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The Architecture (an Archaeology) of a Post-Nation

Maastricht, Netherlands
1 of 3Paoli Patelli

Europe is real, but structurally open and indefinable. The European integration has created a system of supranational entities in relation to the idea of post-nationalism: blurred cognitive sketches perhaps and real “things”, solidly built and tied together. What is the architecture that materialises the post-national political contract? The glazed facades of the European Commission, the itinerant European Council, the European Parliament, a room in Rome, a monument in Schengen, a prison in Ventotene, a line of barbed wire in Slovenia, transborder infrastructure in Zaventem, camping gear outside the European Court of Human Rights. At the center of the Eurozone’s financial capital, the light bulbs of the Euro-Skulptur need to be replaced, and someone recently painted one of the twelve stars in red. An ordinary, often dull, and inconspicuous materiality works within the construction of a political project. An archaeology of such materials addresses issues of ideology, power, and meaning.