"Concepts, as I shall use the term, and the monumental-conceptual architecture they allow, are freefloating and undemanding, such that the mere play of ideas, the juggling of concepts, is seen as a sufficient justification, an end in itself."

I found that article useful and interesting too. But despite Kingwell's elaborations am failing to make the connection between architectural works that are both monumental and spectacular, and a tradition of artwork that is rooted in shedding spectacle to the point of letting go of objects themselves. Kingwell doesn't seem to like conceptual art very much, and I do. Take Lawrence Weiner's ‘Declaration of Intent’ (1968): “(1) The artist may construct the piece. (2) The piece may be fabricated. (3) The piece may not be built. [Each being equal and consistent with the intent of the artist, the decision as to condition rests with the receiver upon the occasion of receivership.]” One aspect of removing the object from the idea is an objectification of the idea itself. Rather than, as Kingwell suggests, de-sensualing the art experience, I would say this work sensualised the thought experience. In this way, content becomes more important, not less important, and a great big, empty-headed, flashy glass building doesn't really fit into the model.

Kingwell seems to think that concepts in and of themselves are fluff. But another possible trajectory from conceptual art might be an exploration of the concrete elements of thought and the physiological location of consciouness - a pretty hot topic these days for philosophers and physicists. If you based an architecture on such interpretations of conceptual art, you'd probably get something pretty different from Libeskind. But then, I'm an "undergraduate" thinker, so what do I know?
- sally mckay 3-08-2004 1:12 am

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