Saturday, 22 October 2011

Bruno Taut's 'Down with Seriousism'

Although written nearly over a century ago, Bruno Taut's famous rant 'Down with Seriousism' still, for me, seems entirely relevant today.
Bruno Taut - Down with Seriousism - 1920
'Away with the sourpusses, the wailing Willies, the sobersides, the brow furrowers, the eternally serious, the sweet-sour ones, the forever important!
‘Important! Important!’ This damned habit of acting important! Tombstone and cemetery fa├žades in front of junk shops and old clothes stores! Smash the shell-lime Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns, demolish the pinheads! Down with the ‘respectability’ of sandstone and plate-glass, in fragments with the rubbish of marble and precious wood, to the garbage heap with all that junk!
‘Oh, our concepts: space, home, style!’ Ugh, how these concepts stink! Destroy them, put an end to them! Let nothing remain! Chase away their schools, let the professorial wigs fly, we’ll play catch with them. Blast, blast! Let the dusty, matted, gummed up world of concepts, ideologies and systems feel our cold north wind! Death to the concept-lice! Death to everything stuffy! Death to everything called title, dignity, authority! Down with everything serious!
Down with all camels that won’t go through the eye of a needle, with all worshippers of Mammon and Moloch! ‘The worshippers of force must knuckle under to force!’ We are sick of their bloodsucking - caterwauling in the early light.
In the distance shines our tomorrow. Hurray, three times hurray for our kingdom without force! Hurray for the transparent, the clear! Hurray for purity! Hurray for crystal! Hurray and hurray again for the fluid, the graceful, the angular, the sparkling, the flashing, the light - hurray for everlasting architecture!'

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