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The Bench in the Garden


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About the Author

Michael Jakob is Professor of History and Theory of Landscape at Hepia (Geneva) and EPFL, Lausanne as well as Professor of Comparative Literature (Chair) at Grenoble University. His teaching and research focuses on landscape theory, aesthetics, the history of vertigo, contemporary theories of perception and the poetics of architecture. He is the founder and head of COMPAR(A)ISON, an International Journal of Comparative Literature. He has produced several documentary films for TV, and has long-standing experience as a radio journalist.


A bench is much more than a place to sit. To sit on it means to share a view with the creator of the garden, write Michael Jakob. Benches are guideposts through the garden, they are markers of social status, and they are even political statements, he says. This book examines great benches in history (there are more than you might think) and their representation in literature and, especially, art. The painted bench acts in other words as a scopic device built into the picture, Jakob notes. Once 'occupied, ' once our eyes start to discover the other parts of the painting from there, we see the entire image in a different light.--Landscape Architecture Magazine

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