The origin of the explosion

In the common understanding of bankruptcy, notions such as failure, collapse and crises are often called upon to describe the exact condition. Destruction and ruins are the obvious 'allegories' while ideas of reuse and recycling appear as positive strategies to deal with the accumulation of cultural products.

In this context and the context of this year's workshop dealing with 'bankruptcy of architecture' we may throw a retrospective look to Antonioni's film of 1970 "Zabriskie point"; its final scene presents a building in the desert exploding together with an explosion of everyday life objects and furniture. In this 'dream' of destruction one can trace the concerns and anxieties of the time and the rising theoretical and social critique to western modernism. The sequence of the described explosion can have an exemplary treatment, dealing with some concepts, presented in the studio. A main concern has to do with the question of the origin of the explosion mechanism. We can detect in this procedure a double situation constituted by a unity and a multiplicity or a plethora. We suggest that the triple elaboration of this fragment has to do with different concepts concerning the bankruptcy rationale:

1. a reversed playback of the last scene that goes from chaos to unity, from ruins and fragments to complete and whole buildings and objects; an end of the bankruptcy rationale would be a reconstitution of a unity.

2. fragments floating… chaotic dispersion, population of fragments, never forming any unity; the bankruptcy operates as a catalyst for the breakdown of any possible unit.

3. short and framed extracts highlighting cycles of unity and destruction in endless loops; unity and fragmentation are exchanging roles, unification of system values follow deconstruction of them in an endless scheme.

We may suggest that the time of crises and the bankruptcy of the post-war social and economical system the film represents the desire for change and utopian thinking. The three distorted remakes of this final scene are operated in order to rehandle the concept of bankruptcy today. Chaos to unity, fragmentation and population, dispersion and unification.

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