Saturday, February 14, 2009

ATMOSPHERE

If it's not modern furniture, then it's architecture that my sister wishes to see while in Denmark in the weekend. "Let's see a fun building today," she said, so we went to Malmö to see Santiago Calatrava's Turning Torso. While going around it, I was reminded of some of the statements that Calatrava always makes to the press in which he emphasizes the mystical quality of architecture. Some of his key concepts are: slender transparency, atmospheric poetry, sculptural design, noiseless signals, and the like. I'm beginning to think that religious feeling, like philosophy begins in medias res. There is a boundlessness in both which approaches the thought of infinity. This thought, while going somewhere, starts with nothing and from nowhere; it is in the middle of things, as it were. Indebted to the Romanian modernist sculptor, Constantin Brancusi, and whose Infinity Column inspired a host of artists, Calatrava sees his own works as the works of a wizard. I felt touched by his wand, yet where the desire to articulate elegant thoughts about this feeling is concerned, it was Brancusi's ghost that spiraled my torso. In turning to formal infinity via fantastic sensuality there is always the question of what we believe, how we believe it, and to what extent. Here's some Brancusi wisdom for you all:

"Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

"What is real is not the external form, but the essence of things. . . it is impossible for anyone to express anything essentially real by imitating its exterior surface."

"The people who call my work 'abstract' are imbeciles. . . what they call 'abstract' is in fact the purest realism, the reality of which is not represented by external form but by the idea behind it, the essence of the work."

"To see far is one thing, going there is another."

"Don't look for obscure formulas or mystery in my work. It is pure joy that I offer you. Look at my sculptures until you see them. Those closest to God have seen them."



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