Saturday, May 12, 2012

Anatomy of Melancholy

Selections from the Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton
in-between photos from Drummer magazine
as put together by William E Jones.

Robert Burton was an Oxford scholar (1577-1640), who wrote the Anatomy of Melancholy as a manual for getting over chronic depression.

(published under the pseudonym Democritus Junior in 1621)

Drummer Magazine was "America's mag for the Macho male" published from 1975 until the late 1990s

Poverty and Want, causes of melancholy

 I write of melancholy, by being busy to avoid melancholy. There is no greater cause of melancholy than idleness, no better cure than business.
Melancholy in Disposition,
improperly so called,

[a heavy heart, hatchling in my head]

 Like all men, he was given bad times in which to live

 "Gay magazines originated in the early nineteen fifties from the physique magazines that already ... Well known Drummer Magazine first appeared in 1975."
 [152]———Arcades ambo
Et Cantare pares, et respondere parati.
Both young Arcadians, both alike inspir'd
To sing and answer as the song requir'd.

if I remember correctly, I got this at OMMU

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Thoughts on an exhibition (Domesticated Mountain)

Recently I've been thinking about what it means for an architect to show in a gallery. Or what it means for a artist to present work that is perceived as architecture.

It became clear that the project and the exhibition should overlap. Of course the project was what was being exhibited, but the exhibition should be a project too, perhaps a project that informs the project itself. Almost inevitably, exhibitions are projects.

The main narrative of domesticated mountain takes place inside the video, the vehicle that carries the project, and it is also the object that occupies a spot between art and architecture, if only because it borrows it's form from film.
(but when an art installation is inhabitable, 

and actually a functional room in the space of the gallery, is it still art?)

All the other objects are more or less straightforward art or architecture: a large scale installation and short video fragments seem to be part of the art, and plans, section and model seem to be part of the architecture presented.

if, according to the video, we don't need buildings anymore, are the architectural plans and sections drawings of an un-proposed home? And could we say that they have crossed over to art, since they are not proposals?

Personally I was never interested in the what is what question, because the edges of the field have always been blurry, and writing a blogpost can be as architecture or as art as anything.
Plus, I do sometimes think about whether we indeed need buildings, and whether the only role for architects is to produce more objects, and if that is still a valid role. 

Couldn't it just be wrong to make any more buildings? Aren't we just serving the empire with products that in the end we despise? Doesn't every newly "developed" area just remind us of how scary is our postneoliberal reality? And could buildings play a role other than suspicious development tools for a post-capitalist landscape of perpetual crisis?

Domesticated Mountain
curated by Maria Cristina Didero
Gloria Maria Gallery, Milan