The luxury of silence, cemeteries as places of ‘aposiopesis’ in the city

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‘Aposiopesis’ derives from the Greek word ‘αποσιώπησις’ meaning becoming silent or maintaining silence. It is when a statement or address is broken off, left unfinished, only to be completed in the imagination. Bearing in mind that ‘place’ has been defined as ‘the concrete manifestation of man’s dwelling’, it becomes a paradox that cemeteries are probably the only ‘places’ manifesting very little about their ‘dwellers’. Therefore, they appear as remote urban spaces in aposiopesis of their content and habitation. Someone would be more precise describing contemporary cemeteries as ‘uninhabited’, but yet not ‘empty’, urban places. Viewed as places of expression of our ‘being-in-the-world’, they transcend every aspect of functionality. Therefore the current discussion on the formation of contemporary ‘gravescapes’ as urban territories arise multiple quests about their content and identity in the city. The research will be based on emerging theories and contemporary examples of cemetery design. The central argument concentrates on the present relation between the city and cemetery formation through social, cultural and aesthetical aspects.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, 2010 Space is Luxury, Aalto, July 7-10th
place, urbanism, cemetery, aposiopesis
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