Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

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peterm
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Re: Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

Post by peterm »

From everything I’ve seen of Johnson’s, it’s still the Glass House which stands out from the rest, and that was arguably just a copy, disguised by creating an opposite or negative of Farnsworth, with some added decorative touches thrown in.

Farnsworth: white, floor elevated to eye level as seen from exterior (5’3”), no diagonals, no arcs or curves, floating slab acting as a transition from house to ground, entrance from the side.

Johnson: black, rests directly on ground, brick herringbone floor (More Wrightian than Miesian?), circular bath element, diagonal pathway leading to symmetrically placed entrance on long side of rectangle.

His late modern and postmodern work is highly derivative, and typically shallow when compared to architects who were in the vanguard.

His racist, antisemitic, Nazi courting is difficult to justify. He described himself as a whore. Maybe his own admission and apologies are enough, though it doesn’t seem he learned all that much from those mistakes?

SDR
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Re: Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

Post by SDR »

In a profession that takes itself all too seriously, a knowledgeable wit is a welcome diversion ? Acknowledging his borrowing from others (the "whore" quip) is refreshing; just about any architect would have to admit the same, if he was honest. The difference between the greats and Philip Johnson is of course the originality of the work, which nevertheless is decently detailed. The glass house is the high point, as anyone can tell. "Steal from the best," the man might have said ?

Do-gooders in San Francisco are trying to take the names of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt off the facades of public schools here, as punishment for their faults. I suppose the same thing is going on all around the country, these days. It's both ridiculous and insulting, not least to the memories of men rightly honored for the good they did. What are people afraid of---that slavery will resume or adultery run rampant in high places, and the remedy is to punish dead heroes in a ritual sacrifice ?

S

peterm
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Re: Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

Post by peterm »

You make good points.

Tim
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Re: Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

Post by Tim »

Peterm - I believe P Johnson is one of those people who would have been better served with 15 less IQ points. He outsmarted himself, but not really, Clever, but to what end?

SDR - Agree with much of what you say. I don't give them credit as do-gooders. They (most) are either nihilist or Marxists.

Nihilist - Lincoln and FDR did not create their times. They were some of the better men (people) in them. They led to make things better and made great sacrifices. Lincoln died for the cause. FDR's mental and emotional burdens are unfathomable. Lincoln could have had a nice quiet upper middle class existence. FDR could have been living on a yacht. Both could have avoided the hassle.

Marxists (not AOC socialism, but *, we own you (a dictator just while we work out the details) while pretending "you/we" own the means of production) - This group's objective is destruction of society. Burn it down to rebuild it.

Both of these groups need to be told to bleep off.

peterm
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Re: Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

Post by peterm »

“You simply can’t kill ideas by starving them of listeners. But you can kill democracy.” -Naomi Wolf

Excellent critique of censorship and cancel culture from the left:
http://sfbaytimes.com/todays-cancel-cul ... ver-works/

jay
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Re: Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

Post by jay »

My point of view is that renaming buildings and removing statues is fine. History is not erased. Lincoln and FDR will remain enormous American figures whether or not schools in SF bear their names... Further, I believe it is beneficial for a society to "regenerate" itself by finding ways to critique the generations before it, and place a new stamp on its own generation. The following generations, of course, can always deem these actions overwhelming and restore any names and statues if they choose... Such is the will of democracy, no?

After all, there are many names and figures that can be honored on public schools and as statues in public parks...

Roderick Grant
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Re: Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

Post by Roderick Grant »

Getting back to Philip: If you were to review his commissions, you would find that he always had a collaborator, since he himself did not have a license to practice architecture. The many styles he tried over the years were all affected by the talent of the shadow architect. John Burgee, who worked on IDS and Pennzoil, among others, was the best of the lot.

Jim DeLong told me the same was true of Neutra. His work went through various styles, each depending on his collaborator. But it must also be noted that Jim detested Neutra on a personal level, so his critique may be colored.

Tim
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Re: Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

Post by Tim »

Jay, I agree on one point. Disagree on another.

Through the democratic process, I should have input ("say so") over the names of my local schools and parks. For the folks in SF (I do not live there), as it relates to their local schools and parks, God bless and have fun.

Scrubbing FDR and Lincoln off public buildings is like removing the Crucifix from a Catholic Church. Some symbols and names are just that core to the institution. I don't trust the intent or motivation. I suspect evil.

Tim
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Re: Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

Post by Tim »

Roderick, it would be fair to say that P Johnson was smart and talented. Smarts and talents can produce good and bad outcomes. :roll:

jay
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Re: Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

Post by jay »

Scrubbing FDR and Lincoln off public buildings is like removing the Crucifix from a Catholic Church. Some symbols and names are just that core to the institution.
If I'm interpreting this correctly, the symbol of the crucifix is central to the Catholic Church... clear enough... However the analogy to a public building therefore is that FDR and Lincoln specifically are symbols of democracy....? I'd agree that they are symbols of democracy, broadly speaking, but that many, many others would also be symbols of democracy. Which means that the ability to choose those symbols by the people is in fact the symbolic and actualized event of democracy.

peterm
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Re: Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

Post by peterm »

Jay and Stephen- I hope we all can agree that there is a significant difference between the removal of confederate (traitors) statues and those of FDR and Lincoln.

The somewhat legitimate question which the right raises, is where do we stop? Who decides where we stop?

For me, removing all statue of traitors is a no brainer. Virginia finally removed their Robert E. Lee just this week.

SDR
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Re: Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

Post by SDR »

Heroes to some are traitors to others. What makes sense in one century is unthinkable in another. Yes, slavery was and always will be wrong. Where do you stop is the question. And, those who see themselves on the moral high ground would be well-advised to consider what some understanding and sympathy would do for their cause.


The ones in our society lately who seem intent on---who have actually said they aim to---burn down the institutions are reckless radicals like Steve Bannon and the white nationalists who listen to him. Look to Newt Gingrich et al for the seeds of the movement: if you think you're right, burn the other side and take no prisoners.

There are no Marxists; antifa is a made-up bogey-man intended to scare the unschooled and undecided into Trump's camp. Socialism is NOT communism; the words connote different things. Social Security and Medicare are socialist mechanisms that the vast majority of Americans approve of. Public services provided by government and apportioned to those who need them is a socialist construct; that is the socialism that Bernie Sanders et al promote. Again---what's good for the country, not just for corporations and the uber-rich. Congress this month is a good example of what's gone wrong; call that evil if you want.

Interestingly, you don't see the Left in this country inventing shadow groups of right-wingers to blame for their woes and worries; the Right is plenty good at providing living examples of bad behavior---start with Mitch McConnell or Stephen Miller.

Hilary has been roundly hooted down for invoking "a vast right-wing conspiracy" a million years ago now (though she had access to facts not generally available ?); "deplorable" is a good word for what's happened to the Republican party. Barack spoke the truth when he invoked people clinging to societal and NRA-fueled crutches in their fear and pain---but he wouldn't be the first leader to pay a price for telling it like it is. MLK, anyone . . .?

S

SDR
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Re: Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

Post by SDR »

As of this morning our Attorney General is coming to his senses---with two days left in office. One is reminded of the younger priest in "The Exorcist" whose vision clears just as the devil has him leaping from the window . . .

S

Tim
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Re: Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

Post by Tim »

Jay,

Your restatement is close enough (of my analogy).

Tim
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Re: Article: Cancel Culture pays a visit to Philip Johnson

Post by Tim »

Peterm. Agree. It is a spectrum.

SDR. Agree. But history did take one path (does take only one path, unless Elon Musk proves otherwise).

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