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VLOGA MARILYN MONROE V JAPONSKI ARHITEKTURI; torek, 3.IV.07 ob 13.15 (4537 bralcev)
Torek, 3. 4. 2007
Peter Karba



V četrtek, prejšnji teden je bilo na Fužinskem gradu v okviru ciklusa, Arhitekturni epicentri, predavanje z naslovom, Metabolizem prej in potem: kako si je povojna japonska arhitektura pridobila mednarodni ugled. Predaval je Yasushi Zenno, sicer lingvist, ki pa je študiral tudi arhitekturno zgodovino in kritiko na Columbia University v New Yorku. Tam danes predava moderno japonsko in azijsko arhitekturno zgodovino, v okviru Tokijske univerze pa raziskuje vlogo Charlotte Perriand v razvoju sodobne japonske arhitekture. Charlotte Perriand, mimogrede, je bila simpatična sodelavka velikega Le Corbusierja, ki se je ukvarjala, ne več s pohištvom, ampak z opremo strašnega vranjega koncepta – hiša je stroj. Radikalni primeri modernističnih japonskih bivalnih enot, ki se jim zahodnjaki tako čudimo, imajo svoje seme tudi v žlahtni humanistični drži intelektualnih in umetniških krogov medvojne Francije.


Ciklus predavanj, ki se je začel lanskega maja, prehaja v svojo sklepno fazo. Uredila jih je Petra Čeferin z Inštituta za arhitekturo in kulturo v sodelovanju z Arhitekturnim muzejem Ljubljana. Zvrstilo se je že osem predavanj, ki so skozi okvir teme epicentrov razlagali okoliščine za vznik inovativnih sodobnih arhitekturnih praks v različnih delih sveta. Predavalo se je o Finski, Barraganovi Mehiki, Niemeyerjevi Braziliji, o fenomenu Superdutch, o kontinuiranem vzponu švicarske arhitekture, o postmodernizmu in dekonstruktivizmu med leti 1966 in 1988 v ZDA, o Barceloni v zadnjih dvajsetih letih in tudi o japonskem metabolizmu. Razen uvodnega predavanja Petre Čeferin o finski arhitekturi, so predavatelji prihajali iz tujine. Do konca cikla bosta svoj pogled dodala še Rado Riha in Boštjan Vuga. Medtem ko vam predavanje Rada Rihe 19. aprila v prostorih Filozofskega inštituta toplo priporočamo, vam na predavanje, kakor Vuga interpretira promocijo svojih projektov, ali bolje idejnih zasnov, ni potrebno hoditi – Fužinski grad je kar daleč.

Arhitekturni epicenter je pojem, ki označuje specifičen čas, dogajanje v določenem ekonomsko-političnem momentu. Pojem priznava vlogo kapitala in politike v arhitekturi, splošneje umetniški produkciji, več, se ji podreja. Izvaja se kot posledica, učinek, ekonomsko-političnih mehanizmov. Predavanja dosegajo premislek več, ne razlagajo samo vzrok za vznik nekega umetniškega procesa, temveč se ukvarjajo tudi z njegovim razvojem, preobrazbami in zatonom. Na koncu se postavljajo pred srebrn ekran, odprto vprašanje: Kakšne so posledice, odmevi obravnavanega impulza v bodočem izvajanju umetniške prakse, v tem primeru, arhitekture. Primeri kažejo, da se lahko tak epicenter povzpne do vloge najbolj prepoznavnega promotorja nacionalne kulture, a da je minljiv, in da naslednji dobi ostane težko delo soočanja s presežki, ki postajajo odveč, postanejo Leninovi ostanki kapitalizma, snov iz katere se oplaja komunizem.

In predavanje? Že sam naslov je zelo kompleksen, če ne celo čuden. Zdi se, kot da bi želel sporočiti, da je z metabolizmom postala povojna Japonska v mednarodnem oziru arhitekturno ugledna dežela. Če, potem je tak naslov zelo naiven. Namreč, do konca druge svetovne vojne je bila Japonska prav siten sosed svojim sosedam v prostrani pacifiški soseski. V svoji zastavi je imela sonce, ki vzhaja z oceana, in je po vojni izgubilo svoje žarke, jutranjo zarjo, auro. Tisti žarki so bili, tako kot zvezdice v ameriški zastavi, simbol imperialistične potence, ki jo je po odprtju zahodu, potrebovalo vedno bolj natrpano otočje. Po drugi svetovni vojni je Japonska ostala kastrirana ovca, ki ji je zahod že kakšno stoletje prej začel maličit obraz.

In kaj pravzaprav pomeni mednarodni ugled? Gre za vrednotenje umetniške produkcije na nadnacionalnem nivoju. Da se lahko nek produkt v tem pomenu obravnava, ga je bilo potrebno prej vzpostaviti. V nekakšni utopični obliki je ideja internacionalnega zrasla na zeljniku komunistov v 19. stoletju. Po spopadu nacionalnih ideologij v Prvi svetovni vojni se začne ideja viti med umetniškimi in intelektualnimi avantgardami medvojne Evrope. Tako lahko v polju arhitekture sledimo ustanovitvi slavnega CIAM-a, kongresa mednarodne moderne arhitekture, v letu 1929 ali pa kultni knjigi Hitchocka in Johnsona, International style, ki kot tako opredeli sodobno arhitekturo od leta 1922 naprej. Zenno je umestitev japonske arhitekture v mednarodno orbito razložil v smislu, kot da so tovrstne avantgarde zelo rade vzele za svojo vsako umetniško delo, ki je nosilo vsaj malo pridiha mednarodnega. Ker so pač hiše vseh kultur ujete v zakone istega planeta, se je ideja mednarodnega arhitekturnega sloga toliko lažje uveljavila.

A tako kot vsaka stvar, tudi vsaka ideja lahko služi različni rabi. Tako je tudi pojem, mednarodni, dobil po drugi svetovni vojni drug pomen. Če smo glede Prve svetovne vojne še govorili o merjenju moči nacionalnih idej, je bila druga vojna zanje končni obračun. Po tej vojni sta vajeti v roke vzeli nadnacionalni politiki, ki sta samo v dvajstetih letih uspeli razdelit svet v dva bloka. Za kakšen mednarodni ugled je torej šlo Japonski? Da bi pozabila travmi Midwaya in Hirošime?

Japonska arhitektura ne glede na metabolizem ali karkoli drugega ni nikoli dobila mednarodnega ugleda. Ugled je lahko dobila samo tako, da je postala mednarodna in ukinila svojo civilizacijsko edinstvenost. In zakaj je japonsko gospodarstvo še uspešno? Zato, ker si ga japonski menedžerji še vedno mečejo na Marilyn Monroe.

Metabolizem? Za Radio Študent ejakuliral, Peter Karba.

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THE ROLE OF MARILYN MONROE IN JAPANESE ARCHITECTURE

Dear listeners. The Fuzine castle recently hosted as part of the »Architectural Epicentres« series a lecture entitled »Metabolism before and after: the Road of Japanese architecture to international acclaim«. The lecture was given by Yasushi Zenno, a linguist who also studied Architectural history and criticism at Columbia University in New York. He is currently a professor at Columbia, giving lectures on modern Japanese and Asian architectural history, while he is also active at the Tokyo University, examining the role of Charlotte Periand in the development of modern Japanese architecture. Charlotte Perriand, by the way, was an engaging associate of the great Le Corbusier, who no longer dealt with furniture, but rather with the equipping of the formidable "the house is a machine for living in” concept. The radical examples of modernist Japanese residential units – inspiring so much wonder among Westerners – are in part also rooted in the noble humanist position of intelectual and artist circles of early 20th Century France.

The series of lectures, which began last May, is entering its final phase. It was organised by Petra Ceferin of the Institute for Architecture and Culture in cooperation with the Architecture Museum of Ljubljana. The series has so far had eight lectures, which use the framework of epicentres to examine the circumstances that led to the ascent of innovative modern architectural practices in different parts of the world. The lecturers took us to Finland, Barragan’s Mexico, Niemeyer’s Brazil, the Superdutch phenomenon, the continous ascent of Swiss architecture, to the postmodernism and deconstructivism witnessed in the US between 1966 and 1988, to the past two decades of Barcelona, and also to – Japanese metabolism. With the exception of the introductory lecture of Petra Ceferin on Finland, all lecturers were foreign. There are two more to go, one by Rado Riha and one by Bostjan Vuga. While we find Rado Riha’s lecture to be held on 19 April at the Philosophy Institute as highly recommendable, the last lecture – as Vuga interprets the promotion of his projects, or to be more precise of his sketchy ideas – can easily be missed – the Fuzine castle is quite a distance.

The architectural epicentre is a notion denoting a specific time, a period of development in a specific political moment. It acknowledges the role of capital and politics within architecture, or more generally within artistic production, and even more – it subordinates architecture to these factors. Architecture is a direct result, an effect of the mechanism of economy and politics. The lectures go a step beyond these considerations, explaining not only the reasons for the emergence of a specific artistic process, but dealing also with its development, metamorphosis and descent. Finally, they face the silver screen put forward by the open question of: what are the consequences, the reverberations of the impulse under examinaton for the future practice of art, in our case the art of architecture. History has taught us that while such epicentres can go as far as becoming the most eminent promoter of national culture, they are short-lived and leave the succeeding periods with the difficult task of facing superlatives that are becoming redundant. They become Lenin’s remnants of capitalism, they become the material that gives wings to communism.

And the lecture? The title itself is extremely complex, if not even odd. It seems to want to promote the message that metabolism has rendered post-war Japan an internationally acclaimed architectural country. If that is the case, the title is very naive. It needs to be said at this point that before WWII ended, Japan was a more than pesky neighbour in what is a vast Pacific neighbourhood. The war led to the sun in Japan’s flag, rising from the ocean, losing its rays, its morning glow, its aurora. Those very rays, much like the stars in the American flag, were a symbol of an imperialist potency, needed by the ever more crowded archipelago after it opened up to the West. WWII left Japan a castrated sheep that had already begun to be shaved by the West a century or so earlier.

And what does international acclaim actually mean? The issue at stake is evaluating artistic production at supranational level. In order for a product to be approached this way, it needed to be established before hand. In a utopian kind of way the idea of the international can be traced back to the ideas of 19th century Communists. After the conflict of national ideologoies in WWI, the idea starts making circles in the artistic and intelectual avant-garde movements of pre-WWII Europe. Thus the field of architecture yields the establishing of the CIAM, the International Congress of Modern Architecture, or in 1929 the cult status books by Hitchock and Johnson, International Style, which define modern architecture from 1922 on. Zenno explained the positioning of Japanese architecture in the international orbit by arguing, in a sense, that avant-garde movements of this sort were very glad to accept as their own any work of art having even the slightest air of being international. With all the culture houses being inescapably bound to the law of the same planet, the establishing of the idea of an international architectural style came that much easier.

An idea, like any other thing, can serve different uses. Being another example of this fact, the notion of international acquired a different meaning after WWII. If WWI still allowed for the explanation of being a test of strenght between national ideas, WWII presented their ultimate confrontation. The period succeeding this war saw two supranational political entities taking control and managing to divide the world into two blocs in no longer than 20 years. So, what kind of international acclaim was Japan after? Was it about forgetting the traumas of Midway and Hiroshima?

But it was not its metabolism or anything else that could bring Japan architecture international acclaim. It could only win it by becoming international and making and end to its civilisational uniqueness. And why is Japan's economy still successful? Because Japanese managers still jerk off to Marilyn Monroe.

Metabolism? Ejaculating for Radio Student, Peter Karba.

translation: Gregor Zamuda



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