Of the Brilliancy and of the Time | Miquel Lacasta Codorniu

TRI CITY DRIVE-IN de Hiroshi Sugimoto, 1993

We walk in in a mess times, what doubt it fits. The confusion, as a sticky molass, wraps us and deprives us of the necessary time to observe how despliega the reality.

Before so much riot, it is necessary to be able to support a profile, a way of interacting strategic, more than tactical. When he competes for an attitude of attentive wait, others are called it a relativism.

Very few ones are called it a brilliancy.

It is curious well since there are aspects of the history that calcan, even if the conditions of development of the own events of every epoch are different well. It is difficult not to shelter in these in a mess times, where a suitable management of the complexity becomes so necessary, in previous figures in the temporary thing and so apabullantemente contemporary. To speak about Siegfried Kracauer is today an act of revolt before the confused thing, a sign of brilliancy in the complex thing and a space of light between so many hysterical scenery.

Cost as review of this longed for brilliancy Daniele Pisani’s introductory text to the magnificent one Written on architecture,1 who gathers a sharp approximation to the way as Kracauer was in front of the times convulsed with the anteroom of the World War II.

To speak about Kracauer today constitutes an exercise of resistance.

Kracauer’s attitude in his scanty writings on architecture was forming a part member of his multiforme and intrepid capacity of analysis of superficial manifestations. That is to say, more that to propose a systemic logic brings over, or on the architecture, this one was understood as something inserted in the complex cultural, social and political context of the epoch. Actually, the architecture was read, if we express it in the terms post-pop current, as the expression of a behavior. It is probably the most surprising of a way of looking and understanding the reality, to eyes of an architect, which he was not exercising as such. Kracauer, assures us Pisani, it was always unwilling to fit the multiplicity of the reality in rigid categories, so that he avoids programmatically the sistematicidad. We are speaking about texts realized in the decade that goes from 1923 to 1933 and think an author that he understands the speech of the architecture from the structural integration of the properly architectural thing with other speeches (artistic, political, literary, social, etc). His articles about architecture are texts of occasion, 2 arisen ones from situations fix quotas. Every text seeks to demonstrate as exemplary case of the reality, that is to say as pure expression of an uncompromising behavior. Kracauer writes:

“the reality is a construction, registers only and exclusively in the mosaic of the singular observations”.

In another moment of brilliancy, moving away from any theoretical notion of the absolute thing, it manages to affirm that as consequence of the exaltation of the theoretical thought we have moved away terribly from this reality, fills completely of things and of peoples of meat and bone, which is required to be considered in a concrete way.

Hitherto it might fall down in the temptation of considering Kracauer to be a chronicler of the moment, in literal sense, someone who of aseptic form is accumulating the documentary records of his epoch.

Not beyond at all of the reality. It is true well that difficultly is possible to accuse to Kracauer of prioritizing the overcoming of the metaphysics on the overcoming of the social objective, as like that contradictions they made it Derrida or Lyotard decades later. But it cannot be said either that there was no a way, a narrative intention in the texts of the German architect.

Pisani, again acertadamente, it states when Die Wartenden emphasizes the article of 1922, “Those who wait”. In him Kracauer writes:

“The present is the historical place of the maximum distance of the absolute one”.

Contrary to what might seem, the logic of the present time is it to – dimensionalidad concern so much to the sphere of the past as to that of the future. That is to say, the present is not capable of forming a temporary distance either with the past or with the future simply because the present is a derivative of time, a section infinitesimalmente small of time. It yes, a portion that “always is now”.

It is for it that if the present is not of our pleasure, and seen that always we are in present time and that always it is now, probably alone fits the attitude of the wait. As says Pisani, who submits to the wait, the way of the faith neither is closed, as an obstinate asserter of the emptiness (faith in a better time, faith in a better place), nor embraces this faith as the nostalgic one to whom the nostalgia itself has made lose the scruples.

Probably the idea of brilliancy like time of wait is disappointing, the idea of waiting is not very fashionable nowadays, but this wait is neither passive nor unproductive. It is rather to be opened unsteady, an affirmation with the courage that is demonstrated in to be able to resist. One to pass pleasantly along the history of the ideas, a lucid wait.

And between wait and wait, Kracauer is forming the reality as a social construction, is tacking all truth as the result of a linguistic convention, exercising on any way of knowing a strategy of appropriation, understanding everything enunciated as a pragmatic fiction.3

Of everything previous there might be deduced that to wait it allows to observe the time like who it investigates a front to the search of some symbol that contributes interpretive light to an epoch, and definitively to observe is a sign of brilliancy.

It has to wait so lucidly.

Miquel Lacasta. Doctor architect
Barcelona, april 2012


It is worth a sorrow emphasizing Sugimoto’s explanation to the series of photographies of Cinemas since there has much that to see with the idea of lucid wait:

“Suppose you shoot a whole movie in a single frame? And the answer: You get a shining screen. Immediately I sprang into action, experimenting toward realizing this vision. Dressed up as a tourist, I walked into a cheap cinema in the East Village with a large-format camera. As soon as the movie started, I fixed the shutter at a wide-open aperture, and two hours later when the movie finished, I clicked the shutter closed. That evening, I developed the film, and the vision exploded behind my eyes.”

1 KRACAUER, Siegfried, Escritos sobre arquitectura, Ed. Mudito&Co, editado por Daniele Pisani y Juan José Lahuerta, Barcelona 2011

2 I cannot stop spend the coincidence of the idea of the occasional thing with the title that Jose Luís Mateo gives one of his last books, to which incisively it calls Occasions, and that it describes as Occasions there refers to the specificity of our actions and distance of any generic approach. Occasions it produces from the verification that in the practice of the architecture the ideas take place and are in the action. Mateo, Josep Lluís, Ocasiones, Ed. Actar, Barcelona 2009

3 For different reasons to those of the author, me the book seems to be indispensable between the recent tests of CASTRO, Ernesto, Contra la Postmodernidad, Ed. Alpha Decay, Barcelona 2011

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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