Perambulating the Bounds

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Peter Eisenman at Vanderbilt Tomorrow

Architect Eisenman is giving a lecture tomorrow afternoon (Friday, 9/23) at 4:00 in the ballroom of the Student Life Center. He counts as a really major figure in the culture today. A building like the Wexner Center in Columbus (which is undergoing some repairs: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/18/arts/design/18pogr.html) represents the really disruptive potential of post-modern architecture, before it got taken over as a matter of decorative motifs in corporate architecture. The Wexner stimulates your mind just being there and is fun to walk through. But what pushes Eisenman to another plane is his Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, finished this year (http://www.war-memorial.net/mem_det.asp?ID=104, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/germans/memorial/ ). It starts off with huge significance just being what it is where it is, but the descriptions of it (I have not been to Berlin) all sound like he has created a powerful space that does important work in capturing and preserving the moral and spiritual dimensions of the Holocaust for Europe, the West, and humanity. His talk at Vandy is titled “Architecture Matters,” and he has a pretty indisputable claim to authority on that topic.

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