KAREN Karen Qureshi

Une lumière entoure Nanterre
Les bâtiments sont éclairés
Dans des tons pastel et des motifs colorés
Bâtiments lourds, se sentent comme des nuages
Construits par Aillaud
Un rêve d'un monde idéal
Où l'utopie jaillit
Maintenant regard désolé
Un garçon dans le silence, isolé
Les couleurs se fondent dans un flou
Une aiguille injecte une ruée céleste
À la recherche de la vie dans les nuages
Les nuages se sont séparés, ils se sont envolés, l'idéal est perdu
L’utopie fuit Nanterre.

By Karen Qureshi
A bright light surrounds Nanterre
The building is lit up
In coloured pastel and patterns
Heavy buildings feel like clouds
Built by Aillaud
A dream of utopia sprung
Now look desolate
A boy in silence isolated
The colours merge into a blur
A needle injects a heavenly rush
Looking for life in the clouds
The clouds have parted they have flown away
The ideal is lost
Utopia fled Nanterre

by Karen Qureshi
Twentieth-Century Engineering

Until lately art has been one thing and everything else something else. These structures are art and so is everything made. The distinctions have to be made within this assumption. The forms of art and of non-art have always been connected; their occurrences shouldn’t be separated as they have been. More or less, the separation is due to collecting and connoisseurship, from which art history developed. It is better to consider art and non-art one thing and make the distinctions ones of degree. Engineering forms are more general and less particular than the forms of the best art. They aren’t highly general though, as some well-designed utensils are. Simple geometric forms with little detail are usually both aesthetic and general.

The few good buildings, “real architecture”, are more specific than most of the engineering project. But most building are far inferior to engineering projects, which with their definite use and the supposed objectivity of their solutions, have been allowed a freedom and advancement not accorded to buildings and architecture. Buildings only have to have space; they are east to construct. Commercialism dominates the engineers and architects, and the best knowledge isn’t used.

Much of the engineering is better architecture than most architecture, It’s well known that Buckminster Fuller’s domes cannot be architecture. His lenticular Union Tank Car Company rebuilding plant(1959) in Baton Rouge is an interesting building, and that’s architecture. Excessive though genuine elegance also marred this exhibition, which, like most Museum of Modern Art shows, was overly dramatic, somewhat pretentious.

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