Liam Davis | Year 5


A series of animated drawings that appropriate Soviet montage theory and Dadaist photomontage to develop an architectural design practice; questioning the role of film within architectural design, representation and communication.

Montage theory suggests that an emotional or intellectual interpolation occurs when people are shown a series of images. As defined by Lev Kuleshov in his eponymous experiments, no image within a sequence is viewed in isolation, instead the reading of an image is influenced by that which precedes it and establishes the context for reading the image that follows. An expressionless image of man’s face followed by an image of a bowl of soup may imply hunger, yet the same expressionless image followed by an image of an attractive woman may imply lust. Arguably we experience or read the city in much the same way. One cannot view an object or building in isolation as perception is inextricably tied to the experiential superimposition between the space and its surrounding spatial, social and political context. This notion of an intellectual or dialectic montage has been explored over the course of this year’s studies, using the camera to draw critical observations of the city through spatial exploration, and using animation techniques to represent and communicate design process. The final film is a culmination of the technical and theoretical explorations, using animation to represent social and political tensions in public space through architectural and cinematic montage. The project proposes an agitprop (agitation propaganda), as an agonistic tool to challenge the established hegemonic social structures within public spaces. The film traces the design and production of a dialectic structure, constructed from culturally significant icons to incite emotional associations through a process of superimposition and superadjacency.