Eric Owen Moss presents the horse from Victor Sj?str?m’s 1928 movie The Wind as an image of embodying abstract forces in a compelling, concrete form. He argues the value of getting away from what’s known, understood and “works,” in favor of continuously exploring possibilities. Moss contrasts two images of the relationship of time and architecture: a building at Angkor Wat through which a tree has grown, and Ise Grand Shrine, entirely rebuilt every twenty years. He presents three types of relationship between the individual and the public space: the Athenian Acropolis, the Qin terra cotta warriors, and a Nazi rally at Nuremberg. Moss concludes with an image of architectural conflict: Trajan’s public baths built on top of Nero’s Domus Aurea.
Video Archive | Acropolis (5)
Introduced by Thom Mayne, Raimund Abraham discusses the making of his projects as a process that fluctuates between teaching, theory, and a passion for various pursuits outside of architecture. Often working in solitude, he lectures as an effort to save the souls of students subjected to the temptations of society. Presenting a selection from his Nine Houses series, he describes an attempt to create a new architectonic vocabulary while redefining commodified habitation as a ritual. Site intervention is the primary occurrence in his architecture followed by the confrontation of the site with a program, as exemplified in his Seven Gates to Eden project. Abraham also discusses his sited and built projects including the Times Square Tower, Berlin Wall Church, apartment project
in Berlin, Jewish Museum competition, Vienna Social Housing Urban Plan, and his entry in the Acropolis Museum competition.
Raimund Abraham presents a stair project he did for a house near Innsbruck as an example of his belief that poetry is hidden in the ordinary and must be dug up to be found. He also talks about explains his entry for the Acropolis Museum Competition as exceptional because unlike his other competitions, he does not see this project as outside of his personal work. He feels the winning project is symptomatic of our times in which great losses such as the destruction of the New York MoMA are justified by the commodification of museums as art. He closes by reading a poetic statement about the importance of the role of solitude and silence in architecture.
Andrew Zago introduces Mary Alice Dixon-Hinson. She cites the Acropolis and Marc-Antoine Laugier’s Primitive Hut as part of an analysis of rationalist representation in Western cultural history. She reviews the use of perspective in the Renaissance to create illusory space. She examines Piranesi’s etchings, noting the absence of people,and characterizing this as a metaphor for the reality of 18th and 19th century city planning.
Anthony Vidler discusses examples of the contradictions that arise from tampering with historical objects in efforts to monumentalize western civilization. Examples of this are found in Schinkel’s Altes Museum and his farmhouse project as well as various efforts to restore Roman and Greek antiquities. Viollet le Duc did various restorations of medieval structures in the 19th century without the aim of maintaining, repairing, nor rebuilding them. Instead he believed the purpose of a restoration was to re-establish in a complete state what never existed.