Friday, 20 January 2012

defining (again)

Turning conceptual ideas into visual spaces.
Aggressive architecture.

For my project, inspiration comes from city's once imagined utopia, an agenda of the post-war period which over  time and through generations led society into a moral breakdown. Buildings which once provided home for less fortunate families as a hope for a brighter future now turned into self-defending terittories with its own rules. Self-invented territories and (de)privation of spaces  goes along with certain illegal/morally intolerant activities.
Today, an estate homes became a live sign of political and social control failure. Many council estate areas has developed in opposition to the wealthy Victorian style housing- historic buildings appreciated as an architectural masterpieces. Many places are differing from council to Victorian buildings as close as on the same street. With such a  moral, social, political and economical gap between different agendas and aiming of the buildings there started to develop self-insecurity, territorialism and understanding of moral values changed between people. Difference between the buildings (it became result of political issues within society) led into visible identification of wealth status. All of these differences became an affect of inner issues between politics and people, government and its views towards society and so on. As an interest for myself, one of the main things that this difference gap provided- was a stereotypical views towards certain areas and housing, its' associations with person's mental status being at the place. Precocious assumptions of feelings being in the place.
As a starting point I've looked at tribes and post code wars as a reference of self defencing territory and its' society's behaviour.
An idea I'm developing is that the buildings (as a result of fallen society, politics, rules) is the representation of it's inhabitants, and inhabitants is representation of the society and it's issues. I want to illustrate this invisible gap, border between differing places. Sometimes the invisible energy of the place changes imediatly, from feeling secure to insecure, from frightened to relaxed, and I do feel that to me it is the conceptual borders deviding the space. Just like tribes got their zones, this is my representation of differing places.

"Anthropologist Elman Service presented a system of classification for societies in all human cultures based on the evolution of social inequality and the role of the state. This system of classification contains four categories:
Gatherer-hunter bands, which are generally egalitarian.
Tribal societies in which there are some limited instances of social rank and prestige (see Chiefdom).
Stratified tribal societies led by chieftains.
Civilizations, with complex social hierarchies and organized, institutional governments."

"Guns don't kill people- people do"

"Guns don't kill people- people do" ( Wayne LaPierre)

This quote made me think about the subject in relation to architecture and issues of society that I'm provocing to overlook through conceptual thinking towards architecture. Just as in this quote, gun becomes a tool for further action to happen, shoot is a force of human's mentality. So perhaps in architecture, buildings, surroundings becomes a tool for mentality? Is surroundings of everyday life becomes a starting point for mental perceiving? or is it result of irresponsibility, self inconfidence and lack of morals?

Questions in relation to the project- how to link postal gangs and idea of mental borders existing depending on post codes with buildings? Do I take a new path for the project and aim to understand postal gangs even in more depth or do I take an idea, notion of division and relate it to buildings?

Naum Gabo

Naum Gabo born Naum Neemia Pevsner (5 August [O.S. 24 July] 1890 – 23 August 1977)
 Gabo grew up in a Jewish family of six children in the provincial Russian town of Bryansk, where his father owned a factory. His older brother was fellow Constructivist artist Antoine Pevsner.
After the outbreak of war, Gabo moved first to Copenhagen then Oslo with his older brother Alexei, making his first constructions under the name Naum Gabo in 1915. These earliest constructions originally in cardboard or wood were figurative such as the Head No.2 in the Tate collection. He moved back to Russia in 1917, to become involved in politics and art, spending five years in Moscow with his brother Antoine.
 During this period the reliefs and construction became more geometric and Gabo began to experiment with kinetic sculpture though the majority of the work was lost or destroyed. Gabo's designs had become increasingly monumental but there was little opportunity to apply them commenting 'It was the height of civil war, hunger and disorder in Russia. To find any part of machinery … was next to impossible'. Gabo wrote and issued jointly with Antoine Pevsner in August 1920 a 'Realistic Manifesto' proclaiming the tenets of pure Constructivism - the first time that the term was used. In the manifesto Gabo criticised Cubism and Futurism as not becoming fully abstract arts and stated that the spiritual experience was the root of artistic production.

 The essence of Gabo's art was the exploration of space which he believed could be done without having to depict mass. His earliest constructions such as Head No.2 were formal experiments in depicting the volume of a figure without carrying its mass. Gabo's other concern as described in the Realist Manifesto was that art needed to exist actively in four dimensions including time.

Gabo’s vision is imaginative and passionate, over the years his exhibitions have generated immense enthusiasm because of the emotional power present in his sculpture. Gabo said of his own sculpture that he himself was “making images to communicate my feelings of the world.” In his work, Gabo used time and space as construction elements and in them solid matter unfolds and becomes beautifully surreal and otherworldly. His sculptures initiate a connection between what is tangible and intangible, between what is simplistic in its reality and the unlimited possibilities of intuitive imagination. Imaginative as Gabo was, his practicality lent itself to the conception and production of his works. He devised systems of construction which were not only used for his elegantly elaborate sculptures but were viable for architecture as well. He was also innovative in his works, using a wide variety of materials including the earliest plastics, fishing line, bronze, sheets of Perspex, and boulders. He sometimes even used motors to move the sculpture.

Caroline Collier, an authority on Gabo’s work, said, “The real stuff of Gabo’s art is not his physical materials, but his perception of space, time and movement. In the calmness at the ‘still centre’ of even his smallest works, we sense the vastness of space, the enormity of his conception, time as continuous growth.” In fact, the element of movement in Gabo’s sculpture is connected to a strong rhythm, more implicit and deeper than the chaotic patterns of life itself. The exactness of form leads the viewer to imagine journeying into, through, over and around his sculptures.

Gabo had lived through a revolution and two world wars; he was also Jewish and had fled Nazi Germany. Gabo’s acute awareness of turmoil sought out solace in the peacefulness that was so fully realized in his “ideal” art forms. It was in his sculpture that he evaded all the chaos, violence, and despair he had survived. Gabo chose to look past all that was dark in his life, creating sculptures that though fragile are balanced so as to give us a sense of the constructions delicately holding turmoil at bay.

For a little wired inspiration...

Daniel Libeskind

His vision of architecture:
He decided to become one of the representatives of past, wanting to show to the world the horror of his history while integrating into these exhibitions a new hope, a will to make better tomorrow than yesterday, to understand the past, and to assimilate it. He does not want to make architecture meaningless which contents itself with its harmonious forms, he prefers to give a strong message, and he wants to cause an impact on the visitors. According to him, human existence is broken with so much violence so the structure of the life remains forever twisted and upset. We find this state of mind in the way he designs its buildings with deconstructivist shapes. Many critics say that he is a deconstructivist, but Libeskind likes to thinks that he is a contemporary architect and that he works with his time.
He opposes to Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius in their idea that buildings must be neutral. He does not want to surround himself with neutral buildings; he prefers to face the history complexity and disorder of the reality. He wants to feel in the building a soul, a memory, a sense. At the beginning of every project, he tries to perceive the " essence of the site " He wants to create buildings, which respect and reflect the story of the place, the location, or the story of the building, which were here before; he wants his building to spread emotion to the people who will run over it. The emotions he wants to arouse have to testify a past, history, an understanding and a respect of what bring us here. He says that his memorials are not for the dead but for the living.