The end of the year is approaching with great speed... another year... time never tires, it seems.
The Dada movement was born 100 years ago, Giovanni Bellini died 500 years ago, Dolfi Trost (the unknown) died 50 years ago, Odilon Redon died 100 years ago and Edward Albee died a few days ago...
What is time...? And what is human life...?
Sooner or later time will engulf us too.
Knowing this, in a perhaps juvenile way we can protest... by celebrating an art that, beyond the vicissitudes of life, keeps challenging the linearity of time with the circularity of art, that is, with its approximate ability to escape the stringencies of Chronos.
We invite you, now that the year is ending, to the last five competitions ICARCH will launch this year, commemorative affirmations of human creativity in fight with the Inevitable.
We do not offer prizes and we do not ask for a registration fee. We simply want to encourage creativity, looking backwards, but moving forwards.
Will you follow us...?
A HOUSE FOR REDON
We can only be happy that Odilon Redon failed the entrance examination in the architecture school and that he dedicated himself to painting, printmaking, drafting.
His brother became a noted architect, but Odilon remained to fight for the cause of NON-ARCHITECTURE.
Yes, maybe his paintings are the least “architectural,” since they depict the world of the shadows we call “symbols.”
For us, deprived of myth, of its propensity for “the other world,” symbols do not exist, since they are too “otherworldly” to exist.
But for Redon they existed, not as “certitudes” (how could they?), but as ABYSMAL INQUIETUDES.
We ask you to design THE HOUSE OF ABYSMAL INQUIETUDE.
THE MOON HOUSE.
ONLY HALF REVEALED.
THE HOUSE OF PSYCHIC SHADOWS.
A HOUSE FOR ODILON REDON, now that there were, this year, 100 years since his death, in July. And we apologize for being a little late.
Plunge into “otherworldliness,” dear architect, that is, leave your architectural convictions outside the door… for once, at least!
What kind of an architect would he have become, if he entered the Architecture School…?!
Probably a “strange” architect, most possibly, unemployed and unemployable… and most certainly, very unhappy and alienated.
The word “alienated” comes from the word “alien.”
But, again and again, aren’t we ALL “aliens…?!?”
Yes, perhaps, but only some of us have the courage to say it.
Like Baudelaire, for example, who sang his “strangeness” in the beautiful short poem in prose “L’Etranger.”
So please design A HOUSE FOR A STRANGER, dear architect, 100 years since such a “stranger” died.
Design a diaphanous house, as diaphanous as Redon’s paintings and graphic works.
A “mysterious” house… maybe a fragile house, since the symbolist Odilon Redon was very fragile, as his art shows us.
But his fragility has the power of dreams. He was THE PRINCE OF DREAMS, as he was called. And in 2005 the Museum of Modern Art in New York dedicated an exhibition to him called: “Beyond the Visible.”
Indeed, this most “visual” of artists was actually, through his work, “beyond the visible…” Maybe just like Paul Klee, he lived with those not yet born and with those already dead.
Design such a house, NOT YET BORN AND ALREADY DEAD.
A HOUSE FOR ODILON REDON, the great “symbolist” painter.
As always, we accept ANY work, ANY size and ANY format. Please register before the deadline, to receive a registration number with which to anonymously identify your work, to be sent digitally to: email@example.com. The deadline is December 15th, 2016. We will display all the works received on our website and we will organize an exhibition with the best works.
A HOUSE FOR DOLFI TROST
Maybe it is the easiest, to design a house for an unknown person.
Indeed, who was Dolfi Trost?...
In the Wikipedia we read:
Dolfi or Dolphi Trost (1916 in Brăila – 1966 in Chicago, Illinois) was a Romanian surrealist poet, artist, and theorist, and the instigator of entopic graphomania. Together with Gherasim Luca, he was the author of Dialectique de la dialectique (1945). He also authored a work entitled Le même du même.
In 1941, Trost and Luca were among the founders of the Bucharest group of surrealists, which also included Gellu Naum, Paul Păun, and Virgil Theodorescu.
But in the scarcity of this bio there is hidden, we believe, a secret and a mystery.
We believe Dolfi Trost was an excellent poet and painter and thinker, even if his oeuvre is not very large.
But the fact that it is not large might actually be a very good thing.
If we look at the few images on Google Images that present his work we hear, without doubt, the voice of authenticity, that is, the voice of truth.
In a world and at a time obsessed with myriad of scandals, of all kinds, here it was, it is, the case of a graphic artist and poet that spoke from the margin in the most genuine way.
He was born 100 years ago and he died 50 years ago.
And we believe he shouldn’t be forgotten.
Let’s contemplate his visual works and let’s read his theoretical texts.
We might learn something that the noise around us does not teach us.
Indeed, what is art?...
Do we create art in order to increase the noise of this world, or quite the opposite, as a respite from it?...
Good art can be found anywhere, and often, not where one expects it.
There was great art created by human beings who didn’t even know they were “artists.”
Maybe it is high time to consider again that art of the “non-artists.”
In the modesty of this unglamorous condition, of that of a “non-artist,” could lie significant riches.
But Dolfi Trost WAS an artist.
But not one who “made” it.
He never was a “star.” That is, he never shone on the shoulders of publicity.
Maybe he died unknown, and yet, mysteriously, here we are, wanting to dedicate a house to him.
How would such a house be?...
The answer to this question can only come after contemplating his work.
This is what we invite you to do: to contemplate his work, both drawn / painted and written.
Then, design a house.
A house for Dolfi Trost. We didn’t write Trist (which in Romanian means “sad,” but TROST).
We accept ANY work, ANY size, ANY format. Please send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 15th, 2016. Please register in order to receive a registration number with which to anonymously identify your work.
AN ART PAVILION FOR GIOVANNI BELLINI
500 years ago the great Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini died.
500 years ago, on November 26th.
What is a painter?... What is his / her role in society?...
Do we need them?...
WE DO because life, without them, would be even harder.
They give us “illusions,” but of a very different kind than the ones given to us by Hallmark and Hollywood, the two deadly “Hs”.
The “illusions” of the great painters are not really “illusions,” because they are sustained by what is the most intense, and the highest, FORM OF REALITY.
What we usually call “reality” is at the most, only HALF of the “real reality,” and this Dostoevsky knew quite well and together with him all the great artists, writers, thinkers, prophets, etc.
But they are in minority. And most of the time, we ignore them.
So why should we design an ART PAVILION FOR GIOVANNI BELLINI in the Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice?...
Because we believe life and death are intertwined, they are correlative.
Giovanni Bellini is buried inside the great Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo.
And we feel that a "dialogue" between the best painters of today in Venice, who would exhibit in the pavilion, and the famous resident beyond the entrance door of the church, would be fruitful, indeed, albeit, perhaps, only "meta-physical."
What could happen if we refuse to consider the dead, dead?...
What if, indeed, the dead are watching us?
Wouldn’t, in such a case, Giovanni Bellini be quite pleased to see that the freshness of the present, in terms of painting, would be displayed right in front of the basilica where his tomb is?...
We feel he most certainly would.
Not only that, the painters of today would feel challenged to exhibit their works just meters / feet away from the Master, yes, the great Master of Venetian painting.
So we invite you, on this anniversary year, to design a small art pavilion to be built right in front of the basilica. So Bellini would see it.
Please make it as innovative and creative and even idiosyncratic as you can. This pavilion should testify about the present and the future.
It should bring THE NEW to Venice that would make even a Marinetti happy.
Yes, let’s honor the great Giovanni Bellini with an equally great small art pavilion, where the present day great Venetian painters can show their work, itself, somehow, and maybe, an homage to the great predecessor.
How else could we pay our homage to past greatness, if not through present greatness?
We plan to send a portfolio with all the works received to the mayor of Venice, with the suggestion to build the best proposal, so next year, on November 26th, the best painters of Venice, now, would show their works there, meters / feet away from the master.
Please design a building that can be built, because we want it built.
The deadline to submit your work is November 26th, 2016. Please register freely in order to receive a registration number with which to anonymously identify your work.
To receive more details and to ask questions, please contact us at: email@example.com
THE HOUSE OF DADA
Or should we say the House of NuNu…?
One of the several explanations for the name “dada” is that the Romanian poet Tristan Tzara, one of the founders of this “controversial” art movement, approved in a discussion at Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich with the words “Da, Da”, which in Romanian mean: Yes, Yes…
But perhaps the strange thing is that this famous and iconocloastic art movement has exacerbated negation to the level of phantasm… in other words, the words: Nu Nu, which in Romanian mean: No, No.
But what is the dialectical relationship between Yes, and No…?!
Isn’t it said that opposites attract, and meet…?
Maybe in the furious negations of Dada, there was a strong affirmation of life (and art as well), and this was quite well illustrated by the simple fact that the last word of the Dada Manifesto written by Tristan Tzara is: Life. Yes, this is the last word in that manifesto: life.
What would art be without life…?
Unfortunately, quite often, in the name of “art” we kill life.
DADA was searching for a new beginning, beyond the sclerosis of pretentious artistic gestures, beyond museums, exhibitions and the paraphernalia, ever expanding, of the ever voracious “art world.”
Today we experience the plethora of “artistic” invasions at all levels. Indeed, when the sun sets it is at its most beautiful. Or should we say, intrusive…?
Perhaps the sun of art was setting a long time ago, and Tzara and his companions felt it… many crimes, and not only aesthetical, have been committed in the name of “art.” And the most important victim, no doubt, was LIFE itself.
So trying to rescue LIFE from Art, DADA accomplished, or could have accomplished, the opposite as well. A RENEWAL OF ART.
The involved issues are complex.
We invite you to explore them, through architecture.
Imagine THE HOUSE OF DADA.
Or should we say, again, THE HOUSE OF NUNU…?
Design a house that is anti-design, anti-everything, except anti-life.
Design a house that says to you: to hell with you, dear designer, I don’t and I didn’t and I won’t need you.
Design THE HOUSE OF NO DESIGN.
Design THE HOUSE OF THE ULTIMATE NEGATION THAT BECOMES, BEAUTIFULLY, THE HOUSE OF THE ULTIMATE ASSERTION.
ASSERT ART, BY KILLING IT.
ASSERT LIFE, BY KILLING IT, through the most ardent, desirous, deadly embrace.
DESIGN THE HOUSE OF DADA, now that the Dada movement was born 100 years ago.
Please send us ANY work, ANY size, ANY format. The deadline is December 15th, 2016. Please register before the deadline to receive a registration code with which to anonymously identify your work. We will exhibit all the works received both on our website and in an exhibition at UAUIM (The University of Architecture and Urbanism “Ion Mincu” in Bucharest, Romania).
A HOUSE FOR EDWARD ALBEE
Or should we say: A house for Mommy and Daddy…? Or even better, for Daddy and Mommy…?
Or should we say: A HOUSE FOR THE RUIN OF THE AMERICAN DREAM…?
Or should we say: THE HOUSE OF ILLUSIONS…?
Or should we say: THE HOUSE OF A BALANCE NEVER ACHIEVED…?
Edward Albee died, at 88, some days ago.
He lived a long life, to write about it, through a long list of plays not necessarily long.
Albee was needed to tell the truth about the banality, and falseness of “The American Dream,” that very dream that became almost the universal dream, thanks to the powers of persuasion of the ubiquitous “media.”
Through Hollywood and other channels, the falsity of “the American Dream” spread everywhere.
It is high time to continue the fight against it, even after Mr. Albee’s death.
Because nothing really changed… the stupidity of a life built on conventions and ridiculously pink expectations cannot remain without a reaction, even from architects, notoriously serving uncritically a complacent society and “beneficiaries.”
So how would A HOUSE FOR EDWARD ALBEE look like…?
If we would consider his work, perhaps without the luxuries he himself enjoyed, following his appreciable success, as a writer.
That house might not have a Henri Moore sculpture on its lawn, nor the many luxuries he himself enjoyed in Greenwich Village.
Nonetheless, what is important is something else: CAN WE DESIGN AN “ABSURDIST” HOUSE THAT CRITICIZES THE SWEETNESS OF A LIFE INSPIRED BY “THE AMERICAN DREAM?!...”
What, after all, is The American Dream…?
A Daddy, a Mommy and a few kids, a prosperous house, perhaps with the walls painted in pink, plenty of food and orange juice in the refrigerator, a car, or two, or even better, three, a well-manicured lawn and of course, a giant TV, or several, for the daily dose of lies.
So would A HOUSE FOR EDWARD ALBEE be the very opposite…? Maybe… the question remains open.
But while architecture continues to be distant vis-à-vis the major artistic currents of the world, maybe in this case, in a commemorative way, we can explore the ANTI "AMERICAN DREAM" HOUSE par excellence.
By the way of commemorating Edward Albee.
How would such a house be…? THE ANTI -AMERICAN DREAM HOUSE.
This is our question and the challenge of this competition.
The deadline to receive your work is December 15th, 2016.