Tradition and modernity in architecture
1.The past – the future. We are immersed in time. This means constantly looking back – at the past, listening to history, believing in tradition, in the power of heritage. The problem is situated somewhere between glorification, acceptance and – negation. The future associated with the myth of – modernity – is treated in a similar way. In this situation, the present lasts so short that it seems non-existent: the architectural thing constructed today will sweep through the present and at the same time get stuck in – the past.
Like any other useful thing, architecture wears out and falls into the past; if the thing belongs to the space of art at the same time, the departure is gentle but always irrevocable. Such a past may mean death, non-being, oblivion, but after some time, usually for incomprehensible reasons, there may be – a resurrection.
2. Tradition… It might be a transfer to the sphere of – tradition. Tradition has the status of sanctity; you may not believe in it, but you cannot say anything bad about it either; it is important, it creates a cultural identity. It also happens that it is helpful in creating a new version of architecture, or just a mutation, or an afterimage, or…
3. Continuations. Since the Renaissance, forms of architecture from the past – literal or transformed ones – have been referred to with seriousness in subsequent directions of architecture. Other games with the past were played in the times of historicisms. The use of patterns established in the past can be described as – continuity, continuation, also tradition.
Historical pretexts for creating ideological guidelines were used by the architecture of socialist realism. Architecture with the past in the background and the slogan Blut und Boden Architektur was created in another place. Regional architecture created in Europe was a variation on folk architecture, not without a glow of patriotisms. And the reference to tradition in Chicago Tribune Tower by Adolf Loos did not fit in with its era.
4. Modernity. Modernity of architecture means existence beyond tradition, beyond the past. Modernity arises today, in the present; it means hope related to – the future. The term modernity includes faith in originality and technological innovation; it is a realization of rationalism, it assumes the primacy of reason. Shape, form, idea, that which is essential to call a thing art – is added by the artist free of charge!
Modern architecture is not the architecture of the future, it is the architecture – for the future. The architecture of the future does not exist; it will be in the future.
5.Memory – non-memory. The past is murdered by non-memory; as long as the thing, including the architectural one, is remembered – it exists beyond the past. This does not mean that it exists in the present. It rests in a kind of abyss in the World Museum of Imagination.
The emergence of the idea of post-modern, post-functionalist architecture is connected with the rejection of rational ideas of modernity. Non-memory and intuition gained a new meaning. The deformed past, ironically reminded, created original forms of architectural art. Are they already gone into the past?
6.Experiments and avant-garde. Creators believe in the existence of avant-garde architecture. They believe that the avant-garde determines the future of architecture. It usually remains on paper; hating the past, it is supposed to – provoke discussions and shock. It is supposed to create its own world which does not imitate reality, neither the present, nor the past, the world that seeks – super novelty, a new form based on – non-memory and a new idea. The unitary super novelty means simply – an experiment. In turn, the movement of revolutionary artists is – an avant-garde.
The forms of the Avant-garde from the early twentieth century are disturbed today as they are being pulled out for the leaven of another (modern?), now intuitive, architecture.
2019, Dariusz Kozłowski, Maria Misiągiewicz