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Hamburg-born Astrid Kirchherr met the Beatles in 1960, before they were famous, when they came to perform in Germany. An art student in Hamburg, she took some of the earliest photographs of the group. And she's often been credited with convincing the band to adopt those iconic mop-tops.
Kirchherr was engaged to Stuart Sutcliffe, the Beatles' original bassist, before he died of a brain hemorrhage in 1962. She remained close to the band, however, and shot behind-the-scenes photographs on the film A Hard Day's Night.
MD coffee mill
Chairmen of the boards: Thad Ziolkowski on Riding Giants (imdb) ArtForum, Summer, 2004 by Thad Ziolkowski - THE POPULAR IMAGE OF SURFING--a rider on a large, wind-groomed wave--is, alas, an idealization. Waves are bad more often than good, even (in fact, especially) at world-class breaks like Pipeline. Hence surters travel when they can, in the hope that the waves will be better elsewhere. Occasionally they are. But even in the elite ranks of globe-trotting professionals, most of one's time is spent doing various mental and physical finger exercises. Great waves arrive like Rilkean storms of inspiration, and serious surfers are fully the equal of artists in the degree of their commitment and obsessiveness. Paddling out at a moment's notice--on one's wedding day, on the morning of the big presentation--can entail the destruction of love relationships and the loss of jobs ("Why get fired unless it's firing?" runs a surf forecaster's motto). Meanwhile, between swells, which is to say most of the time, surfing is as much an act of the imagination as anything else.
The Bauhaus-Dessau Foundation is going back to its roots and sponsoring an architectural competition that aims to encourage young architects to build attractive homes for the poor. Its 2008 award deliberately pays tribute to the Bauhaus commitment to social housing in the 1920s.
The Bauhaus in Dessau hopes to encourage architects to think about poverty.
There's always something new in the world of architecture and interior design. Two of the themes at next week's International Furniture Show in Cologne will be "Priceless" and "Neo Nature," a reflection of the current popularity of costly eco-chic in German living rooms.
The truth is that just about everything goes these days, from retro to futurist, from cool to cushy -- although "cocooning" is apparently passé. The question of how we design and shape our living spaces is taken very seriously, because it reveals a lot about both a person's taste and their status.
Given all the fuss about luxury and esthetics, an initiative that has been launched in a small city in eastern Germany -- and, if its organizers have their way, will reach out into the world -- seems downright provocative. In January the Bauhaus-Dessau Foundation launched its latest biennial competition, and this year the title is: "Housing shortages: The minimum subsistence level housing of today."
Indeed, what could be more provocative than the notion of designing more attractive living spaces for welfare recipients and slum dwellers?
The 2008 Bauhaus award is part of the ambitious vision of Omar Akbar, 59, the foundation's executive director. He wants to place architecture, design and his own organization back into the social and political landscape. In the 1920s, the Bauhaus School was considered a leading authority on design, architecture and urban planning. Today the foundation, which still bears the school's famous name, wants to revive the missionary zeal of the school's heyday.
As part of this new social focus Akbar, a native of Afghanistan, wants to draw our attention to a problem "that no longer seems to interest today's architects: poverty and destitution." Pointing out that an estimated 900 million people on earth live under dramatically adverse conditions today, officials at the Bauhaus-Dessau Foundation are asking what amounts to a heretical question in the world of contemporary architecture: "Where are the celebrity architects who are interested in fighting poverty?"
Akbar hopes that the subject of the 2008 Bauhaus award, "Housing shortages," will attract young architects and designers, as well as artists and academics. The final date for entries is March 31, 2008, and Bauhaus is also holding a colloquium on the topic later in January.
The population that could potentially benefit from the entries is enormous, including the unemployed, the homeless, retirees, single parents and large families. Living at the subsistence level comes in many shapes and forms, especially in a world in which poverty is on the rise, even in Europe.
Bauhaus's 2008 contest is a reincarnation of sorts. In October 1929, visionaries from all over Europe, including Swiss architect Le Corbusier and Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius came together in Frankfurt to attend the second International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM). The 2008 award has even borrowed the title of that 1929 conference: "The minimum subsistence level housing."
Attendees at the 1929 conference were urged to create housing for "society's poorest classes." This effort, according to the literature distributed to participants, was "at the forefront of the public interest in almost all civilized countries." The 1929 world economic crisis that followed the Wall Street Crash provided ample evidence that poverty can become a global explosive force. Black Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, the day the market crashed, coincided with the second day of the 1929 Frankfurt conference.
Building Utopia: Berlin Chases UNESCO Status for 1920s Social Housing (10/18/2007)
The members of the avant-garde who had come together in Frankfurt had already committed themselves to the concept of the "minimal living space." In a related exhibition and a subsequent book, they presented 100 floor plans, including a 23-square-meter (248-square-foot) apartment "for the working woman." They even envisioned a family living comfortably in a space of 48 square meters (516 square feet). For Le Corbusier, four square meters (43 square feet) was enough space for a tiny bedroom.
The modernists' mantra -- light, air and sunlight -- translated into cities filled with boxy residential buildings surrounded by park-like spaces. But these architects were not interested in providing the masses with interior space or privacy. This was reflected in the cage-like structures known as balcony houses, built in Dessau in 1930.
INSIGHT: Mod Mods: Manufacturing Markets for Modulars
With market forces finally putting wind in the sails of pre-fab, the promise of sales should finally save industrial production of housing from the utopia to which it has been consigned.
Manufactured housing has been an enduring Modernist utopia. In 1932, students at The Bauhaus “manufactured” a prototype, the “Five Roomed House.” 1945 brought the world Jean Prouvé and Marcel Lods prototype for a prefabricated metal house. The mid-1960s brought forth the Metabolists in Japan – a more concentrated affection for manufactured residences fastened to vertical utility columns to make high-rises. None of these went beyond prototypes or one-offs. The apotheosis of this vision, achieved at the dawn of Post-Modernism and with appropriate irony, was the washrooms for the Lloyds Building in London by Richard Rogers (1985). Beautifully crafted and mass-produced, these loo modules appropriately prefigure the Post-Modern fetishization of the bathroom.
The common cord of this whole utopian project, one that continues to this day unraveling into its constituent threads, is the ideal of the market driving design – a design so exciting that those who can afford it will want it (or in the tighter straits of post WWI and WWII reconstructions, the idea that governments might fob off the utopia on their populations). Recent efforts such as Resolution: 4 Architecture’s Modern Modular, Snøhetta’s Lucinda and Bloom, and Taalman Koch Architecture’s iT House have, I suspect, wound off the finest and final threads. The resulting products are quite appealing, stylish, and unique. Unfortunately, unique they are likely to remain despite considerable investment in the prototypes.
endangered new york: 10 (more) to save
Q. A recent TV special on the late Roy Orbison known for hits like Oh, Pretty Woman and Cryingshowed him wearing a pendant that resembled a Nazi swastika. Was he an anti-Semite?i think he may have just been sporting the surfers cross look. [time magazine apr 22 1966] but ill have to ask the person next time i see her what her source was.
N. Goldberger, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
A. Paris- Like wtf? Mr. Goldberger in Florida why would you care if he was an anti-Semite or not? What he does in the bedroom should stay there!
Kevin- Uh…um… Just to clear this up Roy Orbison was wearing a pendant that was a Cross Alisee Patte, it is not a swastika. There is a rather large difference between the two.
To many people the term “prefab housing” calls to mind trailer parks. Yet lately prefabricated houses — built off site and then delivered largely complete — have become fashionable at architecture schools and among an upscale segment of the housing market. They pose a considerable design challenge.
Seizing the moment the Museum of Modern Art has commissioned five architects to erect their own prefab dwellings in a vacant lot on West 53rd Street, adjacent to the museum. Whittled down from a pool of about 400, the five architects are participating in “Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling,” an exhibition opening in July.
The five, to be announced today by the museum, are KieranTimberlake Associates of Philadelphia; Lawrence Sass of Cambridge, Mass.; Douglas Gauthier and Jeremy Edmiston of Manhattan; Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf of Austria; and Richard Horden of Horden Cherry Lee in London.
wfmus top 10 07
Julius Shulman, who first photographed the house, recently commented that it was “a sincere attempt by Stone to show the American public what could be done beyond traditional architecture by enhancing the quality of modern architecture offered to the average person. It also showed that architecture is not static, it’s always moving forward.” The house was Stone’s interpretation of post-war modular design popular in Southern California; its plan consisted of a rectangle divided into three almost equal areas. In the center were the entry and living room. On the left, two bedrooms separated by a two-way bath. On the right, the master bedroom and kitchen were separated by the master bath. The plan also included sliding glass doors from each room to a private patio.
Representing a misunderstood and generally disliked style, the home suffered numerous and insensitive changes including the addition of a bedroom, an extension to the living room, and the removal of the carport. The sense of scale is lost due to the altered roofline and pitch and new solid cement walls on the side of the house are higher then the original brick screens which distorts the scale of the facade. Observing it, I am moved to ask, has the house too far gone to bring back? Leo Marmol of Marmol Radziner and Associates, who specializes in restoring modern buildings, points out that “the goal is not necessarily to make the house perfect again, but to clarify its historic fabric. To understand what was there and what wasn’t can be positive and, if disclosed when the house is sold in the future, a new owner can take a fuller approach to restoration.”
The question for any restoration-minded buyer is cost. And while Marmol suggests a partial or gradual restoration—even with the structure’s prestige factor—it may be difficult to sell after restoration if the neighborhood does not reflect the investment in the house. Another consideration is to move the house to a more sympthetic area. The current state of the former Life house raises the issue—now that modernism and preservation are recurring topics within an architectural-loving public, what else can be done to save this and other historic structures?
Jersey City's Little India Kicks Jackson Heights' Ass
Jersey City's Little India wasn't nearly as impressive 10 years ago. Chowpatty anchored the neighborhood back then, the top dog in a modest pack of five restaurants. Named after a popular Mumbai beach, Chowpatty specialized in the vegetarian cooking of Gujarat, India's impoverished westernmost state. In fact, a large proportion of the groceries, chat houses, and jewelry stores— ostentatiously displaying the gold necklaces that form an Indian bride's dowry—catered to Gujaratis.
The ensuing years have been kind to the four blocks of Newark Avenue north of Journal Square. Little India has bloomed like a rosewater lassi, so that now the thoroughfare and surrounding streets form a South Asian business district more impressive than either Jackson Heights or Iselin, New Jersey. On weekend afternoons, the streets flood with shoppers, many in colorful saris, stocking up on cheap mangoes, dals, and such unusual vegetables as snake gourd, loofah, and tindoor.
Marianne Nowottny was a teen-sensation, causing a stir with her 1999 debut album, ‘Afraid Of Me’. Not an album chock full of sugar-laced powder-pop songs as a casual observer might have wrongly thought, it instead was a unique release, shunning pop trends for avant-garde arrangements and dark twisting vocals. After several releases which have established her name in leftfield-pop circles, her latest album, the curiously titled ‘What Is She Doing?’ has been released courtesy of Abaton Book Company. The thing is that I didn’t know any of this before receiving this album and when I saw the digipak I was slightly perplexed. The cover looks like a cross between Wendy Carlos’s ‘Secrets of Synthesis’ and an early nineties Disney-pop release. Furthermore, the track names are extremely pop-centric and they are all 2-5 minutes long which typically means that the amount of experimentation and melodic-exploration are limited. For a professional music reviewer none of this really matters as it’s the music that does the talking and I for one was pleasantly surprised.
The criticism has spread across the world’s architectural community since KCS recently razed — for safety concerns, the company says — what some considered a marvel of modern architecture.
The building that folks in Baton Rouge called “the Bucky Dome.”
“It was a shock to everyone,” says Elizabeth Thompson, executive director of the Buckminster Fuller Institute in New York. “It’s just a real loss to the architectural community.”
I bring this up because the art world is the black hole of charisma, sucking magic in from the outside world until it disappears. Picasso, he who could make love to a woman with his gaze alone, was the last truly charismatic figure in our esthetic crater. Warhol, the anti-charismatic, began the suckage process, feeding off Elvis, Marilyn and Jackie. Martyrdom fed his output, even after he almost became a martyr himself.
Artists, mimicking Warholism, wallow in a dark bath of their own wretched parasitism on the wider charismatic culture. Terence Koh’s comparing himself to Naomi Campbell is a recent pathetic example. Howdy Doody Koons, Death Mask Damien, Barney the Vaseline Dinosaur: a trio of dick-diddling neurotics who couldn’t get elected dogcatcher in Peoria.
Time was that the artist competed with kings and princesses for public adoration, Delacroix and his tigers, Whistler and his babes. American artists killed off these pretensions of the shaman, the Hopper blues and ordinary Rockwell, descending into the illiterate mumbles of a somber Pollock spraying his urine over the ashes of the grand. It became the art that counted, as if a dry legislation were all that mattered in politics.
For all the money, glad handing, high living and secrecy, the art world is a desultory place these days with no real claim upon the public’s imagination. At least its denizens will die in their beds and not by an assassin’s bullets.
justins top 25 2007
steven parrino at gagosian
rip ettore sottsass
The literalization of the picture plane is a great subject. As the vessel of content becomes shallower and shallower, composition and subject maker and metaphysics all overflow across the edge until, as Gertrude Stein said about Picasso, the emptying out is complete. But all the jettisoned apparatus- hierarchies of painting, illusion, locatable space, mythologies beyond number- bounced back in disguise and attached themselves, via new mythologies, to the literal surface which had apparently left them no purchase. The transformation of literary myths into literal myths- objecthood, the integrity of the picture plane, the equalization of space, the self-sufficiency of the work, the purity of form- is unexplored territory. Without this change art would have been obsolete. Indeed its changes often seem one step ahead of obsolescence, and to that degree its progress mimics the laws of fashion.An Artist & His Aliases - Brian O'Doherty/Patrick Ireland