dossier

lateness

1


2005.08.23 13:28
Tiring architects VS Real Architects
The late period of artists is often under-rated. Picasso's Late Period was mostly disliked while he was alive--seen as repetitious and unimportant. Yet, with Picasso dead, the late works are not so unimportant anymore, in fact they manifest one of Picasso's most creative periods.
Frank Gehry may be in a wonderful position if he continues to do architecture for another decade or so, because, when he isn't around anymore, his late works might just manifest his most creative period.
I like to look at and study the late periods of artists because of all the facile-ness and confidence and even (if you're lucky) the "I don't give a damn" found there.
Philip Johnson produced an interesting late period, and he did change 'styles' with every new project, yet his overall style has always been reenactionary architecturism.

2008.04.14
Eisenman's six point plan
Point five: We are in a period of late style
Edward Said in his book On Late Style describes lateness as a moment in time when there are no new paradigms or ideological, cultural, political conditions that cause significant change. Lateness can be understood as a historical moment which may contain the possibilities of a new future paradigm.
For example there were reasons in the late 19th century for architecture to change. These included changes in psychology introduced by Freud; in physics by Einstein; in mathematics with Heisenberg; and in flight with the Wright brothers. These changes caused a reaction against the Victorian and imperial styles of the period and articulated a new paradigm: modernism.
With each new paradigm, whether it is the French revolution or the Renaissance, there is an early phase, which in modernism was from 1914-1939; a high phase, which in modernism occurred 1954-1968 when it was consumed by liberal capital after the war; and a period of opposition. The year 1968 saw an internal, implosive revolution, one that reacted against institutions representing the cultural past of many of the western societies. This was followed by post modernism’s eclectic return to a language that seemed to have meaning. The Deconstructivist exhibition at the MoMA in 1988 put an end to this cliché and kitsch style.
Today I say we are in a period of late style. A period in which there is no new paradigm. Computation and the visual may produce a shift from the notational but this in itself is not a new paradigm. It is merely a tool. The question remains: What happens when one reaches the end of a historical cycle? On Late Style by Edward Said describes such a moment in culture before a shift to a new paradigm. A moment not of fate or hopelessness but one that contains a possibility of looking at a great style for the possibility of the new and the transformative. He uses as an example Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, written at the end of Beethoven’s career. This was the composer’s response to the seeming impossibility of innovation. Instead Beethoven wrote a piece that was difficult, even anarchic, that could not be easily understood and was outside of his characteristic and known style. Beethoven’s later work is an example of the complexity ambivalence, and the “undecidability” that characterises a late style.

2008.04.28 10:28
the state of drawing in education
"The third phase is distinguished from the second only because in the later period the number of partial images is increased as much as possible to create the effect of infinitely more images."
Frankl, Principles of Architectural History, p. 152.


2008.05.15 07:49
Eisenman's six point plan
Eisenman's points/arguments here are either flawed in logic, sentimental, academic, or self-serving. For example, "students are passive," yet the students described here are actually protesting. In terms of practice, deconstruction is one of architecture's most obscure styles and 'post-modernism' is still what the vast majority of architects do. Part of what's historically playing out now is Le Corbusier's late style and Kahn's early 'planning' style.
Anyone else love watching Boston Legal. Now there's a style architecture would do well to emulate.


2008.05.16 11:09
The Official Paradigm Shift thread
"For example there were reasons in the late 19th century for architecture to change. These included changes in psychology introduced by Freud; in physics by Einstein; in mathematics with Heisenberg; and in flight with the Wright brothers. These changes caused a reaction against the Victorian and imperial styles of the period and articulated a new paradigm: modernism."
What the physics of Einstein, the mathematics of Heisenberg and the flight of the Wright brothers changed much more than architecture was warfare. [Freud basically applied the Christian notion of divine trinity being to the human psyche, thus helping humans to see themselves (and even Freud himself) as more Christian god-like.]
"With each new paradigm, whether it is the French revolution or the Renaissance, there is an early phase, which in modernism was from 1914-1939; a high phase, which in modernism occurred 1954-1968 when it was consumed by liberal capital after the war; and a period of opposition. The year 1968 saw an internal, implosive revolution, one that reacted against institutions representing the cultural past of many of the western societies. This was followed by post modernism's eclectic return to a language that seemed to have meaning. The Deconstructivist exhibition at the MoMA in 1988 put an end to this cliché and kitsch style."
First off, I wonder what the early, high and post-modern phases of the French Revolution are.
Note how modernism (as described here) does not have a phase between 1939 and 1954, i.e., during WWII and its aftermath. It looks like WWI and WWII and even the Vietnam War had a far greater effect on modernism than anything else.
So what does "war" look like in the world of architecture? Maybe, just maybe, it looks like a complete inversion of all of the above. (Like I said already, paradigm shifts require a lot of work.)

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