Bitter Heroes

Luis Fernández-Galiano   /  Source:  Arquitectura Viva 74

These are times of toxic talent and bitter heroes. The French novelist Michel Houellebecq and the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas fall under this category of mediatic figures who practice social criticism through extreme integration in a landscape they describe as devastated. Houellebecq depicts a world razed by economic and sexual competition, inhabited by narcissistic zombies and unhappy autists, to then present himself as one of its characters: on tour with a mediocre band that sets its poetry to music in erotic short films with young girls and photographic volcanic postcards in a Lanzarote of tour operators, he turns out to be the quintessence of universal and ridiculous talent. Koolhaas in turn portrays cities degraded by mobility and business, cities plowed by hyperkinetic robots or compulsive consumers, and with no irony reveals himself with the attire of hysterical users: spasmodically traveling between his wives in London and Amsterdam, spending more time in designer hotels than designing in his Rotterdam office, and dressed in Prada from head to toe while delivering conferences about Lagos, the Dutch architect lives in a lucid and cynical bubble that arouses more suspicion than empathy...

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