Of Commotions | Miquel Lacasta Codorniu

Of Commotions

Today there are very few works in the contemporary art capable of provoking a commotion. It seems as if the art has derived towards a constellation of autorreferencias where the fastened artist prefers his subjectivity to any possible interpretation of the reality. It is offensive in some cases as the reflections from me, me and myself, they do not survive the slightest exigency on what or artistic how. In other words, we go too much time seeing as the artist it is in front constant of his work before the general disinterest.

A little, or much of it, it has happened also in the architecture and it is because of it that in so many occasions the world of the art has worked as a species of predictor of the status quo architectural. The own dynamism of the art, the capacity of a work to be executed in a relatively short period of time, does that it works like avanzadilla of behaviors and drifts that in occasions calcan in the world of the architecture.

Of being true, this does not want to say not of distant view, that the art and the architecture should be intimately related. This liason only was a summer dream provoked by the effervescences born in the forefronts of almost hundred years ago. Or in any case, the art and the architecture are not more related than the graphical design and the industrial design, for example. Evidently they take part of certain common spheres, of tangent others and of many that not for glimpse can assimilate. Probably they are influenced, but not of distant view they are the near branches of a common trunk. To understand definitively the distance between art and architecture is enough to fall down in the account on the impossibility of a new Bauhaus, for example.

Nevertheless, yes that there is some thing that the art and the architecture share. This thing is the commotion, that is to say the fact that for an instant we feel stunned and simultaneously fascinated by some type of discovery that upsets deeply our way of looking. We are in the habit of confusing the work, already be artistic or architectural, with the disclosed thing, when actually what happens is that the work has worked as a catalyst that has provoked a transformation in our interior. After seeing Anish Kapoor’s installation or to stand firm suddenly and for surprise before an Inocencio X de Bacon, the heart gives one I overturn and the need to breathe deeply turns into an act I reflect. The work has produced a change of our structure you hospitalize, it has transformed us, has shocked us. Rather, the expression in these works of the idea of transcendency has thrilled us up to the limit of provoking a commotion.

The nature of this sweeping feeling comes to have the first stage of collapse, of hesitation in the being. That is to say, one feels since there collapse his intellectual and sensitive structures with the uproar of the uneasiness. The second stage constitutes it the reificación understood as the transformation with thing of the rhetorical figure that represents the work, as if it was a reality. This cosificación of the work produces an automatism opposite to the collapse that consists of an autoaffirmation, a mysterious entry of creative energy of high octane rating, the part almost organoléptica of a revelation.

The result is that of a deep internal transformation of the intellectual and sensitive bases, accompanied of a creative incontinence.

In almost all the cases this type of commotions come from a direct confrontation with a main piece of the architecture or of the art. In very small, the sensibility of the one that looks, is capable of coming to such a high level of sophistication, which allows him to experience a real commotion before a domestic scene, simpler than could imagine.

The aptitude to rhapsodize with the small thing should be today a very fruitful line of work, the exercise of looking at the limited thing, the negligible thing, the daily thing and managing to find there the enormous thing, the infinite thing and the extraordinary thing is all the capacities of the architect the one that should be more developed.

La capacidad de extasiarse con lo pequeño debería ser hoy una línea de trabajo muy fructífera, el ejercicio de mirar lo reducido, lo ínfimo, lo cotidiano y llegar a encontrar allí lo enorme, lo infinito y lo extraordinario es de todas las capacidades del arquitecto la que debería estar más desarrollada.

About all that he speaks this small text of Juan Muñoz, an artist with the look of an architect. Only very occasionally, one encentra before the nudity of a text that one speaks precisely about commotions and that in turn is capable of shocking deeply. Only very occasionally one is expressed in his measured joust what should mean the fact of looking at an architecture. And probably more habitually than should be the norm, one not architect gives us an extraordinary lesson of a way of looking at architecture.

This text accompanies me for a certain time and I resort to him with the blindness of an addict …

“The hinges of the windows. A few long hinges, since it had never seen them before.

Still I remember it with all detail. To get up in the morning and, before or after having breakfast (it was beginning the summer), to open the windows widely and to contemplate how they were hiding themselves. As if they had disappeared on both sides of the wall of brick.

The hinges were so long that they were allowing that this trick of magic should take place. Still I remember it. It was simple. You had to pull the bolt of the window and be too tight lightly but strongly towards out until both leaves were separating and later to push them towards ahead, towards the garden. Then, both frames of metal were separating and each of them was turning thanks to these so long hinges together with his enormous leaf of corresponding crystal and, suddenly, in the blink of an eye, already they were not there …

What obtained Grain it seemed to one of these tricks of magic. An act of disappearance. Now, while I write, in this precise instant, am thinking about having understood it. I close the eyes. With the left hand I me raise the glasses, and immediately later I narrow lightly the eyes with the index and the thumb. During a second, I wait, and then I open the eyes, and look, these metallic rigid and inconvinient lines already are not there.

If, I remember it. The windows turning slowly on these so long hinges … and, suddenly, in the blink of an eye, they were disappearing.”

The daily life in a Mies van der Rohe´s house.1

The photography that he accompanies on this text corresponds with a fragment of a stereoscopic anonymous photography of the year 1929. In this photography it is observed, as wisely it comments Juan Jose Lahuerta like the Pavilion gets up not as a thing, but since anger nothing more, air silenced on a pedestal, always penetrating his own walls, being crossed to yes same. Terrible virtue, undoubtedly: enclosed everywhere, here and there, frozen in his own perfection of Nothing and of No Place.2

Precisely it is the commotion of seeing Nothing in a house of Grain, which Juan Muñoz narrates in his delicate text. The same type of commotion, that saving the distances, is obtained when the reproduction observes facsimile of the Pavilion of Germany of Grain that we have in Barcelona.

Miquel Lacasta Codorniu. Doctor architect

Barcelona, april 2012


1 Muñoz, Juan. Writings/Escritos, editado por Adrian Searle, Ediciones de La Central, Barcelona, 2009

2 Lahuerta, Juan José. Humaredas. Arquitectura, ornamentación, medios impresos. Editorial Lampreave, Madrid, 2010, pag. 332 and 337

Es cofundador en ARCHIKUBIK y también en @kubik – espacio multidisciplinario. Obtuvo un Ph.D. con honores (cum laude) en ESARQ Universitat Internacional de Catalunya UIC y también fue galardonado con el premio especial Ph.D (UIC 2012), M.arch en ESARQ Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, y se graduó como arquitecto en ETSAB Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya . Miquel es profesor asociado en ESARQ desde 1996. Anteriormente, fue profesor en Elisava y Escola LAI, y también en programas de postgrado en ETSAB y La Salle. Fue arquitecto en la oficina de Manuel Brullet desde 1989 desde 1995.


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