Thursday, 9 January 2014

200words: transforming tate britain - CarusoStJohn

" is not interested in a 'new vernacular' but in giving a higher priority to the emotional experience of buildings and developing an understanding of how fabrication can hold emotional intent."Adam Caruso - In Good Faith (1998), in The Feeling of Things (2008)

Refined Britishisms here: slinky as De La Ware alighting with a curtsy to Soane. This clean Tate is posed and poised, justaposed with chrome alloys, all fan-arrayed and Art-Deco slightly. See Caruso StJohn have played; their classicism winks in new stone, nautilusly. And with wood too, wonderfully, sassy with panache, the chocolate handrail descends wrily, dry witty in its handsome demur, gliding noiselessly downstairs. And down there, slunk hunkered in the womby tombs, see strung joy, hanging in the cafe: globes troping, pert and buoyed, bulbous swoops, cartesian but with variations contra Stirling's rigid fixes yonder.

The scheme is paletted in almost absolutes, off whites vs near noirs, all as if chequers antithesising. And the effect of this black-or-whiting is the drama of distinction - an obsession with the objective objet.

In employing such thingly objects, stark and set apart, Caruso StJohn have an approach not so much minimalist as elementalist in compartmentalised portioned parcels, partial and defined: packaged pieces of Graham Harman's Object Oriented Philosophy. Such a hope in distinction entails a preoccupation with edges – a risky business and expensive. Note the obsessive, compulsive, and dusty, shadow gap between the spiral stair glass upstand and the tread. Pity the wet trades' whose tragic crack in the ceiling plaster lets a patch of colour through - fabrication is full of such emotional moments.

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