Studio Fontana

Playing out democracy: the spatialisation of a male power regime (2021)

Voice Over magazine, edition 04, March 2021, Patriarchy.


An essay contribution to the publication, “Voice Over”. The text explores how architectural spaces are part of the spatialisation of the prevailing patriarchal male power regime.


Reflecting on the fact that the architectural form for stadiums and parliaments has not significantly changed since the spatial arrangement of the ancient olympic games.


Gabriel builds a story that speculates on how the history of sport and democracy are intertwined, how stadiums and parliaments are both places which converge and steal the attention of the masses. In Ancient Greece the stadium became a place for public assembly, for watching sport, but also for discussion and debate amongst citizens. Many ancient Greek wrestlers and Olympians doubled as philosophers and societal decision makers, using the form of the stadium to address the masses. Gabriel uses a self-coined term, ‘muscular democracy’, as a research-concept to identify where masculine athletic ideology is used as a way to arrange bodies, and establish rules and systems of power