Wednesday, 17 October 2012

After Theory

I came across this quote the other day:

'My main work has been the planning of buildings. I have never written or spoken much'.

Well fuck me. Of course that's Mies van de Rohe. It's opportune I found it because I was due to give a research seminar on Mies and since the subject was Mies van de Rohe as found in Architecture and Other Habits, this post is a sort of triple reflexive triple cross of postmodern superstructure that makes you just long for the absolute straightforwardness of the man's original sentiment, which incidentally and of course attracts us acadacademics like moths to a flame; like when you ask 'what's wrong' to your girlfriend, and she says 'nothing'. By just saying that, Mies infuriates us.
So I shove on some Free, I'm getting so fond of those four albums (see earlier posts). They haunt me, even the worst bits, in the shower. It's a good way to get out of poststructuralist dilemmas to consider Paul Rogers appalling lyrics and those sensuous Kossof licks. I wish Terry Eagleton would turn his attention to such things, because this morning After Theory gave me a headache.
Roger's repertoire pretty much revolves around roads and sunshine, or variations on those two themes. Umberto Eco said there were seven themes to 007, I'm glad I've got Rogers down to two. They are not essentially bad themes, but when he talks about 'northern heat' you can't help but think he must think he's in the southern hemisphere. However, with such quirks, and there are many of them, he does keep me interested.
One of the few critics to understand such musings would of course be Dave Hickey, whose conception of criticism is close to that of playing air guitar. I agree with him. You cannot dissect a red painting by writing a thesis on the word red. It's missing the point entirely. You have to sort of play along, you have to feel it.

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