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Old Operating Theatre in London - Essay Example

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This essay analyzes Pierre Nora’s theory of ‘sites of memory’ and postmodernism through the Old Operating Theatre in London. Cultural transformations and developing technologies have caused a decline in the significance and role of old spaces and monuments. …
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Old Operating Theatre in London
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Download file to see previous pages The essay "Old Operating Theatre in London" explores historically significant Old Operating Theatre in London and gives a review of Pierre Nora’s theory of ‘sites of memory’ and postmodernism. “Architectural phenomenologists have been particularly active in advocating a born-again power of places, which includes their symbolic and memorial functions”. Tensions characterize the transitions in the last twenty years, related to the Postmodernist renaissance of monuments, and are evident in the preface to the first volume of Pierre Nora’s seminal Les Lieux de Memoire translated as ‘sites of memory’, which envisioned a collection of ‘memory places’ ranging from concrete structures to abstract intellectual constructions. On the other hand, in the last volume of Nora’s series written eight years later, the author complains that his formula ‘memory places’ has not been comprehended as the dematerialization of ‘places’ intended as symbolic instruments. Nora’s memory places were conceptualized as places within the mind, as in the conventional and Renaissance art of memory. These ‘sites of memory’ have displaced real environments of memory or Milieux de Memoire. ‘The Old Operating Theatre’ in London dating back to 1822 has been preserved in the form of an unusual museum. “It is the oldest in Europe and found in a unique space in the Herb Garret of St. Thomas Church, and was a part of old St. Thomas Hospital. The consciousness of a break with the past is linked to the quintessence of memory.
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