June 05, 2004

Taschen

Hennessey and Ingalls have a pile of typical Taschen coffee-table glossies called "Living In Sydney" on one of their tables. Needless to say the book could as well have been titled “Living in Buffalo” or “Living In Melbourne” -- apart from a few establishing shots (e.g. the MLC Centre, for some reason) and view shots, there's nothing anywhere in the book's interiors and exteriors that suggests anything remotely unique to Australia, let alone Sydney. And why should there be? It's about Modernism and Postmodernism, those most self-consciously un-locally-rooted ("decentred") of all styles and surfaces. And it's about Australian architectural consumers trying to be Australian -- in a foreign language (or, more accurately, a universal language). Just like Punk all those years ago. (The Utzon book for $50 -- I can't afford these things now...).

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