Inhabiting a Piece of Art: It’s Not Always So Pretty

click here for the NYTimes article

"From there, the film transforms into a kind of mechanical ballet. Once again the platform rises slowly, this time carrying an empty chair and desk. As it clicks into place, its rails drop down until they are flush with the floor. Somewhere else a porthole window pops open, then bounces rhythmically up and down. Two burned pieces of toast pop out of a toaster. (In case you don’t get the point, a clip from one of Jacques Tati’s comic sendups of rumpled middle-aged Frenchmen unable to cope with modern life flickers across a television screen.)

The most charming sequence in the film, it goes to the heart of the filmmakers’ point: to demonstrate that architecture’s real meaning exists in small details, in the little victories and defeats that make up everyday life. In the process, they humanize the work itself. Reduced to a series of mechanical operations, the building is nonetheless as alive as the people inside it, with whom it is locked in an awkward dance."
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