+ THORACIC DROP: < Deposit > news appropriate to this site.

+ AUTOGEDDON: Subscribe to Ballardian & receive automatic email updates

'Brecht Meeting Ballard': Militant Modernism

Author: • Oct 14th, 2008 •

Category: architecture, Ballardosphere

Ballardian: Owen Hatherley

Here’s an announcement of a new book, Militant Modernism, which I’m sure will appeal to Ballardian readers, written by Owen Hatherley of the fabulous architecture blog Sit Down Man, You’re A Bloody Tragedy. The following press release features endorsements from Simon Reynolds and Ben Noys, who have both featured on this site.

This book is a defence of Modernism against its defenders. In readings of modern design, film and especially architecture, it attempts to reclaim a revolutionary modernism against its absorption into the heritage industry and the aesthetics of the luxury flat.

Militant Modernism argues for a Modernism of everyday life, immersed in questions of socialism, sexual politics and technology. It features new readings of some familiar names – Bertolt Brecht, Le Corbusier, Vladimir Mayakovsky – and much more on the lesser known, quotidian modernists of the 20th century. The chapters range from a study of industrial and brutalist aesthetics in Britain, Russian Constructivism in architecture, the Sexpol of Wilhelm Reich in film and design, and the alienation effects of Brecht and Hanns Eisler on record and on screen.

Against the world of ‘there is no alternative’, this book tries to excavate Modernism’s other futures.

With svelte prose, agile wit, and alarming erudition, Owen Hatherley pries open the prematurely closed case of early 20th Century modernism. This slim and shapely, ideas-packed and intensely-felt book is neither a misty-eyed memorial nor a dour inquest, but a verging-on-erotic mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Rediscovering the enchantment of demystification and the sexiness of severity, Hatherley harks forward to modernism’s utopian spirit: critical, radically democratic, dedicated to the conscious transformation of everyday life, determined to build a better world.

Simon Reynolds, Author of Rip It Up and Start Again – Postpunk 1978-84

A call to have the courage to be modern against all the current postmodern pieties of exhaustion and fragmentation, Owen Hatherley’s brilliant reactivation of the utopian impulses of the modernist avant-garde is Brecht meeting Ballard to create the science-fiction of socialism.

Benjamin Noys, Author of Georges Bataille and The Culture of Death

Find all posts by

Older: «

3 Responses »

  1. “Modernism makes my ass hurt”

  2. I guess that’s why they call it ‘militant’, Mr Arsenault!

  3. […] Ballardian » ‘Brecht Meeting Ballard’: Militant Modernism […]

Leave a Reply