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August 10, 2007

The Anti-Gehry?

Picketing Henry Ford

Stuart Schrader picks up where Norman Oder left off with Nicolai Ouroussoff's profile of Àlvaro Siza, which contrasted the Portuguese architect's work with that of Post-modern international starchitects like Frank Gehry. bilbao_town.jpg

Discussing a current museum project in Brazil, where Siza’s father was born, Ouroussoff writes “Ultimately the passageways are yet again a way of drawing out the time spent in thought, allowing us to absorb more fully what we have just experienced. In a way the are Mr. Siza’s rejoinder to the ruthless pace of globabl consumerism.” Generalizing, he continues, “In that respect the building echoes projects by a sprinkling of architects who are seemingly in revolt against he psychic damage wrought by a relentless barrage of marketing images.”

NoLandGrab: This highlighted passage brings to mind Gehry's plan to turn the façade, ceiling and floor of the arena into spectacular animated billboards.

Gehry’s Bilbao, and Atlantic Yards to an even greater degree, represent a return to the faith in technology in an encounter not with a benefactor’s faith in liberal democracy but in the financial derivative, speculative capital, the offshore tax shelter, the destabilized currency. It is not a faith in openness, nor does it value formal transparency as Modernist architecture did. Rather, it is a paranoid faith in cloistering, secrecy, and hidden economistic decision making. It is a belief that the opposition can be bought and that their social concerns have a price that can be calculated, and met, if not capitalized on as risk.


Posted by lumi at August 10, 2007 10:13 AM