June 26, 2013

IT'S TOO ORGANIC TO EVER BE TRULY FINISHED:

Antoni Gaudí: What does his architecture stand for? : Almost everyone agrees that Antoni Gaudí's work stands for something. But what? (Elizabeth Barber, June 25, 2013, CS Monitor)

[A]s La Sagrada Família was restored to Catalonia's collective imagination, especially after Barcelona declared all of Gaudi's buildings historical monuments in 1952, it was admired for exactly the reasons that it had once been maligned: its piousness and its imaginative eccentricity - and, those combined, its Catalan-ness. Gaudí's basilica, designed during an era of upheaval and innovation, and when art was political and the rebellious artistic attitude was inextricable from bubbling Catalan separatism, was invited to stand for Catalonia itself: both progressive and devout, at once praising the individual genius and the nation's collective soul. It neatly resolved cultural contradictions into something tangible, something proud.

Still, calling La Sagrada Família a symbol of Catalonia is also fraught. Construction on the basilica is ongoing, dividing Barcelona over how Gaudi's vision is best treated. Would he have wanted his unfinished project completed in a way that might be untrue to his original, unknown plans, but true to his belief in the collaborative imagination? Or does finishing his design make it inauthentic, not Gaudi at all but something masquerading as his genius?


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Posted by at June 26, 2013 5:01 AM
  

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