Thursday, December 4, 2008

You Don't Care About This

If you read Slate today you may have noticed a piece entitled, Bringing Brutal Back. The piece is about the architect Paul Rudolph. The long and short of the article is that Rudolph's architectural style could be making a least at Yale. About a third of the way down there is the following quote:
Yet by the time of his death in 1997, Rudolph was all but forgotten. What happened? In a word, taste—changing taste. By the 1970s, Postmodernism had introduced wit and irony to architecture, neither of which interested the serious Rudolph, whose brand of heroic monumentalism now struck many people—and many potential clients—as bombastic.
Suffice it to say that the irony postmodernism brought to style was surly not witty. Postmodernistic style is completely indifferent to questions of consistency, context, or continuity. It self conscientiously splices genres, attitudes and styles without reason. Wit expresses a certain intellect. Therefore, as stated above, postmodernistic style may be ironic in the sense that it produces something with traits that you wouldn't expect but there is nothing witty about those ironic characteristics. Though there are examples of postmodernistic architecture that are extremely impressive, as a general rule they are random, out of context, and simply overbearing. The problem with the quote about Rudolph''s architecture is that it makes no sense.

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