22 March 2009, Barbican, London
This exhibit was really random…and perhaps it’s an example of when marketing can really affect how you receive a show. Instead of exhibiting his works and things he worked on (as I understood from the marketing), most of the exhibit was about things that inspired and provoked him. Because I went in expecting to see mostly just his works, I was really quite taken aback when I saw furniture, tapestries, suitcases and random paintings that inspired him. Funniest was when my friend pointed at a piece and was like I really like that!! And my other friend said, uh, are you sure he did that one??
Anyway, nevertheless, the exhibit got me thinking about the concreteness and ikea-esque of many buildings and estates in the world today. The blocks and blocks of homogenous housing and offices, so cold, so bare, so the same everywhere. It’s something Le Corbusier is known for… yes, it’s forward-thinking, it solves many spatial problems, it’s inspired so many architects and projects, but it’s such a shame… the undermining of individualism…these obtrusive objects placed among the natural surroundings. Maybe it’s just upsetting to be shown and reminded of the vast existence of these concrete build-ups, and to imagine how different the world could potentially be today if he hadn’t inspired so many people and his ideas didn’t spread the way it has. It probably would have happened anyway. But saying all this, I do like some Modern architecture. And he really did help bring about better living conditions and environments for residents in crowded cities. And he has designed some pretty cool buildings.
Le Corbusier also designed some pretty cool furniture…and it’s interesting to see how he develops his ideas and to electronically ‘flick’ through his sketchbooks. But most of all, his name… loosely translated, it means the crow-like one. How cool is that! 😀
Hmm…it was a beautiful day, so we hung out for quite a bit afterwards, taking in the oh-so-relevant lovely concrete surroundings of Barbican 😉
‘You employ stone, wood, and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces: that is construction. Ingenuity is at work. But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good. I am happy and I say: “This is beautiful. That is Architecture. Art enters in…’ (Vers une architecture, 1923)