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Singapore Songlines: Revisited: The world class complex and the multiple deaths of context

Frost, Mark 'Singapore Songlines: Revisited: The world class complex and the multiple deaths of context.' In: Chung, Simone and Douglas, Michael, (eds.) Hard State, Soft City: The urban imaginative field in Singapore. Asian Cities . Amsterdam University Press. (In Press)

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A part-biographical, part-historical and part-polemical essay, this study revisits Rem Koolhaas’s classic meditation on Singapore’s natural and built environment in the post-independence era. Building on Koolhaas’s provocative depiction of Singapore as an architectural and environmental tabula rasa, it delves deeper into the twentieth-century modernist conditions which produced the post-independence city state’s decontextualized urban landscape. In doing so, this essay argues that Singapore city-making state policies have resulted from more than an official ideology of pragmatism. Rather, they contain with in them an official poetics with which independent creatives in this city must contend with and negotiate. An analysis of these poetics, embodied in the way the government has projected Singapore’s official image of itself, reveals its pervasive preoccupation with ‘the global’ and its wilful desire to liberate Singapore from the constraints of history through creative urban destruction.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2019 10:48
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2019 11:15

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