(The mister Jourdain’ syndrome)
Obscene was the Venice Biennale of Rem Koolhaass
On one side the fetishism of the industrial products and components (Italian International Pavilion) and on the other the celebration of the political failure of the world… as a naive agitprop able to wrap the architect with politically correct conscientiousness… self-complaisance for this comfortable dualism.
We are in the pursuit of the diagrammatic hoax he himself promoted 20 years ago, same arrogance of reductionism to avoid embracing and gathering complexity in a productive way, in an aesthetic way, for a critical production, not for a simulation of a critical behavior… sponsored by Rolex.
Where are the political mechanisms in Rem’s obscenity? Where are underlying apparatuses, at the origin of the global ‘malentendu’, he self-enjoyed to play with, with literal self-indulgence and a high degree of criminal innocence.
As a counter example, it reminds me of Hans Haack fired from the Guggenheim in 1971 for showing the mechanisms of property and alienation of NY cities, particularly the capitalism of slums. One is doing entertainment, which most architects applaud as Penguins, the other is taking the personal risk to open the Pandora box.
But the worm was in the fruit. It started when Rem derived to his own profit (Exodus) the ‘Continuous Monument’ of Super Studio for the Casabella competition in the early 70ties. We could date this trick as the first act of selling Merchandised radicalism to the global market. And the new-age dematerialized mirror roof of Natalini (Superstudio) became in the hand of Rem a functionalist Corbusean iconography to justify he was able to initiate the passage between what seems for him political romanticism (radicalism) to pseudo functionalist statement (to be sold to global ignorance).
The loop-story of authorship-economy, ironically wrote J.F. Lyotard in his ‘philosophical postmodern description’, has to come back ‘in the pocket’ of the one who will be able to vectorize the story, eviscerated of any toxicity for the financial world dimension, and never to the one who is at the origin of the storytelling, facing his solitude. Rem sociologically represents this kind of extreme arrogant icon of the ‘new-wave’ Hegelian movement (at the Opposite of the notion of Sublime defined by Kant and Lyotard). This movement surfed since the 70ties on the work of the others (David Lynch abusing of Rivette for Mulholland Drive, or his plagiarism of Jodorovsky’s Dune). Their protagonists are so occupied to play their Ziggy Stardust’s role of post-modern Shaman, full-time Guru that they forgot to innovate, to risk their position and their neck.
This passage from Radicalism to Marketplace is a Hoax. They mainly succeeded because of their correspondence and adaptation to the global brainlessness organized by media and politics, in the 90ties, during the period called the “Age of the ice’ by Deleuze and Guattari.
This voluntary and systematic duplicity between standardization of product on one side (to flatter the conventional way of industrial system and offer to the architect the only possibility to become a property master) and on the other side an appearance of criticality of the world conflict without to absorb, digest this multiple ambivalence as a “reason d’etre”, as the starting point of a production.
This discovery of the failure of the world is similar to mister Jourdain’s syndrome in Moliere’s play, discovering with naivety and self-confidence the existence of the rules, the rules of language, the rules of the world, and thinking that he is the only one to get this consciousness… With a post un-interruptus egotist coitus pleasure….
It is so easy to show the pathology of the world on one side and on the other the repetition of industrial components…. To avoid seeing that creation is exactly at the opposite… articulating production and critical meaning, associating emergencies and knowledge, absorbing simultaneously the desire of production and the pathology of the drama, digesting and metabolizing beauty and toxicity, vomiting it in a strategy of knowledge, of critic…. of design (and not in the literal Death Star way), developing apparatuses, as said M Foucault, which question the order of discourses, meaning and authority.
We have to face the main aspect of this biennial…. Who gave Rem the authority to take part in the burning of the discipline (from exodus diploma, to ‘fuck the context’, from fake activism to ‘hysterical preservation’). Who benefits from the crime? Who was interested to this reductionism…
Creation, situationism and creation as a strategy of political aesthetic (including some courage) is exactly at the opposite … of this commercialization of consciousness. We have to show the mechanism at the origin of the mechanism, to manipulate anxiety as a process of knowledge and aesthetic… far away from this immature reductionism…
The next Biennale should stop these kinds of clichés, for an operative critical production, and avoid this hoax between stereotype of ‘reproduction’ and political entertainment for dummies.
Some visit /on pavilions:
–The Russian / the music of Titanic …. Sad and joy… we wonder if they are playing a ragtime of a god save the queen when the boat was sinking. Not so far away from the musician in the Hieronymus Bosh’ ‘Delicious Garden ‘. The game of Rem’s Topic… as a legitimate Funky Fuck You for a non productive vision… the statement of the end…with musicians… the last dance.
–The Korean and French / Utilizing the past / the puppets of Rem / Historical usurpation from architect and critic… Do we need a Biennale to know the conflict in Korea? or that the French missed modernity… except the ones who were not architects (Tati -playtime-Hulot) and Prouve (the industrial craftsman in a Walter Benjamin ambiguity, between era of reproduction and aura of the object…)? How institution used the ones who resisted against them, both in bankruptcy at the end of their life, without any attention from the same institutions who are now, after their death, using their critical position to promote the French of flag >>>That should be awarded as the best hypocrisis… hopefully they received it / 30 pieces of silver = one honorable mention… the price of Judas… a ‘cocardisme’ postmortem.
PS / never want to promote our own babies / and it’s not the subject of this paper / But the two projects in DMZ in Korea are able to talk, show and critic the situation in a design process… in a strategy of meanings… articulating tools and critics of situation… Korea / New-Territories / http://www.new-territories.com/he%20shoot%20me%20down.htm /
-The German / Naked Cynicism (intentional or not – not so clear in fact)… but in any case the standard of the past becoming the stereotype of the Asiatic Petit Bourgeois continent… In fact more real than any political activism… to show the ugliness of our discipline, supported by BMW-Mercedes.
–The American / A cultural Maddofian scheme pyramid organized by StoreFront to fake multiple discourses for speeches of tenure track academic teachers. A strategy to water the fish and make Noise… to brew the void in an incredible self-sufficiency. Thanks to the epigone of Frida Kahlo who also participates in sinking the boat.
-The polish / just regressively monarcho-fascist as the factual output of the theme.
–Israelian / A copism of a machine already shown in previous Venice Biennale for the ideal Cartography in the sand to easily erase problem, history and guilty borders…
And so on…