Sehnsucht (zwei): Bart Lootsma

Die BauNetz-Kolumne vor der Biennale

Am 29. August 2010 öffnet die 12. Architekturbiennale in Venedig ihre Pforten, das Thema des deutschen Beitrags lautet „Sehnsucht“. Wir lassen jede Woche einen Autoren über Sehnsucht und Architektur schreiben, heute mit Bart Lootsma, der uns in eine dunkle Zeit zurückführt und von seiner Tätowierung erzählt:

Every language has certain words that can hardly be translated and will always sound more authentic and convincing in the original version. Sehnsucht certainly is one of them. It seems to belong to other German words like Fernweh or Weltschmerz, the latter coined by the German author Jean Paul around 1800. Weltschmerz denotes the kind of pain or sadness experienced by someone who understands that physical reality can never satisfy the demands of the mind. It is a pretty romantic and pessimistic view of the world.

The late 1970s and early 1980s were full of Weltschmerz. Lyotard declared the End of the Great Narratives, Baudrillard described the End of Reality, Virilio predicted the End of the World, Manfredo Tafuri announced the Death of Architecture, and Punk screamed there were No More Heroes and there was No Future. And they all seemed so right, because when I took my degree in architecture in 1983 and was ready to change the world, there wasn’t any work either. It was a dark period, haunted by Brigate Rosse and the Baader Meinhof group. Someone once remarked that we are the generation whose role it is to always be the last, so that there is someone to put the light out.

Therefore, I started doing a series of works (installations and photography) almost collapsing under the long and troublesome title ‚Het Verlangen naar Architectuur en de Beslommeringen van Alledag‘ (The wishful longing for architecture and everyday troubles and worries). In these installations abstractions of architectural fragments such as roofs, columns and stairs painted in colours borrowed from late Matisse paintings and paper cut-outs seemed to float above a floor covered with used tools. These installations were received well while at the same time it was unsatisfactory that they were realized in the marginal and protected world of art galleries while the world raged on of course as if nothing had happened. Nevertheless, the installations were seen and helped me to my first job as an university assistant to Laurids Ortner  – though it happened to be in the dark city of Linz.

Ortner had just sworn off the Avant-Garde of the Haus Rucker Co collective, and extended an ‚Amnesty for Built Reality‘. He was a fascinating and inspiring person and I remember us drinking Tuesday evenings until deep in the night, discussing the role of art and architecture in the world. It was clear to us all that there was no future for the avant-garde and heroes. But then, one evening very late, after we drank a lot, he stood up and said: ‘Yes, sure, but at least I want to be among the last heroes.’

Not long after that, I did my tattoo. In my last exhibitions, it was shown as a large photograph in combination with others. It was my last work and the only one with lasting consequences. I became a critic and a teacher. I tried to take reality more seriously and discovered that, for better or worse, it is way more fascinating than anything I could think up myself. Still, I am happy that I carry some of this marginal and criminal Sehnsucht for architecture with me, wherever I go.

Bart Lootsma
(Amsterdam, 1957) ist Historiker, Kritiker und Kurator auf den Gebieten Architektur, Design und bildende Künste. Er ist Professor für Architekturtheorie in Innsbruck und Gastprofessor für Architektur, Europäische Urbanität und Globalisierung in Luxemburg.
Am 29.6. hatten die „Walverwandtschaften München Zürich Boston“ über die Sehnsucht als kreative Antriebskraft des Architekten geschrieben.

Zum Thema:

Download der BAUNETZWOCHE#178 „Sehnsucht“

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