Saturday, 11 April 2009

Poeme Electronique

A soggy drippy Easter weekend with the children inspired a visit to the Le Corbusier exhibit at the Barbican yesterday.  The foundation for many a grim high rise housing estate was laid before our very eyes.  The older child noted his habit of erecting buildings on pillars seemed African. Around the corner, the primitive masks of Africa danced before our very eyes in a film entitled Poeme Electronique by Le Corbusier and Edgard Varese.  African masks, religious icons, bones, war images, sexy women, nuclear war, taxidermy, space, industrial gadgets, babies, cities, family meals and Le Corbusier's architecture all flashed by accompanied by an ahead-of-its-time electronic musical piece.  It was a heady mix of powerful manipulative imagery that Damien Hirst would likely approve of.  The children thought otherwise, but, enjoyed the music.  It was made in 1958 and certainly reflected the concerns of the time.  

What would Le Corbusier have used as images today?  The primitive, the space-age, and the mushroom cloud would no longer feature.  Civil unrest, melting icebergs and imploding economies would perhaps be the replacements.  Suburbia would probably overshadow the importance of cities.  Taxidermy is still hip, in a weird kind of way.  Industrial gadgets would give way to computers, ipods and the like.  "Life" has changed, but, the song remains much the same.  Here is a colorized version...the soundtrack is still pretty amazing and timeless...



1 comment:

Brad said...

Wonderful! Made my day...