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Calf, Farmer, and Swallow to Slaughter House – One lesson in year of 9th 2014 reflection in one morning at Paris

“I like the thought that what we are to do on this earth is embellish it for its greater beauty, so that oncoming generations can look back to the shapes we leave here and get the same thrill that I get in looking back at theirs – at the Parthenon, at Chartres Cathedral.” –  Philip Johnson

Vocal : Juliana Pramesti Kumalasari Guitar : Ariyo Widiatmoko Recorded at Bajink Studi Video Clip : Belle Nuit Studio ( Yudha and Kabul ) Lighting and dekoration : Ari and iok ( Titus Vianey ) Location : In the Garage at Mertoyudan, Magelang, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia

He, I recognised Phillipe Johnson,an architect, Scholar with big glasses who truly easy satisfied being small and enjoyed being at the centre of architecture history. He was under rated by some architect because he couldn’t draw. In his figure, we could see multiple layers which rippled modern architecture and call for discussion. He enjoyed on discussion with young architects like Frank Gehry and Peter Eisenman in his glass house he would encounter perspective which later he saw in another work, and he will encounter it again with another work making one proposition to another proposition. “Mind” was his playground, he often said architect (he is) is a “whore”, I might put “whore” in more positive way that every architect has an obligation to serve society, has also an obligation to form discourse of object in architecture history. I think Philip is like a father or centre or magnet of architecture modern history which he showed examples by encountering many modern works, and culminated it in his own way of thinking, if he thought that architect is a whore,then he was just so humble in knowing our problem as human, he was like elgar with soeil d amour, or sometimes who mimicking Mozart, Bach, Or Chopin when he played his own rhythm. Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 1.36.59 AM That day was one morning while i was doing teleconference with people in studio ,reviewing studio’s work while we were in Paris at 4 a.m in the morning. While it was 10 a.m in Jakarta. I was so exhausted from our trip to Seville, Spain and we had not recovered yet. In just one serendipity we discussed about the story of Donna the calf which also was discussed on our trip in Bilbao. Donna is a calf who is in a cage in a farmer’s carriage going to a slaughterhouse.He was sad, in prison by his will to be freed. The farmer said ” why are you so sad ?” Donna said “i want to be free like swallow who fly above me, who has free will and laugh, but now i am in prison.” And the farmer continued to share his wisdom about his free will but the carriage is still going to slaugther house.

“Donna Donna”

On a wagon bound for market there’s a calf with a mournful eye. High above him there’s a swallow, winging swiftly through the sky.

How the winds are laughing, they laugh with all their might.Laugh and laugh the whole day through, and half the summer’s night.Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna; Donna, Donna, Donna, Don.Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna; Donna, Donna, Donna, Don.“Stop complaining!” said the farmer, “Who told you a calf to be? Why don’t you have wings to fly with, like the swallow so proud and free?”

Calves are easily bound and slaughtered, never knowing the reason why. But whoever treasures freedom, like the swallow has learned to fly.

I remember My body my mind wondering in one conversation with my wife two days ago In one serendipity she gasped and told me IMG_2231 “Love (my name), The calf might represent our body an animal who has desire, instinct to fly free like swallow but it is in prison in body in a way to slaughterhouse which slaughterhouse is a symbol of time, which all of us will face soon or later, the judgement day in this world. Meanwhile the swallow is a symbol of spiritual conscience or probably heaven or hope which we always dream of or wanted to be” And the next questions are, Who the farmer in the song is ?

Probably the farmer is evil inside our heart, or God or even Just someone important to us, who told us spirit of life… Who is swallow anyway, probably everyone with free will or heaven, or just dream or something which is our purpose…. Who is the calf anyway, probably like wise someone in weakness, in prison by his own will,desire to be freed in time to the slaugther house.. And spontanioulsly i asked the people in the studio in front of screen in teleconference, who is the cattle do you think in our studio ? They kept silence and guessing that some of them is the cattle, Suddenly in serendipity I typed in screen which came up with serendipity answer that i have not had in my mind before. It is just the way of Hermeneutics works. a calf is the one who dreams free, who wants heaven for everybody, everyone of us are still learning to be the calf, so do I. but that’s life. Philip was right.

so dream like child, no burden, free like swallow, it’s in our head, think that the heart has its own way to face world. Sunlight comes in, my eyes open. Welcome back dream, long time no see spirit. Thank you so much.

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To Architect with Blue Eyes – Tribute to Antoni Gaudi – pilghrimae to Barcelona

140930 Barcelona “Learning from Gaudi is like praying to the Almighty who need devotion of our best energy knowing the most important of all.”

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If Norman Foster is truly a master of fundamental then Gehry is truly a master of deconstructivist. If Scarpa is truly a master on making orchestra of human’s rigidity rational mind then Gaudi is a noble man who has genius of nature in his genius of free workmanship in unlimited geometry in mimicking nature. If you are the player of the mind then he is the body of desire then we are creating spirit to fly on, together forming special relationship between human to human or if you are gifted enough forming relation with nature or even if you are brave enough you will be linked with such spiritual force forming relation with God or someone you feel great of or whosoever who has size of heart like an elephant.

While sky is unlimited, we would be touched by Gaudi to stop talking bullshit by his study and devotion in architecture and life. We are lucky enough If Gehry does not point his hand to us, raising his middle finger when he said that 90 percent architecture work is piece of shit. Die graciously, live like a king with an act of noble man like Gaudi, who is a king on himself, an architect of blue eyes. He who did his work on temple of Sagrada Familia, La pedrera, Casa Baltio, or even his park and complex design park gueil, while in 1914, dropped all his other project except Sagrada Familia that he wanted to focus on. That was even made me curious about what he did. I read some if books about him by foundation, publishers, church, his family background, some brochure, even books contains drawing of his work to search for what force driving him were.

There were stories when Gaudi was in prison when he had fight with police when he was forbid when he went to enter the church to do his ritual, praying every morning.

Then he was in prison, he would be freed if he put 50 pence as bail out then he sent messager to bishop to bring 75. He gave 25 to the people who was a fruit seller who had trouble arguing with police. He had been there for several day accompanying him.

Then the fruit seller asked Gaudi about his address, he wanted to pay him back. Gaudi answered “I don’t ask payback when i give charity.” He inspired us with such determination of pure heart or at least he tried with his spirit inside his body, we are same man who has mind, body, and spirit. In his soul we have an example.

In another one story, finaly I have my answer of what I am looking for when Gaudi set the his attitude in such noble way when he was asked or pushed by numbers of people who wanted to continue the construction of Sagrada Familia.

“When will you finished the holy temple of Sagrada Familia?”

He answered
“I have time, my Client is in no hurry.”

In my heart, I cried, then asked myself about the devotion in this life. I have learnt so much from Antonio Gaudi’s work, and even more by learning about his devotion in life which brings ever more question about our spiritual journey in this world

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Encountering work of Frank Gehry – Trip to Paris and Bilbao

Bilbao, Spain 141030

” …When the building is finished,…I worry that it is some kind of bizarre thing… I want to crawl under the blankets. When i saw Bilbao for the first time, I said,” oh my God, what have I done to these people?” I think that is a problem, but for better or worse, that is who I am.” – Frank Gehry

In one bright afternoon at the edge of nervion river. My mind is wondering, Norman Foster is truly master in neo Modernist approach, a god of life, an apollo, he has been my favorite architect who I was quite keen to learn from in his office. The label God of Life, Apollo was stated by Chris Abel. I was sure that Norman’s principle was truly a must do principle of doing architecture, Norman Foster is still one hero and master of fundamentals that i love most who like what Oscar Niemeyer said about him in his talk with Oscar Niemeyer.

Few days ago, in one rainy day i just arrived in Paris, commuting from Bastil to Rambuteau. I went to Gehry’s exhibition by serendipity in Pompidou Center Paris, a building which was designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. I saw models by gehry And partners stunned me. It was so beautiful. It was Like Van Gogh’s or Bernini’s or Affandi’s masterpiece. It opens into new possibilities, movement, New ideas, free form, unlimited line. It is almost perfect, And then i determined to see his work. A man who was stated by Chris Abel as Dionysus, god of pleasure.

in conclusion at that time I just love this man’s work, Frank Gehry, his building, persona and ideas in Louis Vuitton Foundation and Guggenheim Bilbao. I found that despite all of he pre assumption that (he was insensitive, he did not listen to his client, the building was not thinking about urban setting, he was driven by his ego trip) concluded by some of my peers, was wrong in his idea in these two magnificent work. After I finished read several of his books, publications, his catalogue, his interview with Barbara Isenberg or even his lecture’s video during our trip in this few days in Europe.
I found that He is such humble, down to earth man who is very smart, very sensitive, and ideas driven which sometimes his was failed to catch by others.

“Frank : People think that somebody who does this kind of out-there work that they haven’t seen before must be irresponsible and must no be interested in budgets or time schedules or the client, or the community is going to be in. They characterize it as an ego trip by superstar architects. Now in some cases it may be true, but it’s not in mine. It’s no accident that Disney Hall works. Enerst Fleisch man could tell you what happened. did Ernest tell you how I listened to him?

Barbara : Yes he did tell me that. in fact, several people I’ve interviewed recently said that one of your best traits is that you listen. I was just reading remarks by Matthew Teitelbaum, director of the Art Gallery of Ontario, who said that from the very beginning you “insistenly asked” about the museum’s needs and programming.

Frank : So put that in big letters : Gehry is a listener. He is not on an ego trip.” [1]

I found that in Guggenheim, the design responded beautifully by the axial opening from city axis to river. The pond designed as extension of the river creating architecture manipulation so the shape looked as dancing on the water bringing reflection of the solid. The atrium acts as breathing space creating a void before entering multi solid gallery. The sun light coming pass flower or fish or whatever people name the skylight bringing warmth which lighten space. Sometimes it might remind us who are same human under the same sun who challenge our origin. The shape perhaps was comin by free flow creativity reminded about gaudi’s, altoo’s, corbusier’s curvy line (Ronchamp) He took it into another level by introducing thereshold of such total curvy lines in creating architecture. [2]
He devised a totally new type of museum, aiming to give the visitor the choice to design his own itinerary to explore the museum, Gehry imagined an atrium that directyle connected with all exhibtion areas, in such a way that after contemplating the works in a determined wing, the visitor had to go back through the atrium to get to another area in the Museum. [3]

In Foundation of Louis Vuitton, Gehry made a clear approach for a phase of creative process in creating poetic of architecture called creative pregnancy phase stated by Antoniades in his book Poetics of Architecture. He was 84 years old when the building was opened and was praised by his patrons, collegue, and people who went for queing to enter his building. Christian Reyne, executive director, Fondation Louis Vuitton in chare of project management stated that the new approach in this project were new way of organizing the work called the “fundamentals phase.” This intermediary phase involved deciding on the main principle of the building’s conception notably the structural elements, the use of geothermal heating, and the distribution of fluids by means of radiant floors. It made it possible to fix certain parameters of construction in order to move the project forward without having to wait for the finalization of the studies. Reyner stated that the work was done in day to day basis with single 3d, and it has interactive period between architects , engineers, and general contractor which contributed to the factors in the project’s ultimate success. [4]

How can we measure this man ? When some design project he did it in effort to create inclusivist approach which dated back, some of the projects, he did it in minimum fee or even for free to enrich ‘take and give relationship between him and his patrons. Thats life when some of our life, we should dedicate it for others. I felt emphatic for this man of honour in architecture manipulation and the way of doing architecture as profession or as in his life especialy when it culminated in these two buildings that I had seen. That’s why we can call him master, or deconstructivist master or whoever you like smile emoticon who deconstructs profession, design as usual bringing future human creativity into such spiritual adventure eventhough he refused that label.

Before I could collect thoughts about what went right, I just burst into tears.

[1] Conversations with Frank Gehry, Barbara Isenberg,
[2] Trip by Realrich to Guggenheim in 2014
[3] Museum guggenheim Bilbao, Architect Frank O. Gehry’s Most Original Work
[Fondation Louis Vuitton, pp 122

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