The victory of the cynicism | Óscar Tenreiro Degwitz

Torre V en Eindhoven mostrando la invasión por hordas pobres venidas del Sur una vibrante
Tower V in Eindhoven showing the invasion for poor hordes come from the South: a vibrant community

The advertising success was perfectly predictabl1, one would speak about the matter, the book would be bought, but León of Gold? Yes, in effect they received a major prize. That definitively stops very well proven get out of focus joined the superficialness of those who direct the creation of prestiges in the world of the architecture. And also in the world of the Art in general, better not to forget it2. And that it there are understanding the commentators who come down to giving news of all thing it removes out. With this they will feel confused and will try to adapt each other, to moving the chair beyond.

A nearby friend comments on me, on having known it of the prize, which already they are not the settlers those who offer trinkets to the native ones, but upside-down. They are baubles that allow to the European with critical zeals to give to understand that it traverses with the matters of the world, that critic reacts to the gale of architectures of the spectacle, on having indicated in the suitable direction. One will rub the hands Mr. Wiel Arets, president of the Juror designated by David Chipperfield3 and for a few days Dean of the Technological Institute of Illinois, subject of His Dutch Majesty, author of multiple buildings between which office towers that at all have to envy him to the invaded of Caracas structure. Even more, they are of the most advanced technology, as the Tower V in Eindhoven, of fewer height than Confinanzas, but re-dressed in panels enameled with a printed boss who goes from transparently to translucent in a random pace so that, depending on the angle, hour of the day and density of the boss, one sees towards the interior or appreciates the reflection of the surroundings. Fantastic! Wonderful! It yes, for Dutches, civilized peoples who do not invade buildings.

Though attention, the crisis of those of the South is dangerous what would happen if these southern, needy people, decide to invade this tower to turn her, as does he say the verdict of the Juror and the rhetoric of the Think Tank, in autopromotion of the poor? All the alarms would go off. Because of it David Cameron, does little, it proposed in the United Kingdom to fit the procedure for the immigration. They are afraid now of the Europeans of the South. But, less badly, in Holland they might not come to Eindhoven to form a vibrant community or yes? (To see photo).

But let’s go to the central matter. The history is the same of always. We are seen as cases of study. The educated Europeans give themselves the luxury of ignoring or overlooking (for it them the unscrupulous opportunists help of here), that there is no possible autopromotion of the poor that does not happen for an incessant search of development of the democracy. They already have the democracy and actually, as the Spanish ambassador was saying in Venezuela of a few years ago, happily removed from the post, to us us a Jefesote comes well. We deserve neither the dignity nor the transparency. They have not realized that if there is anything that has characterized Latin America is a permanent fight looking for the democracy. That we have come making ours the idea from which the redemption of the poor happens there, not for the manipulated anarchy that made possible the invasion of Confinanzas’s structure. Fight that separates us from other places of the world and that has come to be an integral, inseparable part, of our identity. How can it place it out of the scene of a Biennial show of Architecture? Already it is, as we were saying it last week, pure cynicism that an authoritarian government should adorn his arbitrarinesses dressing in show a mediocre program as the Mission Housing, but that the executives of the Biennial show accept to take a community of humiliated and offended directed by employees of the same government as scene of bottom for a sale of arepas to 8 Euros with Philippe Starck‘s chairs, sauce as background music and to present it as allusion to the common territories (common grounds) in the today cities, it is a sample of ignorance. It, for more Dean of Illinois that Wiel Arets4 is. And if in addition there do not appear in the panorama the children’s dramas fallen to the emptiness, from daily extortions to hands of delinquents, of sale of spaces, of promiscuity, of complicity with complaisent authorities; more than ignorance it is an idiocy. That cannot drown the gathering coctail in Manhattan, London, Venice or Amsterdam, or the academic speculations of the big universities.

With what it is verified besides the fact that the European crisis dresses from the privilege it does not guarantee a sharper look. Already we have seen it to come in the comments of diaries or magazines that promote a different perspective but do not make shelter any more than in common places as any more for less, sustainable architecture, new directions, etc. Etc. When they might indicate very simply towards the good architecture. During the festive years they were unable to find her, to play in favour of her, of showing it, so busy they were following the current. And now they want to correct courses appealing the connoisseurs of the Internet rule, who disguise themselves with it of here but have his climbers’ skills there.

And we were saying that the commentators would start moving the chair, but also they her will move here those who have not trodden on road surface in our realities. Badly very ours, to be eager to water in it of out. They will start thinking that the way of the Think Tank is the most suitable for a rapid success. That these young persons gave in the nail. This it is the worst part of the matter, the Juror of Venice indicates in the wrong direction thinking that it does the opposite and it, today, has immediate consequences. Of the moment, it is true, but consequences to the end.

But there is no much that to do5, to sell the soul to the devil is fashionable. And it works6.

Óscar Tenreiro Degwitz, Architect.
Venezuela, september 2012,
Entre lo Cierto y lo Verdadero


1 I say it down below, I thought that they would but not so much. But this way the things go in this environment in the one that one comes moving the architecture.

2 Already I had a window on the topic many years behind, when in 1985 Aldo Rossi organized the Terza Mostra, since it called in this moment to the section of Architecture of the Biennial show of Venice. From here it had set my group of students to be employed at an offer for “the Castles of Romeo and Juliet”, a few ruins located near Montecchio Maggiore, at the Véneto, for which one was asked I project of utilization. The course worked very duramente and we achieve a product I do not exempt of interest and even I deign of the second look, which filled me with ingenuous optimism.

And for the Biennial show I went to observe what had happened. Our work (for which we possess August Komendant‘s advising) was exposed there together with different many. And in addition, in preferential place, the prizes, the golden Lions, the important ones.

3 In short: Daniel Liebeskind that for the topic Piazze I gave Palmanova presented a few enormous models of wood of a few “machines” that would stamp something, done as I believe for his pupils of the Cranbrook Academy. Peter Eisenman, about the same topic in which we were taking part, was prefiguring twenty years behind the current memorandum book of the Arts City of the Galicia. And he was accompanying it of a “Memory” that always has seemed to me (up to the point of having transcribed part of she in a librito of notes who was accompanying) a ridiculous prodigy of philosophy “light”. Already today very forgotten Robert Venturi had been rewarded by his idea for Ponte dell’Academia. They were following a series of prizes that it would be long to outline here, without I forget that close to it of Eisenman in the topic of the Castles Maria Grazia Sironi received, rather graphical artist and painter, who has been busy with establishing relations between the music and the architecture. And I must not forget Franco Purini who was enjoying in these times of the architecture of paper, a gained good prestige for his marvellous drawings of a more or less invented architecture.

4 Already we know that for Liebeskind and Eisenman it was waiting for a future of many activity but what I am interested in it now it is that the stupor that me the prizes caused led me to knowing the anecdotes that were behind them, which were justifying them it might be said. Returning from Venice, in effect, I happened for Paris And following my impulses and the information that a friend gave to me architect, I was called Bernard Huet (1932-2001) a member of the Juror of the Biennial show. We arrange an appointment in a coffee and we had a long conversation that initiated me what seemed to me to be at the time and confirmed to me the life later, the underground world of the influences and arrangements of the world of the prestigious architecture. The first thing that Huet said to me is that the prizes more acquaintances already were assigned to the foreigners in advance. That when Rossi did the invitations to the “Venturi et al” it made they guaranteeing a prize. And during the deliberations of the Juror it looked after itself of throwing a dart to the different mafias, of Rome, of Florence or of Venice. I make be clear that the word mafia used Huet.

Also he spoke to me in a laudatory tone of two projects, with which evidently he was identifying (not with others, it seemed to me), that of Venturi and that of Maria Grazia Sironi. I, ingenuous and believer in whom the architecture is a construction, belief that I support up to today, felt certain shivers when the escenográfico reminded bridge of the first one, simultaneously that was causing his deep strangeness that it of Sironi, a game of small acoustic and pictorial signs in the landscape that small I understood and today I remember in a confused way, it had seemed to him so well.

I understand now better, that between dilettantes of the architecture, or preferably, between persons that discursean in an educated way on what the architecture must be, the ideology has done, it does and it will do devastations. And it provides base to indicate, to sit preferences and to move with fluency in this space in which everything seems to be possible and nothing is verifiable but as bet that always can be refuted, that is the Project. Everything what has not been constructed navigates well in the sea of the ideology, and Huet what was expressing to me, for my certain anger and not few frustration, it was an ideological preference.

5 I returned to Venezuela, my home of narrow borders but essential world, with questions that it could not answer and that only today two decades later I it do with minimal tranquility. To this brilliant and attractive bubble of the international forums many things cannot be asked him; and certainly one that is out of his scope is that of the veracity. There happens with them what happens with all the temptations of the glory that they teach the myths: they show you the world to your feet to seduce yourself, but you must deliver something in exchange and between them a condition that is better the one that allows to live, that of the transparency. To gain certain glories demands to darken, to hide, to calculate. And though it is true that we all in some moment have been ready to leave ourselves to touch, it does not come badly to have lost the bet, with it we have won, though us demos account a bit late.

6 And already I have gone too long. While I write this the information comes to me from that raise critiques to the Biennial show. One of them come from a personage that a certain time ago accumulated credentials to be very well located in someone of the previous versions. Maybe now he cannot stand to have gone on to the oblivion. But in the critiques there are many successes. It is qualified to the Biennial show by enough reason as populist. It is said that there has rewarded the misery, which in the case that occupies the Venezuelans is not to be true. But the most significant thing is that it has clarified very in the hypocrisy that spreads in these spaces, the ignorance, the levity. But it is not new. The new thing, for me at least, is to see it so clear.


Óscar Tenreiro Degwitz

Es un arquitecto venezolano, nacido en 1939, Premio Nacional de Arquitectura de su país en 2002-2003, profesor de Diseño Arquitectónico por más de treinta años en la Universidad Central de Venezuela, quien paralelamente con su ejercicio ha mantenido ya por años presencia en la prensa de su país en un esfuerzo de comunicación hacia la gente en general de los puntos de vista del arquitecto acerca de los más diversos temas, entre los cuales figuran los agudos problemas políticos de una sociedad como la venezolana. Tenreiro practica así lo que el llama el “pensamiento desde y hacia la arquitectura”, insistiendo en que lo hace como arquitecto en ejercicio, para escapar de los estereotipos y cautelas propios de la “crítica arquitectónica”. Respecto a la cual no oculta su desconfianza, que explica recurriendo al aforismo de Nietzsche sobre el crítico de arte “que ve el arte desde cerca sin llegar a tocarlo nunca”.

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