Books 

Acordes congelados

On MAD’s Oeuvre

Acordes congelados
Books 

Acordes congelados

On MAD’s Oeuvre

Alberto Ballesteros 
16/02/2022


Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? The greatest metaphysical question is the opening line of one of rock’s most famous hymns, and the lyrics of Bohemian Rhapsody rings as one leafs through this book: between the oneiric forms of the photos and the astounding realism of the digital images, determining whether a Ma Yansong work is built or not is almost as hard as distinguishing reality from fiction in the butterfly’s dream.

The Chinese architect has now lent himself to the task, at Philip Jodidio’s orders, of producing a monograph on his career, so the musical structure the title refers to – a free joining of sections with unrelated melodies and rhythms – may seem like a pretext for the editor to whip up another coffee table book. But MAD Rhapsody addresses the studio’s unbiased exploration of form (“shape matters”) and oozes the imaginative, operatic spirit of Mercury’s mythical song – and equally the romantic and cosmopolitan passions of Liszt’s and Gershwin’s rhapsodies, respectively.

Ma Yansong’s rhapsody is a sequence of projects where cold chronological order gives way to emotional variables more in tune with his vision. In its seminal works (the delirious Absolute Towers and sculptural Ordos Museum) MAD heralded a predilection for organic-looking buildings that has yielded a surrealist landscape of morbid spaces. No wonder one was commissioned by the creator of Star Wars. But this book is not all sci-fi. Above all, Ma’s is a frozen music that manages to transfer the power of imagination… any way the wind blows…


Reviewed books:

MAD Rhapsody

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