Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Tale of Two Cathedrals

Nikos Salingaros' article in Crisis comparing the Oakland Cathedral of Christ the Light to the Houston Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral is worth reading - he is a very perceptive critic with a deep understanding of human nature, faith, and science.
Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland by SOM San Francisco (left) vs. Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Houston, by Ziegler-Cooper Architects
I think Nikos is a bit too kind with the Houston Cathedral -- it is as stripped down, chunky, and boring as any of the neighboring slabsided office buildings built in the 60s, 70s or 80s.

Nave view of Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral, Houston TX
The interior has all the warmth and humanity of a 1950s train station, with the obligatory and liturgically fashionable baptistry font in the middle of the main aisle that every entrance procession, bridal party, and funeral must clumsily navigate about. The appeal to fine materials and crisp detailing betray the standard details befitting the grand lobbies and executive toilet rooms of the skyscrapers built for the local oil, gas, and cattle barons.

Still, a worthy read as usual.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Tyrrany of Artistic Modernism

A thought provoking essay, and a call to arms, by my friend Prof. Nikos Salingaros and Mark Anthony Signorelli in The New English Review.

"Whereas earlier traditions of artistic creation embraced symmetry within complexity, modernism has embraced extreme simplicity, dislocation, and imbalance. Whereas earlier traditions sought to bring pleasure to an audience ... modern art attempts to “nauseate” or “brutalize” an audience.... 

Whereas pre-modern architecture employed scale and ornament, modern architecture aggressively promotes gigantisms and barrenness."

Their call to arms concludes:

the first duty for every true artist at this moment of history is an act of spiritual fidelity to the timeless traditions of art-making, and an uncompromising, unmitigated hatred towards the dictatorship of modernism. Every true artist should come to his work now with something of the spirit of a liberator fighting an entrenched tyranny."

read here 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Novus Ordo et Nova Coca Cola

An interesting observation from Msgr. James T. Byrnes.  As he notes, it only took the executives at Coca Cola some 79 days to realize their mistake, and the liturgical establishment in the Catholic Church still does not get it after 40 years.

link here:  A Lesson to be Learned from New Coke

(Hat tip to Brian Myers)