Dr Iulia Statica
Marie Curie Research Fellow
The Bartlett School of Architecture
Faculty of the Built Environment
- Joined UCL
- 1st Oct 2019
Her forthcoming book, Urban Phantasmagorias: Domesticity, Production and the Politics of Modernity in Communist Bucharest (Routledge, Architext Series) explores the manner in which the socialist state reconfigured the city of Bucharest, both explicitly and in nuanced ways, in order to materialize the idea of communist modernity. It follows the effects of this goal between 1947 and 1989 through an investigation of the transformations, representations, meanings, and uses of domestic and productive spaces. Walter Benjamin’s concept of phantasmagoria provides a critical framework to articulate the dynamic relationship between ideology, architecture, and everyday practices, and to reassess their impact upon individual agency. The book establishes, both theoretically and through the concrete case of the city of Bucharest, the methodological significance of Benjamin’s notion of phantasmagoria as an epistemological approach to a (modern) communist cityscape.
At the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University, Iulia Statica developed a comparative investigation of the legacy of socialist mass housing built with Soviet technological support between the 1950s-1980s in cities in Latin America and Eastern Europe. Based on both archival and ethnographic research the project — Housing Socialist Modernities. A Comparative Archaeology of Domesticity in (Post)Socialist Havana and Bucharest — interpreted the ways in which domestic architecture is understood and experienced in its relation to social, technological and political praxes, continuities of culture and tradition, and the deformations and ruptures effected by ideologies. She is also part of an interdisciplinary, collaborative research project involving scholars and practitioners in architecture, comparative literature, and film, examining the legacy of Cuba’s approach to mass housing in the 1970s. The project is titled Alamar: An Archaeology of Socialist Domestic Infrastructure in Havana (http://projectalamar.com/). Alamar examines the practical and ideological implications of the unique form of socialist governmentality characteristic of contemporary Cuba, and the nature of its mediation through domestic infrastructures.