‘One might imagine a collaroy between the position of the hotel [here] and the arcade in Walter Benjamin’s Passage Werk [The Arcades Project] as they both represent a certain capitalist desire to bring the outside world into a totalizing and marketable interiority, to create a controlled and insulated simulacrum of an entire city beneath one roof.’- Erik Morse in conversation Hotel Theory: The History of the Los Angeles Hotel 2012
Evidence of the hospitable interior can be traced to ancient civilization, its origin derived from the bathhouse typology. Servicing the needs of both travelers and locals alike, such spaces of hospitality reflected a duality of civic occupation and geo-political affairs of the city. The bathhouse specifically served as an incubator for collective and cross-pollinating conversation, a social system casually residing in the intimate ritual of domesticated bathing.
Today we can classify the HOTEL as a hyper interior – a conductor to a temporal polyglot primarily facilitating performances of the pragmatic, the romantic and the diabolic. This typological construct also now functions on market value and homogenous rating systems intrinsically linked to services offered and aesthetic appropriation. A set, a stage, a folly – the function and form of deliberately curated, domestic fakery, a suspension of disbelief, making the HOTEL a set, a stage, a scene.
Montaging folly and realism, we will question the appropriation and aesthetic iterations of the HOTEL,critiquing its role as a cultural institution and its service to the city from its civic space origin to its role in social class mediation. Has otherworldliness now superseded the intrinsic need of those seeking respite and a place to bathe? Adding to this and defying the quest for the fantastic, we cannot abandon the effect of informal hospitality constructs – where competing operations, such as AirBnB, now provide a more authentic experience of domestic interiority.
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Site : Woolworths Town Hall