Monday, May 14, 2007

architecture for the deranged

My most recent obsession is with monuments people have built to... well, their own insanity. I don't know, maybe insanity is too harsh a word. But they definitely aren't expressions of normality... but I guess art never is. Although I find Monet pretty fucking boring.

This kind of started a few years ago when my Nana came back from Prague with a book for me on the bone cathedral, Sedlec Ossuary. The interior of the building is decorated and furnished with items constructed from human skeletons, like 40 000 of them. Apparently a lot of Czechs died during the Black Death and wanted to be buried here. Too many. So when the cathedral was reconstructed they put this carpenter dude in charge of making some sense and order out of all these bones. Personally, my first instinct would be incineration, then a bone chandelier. Luckily for lovers of the macabre (ME!!), he thought differently:





I really, really, really need to see this IRL. Its hurting me.


Also: a friend of mine was working in LA last summer and was telling me about driving into Watts after dark (picture a skinny Jewish boy with glasses, sorry Fred, but you are) to see the towers while being followed by an LAPD helicopter the entire time. I had never heard of the towers despite the fact that Fred claims they are in basically every LA-set film or tv show. Anyway, this Italian guy spent about 33 years of his life building these 17 towers on his property, mostly from steel and wire, but also using mortar to inlay stuff you might find in your recycling bin, to make the most beautiful mosaics. Then he moved because he didn't like his neighbours.





After nearly being demolished by the city, the towers are now a National Historic Landmark. Which makes me feel like an even bigger jerk for not knowing about them.


So I think my whole thing is that these guys, a woodcarver and a construction worker, built this shit with none of the pretense usually attributed to the art world, or without any concern about being viewed as "artists". Also the scale of their work kind of awes me. I'm looking for more examples of this kind of thing... so if you know any, link pls.

17 comments:

Greg said...
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Hi, I'm Corrina said...

I would agree about Rodia, that he's an artist. I just don't think that he cared about being recognized as one, or even that he viewed himself as one.

I was looking through Gaudi's stuff last night too, at the recommendation of a friend who lives in Barcelona and says that the city is just littered with his stuff... the mosaic walls are beautiful. I'm currently Googling this Hundertwasser...

Claire said...
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Hi, I'm Corrina said...
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Greg said...
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Claire said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Greg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Claire said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Greg said...
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Claire said...
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Hi, I'm Corrina said...

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Greg said...

I would like to point out that the above has nothing to do with me. I can't believe you erased my valuable input into this subject.

Claire said...

Nothing to do with you? I'm trying to have some fun with MY good friend on HER blog and you start making false statements in a manner that's an obvious attempt to belittle me.. as usual. I think it has everything to do with you.

Greg said...

Is belittle the same thing as make fun of? Quick, someone humor me here. QUICK!

Jeffrey said...

I like bees, rainbows, sunshine, puppies and friendship!

Greg said...

<3 Jeffrey.