Skip to content | Accessibility Information

Djabarouti, J., 2022.

Imitation and intangibility: postmodern perspectives on restoration and authenticity at the Hill House Box, Scotland

Output Type:Journal article
Publication:International Journal of Heritage Studies
Publisher:Informa UK Limited
Volume/Issue:28 (1)
Pagination:pp. 109-126

Restoration is often problematised within built heritage practice as an inauthentic activity of imitation. This is symptomatic of a Western focus on physical heritage sites, which is underpinned by an amalgam of scientific materialism and visual aesthetics. Situated within a postmodern conceptualisation of heritage as increasingly dynamic, social and intangible, this study suggests the relationship between restoration and authenticity is increasingly out of step with contemporary perspectives and would benefit from a critical gaze. Drawing on Baudrillard's theory of 'hyperreality', this study makes space for two key concepts within the built heritage paradigm: authenticity as emergent and fluid; and the legitimisation of imitation as a valid activity. Together, these are explored in relation to the restoration of the Hill House, Scotland, and its encapsulation within the 'Hill House Box'. From a postmodern, Baudrillardian outlook, the site becomes a dynamic performance between the restored building (a tangible 'simulation' of an idealised essence) and the users of the Hill House Box (an intangible, ritualised experience). Consequently, this demonstrates how the amalgamation of imitation and intangibility can overcome binary views of original/copy; authentic/inauthentic, resulting in the creation of emergent authenticity and aura that the Box both creates and is engulfed within.