Sunday, January 24, 2010

Paladiochanics: Translation of Rotational Motion

I've always been fascinated by ancient cultures. I wrote my term paper in art history about the revival of Mesopotamian architecture during the 19th century. But, like most classicist buffs, I'm hooked on ancient Greece.

As you may or may not know, the ancient Greek architecture of temples (and to some degree other buildings) come in three basic styles: Doric, Ionian, Corinthian. These are the three classical Greek orders of architecture.

These three basic building blocks have since then been adapted and re-used by the western culture a number of times. First by the Romans. They started copying the Greek orders and added two new ones them selves. Then, during the renaissance, the ancient orders experienced a... well, a renaissances. E.g. the  Palazzo Chiericati by 16th century architect Andrea Palladio has both Doric and Ionian columns. Then there was the Greek revival of the late 18th, early 19th century (think: Brandenburger Tor). During the 1980ies there was time for a new dusting of of the old Greeks as the post modern movement started using and mixing different parts ("quoting") ancient architecture in new ways. The most well known example of this is probably Piazza d'Italia by Charles Moore.

Inspired by this perpetual repetition and the configuration of the ancient orders in new ways, I made 9 drawings during the summer of 2009. The drawings show a mechanical design that can be used to translate a rotating axis, but where the axis has been replaced by a column. I did 9 different to capture all combinations of the classical orders. I think that the translation of a rotational motion has a poetic ring to it and it is a fitting metaphor for aesthetic development over the ages.

I would like to frame all nine and hang them in a 3 by 3 matrix. But right now we don't have enough wall space for that, so it will have to wait.

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