In a daring revisionist history of modern architecture, Mark Wigley opens up a new understanding of the historical avant-garde. He explores the most obvious, but least discussed, feature of modern architecture: white walls. Although the white wall exemplifies the stripping away of the decorative masquerade costumes worn by nineteenth-century buildings, Wigley argues that modern buildings are not naked. The white wall is itself a form of clothing—the newly athletic body of the building, like that of its occupants, wears a new kind of garment and these garments are meant to match.
Nowhere, Mark Wigley asserts, are the stakes higher for deconstruction than in architecture—architecture is the Achilles' heel of deconstructive discourse, the point of vulnerability upon which all of its arguments depend. In this book Wigley redefines the question of deconstruction and architecture. By locating the architecture already hidden within deconstructive discourse, he opens up more radical possibilities for both architecture and deconstruction, offering a way of rethinking the institution of architecture while using architecture to rethink deconstructive discourse.