Posted by Paul Malo on March 06, 2002 at 06:06:37:
In Reply to: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame : an interesting observation posted by Simple Simon on March 05, 2002 at 23:36:21:
Rock 'n Roll is not folk music. It's commercial pop. It's not raga, but Bollywood. Commercial music stars are not born, but manufactured by promotion. The whole Rock enterprise is Big Business, so I don't see an inherent contradition in a corporate monument to a very profitable business.
I liked the heart-felt quality of the critic's quotation. The writer apparently believes that there is some authenticity to Rock--and perhaps there is, since some performers may be genuine artists. I can't speak to that, since (as a musician myself) I find most rock unmusical. It this were about jazz, that might be something else. Jazz is NOT pop music, not a commercial product of the "music industry."
Regarding the architecture per se, I wouldn't say that this was Pei at his best. He's TRYING to be cute, but it's an elephant dancing--pretty heavy-handed caprice. Pei seems naturally to be a solemn architect of gravitas. He made his reputation on museums precisely because he could endow them with an aura of nobility. They are "classical" in same sense that we might think of Mies as classical. This is not to say they are dull or pompous, but merely to say that they disdain cheap thrills.
Who would have been a better architect, at least one more apt to provide the sort of building that the writer wanted? We don't have to look far today. The magazines are full of "cheap thrills."
Even if this is not great Pei, it nevertheless evidences some qualites that characterize his work. It's monumental. Pei is an architect who still employs MASS. He understands scale, which enhances monumentality, playing small elements off against large, employing large "jumps in scale." Pei is also an architect who still builds WALLS. He also likes simple, clear geometric forms--as opposed to DeCon disintegration of form.
Nevertheless, this work strikes me as a rather clunky, unlovely, and unlovable thing. Pei's works at best may have harmony, but rarely grace. This one doesn't even seem to have much harmony, but rather appears as a dissonant clash of forms. Perhaps that was Pei's impression of rock. That I can understand.
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