Tuesday, 31 May 2011

classicists and modernists.

Earlier this week, I was watching a Guardian video ( along with its article, could be found on the following link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/may/27/week-in-architecture-art-banksy ), about Francis Terry, a classicist architect who had intervened over the work in "Banksy's Tunnel". He mainly restored/painted a facade over one of Banksy's guests artworks, one of the people who have been invited by Banksy, almost 3 years ago, to intervene (with their graffitis) on the walls under Waterloo Station.
What Francis Terry does could be found on the following link:

The classicist annoyed me, but I couldn't figure out why really, is it because I have just watched Banksy's film "Exit through the gift shop" and I sympathize with Banksy or whether Terry's artwork was too perfectionist and at the same time meaningless for my taste? Anyways...
The article Jonathan Glancey wrote (link above) is very considerate and opens up to different dimensions, much more valuable than my simple annoyance.

So 2 days ago, again, I was watching the Helvetica documentary (about Helvetica the font), and the documentary is very good, and both visuals and research are very well done... it starts with "Designers have a huge responsibility, these are the people who put their wires into our heads" and things start deteriorating, the irritation problem again, specifically whenever I hear modernists Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones speak...

or when Bierut tears down old advertising to replace it with famous helvetica image:

I started wondering what is wrong with me and whether I am really in a compulsive hate mode? then again, in the middle of the documentary, things start to get better, when Paul Scher speaks, she says: "I was morally opposed to helvetica because I viewed the big corporations that were slathered in Helvetica as sponsors of the vietnam war, so therefore, if you used helvetica, it meant you were in favor of the vietnam war, so how could you use it?" and then Stefan Sagmeister who says: "I myself got fairly disappointed with modernism in general, it simply became boring. If I see a brochure now with lots of white space that has like six lines of helvetica up on the top and a little abstract logo on the bottom and a picture of a businessman walking somewhere, the overall communication that says to me is DO NOT READ ME, because I will bore the shit out of you, not just visually but also in content because the content will likely say the same as it says to me visually."
David Carson massacres the font "There's a fine line between simple and clean and powerful and simple and clean and boring!" and Michael C Place also intervenes in a very simple and nice way, even though he's not a Helvetica hater, he convinces you!
So helvetica is the corporate thing, not that I hate the font, but the pride of modernists experiences today are breaking me: geeks preaching and making jokes about how geeky they are!

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