ruminations about architecture and design

Friday, September 18, 2015

the reality of art

"Whichever technique he chooses, the architect's function is to propose a way of life...."

Thus spake British architect Peter Smithson. He designed the above--a fitting tribute to the corrupt awfulness of English culture. That the British managed to achieve the nadir of modern architecture is not much of a surprise.

What towers of ilium would like to dwell on here is not the absence of warmth or beauty in this blasted heath of an urban courtyard, but on the truth of Smithson's claim. All art is totalitarian and all artists are dictators. The stroke of the brush, the tap of the chisel, the mark of the pen, and the line on the computer are all authoritarian gestures.

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