The Ulysses Project: Architecture and the city through James Joyce’s Dublin
Architect Freddie Phillipson explores relations between the buildings of Dublin and James Joyce’s landmark novel.
Curated in collaboration with Drawing Matter, The Ulysses Project presents a body of research by the architect Freddie Phillipson into the relations between the buildings of Dublin and James Joyce’s landmark novel. Born and raised in Athens by Greek and British parents, Phillipson was educated at the University of Cambridge and MIT and in 2020 was identified as one of the 40 best architects under 40 in the UK. Reflecting his bilingual heritage, since 2003 alongside work in practice he has been reconstructing the lost buildings in which Joyce’s ‘translation’ of Homer’s Odyssey is set.
With an architect’s expertise, the material in the exhibition goes further into the archaeology of Joyce’s Dublin than existing literary scholarship, making the events of the text accessible and its settings visible. Phillipson has consulted previously overlooked material held by the IAA; several buildings have never been drawn before, and the drawings visualise Joyce’s treatment of the city in a new and unique way. A large scale (1.8x2.5m) topographic drawing of central Dublin is accompanied by scaled reconstructions of ten buildings where individual episodes are set. Hundreds of sketches underpin these pieces. The text and its themes are meticulously mapped onto the actual rooms, demonstrating the role of architecture in Joyce’s rediscovery of ancient myth in everyday situations, and posing broader philosophical questions about the purpose of design.
The exhibition runs in the first floor rooms of the Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Mondays to Fridays,
from Friday, 17 June 2022 to Friday 19 August 2022.