Books  Opinion 

Blanco y negro

Shadows of Le Corbusier

Luis Fernández-Galiano 

Le Corbusier continues to pass from lights to shadows. In 2015, the 50th anniversary of his death coincided with the publication of three books written by François Chaslin, Xavier de Jarcy, and Marc Perelman that examined his links to the Vichy regime (see review titled ‘Las grietas del mito’ in Arquitectura Viva 176), sparking a big scandal. Four years later, in the spring of 2019, a motion initiated by Jarcy and Perelman has demanded in Le Monde that the French State stop honoring his figure, suspending subsidies to the Paris-based foundation that safeguards his legacy, canceling the project for a museum in Poissy, and removing his statue in this commune, associated with the architect because that is where he built Les Heures Claires, the canonical Villa Savoye. A few months earlier, with 2018 drawing to a close, a devastating book had been published, coordinated by the same Jarcy and Perelman, where eight authors from five countries showed the darkest side of the master from La Chaux-de-Fonds. This, in time with a brilliant book by Chaslin – who was one of those authors, but who would refuse to sign the damnatio memoriae – where the architect and critic used a detailed reconstruction of the 2015 Le Corbusier affaire to reflect on the contemporary world, interspersing erudition and poetry with an unexpected series of mostly line drawings of birds among which flap the wings of the great artist who imagined himself a crow...

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