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Showing posts from February, 2018

Brutalism 2k18 What the F**k is Going On?

Last week I spoke at the Nonument Symposium in Ljubljana, focussing on the way that 'Brutalism' is used and abused in contemporary culture. The renewed cult popularity of Brutalism is a phenomenon I've been observing with a mixture of fascination, enjoyment, ambivalence and disgust for some time and the lecture had a packed agenda. It was an attempt to try and decode the various agendas and interests circling around Brutalism and to track them. I analysed a range of examples, from internet culture to contemporary design to industrial music to science-fiction.  Brutalism as a (life)style or even an attitude is arguably more 'sexy' and, for some, virtuous than ever, yet many of its most iconic structures are now being demolished or de-brutalised through cladding - a term now synonymous with the horror of the Grenfell Tower fire.

All this raises many questions. Is there any stable, agreed perception of what Brutalism means and has it been systematically appropriated …