Thursday, 13 June 2013
Colour is colour. She will not be domesticated, or catalogued. She is primal, an aboriginal horror, occult and woad painted. Eyes glaring the colour of blood, she brooks no branding, she is not yours to tart up mediocre façades. 'Colour in architecture'? – as if we had conquered her, as if, out of the void we had invented her. There is no uncoloured architecture, only those with the humility to engage colour on her terms. Whereas the projects in this exhibition hope that they have won the fight, snared this bird, tamed this beast to do their bidding. So they smear her cynically across rooms, blitter her jauntily over gargantuan elevations, utilitise her in calculated hollow signs and ever more desperate bids for sensation. Linguistic scepticism has abolished subtlety in our tonal vocabulary, colour no longer carries meaning about an objective reality beyond ourselves, it serves only to affirm that we exist as sensing animals, grounding our being in feeling neon's assault to our retina. And this is the inheritance we are leaving: witness the patronised plastic children in the unswervingly banal Westminster Academy, they are of a generation raised on the E-numbers and additives of architecture, raised to know only the colour of money.