The Bradbury Building - Cinematic Fetish Location
Abstract: Arguably, architecture recorded through the cinematic apparatus provides an intersection between multiple understandings of fetish. The Bradbury Building in cinematic representation is the signifier which denies its signified (the actual building) and therefore creates a fetish in its synecdochic relationship between reality and representation. Jean Baudrillard affirms that this kind of fetish represents a ‘passion for the code’ – an empowerment through acts of abstract manipulation on subjects and objects and a “fundamental articulation of the ideological process” (Baudrillard, 91-101). The multiplicity of understandings on the term ‘fetish’ constitutes a semantic distortion for Baudrillard. The distortion that Baudrillard outlines aptly explains fetish in architecture. The cathedral once acted as a symbolic node of power to evoke the presence of God. In cinema, the Bradbury Building is used to evoke the presence of cinema as a symbolic node of power – the cinematic representation of architecture constitutes the fetish, the actual building denotes nothing. The Bradbury Building is a conduit for ideas of cinema and can thus be referred to as an architectural fetish object as well as cinematic fetish location.