Monday, 19 January 2015

Café: The Magazine, Serpentine Sackler

A compact display of the many various things I love and hate about Zaha Hadid. The exuberance of geometry is completely breathtaking. It is a whirl in the pleasure of form, and regardless the slaves, interns, robots and oilfields it may have taken to carve this into physicality, I think it is so important that someone out there is being so bold. Architecture, preemptively preoccupied with ethics, production, longevity and stodgy sustainability loses much of its energy to be flamboyant expressive and worth-sustaining. Needless to say, I cannot finally conscion it. The hosepipe fountain (possibly temporary) is straight out of Jacques Tati, knowingly, almost, pronouncing the absurdist overprivileged enterprise it has been coopted to serve. The slick panelised form bellies out the side of the Sackler, bulbous, overinflated, obese. It is gestural, but to the point of flippant contempt, a vomit of CAD. I dislike it conceptually with almost equal force to the affection I have for the swooping joy of the form. The contempt it displays against the trivialities of realisation and maintenance are witnessed where sleek muscular columns run flush into the floor, and minions mopping have slowly stained a fringe of grey. The thin novelty of fleeting fashionability are found also in the bespoke asymmetrical tables with polished dentable scratchable smooth matt finishes - seen collectively they seem to be a recovery group discussing the abuse of their being used at all. My espresso was a tight and tangy shot, made more than merely competent by the singular crockery, cast in the same jaunty squiggle as the mother conch above it. I wish I could give myself permission to praise the cafe without reservation, but the waitering was cool going on cold, as throughout it is coloured by an awareness of its privilege.

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