DoA Press


Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba | Journal 2009
drawings, objects, inhabitation, landscapes, cities, atmosphere.

The intention of "Dead on Arrival" is to expand on conversations from within and beyond the Faculty of Architecture, to enhance our own networks of ideas and experiences, dimishing the distances between us and the outside world. Much is said and felt about our "Winnipeg condition," one which is deeply rooted in the reality of the land and its geography. The isolation inspires the creation of our own myths, but it also refers to an increasing necessity to partake in our own constructions and reflections, to disseminate our findings and to expose our own dialectics to a larger network: an audience which we know is out there searching through the same common motivators.


Natalija Subotincic is an artist and professor of architecture at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. Her research and creative work explores the realm between the psyche and physical space, questioning how we individually and collectively construct, experience, and dwell within this territory. Her book “Never Speak With Your Mouth Full”, DoA Press (2008) conjoins her personal forays into collecting, an interpretation of Sigmund Freud's work environment/collection, and the design for an expansion to the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, California. The book is divided into three parts:

For seven years she saved the bones of everything she ate. At the end of the seven years she felt the collection had reached a critical mass and it was time to begin making things with it. Initially she photographically documented different aspects of the collection, from individual bones, to groupings of bones, to bone configurations that recorded her eating habits, to playful animations of the bones. This was followed by the creation of a dining table that included the chicken bones from her collection. This section of the publication has no text, but begins with an x-ray of her mouth followed by black and white photographs of the collection.

This section of the publication includes a fully illustrated essay entitled, Freud at the Dining Table - An Architectural Act: Part II, Act V, Scene 5. This essay presents a back and forth “free association” between her (Subotincic) and him (Freud) around the dining table she constructed from her own collection of bones. It illuminates a space of delay for the poetic exchange of personal obsessions, probing how we mentally and physically inhabit our ‘constructed’ thoughts. The essay is structured by a framework of quotes from the history of dining etiquette, having to do specifically with the role of the host and guest, given by Margaret Visser in her book “The Rituals of Dinner – The Origins, Evolution, Eccentricities and Meaning of Table Manners.” Freud was an avid collector and kept all of his 2300 antiquities in only two workrooms - his consulting room and study. The rooms and his arrangement of the collection offer evidence of a forty-year obsessive work that he conspicuously never articulated in words. Her spatial analysis speculates on possible readings of the organization of his collection within these rooms by gathering together his patient’s recollections, his own writings and drawings, and the constructions that emerged from her own collection. As this is only a small piece of a larger research project, this essay begins with some context about Freud’s rooms and his and her collections, and then focuses in on a reading of one specific arrangement within his study - a ‘shrine’ to the women in his life. By reading the shrine through the ideas revealed in his article “The Theme of the Three Caskets” (1912) she briefly speculates on what his collection might have meant for him in its larger organization, and what it may reveal about his thinking. In essence, she believes the rooms portray an unexamined side of Freud’s thinking, one that did not come to him in words or text. Rather, his collection manifests a “pictorial language”, similar to that found in dreams and described in his analysis of them. Through his arrangement of this collection, he in effect, choreographed his own “pictorial” musings.

This section of the publication includes a fully illustrated essay entitled, Penumbra - Expanding the Museum of Jurassic Technology. It addresses the collaboration she has been engaged in with David Wilson and Diana Drake Wilson to develop a design for an extension to the Museum of Jurassic Technology. This essay begins with reflections on what guided these design explorations, including references to Freud. It then lays out the ensuing collaboration as a collection of thoughts both desired and constructed. The collaboration is presented chronologically, as a dialogue between the architectural dreams expressed in email correspondence from David and Diana, and their architectural manifestations expressed in images of models and fragments of drawings. The pairing up of these dreams with their architectural manifestations reveal more about their working process, which includes the influences on their collaborative thinking, inspirations, and how ideas developed, grew and/or changed over time.
DoA Press
Nat Chard
Professor, Department of Architecture
t (204) 474-6424

is available for $25.00CAD (plus shipping) through DoA Press. To order, please contact Natalija Subotincic directly:
t (204) 474-9815