Interview with Ruth Baumeister

Part 1: Jorn and the notion of “an architecture sauvage”

Ruth Baumeister is a researcher, critic and teacher of architecture theory and history, originally educated as an architect, based in The Netherlands. She is the editor of Fraternité Avant Tout – Asger Jorn’s writings on art and architecture, 1938-1958, 010 Publishers, Rotterdam, 2011 (translations by Paul Larkin) and she is currently working on the publication of her doctoral thesis L´Architecture Sauvage. Asger Jorn´s Critique and Concept of Architecture, forthcoming Spring 2013, nai010 Publishers, Rotterdam. Apart from her extensive knowledge on Jorn, and her efforts to make Jorn’s writings accessible to a broader audience, I appreciate what she does because whenever she gets to speak about Asger Jorn, she tries to connect his thinking and practice to the contemporary.

HdB: Ruth, when you participated in the seminar at the Museum Jorn in March 2012 you talked about Jorn’s sources of interest in architecture, ranging from the Paris Metropole to Surrealist interiors, his experience on working with Le Corbusier on the 1937 World Expo, and his connection with Fernand Léger. Over the years Jorn strongly critiqued functionalist architecture for in fact not being functional at all, because it doesn’t take man’s irrational sides into accou