Thanksgiving Day 1999
In the midst of all this, we found ourselves talking about Thanksgiving Day in the USA (actually it was Thanksgiving Day, but we were in Brussels), and it quickly dawned on Eleni Gigantes that Thanksgiving Day is a huge reenactment (if not the biggest reenactment within the United States).
One of the last events of my trip to Brussels, Belgium was a Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday night, 27 November, hosted by Elia Zenghelis and Eleni Gigantes. About half of the guests were some of the participants of INSIDE DENSITY. During dinner I sat next to Mark Wigley, and across from Mark sat Hilde Heynen, and across from me sat Eleni Kostika, and next to Eleni Kostika sat Tom Avermaete. Most recently, Tom Avermaete moderated the "Elements of Architecture" event last friday in Rotterdam.
"And we become these human jukeboxes spilling out these anecdotes." --Six Degrees of Separation
Your Ignorance is Inexcusable
"It is no accident that the New in the arts always announces itself in the guise of a revival, Hadid's career starts with the reinterpretation of Malevich's Teltonik, and her early work has indeed been (mis-)understood as neo-Constructivism. In a similar fashion, Peter Eisenman is said to take off from early Le Corbusier and Terragni. Revivalist appropriation is the easiest and most immediate option to articulate dissatisfaction and resistance towards a dominant practice. However, this has nothing to do with repetition. For instance, to pick up the unfinished projects of modernism on the back of postmodernism cannot be simple re-enactment, even if one initially works with direct citations."
Patrik Schumacher, "Mechanism of Radical Innovation" in Zaha Hadid Complete Works: Texts and References, p. 65.
Is there even such a thing as simple reenactment?
Your Ignorance is Inexcusable
pastiche 1 : a dramatic, literary, or musical piece openly imitating the previous works of other artists, often with satirical intent 2 : a pasticcio of incongruous parts; a hodgepodge
Reenactment and pastiche are not the same thing.
Reenactment, as a historiographic methodology, involves an imitation of the source event in order to better understand the source event and then learn from there. Reenactment as a design methodology works the same way.
Disney-fication is pastiche 1 without the satire.
Contemporary avant garde architecture in virtually any established setting unwittingly generates pastiche 2.
"Perhaps reenactments then are always a play with degrees of separation, sometimes seeing how close one can get to the 'original' and/or sometimes seeing how far one can stretch the 'truth', to name the extreme cases."
Last week my neighbor Susan told me she was having her late sister's family over for Thanksgiving, and taking the little ones to see the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade for their first time. Two nights ago, as we were both putting our trash out, I told Susan there's going to be a bicycle-built-for-twelve in the parade.
"Are you going to be on it!?"
"No, but my cousin George will probably be at the front of the bike."
"Oh good, we'll have to yell out 'Hey George' and he'll be like who the hell are those people."
"Perfect, a new game called less than six degrees of separation."