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The Indicator: How We Write Architecture

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Photo note: The artist, Alfredo Jaar, in a 2006 interview, regarded Terragni’s Casa del Fascio as the “perfect memorial to Gramsci.” Jaar used the building’s blank right facade (originally left uninterrupted for propaganda) as a canvas for projecting a sequence of images about Gramsci. As Jaar noted: “Here, the fascist building is transformed into Gramsci’s grave. My trip is thus complete, the circle closed, and Gramsci’s indomitable faith in humanism and the hegemony of intellect is still alive. People were, I think, touched and empowered by my concept of transformation of the former headquarters of Fascism in Como into a commemoration and celebration of Gramsci. It was hopefully a true manifestation of everlasting resistance to tyranny and death.” The Indicator is back! In reading Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks I am struck by his lack of irony and pretense. It is not a resistance to humor per se. It is a restraint. A will to power that puts everything in the urgent light of sincerity. Thus, stylistically, it reads as somehow awkward and formal in our post-post times. It has me thinking about how we write about architecture…how we write architecture. True. He was writing from prison. But it’s more than that. He was writing what he believed. There is no escape valve of irony in his text. He was, and is when you read him now, in your face, holding you and daring you to veer away. What he is writing is not to be taken with a wink. He commands humor in his language but the humor drives a sustained sincerity, a concern for humanity—including his own humanity.

Cite:Guy Horton. "The Indicator: How We Write Architecture" 28 Mar 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/221113/the-indicator-how-we-write-architecture/>