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Behold the new Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, by architect Steven Holl (multiple winner at EOTM!). Whatcha got here: ever a new way to present blank walls to the street. Along with new ways for designing large structured masses to feel like they are about to fall on your head. One can easily predict the “art” that will reside within: videos depicting the inhumanity of men, macrame celebrations of the vulva, pulsing neon intersectional claims for reparations, decoupaged animal corpses — the popular stock-in-trade of the curatorial class.

The Institute’s web page offers the following dazzling metaphysical theory behind the building:

The torsion of these intersecting bodies is joined by a “plane of the present” to the galleries in “forking time. The idea of “forking time” suggests that in the world of contemporary art there are many parallel times. The notion of one ongoing time and its “grand narrative” of history is questioned.

“History is questioned….” I love that, as if history was the “perp” in some plot to overthrow reality and museum curators are police summoned to interrogate it.

Note the shot below. There’s an old joke about Mussolini’s modernist train station in Florence: “That’s not the station, it’s the box that it came in!”

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Book 1:
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The Witch of Hebron
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Geography of Nowhere The Long Emergency
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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

10 Responses to “July 2018” Subscribe

  1. Paul S July 2, 2018 at 12:51 pm #

    Create your own pretensions here! artybollocks.com/

  2. AKlein July 3, 2018 at 9:41 pm #

    The (st)architects who design this rubbish do so much want to be “different”, “fresh”, “provocative” and “exciting”, etc. But there are simply too many of them excreting these edifices around the globe. Consequently, their opuses have become a bore. A trite bore. Once they discover their works are bores, and they are an embarrassment, the glamour will evaporate and we will be spared the expense of and the bullshit surrounding their erection. Then all we will need to endure is the cost of dismantling them.

  3. K-Dog July 4, 2018 at 3:27 pm #

    There will always be young engineers wanting to show what they can do. The engineers won’t think about how hard it is for a custom curved surface to be maintained. Someone on the maintenance staff is going to have tremors finding a replacement custom cut window for one of these warped monstrosities in a land where glaziers have already been put out of business by big box. The high tech engineering firms designing these things are in the catbird seat if any of these twisted buildings needs a replacement panel or any changes. If these firms fold, it all just falls apart.

    Seems to me a public* official that approves nonstandard construction for public projects is irresponsible in general. But that is just me. Fiducial responsibility and all that.

    * Virginia Commonwealth University is a public research university located in Richmond, Virginia.

  4. kleymo July 6, 2018 at 10:22 am #

    The quoted “theory of time” is incomplete.

    forking time = put a for in it

    • kleymo July 6, 2018 at 10:23 am #

      spelling error:
      forking time = put a fork in it (a nice tautology)

  5. jayrome July 7, 2018 at 10:14 am #

    I have deemed this contemporary architecture style as
    ” NEW AGE COVFE’FE’ “.
    It does kind of explain and give meaning to meaninglessness as the enigmatic new wave.

  6. bymitch July 8, 2018 at 9:34 pm #

    I was initially confused as to what this was all about.
    Urban Dictionary had ‘forking’ as something related to ‘spooning’ but I wasn’t convinced that the building was trying to reference anything carnal.
    The X,Y and Z thing gave it all away, we are supposed to be reading it in plan.
    The forking galleries giving the two finger salute to the plane of the present.
    If that ain’t contemporary art, I don’t know what is.

  7. Siebert July 14, 2018 at 1:12 am #

    Whoa! That’s the biggest DRAINSPOUT I’ve ever seen. Where does the water go? Is that a rain bucket down there? Are there gutters??

  8. smoothtom July 21, 2018 at 10:13 pm #

    “One can easily predict the “art” that will reside within: videos depicting the inhumanity of men, macrame celebrations of the vulva, pulsing neon intersectional claims for reparations, decoupaged animal corpses — the popular stock-in-trade of the curatorial class.”

    You’re REALLY sounding like an old fart nowadays, Jim. And what a shame–your critiques of architecture are funny, and usually good. But then you have to go and write that.

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