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architecture

Arata Isozaki "Arata Isozaki's Thinking"

Arata Isozaki left quite a lot of essays and books. If architecture is a thinking process and a construction utilizing the language of Architecture, the methods of describing its articulation process are not confined only to thosee presentational methods such as the architectural drawing, modeling and diagraming, but also open to another language of 'writing' to translate back the concept and intention in subjective (or objective ) manner. There would be a gap between the architectural language and the writing in words, but it is also the important operation to re-describe the realized architecture through the objective, social and cultural point of views that come into the 'gap.' That approach opens the boundary of architecture to the inter-disciplinary communication, in order to step forward beyond the established architectural language.

"Arata Isozaki's thinking" is more of an essay written to be read by those outside of the architecture field, rathern than architectural theory to be contained within the architecture field only.

Last year, we received the news of two master architects death, of whom led the modern architecture---Philipe Johnson of the United States, and Kenzo Tange of Japan. Arata Isozaki presents some of his personal relationship between them, and tells the meaning of their roles in modernism.

"-----Philip Jhonson had a quite complex life, and his attitude toward the architecture was strongly reflected on his design--he was an indivisual with elaborate personality. The one who introduced the birth of modern architecture movement occuring earlier in Europe to the United States was Jhonson.
He himself was destined to be an alien figure. He fell into the fascism and worshiped Nazis, as its result he served in the invasion of Nazis to Poland. He also publicly announced as a gay, and promoted a circle of sect among architecture and art field. He interpreted himslef and took in those coming and going architectural trends into his design as if he was playing with those. Ironically, he retained his influence within the architectural front of the US for a long time very because of that reason"

Isozaki looks upon the life of Johnson illuminated with a bright light and dark shadow, with the viewpoint of yin and yan.
The work that strongly impacted his existence to the architecture world was his debut work, the "Glass House." It has been often compared to the work of Mies van der Rhoe who also sought for the architecture of glass and steel--such as "Fansworth House." Both building stands within a clump of trees, especially the "Glass House" stands within the spectacular scenery of imaginary "Arcadia" as Dante described.
20050928151315.jpg
(Click to enlarge)"The Glass House", Philip Johnson
Isozaki saw a painting of Nicolas Pussin on an easel in the Glass House. Pussin is well known for his picturesque imaginery scenery of Arcadia, and his picture often includes classical folley within a pastoralised scenery. After Johnson built the Glass House, he had designed and built a series of folley-like small buildings within the field around the Glass House, often following the trend of the time.

Johnson grew up in a wealthy family, and although he sold many of his family collection, he left the painting of Pussin and put on his bedside. Interesting thing is that he knew the painting was fake after he had asked for professional authentification.
After visiting the Glass House for several times, Isozaki noticed with a detail of the painting describing a few men shouldering out a coffin on the bottom left hand corner. There is no death in Arcadia. Or in other words, the sign of death is wiped out without noticing. Johnson had hung such painting on his bedside throughout his life, while he kept designing those building of his tastes one by one within the field in front of his Glass House--as if he built up his own Arcadia scenery.
Isozaki tells that this episode strongly reflects the way of Johnson's life and his ideas. He designed the "Glass House," which can not be said as a copy but Johnson obviously borrowed the concept of "Fansworth House"---the "Glass House" as a "fake." The transparent house, open to the picturesque (not natural) scenery, built in glass and steel----as if it is an ironic illustration of the traditional, historical stone cities of Europe demolished within the war. And the painting hung in the Glass House, describing the Arcadian image and its hidden darkness-----there Isozaki sees the cleary different imaginery scenery of Johnson and his view of the world, from the blight, futuristic image of Utopia that modern architecture sought for.


In the course of Western architecture, the tradition and forms have been taken over to the coming generation to produce the next. It is the same even for the case of the modern architecture, which seems to appear as a mutation. It is an unproductive debate to try finding "originality" within such confined and limited time. The modern architecture movement also refferenced to the past orders and history for its development process, as Mies looked closely on Schinkel and Corbusier studied Paradio, but Johnson refferenced Mies of his age as his refference. It reflects a keen sense of Johnson to find the trend and power.
Johnson was the key person who introduced and promoted the modernizing process to the US. MoMA of New York was developed under the planning and direction of Johnson, and the completed building established the movement of "International Style" in the US and provided a stage set to introduce and promote the modern art in the US. (Johnson was destooled from his position because of his fascist activities. However, alghough modernism led the establishment of new world in third countries, other aspects of modernism tried to approach the Russian laborer, social revolution or even to Fascist Itally. Investigation for such aspects of modernism should also be conducted now to understand the concept and ideas of Philip Johnson.
Johnson knew and thought himself as an follower. His approach toward architecture throughout his life reflects such attitude. Therefore he refferenced and copied, while he could express a spicy irony and criticism toward the entire world. Isozaki thinks that Johnson had foreseen the future of modernism, which propagated and multiplied without quality in worldwide scale------


------in the end, I would like to quote an episode from the book to tells the bond between Isozaki and Kenzo Tange. It is a part describing the memory of a photograph taken by Tange, when he participated in the design process of Hiroshima Atomic Bomg Memorial. The photograph captured a site scenery with tombstones.

"The site that now the Hiroshima Piece Memorial stands was a cemetary before. Tange captured the condition by shooting himself. Isozaki, who was still a student at that time, stood on the same position as Tange had stood to shoot the photograph. Isozaki was deeply moved that there is such a job to work on the process of seeing the layered life and death---as the casuality of the bombing and their ancestors are burried on the same ground and location by building up a memorial to commemorate both. Isozaki decided to work under the creator of the photograph"

Such linkage to connect two indivisuals seems to be coincidental but at the same time very deep and strong. Behind that surface transition of the architectural styles, there is a strong linkage that has been taken over from the past to today, layered one by one to form enormous historical background. It does depend on ourself how to approach, how to face it--howeve, we all have the responsibility to take over the past, and hand it to the future. Something will be created in such crossing point.
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photography

Itaro Carvino "Invisible Cities" I

City and memories 3 Zaira

"----to illustrate what is Zaira today includes all the past of Zaira. However, a city does not speak out of its past, its history is hidden and wirtten on every single segments such as a curb stone, a grating of a window, a handrail of a staircase, a lightning rod, a pole of a flag like lines on a palm---and even on the scrabbles, saw marks, chisel marks, hammered marks on them"

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The iron age of Manhattan is left in SOHO. The lined up iron rivets lusted and dulled shows a different kind of beauty from 'refinement.' Those hand blown old glass windows were reflecting distorted images as if they were showing the different images of the city

20060504161119.jpg
The window frame painted over and over is again peeling off. It frames a different time and space inside from the one outside where I stand. Countless number of niches to connect this side and that side are scattered around in the city



City and desire 2 Anastasia

"----A city exists just as a whole, and I think that any kind of deisre should not be lost as we form the part of those desires. Even if we are not participating but the city is blessed with those desires, only thing we can do is to be satisfied with those desires as habitats. A delucive city of Anastasia provides such power, the power which can become damned or blessed one. If we become workers to curve out Lapis lazuli or bead or jade and work eight hours a day, this laber that gives form to desire comes from desire, and if we believe we can receive satisfaction from the whole of Anastasia, the reality is that we are just the slaves of Anastasia"

20060504161105.jpg
An art installation alongside of a SOHO street. The contrast between the iron lines that dicipates in bright light and the lines dimmly illuminated in shadow made me dizzy and took me into a daydream

20060504161215.jpg
Antique clocks captured in a showcase. They have clocked different times for different owners, but now they all show the flow of time overwrapping each other

City and sinage 1 Tamara

"-----finally the journey reached to the city of Tamara, and we go into the street with jumbling sinage on the walls of the houses. Our eyes don't see the object, but the figure of what it means....even if the building does not have sinage or images, its building shape or the position within the order of the city functions the same. Such as an istana, a confine, a mint bureau, a brothel, etc...Even those merchandises sold on the high pitch are not showing the objects themselves but have the values as indications of something else. A framed girdle with needleworks means grace, and a gilded silk drapery means power, a liber of Averoes means wisdom, an anklet wrapped around means unbridled.
Peopel come out of Tamara without knowing what kind of city is there, and what it hides and conseals under the elaborate sinages and figures. Outside of the city spreads out the terrene to the horizen, with wide open sky with floating clouds. Peopel are already absorbed in reading the shape of the clouds produced by chance and wind, trying to see the figure one after another----'that is a sailboat, and that is a hand, and that is an elephant'....."

20060504161135.jpg
Those images growing up into the sky without any interruption seem to be like mirage
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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。