Catastrophe and Exorcism

31/12/2003


After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, architectural deconstructivism extended its fractures as a stylistic disease. The deliberate evocation of earthquakes, fires, explosions and collisions tried to surprise with cracks, disturb with tilting walls or amaze with fragile balances, but in these tormented constructions there was also a somber premonition and a dark exorcism, announcing a turbulent future and trying at the same time to avert disaster with the unexpected stability of its juggling volumes: if they manage to stay up, perhaps the world will too. Hence, the calligraphic tremors of Peter Eisenman in Tokyo or Madrid, the cold fires of Coop Himmelblau and Enric Miralles in Dresde or Takaoka, the railway accidents of Daniel Libeskind and Zaha Hadid in Berlin, Osnabrück or Vienna, and the demolition of buildings or nautical collisions of Frank Gehry in Düsseldorf or Bilbao, define a landscape of expressive excitement that can be understood as mere scenography of picturesque catastrophes, but whose trembling forms also help to build the living forest of a probable future. It would be reassuring to think that flirting with risk is just white magic; however, the ambiguity of the avant-gardes towards pain demands caution...[+]


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