mardi 27 mai 2014

Concrete North Americana

I don’t think that damning indictments of the “By Jove! Ain’t concrete ugly and what a corrosively effective observation on contemporary mainstream urbanism!” variety are very interesting. Strip malls, that most North American of plagues, are ugly. The hysterical jumble of concrete of this city is soul destroying. That diagnosis can be dished out in 5 seconds flat and is neither remarkable nor engaging. What is engaging and artistically real is, taking it as obvious that these surroundings are dead and stifling and adhere so closely, almost to the point of transcendence, to “form ever follows function”, that they still have, or that through them or in spite of them, we still have, the capacity for evoking something else – a strange, coarse appeal; prosaic poetry; an improbable, absurd setting for life - that very thing that can be neither solid nor useful nor convenient, that has no price tag and defies the very logic of the drive-thru.

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