Friday, 5 July 2019

Krier on modernism

"Modernist propaganda continues its dominion via the fraudulent appropriation of the term 'modern' –which strictly means 'of the present time, current, contemporary'–, claiming that theirs is the only legitimate form of modernity in art and architecture. They arrogate universality for a sectarian view. They equal this view with progress and imply fallaciously that to practice traditional art and architecture today is backward and hence anachronistic. The claim is factually erroneous, ideological, intolerant and undemocratic, it expropriates the general public, clients, students and professionals, of their individual right to judge and choose. It dominates architectural practice, education and media and is uniquely responsible for a generalized architectural illiteracy and with it, for the debased built environment of today. In the end, however, the poison seems to have produced an antidote. The Trüby-initiative has fostered unintended countereffects. At long last the news media and hopefully soon public cultural policies may voice contrary opinions."
Extract of "The end of hypocrisy. On the reconstruction of the Frankfurt Old Town houses" by Léon Krier
Download the full book with this article and other abstracts of the lectures of the The Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage International Seminar:…/La-Reconstrucci%C3%B3…

The same situation reigns in the field of new music: aesthetics and ideologies of more than a half century old dominate education, funding networks, cultural policies. As a result, the classical performance culture has withdrawn into a defensive museum bullwark, where only minimum space is given, as a superfluous tip for a dish not asked for, out of a vague sense of obligation and as a marketing tool to show adherence to 'modernity' - without understanding what the term really means. In the end, for classical music to survive in modern times, it will have to accept real injections into the repertoire, contributions which respect the formats and the nature of the medium and the art form. Fortunately, such contributions are already written and performed - which bodes well for the future.

Composers, and especially composition students, should take notice of these developments in architecture, and carefully explore Krier's ideas and especially, the philosophy behind his vision. These developments are not merely about restoration and reconstruction, but also about regaining an aesthetic and technical sensitivity and craft.

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