Premonitions and Echoes


The architect of the towers destroyed by the aerial terrorism of a Wahabite Saudi also designed airports in Saudi Arabia, and reached the greatest critical fame with a demolition: that of his Pruitt-Igoe housing in St. Louis, whose destruction in 1972 served Charles Jencks to date the death of modernity. But Minoru Yamasaki was above all a builder of skyscrapers, and achieving the world height record with the Twin Towers brought him a string of commissions that extend to the posthumous Picasso tower in Madrid. Initially greeted with distrust, as shown by the 1968 feature in The New York Times – warning of the risk of an airplane impact –, the towers soon became icons, targets of flight simulators in computer games, forebodingly destroyed on the jacket of a rap record or shown in a cross-shaped photomontage, just one year before their destruction, to illustrate a text by Rushdie about religion in the elections of the empire, in a composition inspired by a cross-shaped tower published in another newspaper. The smoke of 9/11 is already a mythical image of our times, as backdrop of the Empire State that recovered its place as the peak of Manhattan after the collapse, or evoked in well-meaning or opportunistic ads...[+]

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