Traces of Assembly: following in Walter Benjamin's footsteps at the BnF

May 16 | Paola Berenstein seminar
6:30 pm
8:00 pm
Séminaire Traces de montages
Presentation of a research project as part of the "Jeudis de la Maison Suger", a residents' research seminar.

Paola Berenstein-Jacques is an architect and urban planner with a doctorate in art history. She is Professor at the Faculty of Architecture, Federal University of Bahia. She is a researcher at the National Scientific Council (CNPq/Brazil). She is scientific leader of the Laboratório Urbano Research Group (PPG-AU/FAUFBA):


"The subject of this study is Walter Benjamin's unfinished book of passages (Passagen-Werk) - or Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century - in particular the set of fragments (called "notes and materials" by the publisher and divided by the author into 36 bundles/montages) and, above all, those relating to the city of Paris. The research field is the BnF, with an operation to retrace Walter Benjamin's journeys through the library, starting from his own collection of fragments - over 4,000 quotations, notes and descriptions of images gathered by him between 1927 and 1940 - in an attempt to better understand the montage(s) produced by Benjamin in his titanic work on Parisian passages. The practice of montage is also understood here as a singular mode of presenting the complexity of cities in transformation and, in this specific case, of 19th-century Paris as the capital of modernity."


  • Paola Berenstein-Jacques - Professor at the Faculty of Architecture at the Federal University of Bahia, scientific director of the Laboratório Urbano - PPG-AU/FAUFBA
  • Alessia de Biase - Professor at the École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Paris-La Villette, scientific director of the Laboratoire architecture anthropologie - LAA-LAVUE- CNRS
Published at 8 April 2024