Four notes on meaning
1. In 1974 , the American architect Gordon Matta- Clark armed with a chainsaw, a mason and a monkey face shield , cut into two halves an empty house in suburban New Jersey near New York. The crack of light that causes this action , revitalizes stays while mortally wounds the sacred myth of the house.
His work – as a kind of prop that interrupts agip – induced habits in the urban masses – will be reflected by similar actions in other abandoned or disused buildings located in Europe and America. For example , Whole House in Genoa (1973 ) , Bingo in Niagara Falls ( 1974) , Day ‘s End at the port of New York (1975 ) , Cronical Intersect in Les Halles in Paris ( 1975) , Office Baroque in Antwerp (1977 ) or Caribbean Circus Orange in Chicago (1978).
Matta -Clark working on pre – existing structures, opening , cutting and grinding up waste architectures found in socially covert , an expression of the ” lively and tender relationship between the vacuum and the surface ” hidden layers. Their work unravels hidden meanings and invokes undo the negative dialectic , in clear contrast to the usual work of the architect and creator of the containment and space closure.
In an article entitled The Art and the Sacred, Eugenio Trias reveals the crucial role it plays in the meaning Anarchitecture Matta -Clark :
” Critical deconstruction advertised as what it is, in fact and in law, an enlightened sense autopsy was wrong. Would be erroneous and reductive record in terms of modernity epigonal nihilistic postmodernism or the ferocious looting of all pseudosacralidad to Matta- Clark submit your environment so you can sprout in the air of transparency in a new way by which the world may be recreated rescued . “
Two . Suppose the uncertainty that characterizes our time stems from a finding that the collective consciousness of the symbolic resources tires. That would be the result of wear corrosion wrought by instrumental reason , increasingly, our lives determined by free market imperatives , financial power and social control. We could say that Hannah Arendt “The aim has become the contents of the plea, and high utility generates meaning meaninglessness .”
Moreover, in the contemporary world is constantly appeals to science and technology as supreme and legitimate authority. However, there is growing suspicion of its inability to generate vital cultural values and ultimate ends .
What is the origin of this paradox ? If we go back to the beginning, we note that the Enlightenment project was characterized by an irreversible process of disenchantment of the world picture , ie secularization or destruction of myths by way of reason. It is true , then , modern not renounced the sky as a symbol of transcendence , but rather moved from atop the cosmos to the relatively near future.
But with the crisis of modernity and especially after World War II , the meta- narratives that had given meaning to the experience of the last two centuries , are uncovered unsustainable over the proliferation of knowledge and the increasing complexity of life . And today, as never immersed in the most unexpected and rapid technological advances, we are, however, puzzled by the uncertainty of the future and the growing ontological insecurity . These instability factors seem to have definitely moved the myth of progress .
Authors like Anthony Giddens and Eduardo Sabrovsky speak of a present time living as modern radical transformation in modernity becomes self-conscious and thus exacerbated . Or in other words , becomes a currency that focuses its corrosive powers against itself , since it has accomplished its essential task of dissolution of myths. This cannibalistic dynamics vanish one after another all the meanings that have been the foundation for culture and modern life.
At the same time the propensity for recurrence appears to induce a feeling of exhaustion . In the cultural scene proliferate countless interpretations of the ” previous ” and multiple glances preceding more or less distant times. Commemorations , reissues , ancient versions , celebrations, reviews and anthologies abound. We live in a world that, thanks to the technology available repeated to infinity , as in a quarter – mirrors the layout of its own image.
And in this frantic circularity , there is no confidence in the ability of symbolic resources to translate the language a human scale of events and things to .
Three . In the late sixties and early seventies, when Gordon Matta- Clark carried out his heroic actions , another American architect Robert Venturi called throwing his innovative ideas about the complexity and contradiction in architecture.
The work of Matta -Clark and Venturi Scott Brown & Ass . , Agreed to be the modern successors reviews opened while controversial fields of significance for architecture in his day project. Matta -Clark was using architecture as a powerful means of communication to reveal hidden interests and feelings of society. Venturi , however , from a new interpretation of the way through the story , breaking conventions, a virtuous , educated and thoughtful play, reinventing the syntax and meaning of architectural language.
Both architects found in American suburban home the first object of their work. Both at home Vanna Venturi Venturi ( 1962-1964 ) , as in the work of Matta -Clark Splitting (1974 ) -which at the beginning of these notes we mentioned – total excision divides the house from top to bottom into two fragments . This open gap in domestic architecture symbolizes the crisis in the American dream. As radical gesture denotes loss of confidence in the sacred family unit that existed back in the seventies. THE party of the gateway in the home of Venturi pediment is not a clean cut. The architect himself points as in this complex crack “three tiers juxtaposed apertures of different size and position ” , reflecting the internal struggle home and holding the ladder to occupy a nonexistent center .
In both projects the review found both determined to architectural conventions as the proclamation of open solutions to new meanings . The wound home, away and Platonic idealism of rationalist architecture , is the expression of society that lives in conflict .
April . ” We must raise new values set ourselves last and set rules for purposes of measurement .” With these words proclaimed Mies van der Rohe , as above all and at all times is essential, ” give the spirit a chance to exist.” Well, ” even though the architecture depends on your circumstances, your true field of action is in the field of meanings. “
Far from those aspirations , architecture today in most cases, is characterized by banal rhetorical uses and reappropriation of the best architectural culture of the twentieth century. Consequently, and without exception, we are witnessing the proliferation of an approved and empty symbolic content architecture.
A certain climate catastrophe and helplessness that is the consequence of living in a “symbolic empty ” unprecedented perceived in the environment.
However, to recover the exciting feeling of living and struggling with a future project and listening heartbeat of the universe, you need to think against reality, pragmatism over while immersed in the tensions of our time.
Hanna Arendt ‘s words are enlightening when he says, ” the only living project is being built in the emerging space man.”