LE CORBUSIER EN AMERIQUE:
Quand les Cathedrales Etaient Blanches, 1936
("L'Esprit Machine et Negres aux USA")
Negroes showed their remarkable abilities in plays, in musical programs,
in stage design. It was a "revelation". I shall have something
to say about Negro music. But now I am thinking about our "conservatories"
(what a significant term!) continuing instruction in the polite way of
playing music, when in the USA the Negroes freely express their high spirits
and when that immense and splendid body of pure and admirable music talent
is finding itself in relation to and in the face of everything
else in the life of the world...
Negro music has touched America because it is the melody of the soul joined with the rhythm of the machine. It is in two-part time: tears in the heart; movement of the legs torso, arms and head. The music of the era of construction: innivating. It floods the body and the heart; it floods the world...
Nothing in our European experiences can be compared to it. The implacable exactitude expresses American taste; I see in it the effect of the machine...
In Harlem as on Broadway, the Negro orchestra is impeccable, flawless, regular, playing ceaselessly in an ascending rhythm the trumpet is piercing, strident, screaming ...
Jazz, like the skyscrapers, is an event and not a deliberately conceived creation. They represent the forces of today. The jazz is more advanced than architecture. If architecture were at the point reached by jazz, it would be an incredible spectacle...
The fundamental revolution in the plastic arts is likewise taking place in music. Through the breach made by cubism,those arts have re-established contact, across time and space, with the high periiods...
They are the foundations of cathedrals of sound already rising.
de Strates et de Rythmes:
"Study for Aspects of Negro Life: An Idyll of the Deep South.1934"
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rational Cartesian framework was then transgressed through the introduction
of distorted anthropomorphic forms with close kinship
to African masks. A mask was not literally represented in the elevation,
but rather operated as a palimpsest myteriously
guiding the location of the walls. The space was thus a dislocation induced
by the forms of the masks. The effect was to create within the rational
space of the grid a violent juxtaposition of perplexing spaces. The Villa
Stein at Garches was then considered as the prototype of modern architecture.
Rather than a simple fetish, the mask here served as subversion for the
order of reason through its spatial implications."
(in Architecture and Transgression - Opposition 7, 1976-77)
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