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Wonder of the Ruin: Aesthetics of the Derelict Synagogue in Poland

Journal of Contemporary Archaeology

Equinox Publishing

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      Abstract

      The aesthetics of the abandoned synagogues are dynamic and interactive, being inextricably attached to how we encounter and sense their reality and materiality. This kind of affective and mercurial aesthetic experience of Poland’s deserted synagogues is being formed and transformed during our immediate encounters with material spaces and things. I argue that a re-enchantment of the synagogue takes place in the ruin, wherein non-human actors and activities (plants, animals, the weather, and so on) generate its wonderment, strangeness, and revived sacrality. I call this new form of the derelict synagogue a ruin temple – a space whose deeply flowing past and dynamism of decay and life create a present that allures and enchants, affording a mystical and sensuous immersion in its solitary realm of awe and wonder.

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      Journal
      Journal of Contemporary Archaeology
      JCA
      Equinox Publishing
      2051-3429
      2051-3437
      December 4 2017
      November 28 2017
      : 4
      : 1
      : 73-89
      10.1558/jca.32077
      © 2017

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