Architecture Monday

A fun little folly tonight, in the form of the Smile.  A temporary pavilion at the London Design Festival back in 2016.  Made of cross-laminated wood as a double cantilever structure, it seems to rest, precariously balanced, in the middle of the courtyard.  As a folly it’s akin mostly to spatial art, inhabited purely for the experience and joy it brings.

The Smile by Alison Brooks Architects

Philosophy Tuesday

And now for some lynx musings on all types of art! *

  • Art for beauty’s sake is OK.  Not all art needs to have deep, layered, meanings or messages.  Art for pleasure and the visceral experience is a thing, and it can be a great thing.
  • Art that is rife with intended meaning is also a great thing.  Art that causes us to reflect, discover, that shakes our foundations, that leaves us moved, that are profound, are all great.
  • Move around.  Stand close to the work.  Stand far away from the work.  See it in context.  Focus in on a little detail.  Watch the light fall across it.  Whole new experiences can be had just by observing differently.
  • It’s OK to love something.  You don’t need to erect a barrier between you and it through intellect, or identity, or etc.  Think of Anton Ego from Ratatouille – his big transformation comes when he drops his identity as a critic and returns to liking food (and being able to enjoy it).
  • Very importantly adding to the previous: you can like something without needing to define it in opposition to something else.  Avoid that trap.
  • Liking something, and critiquing something, are two different things.  Critiquing is its own and developed skill that requires contemplation and consideration of the work from several angles.  To make a critique is to put yourself on the line, vulnerable.  At the same time, you must also stand outside of yourself;  a critique may include whether you like it or not, but the bulk of the critique is irrespective of that (dis)like.
  • Art is hard.  Ever create something?  From scratch?  It can be HARD.  A struggle, even.  Remember that it is often difficult enough just trying to communicate something to a friend through words, let alone trying to emote or connect to a stranger through artwork.  Remember this before you dismiss a work.
  • If visiting a gallery, remember to pay attention to the gallery itself.  The architecture can be a piece of art in its own right!
  • Variety makes life awesome.  That things exist outside the “ordinary” bounds or definitions – or outside of what you like/find lovely – is vital.  Let diversity flourish, even if its not your thing.  And (at least occasionally) engage with it… who knows, you may find yourself coming around to it.
  • Installation art and spatial art are the best.  (Ok, natch, this one’s not a musing… but I do love them!)

 

* Including painting, sculpture, photography, cooking, architecture, writing, movies…