Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rem's Cadavre Exquis

Cadavre Exquis, Figure (1928) André Breton,
Max Morise, Jeannette Ducrocq Tanguy,
Pierre Naville, Benjamin Péret, Yves Tanguy,
Jacques Prévert. (the MoMA Collection)
Le Corbusier, Ungers, Ferriss, Leonidov, Mies, Dali Vasari,... Rem embodies all of them, randomly, alternately or at the same time, in an unique, Surrealist and Mannerist "Grande Figure".

Following the invitation, quite unexpected, to join the very select Dark Side Club (*) in Venice during the vernissage of the 14th international architecture exhibition, I had the honor to attend a special meeting, and to live the emergence of a controversy surrounding Fundamentals, although many other topics were discussed that evening.
I would like my following thoughts may join (and continue) the discussion initiated this time by François Roche and Antonino Saggio, and extend therefore the controversy surrounding the theme chosen by Rem Koolhaas Fundamentals because simply, it's worth it. Many other talents (Patrick Schumacher, Aaron Betsky, ...) were present in the Salon and spoke on this issue. The meeting was moderated by Winy Maas.
Inputs, Elements of Architecture.
Antonino Saggio said >here that architecture is a body.
I would say, implicitly understood, a body and not an assemblage of members (as parts of a body).
In fact, for me, a corpse.
François Roche talks about obscenity >here, I conclude, more about that “disassembled body”.
I would say rather deconstructed, dissected.
Outputs, Fundamentals.
From my point of view, which was shown at this exhibition and specifically that relating to Elements of Architecture is actually probably a "corpse" of architecture, but it is certainly an exquisite corpse.

Escalator / Elements of Architecture
14th International Architecture Exhibition
Central Pavilion / Photo: Nacym Baghli
Between "obscenity" proclaimed by François Roche, and the "corpse" implied by Antonino Saggio, rather I dare say that this is "the obscenity of the exquisite corpse" and that was masterfully offered (to us) at the central pavilion: Rem's Cadavre Exquis.
Obscenity in the demonstrative sense.
Exquisite in both senses of the word:
Exquisite as imagined by the Surrealists with this assembly and sequencing unlikely "members" in a comprehensive sense which ultimately is almost perfect even if it relates apparently to chaotic processes.
Exquisite, literally, by the beauty of "members" exposed such as a retroactive dissection of modern history of architecture, until its (total) absorption.
Finnally, when Peter Eisenmann said that Rem states his end with Fundamentals >here, I would like to answer that Rem is stating here an end, for sure, but the end of maybe architecture? (as Edwin Heathcote wrote in FT >here) and I would add, in a such dramatical and theatrical way, by sacrifying his own body (le cadavre exquis) on the altar of modernity. Terribilità.

There will be definitely, in this brilliant Final Act, a before and an after Fundamentals.

(*) Many thanks to François Roche & Robert White for the kind invitation.