War on all fixed forms

«I am at war with my time, with history, with all authority that resides in fixed and frightened forms. I am one of millions who do not fit in, who have no home, no family, no doctrine, no firm place to call my own, no known beginning or end, no “sacred and primordial site.” I declare war on all icons and finalities, on all histories that would chain me with my own falseness, my own pitiful fears. I know only moments, and lifetimes that are as moments, and forms that appear with infinite strength, then “melt into air.” I am an architect, a constructor of worlds, a sensualist who worships the flesh, the melody, a silhouette against the darkening sky. I cannot know your name. Nor you can know mine. Tomorrow, we begin together the construction of a city.»

– Lebbeus Woods (1940-2012), in War and Architecture, 2002, p. 1.

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Two power sources


“Yuansu III +2” (2015) by Ren Ri

The project’s title, “Yuansu” [at 1m5s] is based on the Chinese words for “tension, element” (yuan) and “mold, relation in-between” (su).

«… worker bees follow their queen (gravity) and fly across my body, which is lying flat on the ground. Here, my body intervenes with the bees’ activities, and can be read as a symbol like “l”, while the route of the bees flying over my body is like “—”. These two symbols form a cross “+”, representing a new form of space when two power sources meet and influence each other. The symbolic form “+” is either achieved in the installation piece. The forms of the human body and bees interact with each other, while the directions of their movements intersect in the space. The duality of interaction between the body and the bees is not simply in the physical sense; more importantly, it hints at an interrelated force and its counterforce» – Ren Ri.

Dance partner


Gordon Matta-Clark, “Splitting” (1974), house (before complete demolition) at 322 Humphrey Street in the suburb of Englewood, New Jersey.

 

When writing about “Splitting”, Gordon Matta-Clark gave the house a performative role, saying that having made the cut there was a real moment of suspense about how the house would react, but that it responded «like a perfect dance partner».

Matta-Clark wrote that the production of the work was not illusionistic, but that it was «all about a direct physical activity, and not about making associations with anything outside it».

The floating step

The floating step was invented by Nadezhda Nadezhdina (1908-1979), the founder of Beryozka (“Little Birch Tree”) Ensemble in 1948, and became a part of their round dances. Obviously the effect of the dancers moving on their toes, coupled with the long dresses, makes it look like the all-female troupe is gliding across the floor, frictionless. To achieve this effect, the dancers are bouncing from toe to toe inside of their pointe shoes. The choreographic troupe has been to over 80 countries and “covered over 47,000 dancing kilometers, through their signature step”. The circumference of Earth, for reference, is 40,075 km (or about 24,901 miles).