Professional / Architecture Essay


Collage and Architecture

In modern and contemporary art and filmmaking, collage and architecture provide essential techniques. Collage blends pictorial motifs and pieces of fragmented origins into a new artificial entity that projects into parts, new roles, and meanings. This introduces new dialogues, perspectives, time durations, and juxtapositions. The components experience double-lives; the collaged materials get caught in between their fundamental importance and the new roles given to them by poets.

Such collage and architectural methods are linked historically to visual arts and film. “It was poetry that developed the montage technique, not Eisenstein.” (Joseph Brodsky, 1982) Nevertheless, to build an embodied and immersive experience, any artistic work, whether musical or visual, is required to be a depiction of pictures, emotions, and environment. The degree of the apparent “sharing” of its components relies on whether the work counts as a collage. We prefer to assume that our consciousness is a constant and persistent state of mind. In reality, human knowledge continues to shift from one perception to the next, from reality to dream, from association to deduction, and from memory to imagination. Our own identity is a constantly changing collage of visual pieces kept together by the meaning of one's existence.

The art form in architecture is historically not aligned with the notion of collage in its intrinsic permanence and consuming, preconceived order. Nevertheless, the very nature of architecture as frameworks and environments for human activities renders it a varied and diverse subject, a constantly changing collage of events, furnishings, and artifacts. Because of their durability, buildings usually improve their functions and be modified as material objects. Many of our historic buildings are assemblies of colors, textures, materials, and alterations layered over decades or centuries of use. It is often this temporal layering that provides a building its charm; architecture's geometric material and cognitive configuration are adopted and improved by usage, erosion, and time; architecture turns from cognitive abstraction into a liveliness situation. All collages appear to have similar ways of inspiring our imagination, as if separated from their original contexts, the various pieces will ask the audience to hand them back their missing identities.

In modern times, collage and architecture represent classical methods of artistry. These presentations assist archaeological complexity by depicting scattered images from their different origins.

Collage joined the fine art world's lexicon a century ago. In May 1912, Pablo Picasso first converted a natural object into an artwork. Picasso added a piece of oil paint with a chair-caning pattern to the oil painting in one of his works. This was the first collage to be done intentionally–the first fine artwork. According to Christine Poggi, in the book “In Defiance of Paintings: Cubism, Futurism, and the Invention of Collages,” where materials obtained from everyday life, mostly untransformed by the artist, interferes with traditionally preferred painting. The creators of Cubism–Juan Gris, Georges Braque, and Pablo Picasso, regarded the collage as a genetic modification between two-and three-dimensional painting and sculpture. Collage introduced a new concept of space to study the capacity of three-dimensional space in a two-dimensional format. In its philosophical, content, and technological originality, the initial acts of collage-making in the Modernist tradition have inspired various artists deeply and architects all through the 20th and 21st centuries.

Collage stresses method over the product as a form of art unique to this modern period. Collage as an artwork consists of the arrangement of different material parts assembled such that the structure has a new meaning and not inherent in any of the single fragments. The fundamental nature of the object or piece and the whole of its history, the original purpose it has in connection with other artifacts or elements; and the value that it assumes as a consequence of its transformation into a new entity defines a collage.

Contemporary art, relating to post-World War II art movements, has seen the use of collage by various artists, including New York-based Abstract Expressionists and New York and London-based Pop Artists. The desire to explore the role of fate in the development of an artwork moved many artists.

These artists wanted to mix the actual and imagined by merging the common with the unfamiliar, the unique with the abstract. The method of collage-creation in the manual interaction with the media "represented both the product and the process, just as Abstract Expressionist paintings simultaneously portrayed the creative act and the finished image”(Diane Waldman 1992).

Observing the archaeology of collage, the significance and sense of collage have shifted over the last century as the understanding of space matured. Materially, the use of fragments is also unique, providing details of the time and place of creation of the collages as the artists integrated readily available items from everyday life into their collage compositions. The interconnectivity of collage methodologies in the twentieth-century movement of art provides and continues to inspire, the uniqueness of materials, techniques, and ideologies that architects have drawn inspiration from.

Regarding collage as a tool of research and design, building on decades of interest in architecture and art, it provides a diverse set of media, technological and philosophical precedents for inspiration. “Throughout this century, collage has come to symbolize a transformation in the essence of art-making. The collage method was perfectly suited to capture the chaos, tempo, period, and length of the urban manufacturing environment of the twentieth century.

Collage has become the medium of materiality.” (Diane Waldman 1992). As it has developed, collage carries with it a variety of dualities, including literal/metaphorical, field/figure, gestural/precise, and field/numberCollage and Architecture, all of which appear in the art and architecture methodologies. The range of approaches can be hybridized and tailored to suit the conceptual framework within which a work of architecture (existing or proposed) exists. The integration of the structural and material conditions found in collage-making opens up the opportunity for multiple interpretations and perspectives in the process of design as well as the subsequent architectural work.

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