Submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger
Does art imitate life? When it does, is that imitation in the eye of the beholder or the mind of the artist? Does it make a difference? A new building design raises those very questions.
Two luxury rental towers designed by Daniel Libeskind of Dutch architectural firm MVRDV raised ire this week when the designs were revealed to the public. Scheduled to be completed in 2015 as part of the Yongsan Dream Hub in the South Korean capital of Seoul, the two rectangular towers feature a “cloud” that would connect both buildings on the 27th floor. Some people think the design is evocative not of a cloud, but of the events of 9/11. The fuss started Friday after Dutch newspaper the Algemeen Dagblad published a front-page architectural rendition of the project under the headline: “Inspired by Twin Towers?”
Here are some artists renderings of the building design in question.
All images are copyright MVRDV and used without permission.
Some people have had negative reactions to the design. MVRDV immediately posted an apology on their Facebook page that reads, “It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks nor did we see the resemblance during the design process. We sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt, the design was not meant to provoke this.” However, MVRDV’s Jan Knicker added in the original article ran by Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch) “I admit that we also thought about 9/11 for a second, but it was not our intention to create an association with the attacks.” Some have not accepted said apology. Among those were Jim Riches, a retired New York Fire Department deputy chief whose son was killed on 9/11 who said he didn’t believe the architects. “I think it’s a total lie and they have no respect for the people who died that day.” “They’re crossing a line.” “I think they’re trying to sensationalize it. It’s a cheap way to get publicity.” ED. NOTE: My apologies for the chopped up nature of the previous quotes, but it was unclear from the NYDailyNews.com source if Mr. Riches’ statement was contiguous or edited for their post of the story.
Is this art imitating life? Is it art imitating the natural world as the architects say or art imitating tragedy as the detractors say? What do you think?
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~Submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger