Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Connemara, Jan 31, 2009.
"I'll meet you in the Art Shed in a few minutes honey."
"Concrete art gallery = kind of like prison because prisons are concrete. Get it guiz? " .
The first rule of trolling is to be interesting. No matter how often you float bait in our wake, nobody ever responds because our interest isn't piqued long enough to care. You're just forgettable. Either bring your A game or quit.
The art gallery doesn't make any sense to me: it's located amidst stunning Swiss mountains, and yet the building is entirely windowless. It's skylights produce really excellent light, but would only make sense in an urban or otherwise restricted setting where conventional windows might not be possible or desirable. The lack of windows isn't even the problem per se, it's the lack of any response whatsoever to the truly awesome setting. The whole building just looks fetishistically brutal.
I don't know what the art inside is though -- perhaps knowing that would help me make sense of what seems to be a very pretentious building.
The lighting setup looks quite ingenious to my eye. Look at how well that room is illuminated through very soft lighting provided by the skylights. No uncomfortable spot lights needed.
The main gallery of the Versailles is done in a similar fashion. I suppose when you have candles, oil lamps and the sun to work with you really put some thought into it.
Every concrete structure you have posted here looks like a prison. Apart from your outdoor toilet, which resembled more a zoo enclosure. They're ugly and pretentious, like your manner.
I'm aware that you can make a habitable concrete structure, I posted pics of the Imperial Hotel fer Chrissakes. That I took myself. If I'm ever in the Swiss countryside I don't think I'm going to make a stop to go inside a concrete box to look at sculptures by a single artist, no matter how clever use of natural lighting is.
Get it? Because prisons are concrete. Zzzzz. Zzzzzzzz.
Only the Kooler was concrete, the prison huts were made of timber, that's where they got the shoring for their tunnels..
The goal is to create an introspective, secluded space to do nothing but look at the sculptures under natural light. Therefore, no windows. To hang 500 lb. sculptures at eye level against a wall, you need load-bearing walls. Since it's Switzerland, where labor is the costliest in the world, that means plain, in-situ concrete structure with panel forming (I'd have enjoyed wood forming for more cost, but that's not what they chose). The only remaining decision is whether to finish the walls with anything. Again, that's more $, and also ornamental to their function, thus the raw concrete, introspective building with an appropriately spiritual atmosphere to correspond with the raw materiality of the works. I find it to be a tasteful roadside Agony Booth.
Why would views of the mountains preclude introspection? I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who finds a view of mountains, or indeed any view from a window, a congenial aid to introspection and contemplation.
I don't think the building is the humble, ascetic, meditative space you're describing. I think it intentionally blots out the beautiful mountain scenery to create a dramatic effect as you walk into the building. That really irritates me. The artworks themselves look heavy-handedly melancholy, so I'd submit that it's pretty self-evident that the overall effect of the gallery was intended to be cathartic rather than meditative. Which again irritates me: why would I want to agonise over the work of some self-pitying artist in a windowless room when I could go and take in some stunning mountain views and fresh air?
Which brings me to the other problem I have with windowless interiors, which is that it's going to be seriously damp in there. Damp, raw concrete is to me one of the most odious things in architecture. The stench takes me immediately to Auschwitz. And even if I put psychological associations aside, damp concrete is terrible for anyone's physical health.
If you're in Switzerland, it's impossible to go anywhere without a view of mountains. Do movie theaters in Switzerland need windows? I'd say no, because they close everything up so you can focus on the movie. Same goes for casinos and other buildings. If you put windows in the side of that, suddenly the sculptures have to compete for attention.
As for the psychological impact, that's surely intended. I would bet that Anselm Kiefer and others might embrace the same context for their similarly melancholy and disturbing work. The good news is that you're only there for a short amount of time, so it's a quick destination for a powerful experience. Its effects don't have to linger towards a continuous state of depression.
Bridging the gap:
1. Take a cliff.
2. Photoshop model into it.
3. Suspend disbelief.
This stuff is so fucking grad school.
I like it, but I also recall a comedy program where they profiled the project and interviewed two "residents" who had box-shaped heads...
Hideous. Like a gigantic pile of rusty front loading washing machines. Cool project though.
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