Corrected Reality

Chapel of the Resurrection, Skogskyrkogården, Stockholm 1936. Sigurd Lewerentz architect.

"Belonging to or identifying oneself with a religious body in America today certainly does not mean that one thereby takes over the traditional Christian values of tolerance brotherhood, and equality. On the contrary, it appears that these values are more firmly held by people who do not affiliate with any religious group." The Authoritarian Personality (Adorno et al). "It seems that Lewerentz was at various times leading and directed by this melancholia, and all that is inherent in its meaning. This fact became most explicit at Lewerentz’s Resurrection Chapel at Woodland Cemetery in Stockholm. The pure starkness of the form is anchored in the studied geometry of the golden section, … [Read more...]

Missing

Olivio Barbieri, photography.

"If before the 1970s (roughly speaking) buildings were primarily regarded as (public) expenditure, after the 1970s buildings became mostly a means of revenue - which fact ironically only contributed to further downward pressure on construction budgets. Once discovered as a form of capital, there is no choice for buildings but to operate according to the logic of capital. In that sense there may ultimately be no such thing as Modern or Postmodern architecture, but simply architecture before and after its annexation by capital." Rainier de Graaf "Every generation must build its own city." Antonio Sant'Elia Futurist Manifesto "Everyday to battle the weight of increasing … [Read more...]

A Reverie on Southern California

Mexican retablo, 1935. "Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos". (Andreas Praefcke, photo).

"Men relate to each other, but they do not see each other." Max Horkheimer "Our unconscious has as little use now as it ever had for the idea of its own mortality." Sigmund Freud The notion of exile has shadowed much of 20th and 21st century history. The resonance of exile, though, is predicated on a genuine sense of home, of that place from which one is sent into exile. I was struck recently, as I sat in our cabin here in central west Norway, when I looked at two photographs of California. One was just a snapshot of Los Angeles, K-town, at twilight, and the other was just a real estate photo of a nice mid century house located out in the further reaches of the San … [Read more...]

Magical Thinking

James Casebere

"It was a civilization in which the invisible prevailed over the visible. Like few others, it was liable to be misunderstood. There is no point looking for help from historical events, since there is no trace of them. Only texts remain." Roberto Calasso On Vedic India "If there is one point of which we may be absolutely sure, it is that graphism did not begin with naive representations of reality but with abstraction." Andre Leroi-Gourhan "Concentration camps are a key to all these things. In the society we live in all work is like the work in the camps." Adorno "Originally, the position of man is like that of a dog you want to train. He would like to return to an earlier state … [Read more...]

The Horizon

Jonathan Charles, photography.

"Symbolic violence consists then properly speaking in the production of a double imaginary of fulfilment, which makes the humble joys to which the dominated are assigned appear sufficient, and the imaginary of powerlessness, which convinces them to renounce any greater ones to which they might aspire." Frederic Lordon "When you give a needy person something, smile at him and be aware that it is you who are indebted to him, for he accepts a little from you for which you receive a reward worth more than the whole world." Imam Abdallah Ibn Alawi Al-Haddad The Book of Assistance "The progressive historical role of capitalism may be summed up in two brief propositions: increase in the … [Read more...]

Post Reality

Laurent Millet

"I maintain that we need to return to the question of aesthetics, particularly regarding its connection with the question of politics, in an appeal to the art-world to recover a political understanding of its role. {...} Obviously I do not mean artists should become politically 'engaged'. I mean their work is 'originally engaged' in the question of the sensibility of the other. {...} I believe, however, that aesthetic ambition today has largely collapsed. And this is because a huge proportion of the population is totally subjected to the aesthetic conditioning of marketing, now hegemonic for the vast majority of the world, and is therefore estranged from any experience of aesthetic … [Read more...]

The Incarcerated Mind

Thoralf Knobloch

"{The} analysis of violence should be limited to demystifying the contradiction between custody and rehabilitation, so basic to asylums and prisons." Franco Basaglia "Adorno's philosophy took shape in dread recognition of the reversion of society to the primitive, a dynamic form which he only with luck preserved his own life. The problem that marks the center and circumference of his thought was the effort to comprehend and perhaps even circumvent this logic of progress as regression. Without a doubt the preeminent reason that his work must now be of vital concern in the United States is for what precisely can be learned from it in a nation that has so palpably entered primitive times. … [Read more...]

Anti Allegory

Barnett Newman. 1970.

"The essence of capitalism is to turn nature into commodities and commodities into capital. The live green earth is transformed into dead gold bricks, with luxury items for the few and toxic slag heaps for the many. The glittering mansion overlooks a vast sprawl of shanty towns, wherein a desperate, demoralized humanity is kept in line with drugs, television, and armed force.” Michael Parenti "The suppression of the sexual activity of children and teenagers is the basic mechanism which produces the characterial structures adapted to political, ideological, economic control...The repression of natural sexuality in the child, particularly of the genitality, makes the child apprehensive, … [Read more...]