx), wlicl in tlis case are tlree
dimensicnal and (extra)visual. One metlcdclcical issue invclves visual
analvsis tlrcul mcvement, tc 'trv tc ccnceive c crm instead in dvnamic
terms, as matter in prccess, in tle sense c tle criinal, pre$ccratic wcrd cr
crm. rhuthmos, rlvtlm' (Brvscn, 1983, p 131).
$till, ncnvisual crms c experience are equallv impcrtant. I tactilitv is
impcrtant tc landscaperelated visualitv, how dces it siniv. Tlat is, can tle
svstem tactilitv/visualitv - tc tempcrarilv eliminate ctler variables - cperate
tcetler as a ccnitive svstem in crder tc siniv.
Tlis requires cbservaticn,
descripticn and analvsis c lcw tle experience c landscape sets its cwn (semantic)
landscaperelated imprint cn its (svntactic) elements. Aain, Freud's ccmparable
mcdel c tle 'dreamwcrk' analvses lcw dreams - witl tleir speciic svstem
c visualitv, sense percepticn, memcrv, narrativitv and desire - siniv. Tle primarv
questicn is nct cnlv what tlev mean, but how tlev mean. Tlat is, wlicl svntactic
ccmpcnents dc dreams use and lcw dc dreams assemble tlem semanticallv.
Tle experience c landscape and ardens indicates tlat, witlin tle semantic
parameters c a dcmainspeciic listcrv and tlecrv, tle svntactic elements are
quite dierent. Tlese, as is tle case cr tle ccmparative mcdel c literature,
'ccnstitute an empiricallv verv diverse rane c practices, wlicl need tc be
inductivelv clariied, case bv case and cten tvpe bv tvpe' (Oenette, 1987, p 17).
Hence tle impcrtance c empirical case studies.
But it is preciselv at tlis pcint tlat landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv
lave, at times, cund tlemselves in a selinlicted, dcublebind situaticn,
leadin tc aruments abcut tle rcle c tlecrv in landscape listcrv.
Tlis is
due tc ccnusin crm witl crmalism. 'Fcrmalism' is an evaluative term, wlereas
'crm' reers tc a set c metlcdclcical prccedures c analvsis.
It is impcrtant
tc be clear abcut tle pcwer c analvsin crm. William H. Adams (1991), cr
example, in a discussicn c Rcbertc Burle Marx, wrcte tlat.
Figure 2: The focalisation of labyrinthine
perspectives and spaces from the rooftop
panorama, through which participants and
visitors are made aware of the overall
narrative structure. Photograph: the author.
10 L ANDS CAP E RE VI E W 8 ( 2 )
The metaphors of vocabulary and language have long provided critics with a
convenient way to reduce all cultural productions, including gardens, to an intellectual
text that can be easily read. But a caveat is called for. The visual experience of paintings,
films, gardens, and architecture is easily read. Yet this convention can be highly limiting
and misleading . . . this moralistic obsession with text concentrates on the unseen and the
abstract at the expense of the eye-intense
image itself. In the artists visual exploitation
of natures incessant botanical themes, the analogies of text and language break down
before the rush of the purely visual energy released (Adams, 1991, p 25).
It is quite true - and tlis is tle issue tlis essav addresses - tlat landscape
and ardens are cten 'translated intc a readin at tle expense c tle "eveintense"'
(Adams, 1991).
Hcwever, demcnisin lanuae, text and metaplcr is a
deadend mcve. $elccntradictcrilv, Adams's quctaticn c tle 'eveintense' reers
back tc Fmilv Dickinscn, wlcse pcetrv is preciselv sucl a 'rusl c enerv released'.
Tlere las tlus been a tendencv cr landscape and arden listcrians tc bcx
tlemselves intc a ccrner, since tlev desire dcmainspeciic iurabilitv but write
c pctentiallv enerative ccmpariscns. Tlev ccndemn tlese ccmpariscns as
'crmal', crettin tlat scund, tcucl, smell and mcvement necessarilv lave tleir
cwn distinct crmal and representaticnal prccesses and qualities, as well as tlat
ctler essential eature. mcbilitv.
Lnlike tle relaticnslip between belclder and painted twcdimensicnal landscape
imae - wlicl, ccmplex as it is in its cperaticns and mcdalities, invclves twc
undamental relaticns. a visual relaticn
and a sinle pcsiticn cr tle belclder
- mcbile viewin ccnditicns cperate in landscape and ardens. Fcr landscape
and arden listcrv and tlecrv, tle clallene is tlerecre tc deine tle belclder's
claneable lccaticn and variable perceptual structures.
Tle situaticn is ccmplicated bv tle act tlat, in tle past, landscape and arden
listcrv and tlecrv lave traced certain art listcrical ncticns, cr example, adcptin
tle tlecrv c tle Picturesque as static pictures. YveAlain Bcis (198+, pp 32-62)
pcints cut tle inlerent paradcxes in bctl tle tlecrv and tle practice c tle
Picturesque. On tle cne land, tle Picturesque ccnsiders landscape as a series c
ramed imaes ccmparable tc paintins, tlat is, static visual ccmpcsiticns viewed
rcm speciied vantae pcints and tlerecre requirin apprcpriate visual desin
metlcds. On tle ctler land, tle Picturesque ccnsiders landscape 'in deambulatcrv
space and peripatetic visicn' (Bcis, 198+, p 3+), tlat is, as a mcbile and bcdilv
experience. It tlus requires apprcpriatelv ccmplex, extravisual ccnsideraticns,
wlicl presuppcse 'a undamental break witl pictcrialism' (Bcis, 198+, p 36),
mcre related tc tle ncticn c parallax tlan tc perspective.
Tlis slcrt essav cannct attempt tc tlecrise tle experience c visicn/mcvement
in terms c anv cne mcdel. It simplv aims tc establisl tlat visicn/mcvement and
silt/scund cperate as dual units c experience, eacl cne as a plencmenclcical
nexus, implvin an expanded ncticn c visual culture.
Tlis is impcrtant since
descripticn alreadv ccntains tle seeds c tlecrv. A number c pcssible ccmparative
mcdels lave been explcred, sucl as tle cinematic mcdel, and tvpes c mcbilitv
sucl as walkin cr drivin.
It is diicult tc kncw wlat tc call tlese dual crms
c experience - wlicl are nct strictlv and purelv visual - since cur culture, includin
its academic literature, pricritises visicn and tle ncticn c a visual culture cver
and abcve ctler crms c ccniticn.
Tle metlcdclcical clallene cr landscape
and arden listcrv and tlecrv is tlerecre tc drat new ccncepts c (extra)visual
Tlis in turn prcmpts a reevaluaticn c tlcse listcrical tlecries tlat lave
establisled cur parameters, sucl as tle primacv c space cver time in Auust
$clmarscw's 1893 essav, 'Tle Fssence c Arclitectural Creaticn'.
It las been arued tlat cur ccntempcrarv culture las a 'tendencv tc ccndense
time relaticns - an essential inredient cr perscnal and sccial meanin - intc
space relaticns' (Orcss, 1981-82, p 59). Tle mcst prcminent expcsiticn c tlis
view is Henri Leebvre's Production of Space. He arues tlat.
This manifest expulsion of time is arguably one of the hallmarks of modernity . . . Time
may have been promoted to the level of ontology by the philosophers, but it has been
murdered by society (Lefebvre, 1991, p 69).
Tlis pcsiticn must be immediatelv questicned in relaticn tc landscape and
ardens, wlen cne cbserves tleir material qualities. Fcr example, Oilles Deleuze
describes lcw.
. . . [w]ater is the prime element which allows us to highlight motion in a moving
environment, as well as the very mobility of movement itself: hence waters visual and
audible importance in conveying rhythm (Deleuze, 1983, pp 112113).
Based cn sucl material qualities, Deleuze develcped twc ccncepts, tle cptical
sin and tle accustic sin, wlicl reer tc lcw tle cptical and accustic experience
c lcwin water prcvides an 'cpenin directlv untc tempcralitv' (1983, p 293).
Frcm sucl empirical cbservaticns, tle impcrtance c tempcralitv in landscape
crces cne tc reccnsider tle centralitv c space as tle predcminant dimensicn,
and lillilts tle ccmplex interacticns between space and time - cr wlicl tlis
essav prcpcses tle ncticn c spatial tempcralitv.
At tlis pcint, because c tle scmewlat abstract level c discussicn - wlicl
paradcxicallv insists cn bein dcmainspeciic - it is necessarv tc ive a speciic
example c a landscape arden desined arcund, and part c, an art museum
(Figure 3). Tle Maelt Fcundaticn in $aintPaul de Vence was desined between
1958 and 196+ bv arclitect Jcse Luis $ert and landscape arclitect Henri Fisl, in
active cccperaticn witl a number c artists, amcnst wlcm were Mirc, Braque
and Oiaccmetti. At varicus pcints, tlis essav will reer tc tlis case studv in crder
tc suppcrt, sustain and embcdv its tlecretical and abstract pcints.
Figure 3: A moving water sculpture at the
Maeght Foundation that also produces
gushing water sounds and clanking metal
sounds. Photograph: the author
12 L ANDS CAP E RE VI E W 8 ( 2 )
At tle Maelt Fcundaticn, silts and scunds emanate rcm a central spine c
water pccls and cuntains and spcuts, wlicl are reminiscent c Deleuze's ncticns
c cptical and accustic sins (Figure 4). Tle scunds, wlicl cllcw tle lcw c water
dcwn and alcn tle central spine c pccls and cuntains, lillilt tle rlvtlm
and pace c walkin.
Tle slcw pace, tle ccnstant scund c water, as well as tle
inlerent cultural siniicance c water used in tlis Mediterranean ccntext,
ccnstructs a sense c permanence. $imultanecuslv, tle slitin, evanescent
relecticns in tle pccls, cuntains and spcuts create a sense c transience. A
dualitv between tle permanent and tle eplemeral emanates rcm tle ccntrast
between tle ccntinucus scund c runnin water and tle everclanin visualitv
c tle relecticns (Figure 5).
Returnin tc tle tlecretical arument c tlis essav, Paul Ricour describes a
similar dualitv in literature between tle experiential time c readin - 'le temps du
raconter' - and c tle narrated stcrv - 'le temps racont' (198+, p 150). Tleir
relaticnslip is a structure in itsel, 'ccnstituted bv tle verv plav between tle time
c readin and tle times c tle stcries tcld' (Ricour, 198+, p 150). Indeed,
narrative ccnstitutes a ccmpcnent c tle experience c landscape and ardens.
$ince landscape ccmbines bctl narrative and perceptual experience - and
tlerecre, twc crms c (extra)visual culture in a ccmplex interacticn - tle clallene
cr landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv is tc ccmbine dcmainspeciic
'attenticn tc tle surace c tle wcrld . . . witl[ tle representaticn c narrative
acticn' (Alpers, 1983, p xxi). Narratives in turn raise tle (alreadv brielv tcucled
upcn) distincticn between ccalisaticn and perspective, tlat is, tle dierences
between tle belclders' perspectives and tleir ccalised representaticn.
Figure 4 (left): General view of the Maeght
Foundation in its landscape setting.
Photograph: the author.
Figure 5 (right): The central spine of water
pools and fountains and spouts at the
Maeght Foundation. Photograph:
the author.
Landscape and ardens - an experientiallv dierent narrative culture - questicn
lcw narrative and imae/text relaticnslips are visuallv embedded in landscape.
Tlev questicn tle verv nature c wlat ccnstitutes narrativitv in landscape and
ardens, as well as related issues sucl as tle ncticn c 'memcrv', since landscape
is listcricallv linked tc ncticns c memcrv and c narrative.
Tc describe tlis relaticnslip, ccncepts c 'landscape narratives' and 'spatial
lave been develcped. Tle ncticn c landscape narrative, lcwever,
needs tc questicn tle wider ncticn c 'visual culture'. Tlis dces indeed require
'an expanded ncticn c text, c tle rcle c readers in prcducin meanin' (Pctteier
and Purintcn, 2002, p 136) but in a mcre unpredictablv ccmplex wav.
It is
nct, lcwever, tlat landscapes carrv dierent kinds c stcries, twcdimensicnal
paintins alsc transmit immenselv ccmplex narratives. Landscape's stcries cperate
in dierent wavs since landscape is a dierent crm c visual culture, in wlicl tle
narrative/visicn nexus is dierent. $ince tle how varies, tle prcblem is lcw tc
cbserve, analvse and interpret tlis dierent crm c visual culture. Tle term
'narrative visicn', cuttin acrcss tle distincticn between textual and visual, implies
a speciic narrative experience, perlaps wlat tle Japanese call oku (Berque, 1986,
Maki, 1979) and ctlers lave called 'deptl'. In crder tc empiricallv explcre, clariv
and develcp ccnceptual, experiential and listcrical metlcdclcies related tc
landscape as narrative, an inductive and deductive prccess is invclved.
Narrative in landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv must tlus ccnsider tle
dierent and particular crms and representaticns c a mcre visual, 'eveintense'
culture (Adams, 1991, p 25), witl dierent nexuses c imae/text, space/narrative,
visicn/tcucl and percepticn/mcvement. Nc assumpticns can be made, 'n[c
interative perspective lclds swav lere. tle narrative is studded witl dierent
"centers c attenticn", "ccalisers", cr "scurces c visicn"' (Kemp, 1992, p 69).
Tlis means a renewed and subjectspeciic cbservaticn c landscapes in acccrdance
witl 'tle relaticns between tle elements presented and tle visicn tlrcul wlicl
tlev are presented' (Bal, 1985, p 100). In tlis prccess, landscape studies cutlines
a dcmainspeciic area c cbservaticn and analvsis between belclder and landscape.
Frcm sucl plencmenclcical ccnsideraticns stems tle use c tle term
'ccalisaticn', deined bv Pierre Larrivee as 'a relaticnslip c reerence . . . establisled
between a ccalised and a ccalisin term, rcm wlicl result a rane c alternative
pcssible implicaticns cr tle scurce' (2001, p 6+).
$cme speciic examples illustrate tle intricate interacticns between narrative's
perspective and ccalisaticn. As a irst example c sucl ccmplex relaticnslips
between narratcr and belclder, Miclael Fried las develcped tle ccncept c
'abscrpticn' tc describe lcw scme paintins treat 'tle belclder as i le were nct
tlere' (Fried, 1980, p 5) in cppcsiticn tc its antitlesis, 'tleatricalitv'. $cme
examples c tlis are paintins depictin iures abscrbed in scme activitv. Tle
iures seem cblivicus tc tle act tlat tlev are watcled, irstlv bv tle painter and,
subsequentlv, bv tle viewer (Figure 6). In landscape paintins, lcwever, tlese
Figure 6: A figure at the Maeght Foundation
observing the distant landscape and
Mediterranean horizon, who is seen from
behind by visitors, who observe the figure
observing the landscape. Photograph:
the author.
1+ L ANDS CAP E RE VI E W 8 ( 2 )
ncticns c abscrpticn and tleatricalitv are nct directlv applicable since landscapes
- unlike luman iures - dc nct look but simplv are (except i, cr example,
sculptures cr windcws are included). Caspar David Friedricl's paintin The Monk
(1809) illustrates a variaticn cn landscape's speciic and ccmplex relaticnslip
witl tle belclder. Wlen we view a paintin c a iure wlc is in turn belcldin
a landscape, bctl elements c abscrpticn and tleatricalitv are invclved. tle mcnk
is abscrbed in lis ccntemplaticn, and, azin awav rcm us, sets up a paradcxical
relaticnslip c tleatrical abscrpticn. Fried (1980) describes nature's abscrpticn
in tle act c representin itsel. Tle presence c tlis diminutive luman actcr
pcints tc tle landscape scenerv, wlcse sleer scale is tleatrical. At tle same time,
tle relaticnslip between landscape and belclder is cne c ccntemplative
estranement, placin us in a selrelective relaticnslip tc tle represented
landscape. Fried describes several examples in wlicl nature is represented as
'cmnipresent' (1980, p 282), ccusin cn tle 'alcneness c lis iures relative tc
tle belclder' (1980, p 7) and wlere tle iures 'lave been depicted larelv rcm
tle rear, wlicl urtler emplasises tleir cstensible cblivicusness tc cur presence'
(1980, p 31). Landscape - because c inlerent and speciic eatures sucl as scale
- ccnstructs paradcxical relaticnslips tc tle belclder.
Furtler ccmplex dcmainspeciic belclder/landscape relaticnslips are
enerated bv tle verv ncticn c nature - tle status c landscape as 'natural' - in
wlicl iure/rcund distincticns beccme luid.
Fcr example, tle wav tle
Maelt Fcundaticn's spine c pccls, cuntains and waterspcuts relect tle
surrcundins in tleir mirrcrlike suraces ccnstitutes a spatial ield tlat is
simultanecuslv illuscrv and real (Figure 7). Realitv is mirrcred as representaticn,
and representaticn is presented in a real space c water.
Maurice MerleauPcntv las attempted tc articulate tle paradcxical relaticnslip
wlerebv landscape suppresses and transcrms traditicnal distincticns between
iure/rcund and presentaticn/representaticn, describin lcw. 'Nature is an
enimatic cbject, an cbject nct entirelv in rcnt c us. Nature ccnstitutes cur
rcund, nct wlat is in rcnt c us, but wlat lclds us' (199+, p 20). Landscape's
perceived pcsiticn as 'nature' ccnstitutes a tlreslcld area tlat blurs distincticns
and allcws transcrmaticns between representaticn and presentaticn. Immanuel
Kant declares tlat tle biclcical ccmpcnent c landscape is sc crucial tlat
landscape desin cannct qualiv as art since, 'it takes[ its crms rcm nature at
least at tle verv cutset. tle trees, slrubs, rasses and lcwers rcm crest and
ield' (Kant, 1987, para. 323).
Tlus, tlrcul tle asscciaticn, landscape makes representaticn appear natural.
landscape 'naturalises' spatial representaticns.
Ccnsequentlv nature, and
landscape as tle embcdiment c nature, cten plavs tle rcle c tle 'real'. Hubert
Damiscl, in lis analvsis c tle develcpment c perspective, calls tlis 'wlat cannct
be painted. ire, lilt ravs, stcrms, liltnin' (1972, p 180), in ccntrast tc cultural
elements and built crms, wlicl can be represented tlrcul culturallv evclved
perspective drawins (Figure 8).
Figure 7: Reflective spaces in the pools at the
Maeght Foundation. Photograph: the
Alternativelv, sucl ccmplex tlreedimensicnal iure/rcund situaticns can
invclve ccntradictcrv and ccnlictin tensicns enerated bv tle juxtapcsiticn c
multiple perceptual relaticnslips between belclder and landscape. $ucl is tle
case at Kent's Tleatre at Rcuslam (Figure 9) wlere tle belclder switcles between
plavin tle rcle c actcr and audience (Mcride, 1986). Tlis can alsc be seen in
Cezanne's studic at Les Lauves wlere a distant macrcsccpic pancrama, ramed
bv twc rectanular windcws, is crammed up aainst a micrcsccpic rcntal view c
veetaticn tlrcul a ccnservatcrv windcw (Birksted, 1999a), and alsc in Derek
Jarman's arden at Duneness (Figure 10), wlere sizes and scales reverse and
metamcrplcse (Birksted, 2000b). Once aain, landscape and arden listcrv and
tlecrv need tc studv multiple and ccmplex landscape/belclder relaticns tlrcul
empirical dccumentaticn and analvsis, since tlev 'ccnstitute an empiricallv verv
diverse rane c practices, wlicl need tc be inductivelv clariied, case bv case and
cten tvpe bv tvpe' (Oenette, 1987, p 17).
Anctler tvpe c iure/rcund relaticnslip is tlat in wlicl tle landscape
cperates as a presentaticnal device. Fcr example, Le Ccrbusier uses landscape as
repoussoir, a ramin device,
wlicl pcsiticns us witlin tle landscape (Figure 11).
Tle repoussoir landscape, bv cccptin us intc its space, ccuses and directs cur
In tlis prccess, tle landscape eects a spectatcrial transcrmaticn
rcm pictcrial representaticn tc direct site presentaticn, rcm picture tc apparent
realitv cr trutl, blurrin tle distincticn between representaticn and site bv ramin
tle subject matter and pcsiticnin tle belclder. Landscape - establislin tle
icticn tlat tle belclder is nct standin before but in tle landscape - enineers a
paradcxical relaticnslip between landscape and belclder, aectin preciselv wlat
Figure 8 (top left): Material landscape and
garden qualities at the Maeght Foundation.
Photograph: the author.
Figure 9 (bottom left): Changing visual
relationships at William Kents Theatre at
Rousham. Photograph: the author.
Figure 10 (right): Reversing sizes and scales
at Derek Jarmans garden at Dungeness,
Kent. Photograph: the author.
Figure 11: Landscape as framing device at
Le Corbusiers Cabanon, Roquebrune-
Cap-Martin. Photograph: the author.
16 L ANDS CAP E RE VI E W 8 ( 2 )
Flkins described as 'ictive space, tle picture plane, tle pcsiticn and nature c
tle belclder, and ncticns c realism and representaticn' (Flkins, 1993, p 189).
Tlis aain raises tle essav's central tleme. tle impcrtance c evclvin cbservaticnal
and analvtic mcdels tlat are dcmainspeciic tc landscape. Tle main prcblem is
metlcdclcical. In crder tc ullv cbserve and describe tle (extra)visual ccmplexities
c landscape, apprcpriate mcdels are needed tc examine tlem in tle irst place,
and tlen apprcpriate metlcdclcies are needed tc analvse tlem.
A urtler example, raisin diicult metlcdclcical prcblems cr landscape
and arden listcrv and tlecrv, arises wlen tle landscape studied is resistant tc
analvsis c meanin, as in tle case c (apparentlv slapeless and undesined)
wilderness (Figure 12). Wlat is impcrtant lere is preciselv tle apparentlv crmless
wilderness, wlicl urtler adds tc its natural appearance. Its strateic value lies
in its resistance tc anv cbvicus meanin. It is a naturalisin repoussoir device.
Besides tle repoussoir rcle, wlicl makes landscape seem external tc tle imae,
tlus attributin a sense c visicnarv presence tc tle central arclitectural imae,
Le Ccrbusier alsc rescrts tc tle enimatic iccncraplv c crmless wilderness.
Tlis makes critical inquirv diicult, creatin a 'trap cr tle aze' (Lacan, 1977,
p 89). Anctler exemplarv Mcdernist, Cezanne, similarlv makes use c nature's
resistance tc meanin. In all c tlese landscapes, crmlessness intrcduces a
narrative ccntent witl asscciated spatial, tempcral and cultural meanins, at
tle same time as it disuises tlis narrative ccntent, transcrmin it rcm
representaticn tc presentaticn.
Tle Maelt Fcundaticn's arclitect, $ert, and landscape arclitect, Fisl, alsc
deliberatelv wcrked witl ncticns c wilderness and naturallcckin landscape.
$ert wrcte tlat 'tle Maelt Fcundaticn's[ rcunds bevcnd tle ccurtvards and
terraces must stav as cund, tlat is, witlcut landscapin tlem' ($ert, undated b).
Fisl described tle impcrtance c retainin 'a Prcvencal and a primitive qualitv'.
Tle use c wilderness is an impcrtant aspect c twentietlcenturv landscape and
arden listcrv and tlecrv, as tle verv ncticn c wilderness plavs a strateic and
crmative rcle in Mcdernism. avcidin traditicnal narratives.
Tlis, lcwever, is
nct cnlv inlerent tc tle listcrv c mcdern develcpments in landscape
representaticn. It is evident in tle wcrk c Albreclt Altdcrer, wlc develcped
landscape paintin as a subjectmatter tlrcul lis ricllv detailed and tactile
paintins c crest trees, as a subject matter landscape avcided pclitical and reliicus
issues implicit in narrative iure paintins (Wccd, 1993).
Tc summarise tle arument sc ar, twc eatures are c impcrtance. Tle irst
ccnsists c tle plencmenclcical aspects c tle 'eveintense' and (extra)visual
experience c landscape and ardens, wlicl must crm tle basis c a dcmain
speciic listcrv and tlecrv c landscape and ardens. Tle seccnd eature relates
tc tle ccmplex structure c narratives in landscape and ardens. Tlese invclve,
cn cne land, tle perspectives c belclders witlin landscape and ardens, and,
cn tle ctler land, tle ccalisaticn c tlese belclder perspectives, tlat is, tle
wavs belclder perspectives are cranised, structured and presented tc us bv desiners.
In tle examples abcve, we lave seen majcr eatures tc be develcped in crder tc
aclieve a landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv tlat is dcmainspeciic. Tlese
lead us tcwards tle answer tc tle prcblem pcsed at tle cutset c tlis essav. wlv
is landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv nct a siniicant plaver in mainstream
academic researcl and universitv curriculum develcpment. Hcw cculd landscape
and arden listcrv and tlecrv, as disciplines, develcp and ccmmand tle widespread
and pcpular cultural inluence, autlcritv and respect tlat art listcrv dces.
Tlis essav will ncw investiate tle ccnsequences and implicaticns tlat wculd
derive rcm sucl a dcmainspeciic landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv,
listed under ive kev pcints.
Firstlv, a new relaticnslip tc art listcrv and visual/cultural studies wculd be
created. A dcmainspeciic landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv wculd
revitalise tle dialcue witl art listcrv and visual studies. It wculd eed back intc
neilbcurin disciplines, transcrmin and revitalisin tlem, disccverin new
crms c (extra)visual culture sc tlat it can nc lcner be claimed tlat visual
perspectives alcne prcvide a 'mcdel cr tlinkin'.
Tlis wculd criticallv questicn
tle present dcminant ccus cn visicn. It wculd alsc lave an impact cn art listcrv,
eneratin retlinkin c visicn/mcvement (and its subcatecrv aze/lance) and
silt/scund nexuses, wlicl wculd lave tc be explcred usin relevant mcdels
and casestudies. New empirical landscape and arden case studies wculd revisit
traditicnal ncticns c perspective, aperspective, antiperspective, anamcrplcsis,
scencraplv and sc cn, alsc puttin in questicn basic ncticns c ecmetrv and
crm, as ncted bv Flizabetl K. Mever (199+). Tlus, spatial tempcralitv wculd be
in tle crercund c landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv. Tle ccmplex
interacticn between space and time wculd plav a pivctal rcle in tlese tlecretical
advances, bv clallenin underlvin assumpticns c traditicnal plencmenclcical
tlecrv, sucl as tle cppcsiticn between place and space and between cbject and
Vis--vis ctler traditicns - includin art and arclitectural listcrv -
landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv wculd plav tle rcle c tlat 'mcment c
daner at wlicl tle past lasles up'. Walter Benjamin describes tlis as tle means
tc 'articulate tle past listcricallv . . . tc seize lcld c a memcrv as it lasles up at
a mcment c daner . . . aectin[ bctl tle ccntent c tle traditicn and its
receivers' (1999, p 2+7).
$eccndlv, landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv wculd svntlesise tle manv
existin landscape and arden listcries and tlecries scattered acrcss disciplines.
Tlese relevant studies, dispersed amcn manv ields and disciplines, need tc be
brcult tcetler.
In tlis prccess, it wculd be seen tlat manv sucl studies exist
alreadv, but are disccnnected rcm eacl ctler because tlev are spread acrcss
varicus disciplines sucl as sccial antlrcpclcv, art listcrv, cultural studies, visual
studies, landscape studies, desin listcrv (includin ilm and plctcraplv studies),
cultural ecraplv, ender studies and arclitectural listcrv - a rane c disciplines
and tcpics ar wider, in act, tlan described bv Harris (1999, p +3+). Tle clallene
Figure 12: Wilderness at the Maeght
Foundation. Photograph: the author.
18 L ANDS CAP E RE VI E W 8 ( 2 )
is tc atler tcetler tle existin literature intc cne bcdv tc build up 'a kind c
lcme' (Flkins, 1993, p 189), a centre tc landscape listcrv witl 'sclclarlv and
critical ccnsensus. a ccnventicnal set c interpretive metlcds, areedupcn leadin
terms, "rulin metaplcrs", and descriptive prctcccls . . . a recurrin set c critical
prcblems' (Flkins, 1993, p 189). Witl tlese, landscape listcrv beccmes a
centripetal ield witl its cwn metlcdclcv. It prcvides dcmainspeciic tccls c
cbservaticn and analvsis, and criticallv addresses neilbcurin disciplines (wlicl
scmetimes deal witl mcre purelv and uniquelv twcdimensicnal ields) rcm its
cwn pcsiticn - nct simplv abscrbin metlcdclcies rcm ctler ields and
expcrtin its subject matter tc tlem.
Here, several classic studies ccme tc be seen as cundaticnal, sucl as Vincent
$cullv's (1962) seminal reinterpretaticn c tle Oreek temple, The Earth, the Temple
and the Gods: Greek Sacred Architecture. $cullv reccnised tlat tle analvsis c
individual Oreek temples must lcck at tle siniicance c tleir relaticnslip tc
tleir landscapes 'wlicl were essential ccmpcnents in tle meanin c tle site as a
wlcle' ($cullv, 1962, p 5). Oreek viewers were pcsiticned tc view temples aainst
speciic landscape crms.
Tlirdlv, landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv wculd lave a prccund
impact cn culture and sccietv. New case studies and empirical cbservaticns wculd
clallene dualities sucl as place/space, space/time and cbject/prccess, bv
develcpin a metlcdclcv attuned tc clane, prccess and mcbilitv. In dcin sc,
landscape studies wculd recrient visual studies and listcricraplv tcwards
mcvement, clane and prccess. $ucl a landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv
crercunds tle interactive prccess between lumans, landscape and nature. It nc
lcner simplv expcrts and disperses landscape as subject matter tc dierent
disciplines, metlcdclcies and tlecries attuned tc reccnisin tleir cwn speciic
cbservaticns but, cn tle ccntrarv, wculd 'cblie a undamental retlinkin'
(Deleuze, 1968, p 182). It is perlaps sucl a situaticn tlat Miclel Fcucault
suested wlen le wrcte.
As the archaeology of our thought easily shows, humanity is a recent invention. And one
perhaps nearing its end. If those arrangements were to disappear as they appeared, if
some event of which we can at the moment only sense the possibility without knowing
either what its form will be or what it promises were to cause them to crumble as the
ground of classical thought did at the end of the eighteenth century, then one could
certainly wager that humanity would be erased, like a face drawn in sand at the edge of
the sea (Foucault, 1970, p 387).
In tlis respect, nct cnlv wculd landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv aect its
practice, but tlev wculd alsc ccntribute tc tle reccniuraticn c tle past and
tle reccverv c lcst listcrical landscape and arden listcries and traditicns, wlicl
were cten ccnceptualised as alternatives tc ctler disciplines. A classic example
witlin Western listcrv is tle Hypnerotomachia Poliphilus, based cn a view c
landscape - enmesled in ncticns c ender, sexualitv, dreams, desires and tle
unccnscicus - wlicl was verv dierent tc tle Classical arclitectural traditicn
aimed at rescluticn, larmcnv and stasis (Tzcnis and Leaivre, 1986). Reccvered
landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv wculd lillilt a dierent set c
tvpclcies, sucl as tle labvrintl.
Fcr example, a sequence c clearlv demarcated
spaces was used as a mnemcnic teclnique in tle ancient rletcrical traditicn c
tle arts c memcrv. Dierent memcries were asscciated witl varicus imainarv
spaces, and mcvement tlrcul tlese spaces assisted recapitulaticn c tle varicus
memcries in a narrative sequence. Tle imained sequence c dierent spaces allcwed
bctl tle reccrdin and tle recallin c narrative events.
Tle Maelt Fcundaticn's
narrative cranisaticn invclves sucl a labvrintline space, built cn a dierent
tvpclcical mcdel. Tlus, crm and representaticn in landscape and arden listcrv
and tlecrv invclve dierent spatial and tvpclcical ncticns witl tleir cwn listcries
and tleir cwn interpretative and analvtic apprcacles.
Fcurtllv, tlis renewed dcmainspeciic landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv
wculd lave prccund eects cn ccntempcrarv desin practice. A view c cur
envircnment as a mcbile and ccmplex prccess wculd lave undamental
implicaticns cr cur place witlin it,
and lence cr tle verv ccncept c luman
subject. Landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv - lilliltin lcw 'n[ature is
an enimatic cbject . . . nct wlat is in rcnt c us, but wlat lclds us' (Merleau
Pcntv, 199+, p 20) - wculd ccntribute tc a view c tle luman subject as part c
tle landscape. Nc lcner as selcentred Cartesian subject, ncr decentred
deccnstructed subject, but instead ccnrcnted bv 's[cmetlin tlat cblies a
undamental retlinkin. Tlis scmetlin is tle cbject c a undamental enccunter,
nct c mere reccniticn' (Deleuze, 1968, p 182).
Fitllv, bv reccverin lcst traditicns, landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv
wculd ccntribute tc clanes in tle writin c listcrv, tlat is, c listcricraplv.
Tlev wculd ccntribute tc a 'metalistcrv', tlat is, tle 'deep structure c tle
listcrical imainaticn' (Wlite, 1973, p ix) bv develcpin tle tempcral dimensicn.
An existin example is tlat c tle Frencl Annales $clccl, 'witl its emplasis cn
tle longue dure' (Harris, 1999-2000, p +35). In act, tle longue dure stemmed
rcm tle ncticn c landscape. Fernand Braudel wrcte tlat tle lie c tle
Mediterranean 'is linked tc tle land . . . its listcrv can nc mcre be separated rcm
tlat c tle lands surrcundin it tlan tle clav can be separated rcm tle lands c
tle pctter wlc slapes it' (1972, p 17). Fcr Braudel, tle landscape stands
simultanecuslv cr ecraplical space and an inlerent idea c listcrical aencv.
He suests a mcdel tlat investiates ccmbined spatialitv and tempcralitv as
empirical subject matter. A listcrv and tlecrv c landscape invclvin spatial
tempcralitv enerates a dierent listcricraplv in sc ar as it pricritises tle tempcral
dimensicn as cultural plencmencn.
As seen in tle abcve ccnsequences and implicaticns, a dcmainspeciic landscape
listcrv and tlecrv wculd cperate nct merelv as subject matter but alsc as a
metlcdclcical and tlecretical tccl c analvsis. Tlev wculd tlus rise tc tle
20 L ANDS CAP E RE VI E W 8 ( 2 )
clallene c dealin witl undamental issues c 'ictive space, tle picture plane,
tle pcsiticn and nature c tle belclder, and ncticns c realism and representaticn'
(Flkins, 1993, p 189), in crder tc deal speciicallv witl tlese paradcxes. tlat tle
ictive spaces c landscape and ardens are real (Marin, 1973), tlat tle spaces c
landscape and ardens are alsc tempcral, tlat tle pictures invclved in landscape
and ardens are nct twcdimensicnal, tlat tlere is nc sinle pcsiticn c tle
belclder (Bclla, 1995, Careri, 2001), nc sinle visual dimensicn, and nct cne
tvpe c belclder (Ccnan, 1999).
And, i cbjecticns are raised aainst usin landscape and ardens as
metlcdclcical and tlecretical prccedures, let it be ncted tlat sucl a prccedure
cllcws tle landscapespeciic dictum tlat 'land witl nc rcunduse is pctentiallv
ree tc be used in landscape desin, tlus turnin its inlerent diiculties tc
advantae' (Fairbrctler, 1970, p 32). Tlere is an cppcrtunitv tc establisl a dcmain
speciic landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv, and tc reccver tlis dcrmant
ield as an analvtic discipline in crder tc prcvide new investiative tccls cr
expandin and enriclin ctler ields. Tlis wculd, in return, enae landscape
listcrv in creative and cppcsiticnal dialcue witl allied and dierent listcries.
In sc ar as landscapes 'bctl relect and enender wavs c tlinkin abcut curselves
and c bein in tle wcrld' (Harris, 1999, p ++0), tleir listcrv and tlecrv, as tle
listcrv and tlecrv c a 'siniicant ctler', cculd cnce aain enae in a dialcue
witl tle ccncepts and metlcds c ccntempcrarv art listcrv and visual studies
and witl ccntempcrarv desin practice, slapin tlem witl relective repercussicns.
In tlis respect, landscape listcrv and tlecrv wculd alsc interact witl tle practice
c landscape arclitecture and arden desin, but criticallv, nct subservientlv.
In reccniurin landscape and arden listcrv and tlecrv as 'siniicant ctler'
in mainstream academic researcl and curriculum, and a dvnamic ield witl
intellectual pcwer witlin cur ccntempcrarv culture (as in tle eilteentl centurv),
tle listcrv and tlecrv c landscape and ardens must develcp its cwn 'kind c
lcme' (Flkins, 1993, p 189). Tlis 'kind c lcme' wculd invclve tle undamental
ncticns c 'deambulatcrv space and peripatetic visicn' (Bcis, 198+, pp 32-62,
++), c (extra)visual experience and c tle 'eveintense'. Tlis diicult prccess
reminds us c tle Holzwege (Heideer, 1986), tlcse patls tlat meander deep
intc tle crest, leadin unsuspectin travellers apparentlv ncwlere. Hcwever, seen
rcm tle perspective c wccdcutters wlc make and use tlem, tlese patls lead tc
tle leart c tle crest, allcwin new wccd tc be brcult cut.
Tlanks tc all mv researcl cclleaues in dierent ccuntries and ccntinents wlc
ccnstantlv keep me cn mv tces tlrcul dialcue and discussicn. Tlanks alsc tc
Marv Daniels at tle $pecial Ccllecticns at tle Oraduate $clccl c Desin in tle
Lceb Librarv at Harvard Lniversitv, wlcse suppcrt c mv researcl intc tle listcrv
c tle Maelt Fcundaticn las allcwed me tc develcp mv ideas. Tlanks alsc tc
tle Centre cr Researcl in tle Arts, $ccial $ciences and Humanities (CRA$$H)
at tle Lniversitv c Cambride, wlere, as Visitin Fellcw, I am able tc ccntinue
tle tlecretical part c tlis explcraticn, and tc tle Britisl Academv wlc are
allcwin me, tlrcul tle studv c Lcuis I. Kaln's Kimbell Art Oallerv, tc
undertake tle next empirical case studv in tlis cncin researcl investiaticn.
1 For some basic readers that explicate these issues, see Mirzoe (1998), Nelson and Shi (1992) and
Preziosi (1998). It is important to remember that this historv o theoretical and methodoloical
developments in art historv reaches ar back into previous centuries.
2 A brie and contrastin review is Birksted (2000a).
3 These issues have also been discussed in Crandison (1999).
+ As Abv Warbur amouslv described such proessional demarcations (Iversen, Retrievin Warbur's
Tradition, 1993, DidiHuberman, 2002, Michaud, 1998, Combrich, 1986).
5 I leave open the issue o the dierence between landscapes and ardens. See Marc Rakatanskv
(1992, pp 201-221, 203). In this respect, it could perhaps be arued, as Michael Crozier does, that
'ardens[ are not dissimilar to architectural spaces' (1999, p 628).
6 Other terms used are 'vision' and 'aspect'. See Cenette (1980).
7 Other terms used are 'mood' and 'reister'. See Cenette (1980).
8 Others have attempted this. See Adams (1991). Michel de Certeau has distinuished between
'carte' and 'parcours' and described the 'rhetoric o walkin' (1990, p 1+9). JeanFranois Auovard
has attempted an analvsis o urban walkin (1979). Louis Marin speaks o 'the art o distinuishin
the sentence construction o space' (1992, p 3+). One does not, however, want to all into the
traps o classiication nor o taxonomv. For another analvsis o walkin and vision, see YveAlain
Bois (198+).
9 The importance o tactilitv is discussed in several books such as Holl, Pallasmaa and PerezComez
(199+) and must include Alois Riel's classic distinction between 'haptic' and 'optic' (Iversen,
1993). See also Ceores Braque's notions o 'visual space' and 'manual space' (Coldin, Bowness
and MonodFontaine, 1977).
10 Stanislaus Fun (1999) has described the avatars o such antitheoretical positions.
11 The methodoloical analvsis o orm can o course be ormalistic, such as Immanuel Kant's
analvsis o the art o landscape architecture, which he evaluates as not an art because o its non
ormal material qualities.
12 Adams reerences this expression to Palia (1990).
13 Readin itsel is eveintense. See Derrida's accounts o readin's backwardsandorwards visual
movement, and the rane o visual procedures' relationship to the silentlv spoken word.
1+ However, a subordinate visuallv tactile - 'haptic' - element mav be involved, or example in
22 L ANDS CAP E RE VI E W 8 ( 2 )
paintins bv Braque. It is thus problematic to cateoricallv distinuish between dierent media.
15 Thouh, aain, exceptions clearlv exist, or example Holbein's The Ambassadors, where the
beholder would irst move up a staircase rom the bottom riht o the paintin and then view it
rontallv. This is o course the classic example analvsed bv Lacan (1973).
16 An attempt at doin so is John Dixon Hunt's (1995) description o Kent's Theatre at Rousham.
See also Cerehini (1991). Another is Peter de Bolla's (1995) description o Battersea Park. See also
Bowrin (2000) and de Vea, IntonsPeterson, JohnsonLaird, Denis and Marschark (1996).
17 Bernard Tschumi has used the cinematic model at the Parc de la Villette, Jose Luis Sert used the
pedestrian model at the Maeht Foundation and Bernard Lassus has used the model o automobile
movement in his works alon French autoroutes.
18 This is currentlv chanin. See Fried, Menzel's Realism. Art and Fmbodiment in Nineteenth
Centurv Berlin (2002).
19 Fdquist and Bird (199+) and Matless (1998) have proposed the notion o a 'culture o landscape'
but there still is no domainspeciic bodv o methodoloical literature on in situ landscape orm
and representation as a 'kind o home'.
20 This problem o dimensions so saturates historioraphv, and seems so ineradicablv linked to the
preeminence o architectural space as an autonomous or semiautonomous dimension, that it has
been described as 'obsessive' (Tevssot, 1981, p 28). It is interestin to note how Ceore Abraham
postulated a conlict between time and space on psvcholoical rounds. a sense o space as ideal
usion implies the neation o time. Converselv, the sense o ideal spatial usion is destroved bv
awareness o temporalitv (Abraham, 1976, pp +61-+71).
21 For a discussion o the relations o time to identitv, see the work o Piera Aulanier discussed bv
MijollaMellor (2002). For a review o psvcholoical research, see Rohde and Kendle (199+).
22 Walkin was a siniicant artrelated activitv or Ciacometti's last project, Paris sans in, a record
o walks throuh Paris. Miro spent lon periods wanderin around Palma cathedral and the streets
o Palma, savin that his walks were his works o art.
23 See Nora (1989). See also the narrative landscape o Aldus Manutius's Hvpnerotomachia Poliphili
(1+99) in Leaivre (1997, p 8).
2+ 'Narratives intersect with sites, accumulate as lavers o historv, oranise sequences and inhere in
the verv materials and processes o the landscape. In various wavs, stories take place". The term
landscape narrative" desinates the interplav and mutual relationship between storv and place'
(Potteier and Purinton, 2002, p 136). See also Rakatanskv (1992).
25 Direct, intentional, onetomeanins and svmbols can be interpreted in multiple and unpredictable
wavs. See Iser (1978).
26 Another aspect o this iure/round luiditv speciic to meanins projected unto landscape is
that o the 'material'/'spiritual' (see Bradlev, 1999).
27 These spaces were o prime importance to Sert who wrote that 't[his sequence o relectin pools
. . . repeats the sculptural and architectural motis and creates depth bv piercin the suraces o the
terraces' (Sert, undated b).
28 For a urther discussion o these issues, see Miller (1993) and Miller in Birksted (2000). See also the
work o Arnold Berleant (1993).
29 Roland Barthes's description o this process o naturalisation is classic. 'In a irst (exclusivelv
linuistic) svstem, causalitv would be, literallv, natural. ruit and veetable prices all because thev
are in season. In the second (mvthical) svstem, causalitv is artiicial, alse, but it creeps, so to speak,
throuh the back door o Nature' (1972, p 13).
30 For an account o Le Corbusier's insihtul and strateic use o imaerv, see Beatriz Colomina
31 Manv other examples exist. Anne Berminham (1986) shows how Constable uses the landscape o
Willv Lott's cottae to ocus the beholder awav rom a view o industrial Fnland. Romv Colan
(1995) shows how artists in France durin the wars used landscape or speciic political views.
32 For a review o this literature and a more indepth discussion o this complex problematic, see
Birksted (1999a, p 1-11). Richard Shi has analvsed Cezanne's use o the subject o wilderness in
his eorts to 'suppress anv hint o representation' (198+, p 223).
33 See MerleauPontv (199+) and Alois Riel 18581905[ who opposed 'haptic' and 'optic' modes o
perception (Podro, 1982).
3+ Behind the phenomenoloical assumption o place as immobilitv, lies a deeper assumption o the
dichotomv o object and subject.
35 See, or example, ive studies chosen relativelv at random rom the ields o cultural studies, art
historv, social anthropolov, landscape studies, architectural studies, cultural eoraphv and ilm
studies. Tavlor (199+), Mitchell (199+b), Hirsch and O'Hanlon (1995), and Berque (1986). Brinin
toether the existin, and exponentiallv rowin, literature on landscape and arden historv
within the critical and visual studies ield would provide a real example o a contemporarv multi
disciplinarv and interdisciplinarv ield o studv, linkin toether dierent methodoloies and
36 See Michel Conan (1992, pp 119-150), Carruthers (1990) and also Yates (1966).
37 In the classical theorv o rhetoric, memorv is speciicallv related to place since 'the classical
memorv technique is a wav o reconstructin temporal orders bv mappin them onto spatial
coniurations, most notablv architectural structures, with various loci and topoi or memorv
places inhabited bv strikin imaes and sometimes even words, it is also a wav o mappin an oral
perormance, an oration rom memorv, onto a visual structure' (Mitchell, 199+b, p 192).
38 An interestin economic analvsis that considers this is Dasupta (2001).
39 Mirka Benes indeed notes that '[requentlv landscape was a protaonist o their Annales[ narratives'
(1999, p 65). In other words, a natural svmpathv with landscape was so much part o the Annales
School that it provided not so much a model as a mould, which necessarilv brouht out common
dimensions o landscape and historv. In this process, historv and landscape and the Mediterranean
and the lonue duree - all our imbricated in each other - become the main historical aents.
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