Sunday, November 18, 2007

This begins here.

The new modernism is the historicism of the modern, the re-description of modernity not as an ideal but merely as the sensibility of the present. Dan Graham was the first to do this in architecture as an artist fascinated by (or obsessed with) our emotional responses to the experience of living within systems of ordered design. His twin interests were architecture and film so you see the connection. But what began as the replication of modern form as dystopian anti-ideal is being stretched into something other.
How do you finally kill off the memory of an overpowering father figure? If you're weak you copy him, if you're a little stronger you mock him, but to escape you write his biography. Transforming idealism into narrative, narrative wins and so do you.
It's easy to recognize if you pay attention to history, or if you never had any to begin with. In NY as in academia history is passe; LA has the advantage since they don't even know what it is.

Gehry's from the west coast, and Graham's worked mostly in Europe (where whether they like it or not they remember).
It makes sense that the design firm mentioned in the article has offices in Berlin, Beijing and L.A.

I'm going back to Beijing in the spring.
One of the regrets of my life that I didn't.

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