Archive for the ‘Art and Architecture’ Category
Yet another bogus quote in support of a trendy cause.
Spend enough time on Facebook or Twitter and you’ll eventually come across this quote which purportedly emerged from Churchill’s bulldog visage in the darkest days of World War II. It has Churchill responding to a plan to cut money for the arts to fund the war effort by saying: “Then what are we fighting for?”
According to Churchill historian Richard Langworth “This alleged quotation first appeared a few years ago in the Village Voice and is all over the web, but it is not in any of Churchill’s 15 million words in his speeches, papers, letters, articles or books.”
In fact there was no “arts funding” at that time. An allocation of 25,000 pounds had been made to assist cultural societies. This compares with 643,000,000 in defence spending. That money allocated to cultural societies nationwide would have made no difference to defence funding, and it is ludicrous to suggest Churchill would have been faced with a choice between the two.
Rather than dish out invented quotes, it would be better for people who believe taxpayers should be forced to pay for “art” they don’t like, want or need, to list the moral and cultural reasons why money should be extracted from them for that purpose.
In response to the customary whining on the ABC about possible reductions in the government spending other people’s money:
Cuts to arts funding are not ‘tantamount to the Coalition Government standing bang in the middle, right on top of Uluru with a megaphone, shouting “Oh just work for free! You know you want to!”‘
It is simply that ordinary tax payers are getting fed up with paying for other people’s hobbies. Artists do not have to work for nothing, nor are they expected to. Like the rest of us, whether butcher, baker, or candle-stick maker, they simply need to produce something other people value enough to pay for.
If they can’t or won’t, that’s fine, but then they have no right to demand the government force working families to pay for what is often mind-bogglingly dull and uncreative “art” that no one would buy if they had a choice.
Government funding for the arts encourages dependence and mediocrity. Time to can it completely.
If you want people to pay for something, make something people are willing to pay for.
A longish article from Mark Musser on the origins and continuing influence of the theory of sustainable development:
Understandably, Albert Speer Jr. has spent much of his life trying to escape the long shadow of his father, Albert Speer, the Third Reich’s architect during the 1930s who later was baptized as Hitler’s Armaments and War Production Minister during the heights of World War II. Albert Speer Sr. died in 1981. After serving 20 years in Spandau Prison, Speer made millions off of his best-selling books that described his life deep inside the Third Reich. In 1984, Albert Speer Jr. began a very successful architect company in Frankfurt, Germany called AS & P, or Albert Speer & Partners.
Today, AS & P is a very profitable high end international architectural company that has building projects in Germany, the Middle East, and in China. Much of Speer Jr.’s earlier financial success in the 1970s took place in Libya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan. Speer Jr. loves the Middle East and Arab culture. He is currently working in Qatar. Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup because of Speer Jr.’s audacious plans to design a carbon neutral sustainable arrangement of soccer stadiums.
AS & P pursues a holistic approach to architectural design that roots all building activities into the surrounding culture, landscape, and regulatory environment. AS & P proudly advertises its emphasis upon sustainability in the area of ecology, economics, and social quality. AS & P has even published a “Manifesto for Sustainable Cities – Think Local, Act Global.” Albert Speer Jr. is also an international lecturer on environmental sustainability. According to Der Spiegel, Speer Jr. is credited with having introduced the idea of sustainability into German urban planning. Others consider him to be the green conscience of the construction architect industry and one of the first sustainable practitioners of green building in Germany itself.
While Speer Jr. has publicly stated he has purposefully tried to place as much distance between himself and his father as possible, this is not exactly true. In reality, Speer Jr. has followed his father’s footsteps, not only in terms of being an architect, but also because of his obsession with sustainable development.
It looks to me like the logo for the London Olympics:
was designed by the same bloke as Melbourne’s Federation Square:
If they weren’t designed by the same person, does the similarity mean we are now moving into a post-interesting, post-beautiful, post any-kind-of-merit stage of design and architecture?