The beautiful thing and the Sinister thing | Miquel Lacasta

La imagen del post proviene de la tesis de Ernest Ferré, Text i Tectònica
The image of the post comes from the Ernest Ferré´s thesis, Text i Tectònica

In zones of comfort, that is to say, in known environments, parametrized in advance or structured before in the mind of the individuals, the opposite dualities can manage to make sense. I refer to dualities of the type full or empty, black or white, opened or enclosure, etc. These opposite or exclusive dualities, there work because the recipient of the information knows before the shades and the singularities hidden in such a primary and simple description. That is to say, the whole world assumes this duality as a simplification necessary to understand itself of direct and rapid form. This costs for the architecture, for the art, the test, but also for multiple situations of the life, both professional, and the private road. Briefly, without need of shades or specific explanations, the issuer and recipient of this binary code, or a thing or other one, they can be understood thanks to a shared knowledge deeper than a message of this type encloses.

Obviously when we go out of this zone of comfort, this characteristic of the message is totally insufficient. If the environment is not known, the need of contextualizar and to show the palette of intermediate colors between two situations is necessary. One of these zones of excellent dis-comfort is the limit of the known, the field of the frontier knowledge. Curiously, though not always it happens this way, it is possible to continue speaking in the territory of the unknown and unknown of dualities, but the radical difference is that there the opposition of categories is not credible. It is more, the shade of the conjunction is almost necessary “and” to show the capacity of any space based on the indetermination, of which the categories gather in crowds, complement each other and even be contradicted.

This type of resources is magisterial in Eugenio Trías’s work, recently deceased. His innumerable writings it brings over of the aesthetics, since it is A Logic of the limit1, a relational space promises to be between center and periphery, between inside and border, which the philosopher develops even as space topológico.2 In the space between the Hermetic fence and the fence of to Appear, Trías places the Frontier fence, there where the frontier fence, place of mediation, is also the place fundacional … In him the being of the limit lodges.3

In this eminently frontier space, in this condition of limit to the one that assigns a demarcation character, and whom it manages to invoke as the contemporary excellent place while we are beings of the limit, inhabitants between the being and nothing, a border that shapes us to his image and similarity, stamping his own logic, Trías places the duality of the beautiful thing and the sinister thing. In the beautiful thing and the sinister thing (refiriéndose I free his acquaintance of the same name),4 there am imposed I, for the first time, almost without realizing, the idea of limit.

And it continues:

I affirm there that the sinister thing is the condition and the limit of the beautiful thing. The immediacy and patencia of the sinister thing it destroys any possible aesthetic effect. But the pure and simple repression of this dark bottom makes in turn impossible that the aesthetic effect takes place. Then, the sinister thing is simultaneously condition and limit. Without indirect reference to sinister the aesthetic object lacks force and vitality (it is to say of beauty) … The mystery must be kept as such”.5

In more mundane words, the beautiful thing and the sinister thing it is undissociable of the aesthetic fact and therefore of the architecture, the art, the literature, the cinema, etc. Still I would dare to say more, the beautiful thing and the sinister thing is like category, a not opposite, indistinct duality of any vital aspiration. Slightly consubstantial to the human being.

In the area of reflections that here are given, an extended frame of the notion of the architecture with direct relations with the philosophy, the geography, the sociology, and a length etc., he would say that the beautiful thing and the sinister thing like aesthetic category is consubstantial of the urban fact. The way of production of the urban thing, in wide and generous sense, one must happen between the sinister thing as limit and the beautiful thing as reificador, since cosificador of the reality.

One of the most striking images that place in the limit, costs the redundancy, of the sinister thing and the beautiful thing, as something beyond the architectural thing, as the immense one and simultaneously brutal act of love, I it learned of Ernest Ferré’s doctoral thesis Text i Tectònica,6 defended last year, and of that I had the pleasure of forming a part of the court.

In the thesis is reported how Corbusier was possessing a copy of the Cuisse that during long periods of his life he was reading every day, up to considering I covered that the relation with this copy manages to turn not so much into an object of poetical reaction, but rather of poetical worship. In turn, also Le Corbusier reports in the thesis the love of for his dog Pinceau, his faithful page like his particular Sancho Panza.

To Pinceau‘s death, November 6, 1945, in an emotional basic and instinctive reaction, over any consideration, reaction or intellectual emotion, the Swiss architect fuses in an act limit, his estimated reading, and the memory of a being loved in an alone object, in turn immensly beautiful and sinister. Le Corbusier lines the stale and old copy of the Quijote with the skin of his faithful dog Pinceua, in a sublime action. The purism like that, it had been exceeded by the symbolism and the art; For Le Corbusier, this action will re-place his search in that one that is capable of thrilling the very same bottom of the conscience, placing the spirit of the truth, in the same coordinates.

Certainly, it is worth saying here that Selections it relates the double category of the beautiful thing and the sinister thing directly to the notion of the sublime thing, while in the limit of this juxtaposed duality, the key resides for the appearance of the aesthetic category par excellence of the sublime thing.

This and not other one is the logic of the architecture as aesthetic fact. The will of beauty and the assumption of the condition of the sinister thing that cosifica the beautiful thing and it throws towards the sublime thing.

What distant view seems to stay this attitude, the attitude of the love and the excessive passion, partly of the current architecture … lack of symbolic, passionate, wild and deeply beautiful acts!!!

Qué lejos parece quedar esta actitud, la actitud del amor y la pasión desmedida, en parte de la arquitectura actual… ¡¡¡falta de actos simbólicos, apasionados, salvajes y profundamente bellos!!!

Miquel Lacasta. PhD architect
Barcelona, april 2013


1 .TRÍAS, Eugenio, Lógica del Límite, Editorial Destino, Barcelona, 1991

2 .Seeing graph of the topología of the limit in TRÍAS, Eugenio, Ciudad sobre Ciudad, Arte, religión y ética en el cambio de milenio, Editorial Destino, Barcelona, 2001

3 .Op. cit. TRÍAS, 2001 p. 86

4 .TRÍAS, Eugenio, Lo Bello y lo Siniestro, De Bolsillo Random House Mondadori, Barcelona, 2011. One of the recent reissues of the test.

5 .Op. cit. TRÍAS, 2001 p. 173

6 .FERRÉ, Ernest en

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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