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PostPosted: 09 Apr 2013, 00:51 
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Joined: 07 Sep 2008, 21:16
Posts: 12
Location: George Town Tasmania Australia
Last night before falling asleep due to my new and late night medications for bipolar disorder, I chanced upon two TV programs about architecture.1 I will write about one of them briefly here to open this thread on the subject.-Ron Price with thanks to: (a) How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster? ABC1TV, 7/4/’13, 10:30-11:30, and (b) Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio, ABC1 TV, 7/4/’13 to 8/4/’13, 11:50 p.m. to 12:50 a.m.

I found the portrait of Norman
Foster inspiring in some ways.

He was the most driven of men
in the architectural world and he
was able, so very often to present
a case that convinced his clients.

I did not admire his ruthlessness or
his image as cold, detached, super-
cool, unfeeling technocrat. I found
his character combination of a shy-
loner on the one hand, & engaging
conversationalist who has been at
the top of his world for 30 years as
he filled his notebooks fascinating
to watch---leaving me little interest
in writing about the second program.

Ron Price
The following prose-poems were written over many years. They are but a sample, a small collection, of pieces which, after watching the life-story of Norman Foster, I was moved to put together from a larger collection written over the last 20 years. I may post this thread of prose-poetry at a relevant internet site or two.

There is always a narration component running through architecture. That is why we can, if we want and if we are so inclined, get a sense of who we are, what our own story is, and what our relationship with the world is through the visual experience of architecture. In a certain sense you create the architecture yourself; you edit it for the film which you create in your mind’s eye, the film which is your life.

I heard the above words about one week after I arrived back in Tasmania at the age of 55 to take an early retirement and a sea-change after a 50 year student-and-employment life: 1949-1999. I wrote this prose-poem some two months later after arriving in George Town, the oldest town in Australia, and at the mouth of the Tamar River.-Ron Price with thanks to “Arts Today”, ABC Radio National, 11 August 1999, 9:05-10:00 am.

What’s the story here?
My story,
as close to me
as my life’s vein.

Their story,
written all over
the mountain
which I edit
thus making it
all part of my life
in ways that will take me
into sweet-scented streams
of eternity
and the fruits
of the tree of
His being.

Ron Price
12/10/’99 to 8/4/’13.

This poetry, is a temporal art attempting to achieve spatial construction, a written idiom using space to contain time, using space as a basis for memory. For space contains time precisely, like a speaking monument; experience becomes memory by being localized; the act of a moment becomes a monument, a shrine, a memorial.

Poetry, then, eternalizes the moment, fixes the moment as it flies away. Truth can be found in these brief moments of intensity. Poetry can conquer the forgetfulness of men. So, too, can architecture, the great conservator of tradition.-Ron Price with thanks to The Final Sculpture: Public Monuments and Modern Poets, Michael North, Cornell UP, London, 1985, pp.134-137.

Here is a public form faithful
to my most private dream,
a unity of being, self and world,
known to a whole people, unity
of artist, poet and people, here,
a perfect stillness, immovable,
a glory of changeless marble,
repose, calm, a mingling
of contraries, while being pleased.

I'm pleasing the self with something
enduring, the eternal is pleased; it's
a summation of an entire culture,
soothing my perplexities, a solidity,
permanence, fidelity to the past, &
expressing collectivity, regeneration,
fertility, beyond fossilizing, durability,
grandeur, erected to the future, more
than aspiration, more than desire, a
salve, a resolution of desire, recipient
of images of the future, telling of this
common garden in a private ground, &
tracing the future on the wall of my cell
and aiming at a sovereignty: ancient,
imperishable and everlasting.

The condition of this stone is one of great calm
thrust into civic life, an eternal placidity, caressable,
symbols of cultural continuity across time and space,
a memory system designed to preserve a whole civilization.

A man hurls himself toward the infinite and works of art
are his vestiges, his trace in the manifest, cutting something
tangible, preserving something loved in human memory,
harmonizing the antithesis between ancient and modern,
symbol of community, connecting my imagination to the
whole, a collectivism that is the basis of my triumph,
carving myself and other men in no tottering civilization
as we push inexorably into history and its inevitabilities.

Ron Price
10/8/’97 to 8/4/’13.
BAROQUE: Grabbing the Attention of Your Audience

Section 1:

The television series, Baroque! From St. Peter’s to St. Paul’s, was written and produced by British art critic Waldemar Januszczak. The series was, for me, a rich educational experience. Januszczak has been described as a passionate art lover, art critic and writer. His presentation style is casual but informed, enthusiastic but humble, evocative and humorous. Januszczak bumbles about on our TV screens doing for art what David Attenborough has done for the natural world, Carl Sagan for astronomy, and Jacob Bronowski for science. He is someone who acts, as one writer put it, “out of a refusal to present art as elitist in any way. He makes it utterly accessible and understandable."2

This three-part BBC Four documentary series is, as I say, about the painting, sculpture and architecture of the Baroque period. The Baroque is a period of artistic style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, dance and music. The style began around 1600 in Rome, Italy and spread to most of Europe.

Section 2:

The series was first broadcast in the UK in March 2009 and more than a year later the series came here for us to enjoy in Australia. I saw the program, or at least a small part of it, on ABC1 today from 10 to 11 a.m.3 The series is named after its opening shots in the square of Saint Peter's Basilica and the final scenes at St Paul's Cathedral.-Ron Price with thanks to 1“From St. Peter’s to St. Paul’s: Parts 1 to 3,” ABC1, 8:30-9:35, 17, 24 and 31 August 2010, 2 Wikipedia, 18 August, 2010, and 3ABC1 TV, 6 January 2013.

You brought it alive for me, Waldemar!!
Michaelangelo, Caravaggio, Gian Lorenzo
Bernini, Francesco Borromini, reinvention
of religious art after the Renaissance…The
Baroque made its art: tangible, real, vivid,
cinematic, believable, physical, emotional,
& propaganda for the Counter Reformation
of those 16th and 17th centuries.1

It was a revolution that began in Rome and
spread over the known world, part of our
modern world: teaching grab-hold of your
audience, their attention: somehow, someway,
anyway; and we’ve been doing it big thanks to
event management, consumerism, advertising,
& a whole-wide-world of materialism, science,
and technology grabbing the millions-billions
by the heart and the head, & especially the eyes.

1 The Counter-Reformation, also called the Catholic Reformation, denotes the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent from 1545 to 1563 and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War in 1648. It was the Catholic response to the Protestant Reformation.

Ron Price
18/8/’10 to 11/1/’13.
PLANS: Architecture and Frank Lloyd Wright

Every once in a while the world of television gives its votaries another glimpse of the world of Frank Lloyd Wright(1867-1959). The last time, at least for me, that I got a glimpse of Wright in a TV doco I was in the last six months of my career(1) as a full-time teacher and tutor, lecturer and adult educator, among other jobs that filled my days from 1955 to 1999. This most recent time for yet another doco(2) I had been retired from FT work for more than a decade and from PT and casual-volunteer work for five years. –Ron Price with thanks to (1) ABC TV 18 October 1998 and (2) “Frank Lloyd Wright: Murder, Myth and Modernism,” ABC1 TV, 11:10 p.m. to 12:10 a.m. on 9/10 May 2010(BBC 2005).

Wright died on 9 April 1959 six months before another sort of career in my life was beginning as a member of the Bahá'í Faith. Membership in a religion is, of course, not exactly a career, but I refer to it as such since this new world Faith has occupied my time and attention as much as my jobs have over the years 1955 at the age of 12 to 2005 at the age of 61.

Wright was obsessed with his creative life, his work, his architectural creations. In 1991 The American Institute of Architects recognized him as “the greatest American architect of all time.”(2) I, too, have been a man obsessed. This obsession of mine was partly due to various mental health disorders and partly due to my beliefs and my writing.-Ron Price with thanks to (2) Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.

You were a tireless self-promoter, Frank.
That was how your life was portrayed:(a)
your obsessive-compulsive creative force
I can understand, Frank. I’ve had some of
that in my life, too; but I’m not in your big
league, Frank--not even close. I’ve had my
tragedies-nothing like yours-15 August 1915.(b)

I’ve had my troubles in marriage, but nothing
like yours, Frank; you built that Fallingwater(c)
right at the start of that 1937-44 Teaching Plan,(d)
but my creations are very small ones on paper!!

I've had my Plans, too, Frank, but they've been
nothing like yours.....I've had my excesses, too,
Frank, but they've been a far-cry from yours....

I trust you've found some peace, Frank, in that
Undiscovered Country with its Ethereal Houses!

(a) In the doco I watched on 9 May 2010.
(b) On this day in 1914 Wright’s servant killed 7 people in his home, Taliesin, and burned a large part of that home.
(c) Fallingwater was a famous private residence Wright completed in 1937 at a town near Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for one of Pittsburgh’s department store owners.
(d) The first stage of the organized Bahá'í teaching Plan, the stage from 1937 to 1944. That Plan is now in its eighth decade.

Ron Price
12/5/’10 to 8/4/’13.

Architecture is a discipline that uses broad skill sets. There are now various types of degree programs on which to build an architecture career that is relevant to the 21st century. Increasingly, architects need to be able to work effectively with multidisciplinary teams. Professional architects need to be experts at creating innovative solutions for complex and often conflicting scenarios. The contemporary issues that confront designers include: climate change, globalisation, urbanisation and new technologies, among others.

In the 1960s, when I was working out what to study at university and what career to take up after graduation, architecture never entered my mind-set. But in the last half century, the years from 1959 to 2009, I have taken an interest in many fields, many disciplines that have tangential connections with architecture. Retired now and on two old-age pensions, I often come across the field of architecture and its subject matter inspires some writing on my part. This prose-poem is but one example.-Ron Price, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, 27 September 2009.

I never even heard of you,
John Soane(1753-1837),
living your life as you did
right at the start of this new
age....born in the same year
as the Shaykh.1 You bought
your home in London, now a
museum, in 1792, as that morn
of guidance Shaykh Ahmad was
on his way to Karbila and Najaf
and a life as a mujtahid in Iran.

As you remodelled and extended
your home, that museum, that man,
that Shaykh, was remodelling and
extending the interpretations of old
Islamic traditions. You became the
Professor of Architecture at Royal
Academy and the Shaykh set a stage
for his life with all its buildings & memorabilia.

1 Shaykh Ahmad(1753-1826), the chief precursor of the Babi-Bahá’í Faiths.

Ron Price
27/9/’09 to 8/4/’13.

married for 47 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer and editor for 15, and a Baha'i for 55(in 2014)

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