Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Shape of Pocket

The other day I was reading John Berger’s Shape of Pocket, as I browsed through pages of extremely beautifully written letters and texts about artists and their work. A chapter for every artist as his work was very carefully composed through narratives of personal life, the context (but not context with a ‘capital’ C, rather a much softer almost an atmospheric idea), the emotional struggle, love, hate, drugs and everything else that went into the daubs of colour. I had loved it the first time I read it and is one of the books that I relish re-reading.
But somehow I couldn’t imagine a similar book on architects. Imagine John Berger the same person with the same analytical and linguistic sophistication writing a book of texts on Corbusier, Wright and Kahn. And I can’t help but cringe in disgust at the thought of it and say with the sourest face “oh god! This is so fucking patronizing man!” (In screechy voice, if you know what I mean)
When I watched Peter Greenway’s Belly of an architect, I realised while I saw the film as extremely hilarious parody of ‘the architect’, one of my friend had seen it as a story of serious struggle that an architect goes through in his life. No doubt I didn’t lose the opportunity of ruining it for him the very next day, but was left with a lot of self doubt after seeing how sad the conversation had rendered both of us. In the coming weeks we watched a movie on Frida Kahlo. I loved the film. My very same friend hated it, and was soon minced and devoured by women, feminist men, artists and accident victims with spinal cord injuries, from my class.
And so our last project is going to be an art installation on architecture!