Following on from the idea in my previous post of how even scaffolding can take on social and cultural implications if it is placed in the context of the language of the streetscape – I now want to look at DESIGNING a language for the blocks. The blocks are a Djordjefication of London – they are not neutral – but they are the base around which I am designing a language that can relate to culture in the city.
I think a major part of this language can be the idea of the blocks as an art[chitectural] movement. Some thoughts are below.
From interview with Rachel Whiteread on House:
“It is like making a building within a building. There would be just this rather strange kind of concrete object standing in the middle of the park that people would come sit and look at, but then it was knocked down. It’s a shame that it didn’t have a chance to become invisible like the Architecture becomes invisible. It did have that fight for life and now its a park with closed gates and people sort of throwing their dogs over the fence to have a shit in there. That’s sort of what that place is now and it’s kind of ridiculous, it is really ridiculous. There are probably few countries in the world that would do that to the art work that had been such a success in many ways.”
I came across an art movement called Concrete Art:
“A term coined by Dutch artist and architect Theo van Doesburg in 1930 to describe abstract art based on mathematic or scientific principles, the visual expression of which was an emphasis on planes and color. Concrete Art has since been associated with other schools of abstraction that spurned expression or gesture, such as the Bauhaus and Constructivism. Later to be called “cold abstraction,” this style was often criticized for its transcendental bent and failure to confront the world. Lucio Fontana, for example, though associated briefly with the Italian Movimento Arte Concreta (M.A.C.), ultimately found his practice to be at odds with the “sterile and empty” formalism of this tendency. A central concept in much of Concrete Art was the idea of “real space,” which was further explored in its Latin American iterations like Arte Concreto-Invención, Arte Madí and the Grupo Neoconcreto. After flourishing for some 20 years, by the 1950s the cerebral concerns of this art—its exploration of pure form and universal principles—were being eclipsed by the more expressive gestural abstraction coming out of the New York School and the School of Paris.”
I am now working on elements through which I will design the language for the blocks.