J. Kotz
Friday 9 November 2018 by Libadmin2018


The labyrinth, as a riddle alike, is one of the most primordial cultural images. Initially, its image was related to the prevention of evil and its deterrence, also by luring and imprisoning evil spirits in it. It served to confuse and stop the intruder, who, to enter it, had to guess the puzzle or find its way to its center. The labyrinth, like the templum, was an image of the city, protecting and renewing it. The meaning of this image seems to be ambivalent, but polar and complementary: on the one hand, achieving on the path of full dangers and the way of renouncements, its center, which is a reward, and on the other—getting lost in the maze, or even being imprisoned in it. The image of the labyrinth with its historically progressive universalization is not disassociated from its mythical roots and from the city, but extends its meanings. A special place in the course of transformation of the labyrinth’ idea is played by the Baroque, which launches, as a didactic lesson of the Counter-Reformation, the space of illusion and strengthens experience of the immersion. Illusionistic painting of vaults and domes, based on quadratura, leading the viewer, reveals his riddles to him. This space is, in a special way, the scripted space—a deliberately designed maze that underwent specific virtualization in the Baroque interiors. The city, crowd and commodities in Walter Benjamin’s descriptions of nineteenth-century Paris—all of them and each of them are perceived by the flâneur as a labyrinth, becoming the subject of his practices. With the appearance of the postmodern version of the Baroque, the structure of the labyrinth is revealed, among others, in the megamall. Such consumption spaces are paraphrases of the city squeezed to their size. Being populated by crowds and filled with commodities, they constitute simultaneously an intentionally designed scripted space. Finally, the scripted space along with the development of the network, microelectronics and software, becomes completely virtual and reveals its labyrinthine structure, leading its user through it.

Keywords: labyrinth, Baroque, Neo-Baroque, image, scripted space

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