smashing

They demolished the Berwyn Spindle but they might re-erect it because they saved the two top cars, which makes me wonder which cars they will choose – this was a spindle of 1970s cars, after all, which still had elegant lines, unlike the box-cars of the 1980s, and I can’t imagine the Beetle and the T-Bird topping out a short stack of c. 1999 Escorts and Corollas or even nasty Buicks. I suppose it is like a totem pole, in which case it should span time, but I think the original effect of this spike of cars in a parking lot was to suggest that your car could belong there as well and if all of the spindled vehicles are out of date the piece means something else entirely….

This is the last week for the “Squandered” show at CAF and I am in it but it is still worth seeing and there have been a great series of events along with it, the most recent being Daniel Bluestone’s lecture last Wednesday, which summarized all of his interesting research into the history of preservation in Chicago and the idea of an “aesthetics of eclipse” provided by layers of history in the landscape. I guess that is why I wonder so hard what kind of cars they will put on the new Spindle, since its original criticality depending on the abnegation of such an aesthetics of eclipse but with a Beetle on top how can you do that?

Our students presented their final thesis topics last Friday and they did a great job and Walker Johnson FAIA was there to re-present the Peterson Prize to the Class of 2008 and Professor Charlie Pipal.
pipal, johnson, rainka, little, patel, blasius, shymanski
Also we opened our end-of-year show on the 12th floor of Carson’s in the AIADO space which includes the resurrected volute from the 1926 Granada Theater by Eichenbaum – this was the piece that was infamously smashed to bits by a moving company this January when they surprise moved our studios and resource center.

Too bad, but Craig Deller’s class did a great job with it.

Irit Rogoff gave a keynote for the Master’s presentations that was really pretty cool and helped organize some thoughts I had in a month-old rambling blog draft that has yet to see the light of day. That evening the wonderful Mira Patel – who gets the prize for the first finished thesis turned in! – hosted us for an end-of-year gathering in her highrise. Saturday I was back at school to talk about First Year Program and Sunday I saw Rebecca Keller’s class’ intervention/installation at Pleasant Home, a series of intriguing pieces inspired by the history of the place, including a pantryload of cinnamon plates, roller skating John Farson stickers, an etched egg chandelier, hurdy gurdy types and ceramics cormers. Rebecca’s piece took the honeysuckle – one of the architectural themes of the house – and presented it “preserved” – dried and colorless in a closed box – and “living” green and lustrous in a vase, which pretty much summarizes my ideas about house museums and the goal of preservation.
Rebecca Keller\'s preserved and living honeysuckles at Pleasant Home

I made beer for the first time in almost six months last week so life is returning after the longest winter and the biggest move and Wednesday I am in Elgin talking about windows and Thursday thesis class and Roger Brown Study Collection Steering Committee and Friday the neighbors come over to warm the house and Saturday I get a hood and give a commencement speech and of course Sunday is Mother’s Day and the following weekend is Denver and then the following weekend China….

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