Imagine the lunacy we would experience if all artists forget the superior importance of their work for the ephemeral empty presence of their names? We would be obliged to refer to some building as someone’s building, otherwise we would be under law penalty. Instead of observing and contemplating the great works of humanity we would have to study biographies, genealogies, prejudices, blasphemies, cliches. (Isn’t that what we have been doing throughout our entire lives? Reading and seeing cliches.) But, luckily, works of art doesn’t care for its authors. They remain alone –in complete solitude as would say Rafael Moneo–, open to passion, love and hate, interest and indifference, and all kind of human behaviors.
But, unluckily, that happens; not with true artists, but with secondary ones, authors, those who talk about other’s work, those who just talk, those who come later and want to cover the works with an innovative arrangement of words. Unlikely true and serious artists, who wish their works to remain on Earth, or even to die on Earth, who want to give birth to something that takes their breath away, that grows deep, out of control, secondary authors cry for you to remember their names, and for you to remember the works through their names. They act like those old XV century discoverers, believing in the act of discovery, stamping a personal mark in everything they see, covering lands with foreign words, to force their names into our written history. Yes, they achieve to have their names written in History, but nothing more than that.
How have we been taught to approach a work of architecture? “First, read everything about the work”: read everything that have been said by others about that work, which means, don’t look at the work, but fill your mind with prejudice. “Then, systematize the main ideas and create connections between them”: talk about the authors and forget the work. That’s what traditionally happens in architectural education. We have lost our natural capacity of see the works as they are by building ideological lenses without the acknowledgment of that. We haven’t been taught how to see. And we don’t feel those lenses. We’re not conscious that they exist and that we’re wearing them. They weight nothing. They were built on us while we were sleeping, slowly, part by part, piece by piece, workshop by workshop, project by project. Now, they are hard to detach. We might work on take them off. That’s our great task.
So, please, if you read this, if it makes sense to you, if it makes you take a little step forward, forget me, I’m nothing than a contingency, an excuse, and, please, do not cite the source.