for the study of antique objects
of all kinds and the fine arts
“In a confidential memo to Cabinet Adviser von Albrecht, a member of the museum commission, Alexander von Humboldt wrote that the philology professor August Bockh had informed Hirt that every word of Hirt’s proposed inscription would have to be changed, and he was therefore horrified, upon his return from a summer spent in Gottingen, to see emblazoned across the museum that very same inscription, considered, he said, ridiculous by all of Germany.”
Douglas Crimp, “The End of Art and the Origin of the Museum”
Model of New Guggenheim, Frank Gehry
“The relaxation of the postmodern then determines not a return to older collective forms but a loosing of the modern constructions such that its elements and components–still identifiable and relatively undecomposed–float at a certain distance from each other in a miraculous stasis or suspension, which, like the constellations, is certain to come apart in the next minute.
The most vivid pictorial representations of the process is surely to be found in the so-called “historicism” of the postmodern architects, and above all in the relationship to the classical language, whose various elements–architrave, column, arch, order, lintel, dormer, and dome–begin with the slow force of a cosmological processes to flee each other in space, standing out from their former supports, as it were, in free levitation, and, as it were, endowed for a brief moment with the glowing autonomy of the psychic signifier, as though their secondary syncategoremic function had become for an instant the Word itself, before being blown out into the dust of empty space. . . . [this moment of pure material vision being over,] the elements float loose under their own momentum, each becoming a sign or logo of architecture itself, which is thereby, needless to say, consumed like a commodity–and with all the avid relish that accompanies such consumption–in contrast to the role such elements were called upon to play, or most often repressed from playing, in a modernism anxious to resist consumption and offer an experience that could not be commodified. Internal differentiation of this kind, therefore, as though the elements and components of the work were held in solution by a kind of anti-gravity of the postmodern utterly different in spirit form the law of falling bodies of the modern, which sought to agglomerate and combine by attraction (Freud’s Eros), would seem to be a fundamental symptom of postmodern space.”
–Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or The Culture Logic of Late Capitalism