Landscape and Heritage - The Tale of Two Metaphors
In: Quaderni dell'Istituto di Storia dell'Architettura: n.s. 2019, 2020
Landscape and Heritage – The Tale of Two Metaphors
The modern ideas of cultural heritage and landscape have their origin in the European Renaissance. Conceptualising them with insufficient precision can result in both cultural heritage and landscape being objectified. At the end of such involution, both may end up as sterile forms, devoid of cultural weight, deprived of their power to give metaphorical meaning to our habitat. Assimilating landscape to built heritage induces the possibility of treating a construct as if it were a construction, thus inevitably transforming the virtually endless idea of landscape into a finite thing. Today, cultural heritage conservation is an indispensable part of our building culture. It is a metaphor of ourselves as cultural beings. Landscape, instead, is the very metaphor of ourselves as natural beings. These two metaphors share and combine a formidable potential to embody (cultural heritage) and to contain (landscape) our late-modern, profane necessity of absolute concepts.