The perfect structure
September 15, 2001 3:51 PM   Subscribe

The perfect structure ‘Responding to his own call for “the perfect structure,” Matta-Clark wrote elliptically, “erase all the buildings for a clear horizon.” To illustrate this “perfect structure,” he sketched twinned skyscrapers... on a horizon line complete with the half-disc of the sun. But the perfect structure – or structures – was not so much the skyscrapers as the condition of their erasure, indicated by the two blunt Xs that violently mark the images of the buildings.’
posted by joeclark (6 comments total)
Damn, architects are so esoteric! My dad is an architect and I never understand a word he says, but I always thought it was just him. So what is this article trying to say?
posted by donkeymon at 4:30 PM on September 15, 2001

It is trying to say nothing, at great length, and succeeding brilliantly.
posted by kindall at 4:35 PM on September 15, 2001

he does derive meaning in the final paragraph, though. only he's not pontificating, which marks a sound mind.

my crack at it:

the buildings were attacked symbolic of attacking the power of capitalism and so forth, all that is western, but he's thinking that the twin towers were not so much symbols of capitalism and so forth, the nominal stuff as politicians (as he points out) lead us to believe though repeating over and over that that's what they are, as a sort of sympathetic magical monuments, like idols, for those things.

those ideas (capitalism and so forth), unlike the towers, are not things of beauty. were the towers purely things of beauty, not attached to those ideas, the very dignity they posess in their beauty would make aggressors back off because they themselves would revere them for their beauty and grandeur and so on. but they are linked to those ideas, and that's why they are destroyed.

therefore, their destruction, (though it causes the public trauma,) serves to make us to examine that which they stand for and what those ideas are to us. the fact that some contest those ideas (as exhibited through destroying their symbols) serves to tell us they are not only imperfect, but hardly even sound at this point, that it's a cue for us to evolve beyond this unsound place (in which we are so comfortable now).
posted by elle at 4:55 PM on September 15, 2001

couldn't they have been chosen because they are big, would make a huge impact on the skyline, and held lots and lots of people?
posted by rebeccablood at 5:23 PM on September 15, 2001

Remember: Bin-Laden and his thugs made an attempt on the towers back in 1993, killing 6 and injuring hundreds. I believe that they recognize the towers as both symbols of capitalism/America, and as "target-rich" structures.
posted by davidmsc at 8:45 PM on September 15, 2001

um, "a gigantic rhetoric of escess"? Please.
posted by nicwolff at 11:48 PM on September 15, 2001

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