Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches
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The punchline to the minimalist enterprise, it seems to me, is that humans are not minimalists. We accumulate things, we get things dirty, we don’t all do the same things, we don’t all pray the same way, we don’t all look the same, we have bodies, for heaven’s sake! This is why I called minimalism almost a kind of dualism.
. . . . That is to say, the contemplative life, though it may appear so to the observer, is not minimalist, it’s ascetic, and in this life the distance between the two is like the east from the west.
Very interesting there Praxiteles :)You don’t normally come out with stuff that I instantly agree with.
I don’t know about the ascetic or the ‘contemplative life’, but there’s long been two branches of minimalism at work in church architecture, the minimalism of avowed poverty [the Cistercian monastic model] and the minimalism of the Calvinist intervention.
the Grote Kerk in Haarlem painted by Pieter Saenredam in the mid 17th century after it had been ‘cleansed’ by the Calvinists
Both are reasonably valid sources for contemporary inspiration and both are defined by what they’re not; they’re not encrusted jewel boxes. I think this is also exactly what Mies was on about with his ”less is more”. The point with Mies is that you have to be familiar with ‘more’ before you can appreciate ‘less’.
The concept works as a contrary position, a detox antidote, but when it becomes imposed as a mass doctrine, it loses it’s power and we’re just left with less.
In a sense ”less is more” was a brilliant concept, stripping away all the unnecessary accretions to let the clarity of the architecture reveal a cool purity, but the more ‘less is more’ was adopted as a doctrine during the modern movement the lower the ambient temperature dropped, eventually to a level that wouldn’t support life.
Minimalism, by definition, is an extreme position, it is intended to challenge us to look at our condition and be ashamed.
Personally I refuse to be ashamed.;) Conveniently, I take my clutter as an affirmation of my humanity.