mardi, juillet 18, 2006


"Josephine Baker had a special relationship with architecture throughout her life. In 1926, the important modern architect Adolf Loos created plans for a fantastic residence for Baker. The three-story house, clad in dramatic stripes of black and white marble, featured a café and at its center, an indoor swimming pool with windows for underwater viewing."

I wonder how this project was born. Was Adolf Loos, the enemy of ornament, in love with the black dancer from Saint Louis, Missouri? Probably. She was, unlike the african masks for the cubists, a living and dancing answer against l'ordre bourgeois, ordre né de la dictature de la Raison et de la nécessité du " progrès" (XIXème siècle). It's such a beautiful house. It remained a project. Loos seemed to have been a close spirit to Rem Koolhaas. Koolhaas was a journalist; he even worked for ... Russ Meyer, le papa des gros seins (daddy big boobs). He seems to have spent more time thinking than making, especially in the past.

It's rather about "thinking of what things could be" than making them exist. Le monde est déjà assez encombré d'objets; ne devraient naître que les objets LES PLUS NECESSAIRES, dans le sens éthymologique du "necesse est". Koolhaas project for Les Halles in Paris was a slap given to the Paris of Baron Haussmann, the Paris of the XIXth century, le Paris bourgois that still rules the architecture here. My own project is here.

Josephine Baker was discovered in a NYC cabaret by Caroline Dudley, a young american woman working in a Paris theater. In 1925, Dudley curated La Revue Nègre, an immense public success. Dudley said that Baker wasn't playing the main role in this small New York cabaret, but she was the funniest girl on stage. Dudley later met a french poet/writer and spent 40 years with him in his vineyard near Montpellier. His name was Joseph Delteil. Delteil's Joan of Arc was the material used by Carl Dreyer for his film, in which Antonin Artaud plays a role. A black and white movie, of course. Black like Josephine, white like Jeanne d'Arc.

Black and white is so elegant.