Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Status Update

Post writing opportunities are rare these days, so for the moment this blog will have to get by on the thin gruel of what-I'm-doing and what-I've-written status updates. Such is my desperation to post something though, I have resorted to using Blogger's iPhone app to write this on the bus, a time I normally like to reserve for ranting on Twitter.

I have been lucky enough though to be commissioned to write two lengthy pieces, details of which will be available forthwith. I've also contributed a number of pieces for Icon, including a tribute to the Swiss Army Knife in next month's edition. The following issue includes my review of the diminutive Hawksmoor exhibition at the RA where I attempt to wrest the architect's reputation back from the demonic grip of the psychogeographers. I can also recommend Gillian Darley's excellent review of the same exhibition in the AJ (£).

I will be making some public appearances in what architecture tutors like to call the near future. The first of these will be at Colchester's First Site gallery where I will be going back to my roots and discussing the architecture of East Anglia. The event, part of the RIBA's Love Architecture Festival, is called New Architecture in the East and also features Meredith Bowles and Adrian Friend. It may help my cause that the much anticipated fact-finding mission to Norwich to look at the work of Tayler and Green is now officially on.

Finally a link: Agata Pyzik has written a very interesting piece on the architecture of the former Eastern Block and, in particular, the swing between Socialist and Capitalist Realism styles (or Stalinist and PoMo architecture respectively). Two sides of the same bad penny you could say. Given that I am occasionally berated for a lack of interest in Moscow PoMo, it's nice to read someone who has something to say on the matter. On this note though, I can add that Aldo Rossi was a big fan of Karl Marx Allee style Stalinist Realism. When Rossi came to London to give a lecture at the RIBA he requested a viewing of the similarly bombastic and roughly contemporaneous Ministry of Defence building, much to the bafflement of his hosts.


Matt Tempest said...

Talking of Aldo Rossi, do you think I'm barking up the wrong tree ("auf dem Holzweg", as we say in German) to see a precursor of Rossi in this Rathaus roof from Halle, DDR?

Charles Holland said...

It's tempting to see a bit of Rossi in anything monolithic and vaguely oppressive but that seems the sort of thing that would have been right up his Stra├če. He did after all have an affection for some of the most despised forms of architecture in history.

Amazing place btw and a lovely post.