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Urban Monuments

Aston, Birmingham


Matchday Pilgrimage

Football is entirely spatial. It requires at the very least an area to play in which defines and orientates a space. If larger, it requires a stadium, impacting the surrounding areas significantly.


When established, football clubs can alter economies, create social tension, change land value, enhance communities, distract from the mundane and bring tears of joy or happiness.


It bleeds into pop culture, spans generations, and produces iconic places, people and moments which become hugely important parts of the lives of fans. 

The provocation is that football is a modern religion - or at least can be seen that way.

To set the scene, Andrew Brown from The Guardian writes “Religions aren’t made from specifically religious behaviours or thoughts, but from ordinary patterns of thought and behaviour which are assembled in particular ways” but still intends to deny football as a religion.

Extract from my provocation and brief

Pier Vittorio Aureli suggests that the state has taken the role of a ‘mortal god’ including its capitalist tendencies [demanding absolute audience], an idea reinforced by Carl Schmitt (Political Theory: Four Chapters on the concepts of Sovereignty, 2006).


As a product, football  has been capitalised. Its current state resembles a religious sect.

The objects driving this project are proof of this with an apotheosis of the mundane and production of football team related jewellery

Through ritual acts, language and gesture are amplified from logos to praxis a bodily and, by extension, spatial expression.

Pope Sixtus V (1585-90) ordered obelisks to be erected to mark the ritual paths that linked the major basilicas of Rome. The urban motifs act as monuments within the city.


It is the fixity and absoluteness of architectural objects that allows temporal processes such as pilgrimages intelligible cadence.


“Sixtus V’s obelisks exemplify how objects within sacred space are never self-referntial, even in their radical singularity, but always point to a sequence which unfolds in a specific direction.”


They emphasise the heirarchy of importance within the city. It doesn’t just include the visiting of architecure, but also the journey itself.

Rituals and Walls: The Architecture of Sacred Space - Pier Vittorio Aureli, Maria Shéhérazade Giudici

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