07 February 2011

Dancing About Architecture, II: Endlos Haus







Amusing. As the press release has it...

"An obelisk of noise that rose rudely above the treetops of the Bialowieska Forest, the Endless House project shone for a mere six weeks in the spring of 1973. The outlandish brainchild of wealthy audiophile/maniac Jiri Kantor, its stated mission was 'to become the cradle of a new European sonic community... a multimedia discotheque' that should 'surprise and delight' artists and dancers alike. ...The brilliant Czech may have made his millions as the midas-touched entrepreneur/taste-maker behind Paris-based magazine Otium International, but Endless House was always a vanity project as irredeemably vain as its maker..."

As Simon points out, this appears to be the latest in a series of a certain type of high-concept hoax -- the sort that involves crafty marketing campaigns built around the invented legacies of "lost" artists. Judging from the video, it looks like the architectural component was inspired by the sort of "visionary" utopianist schools that flourished during Modernism's waning days in the late 1960s and early 1970s. mostly inspired by the work of the Viennese Haus-Rucker-Co firm....
















Haus-Rucker-Co were reputedly inspired by the S.I. and its theories on "play" in relation to psychogeographics, which had partially evolved out of Constant Nieuwenhuys's notions of "unitary urbanism" and his proposed New Babylon, a mutable urban environment to be peopled by a nomadic populace of "homo ludens"...















All of which points back to the "polydimensional" Endless House designed by Frederick Kiesler in 1950...








As it turns out, the specific image that's been circulating in connection with the Endless House compilation is actually of the Klein Bottle House in Australia. As far as the music on the thing is concerned, it's appropriately reminiscent of German e-music circa the early-mid 'seventies. Not sure who exactly is responsible, but I'm assuming it was created by affiliates of the Dramatic label performing under various assumed names. For the curious, 20JFG provides some additional samples here and here.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I miss the days when nostalgia wasn't so in.

Greyhoos said...

I think I know what you mean, anon. But I'm not sure which days those might've been, given that the "nostalgia industry" has (in one form or another) been with us for nearly 40 years now.

Greyhoos said...

And a few other random musical items of a similar fake-historical pedigree: King Uszniewicz? The Daktaris? The 'Brotherman' OST?

Anonymous said...

The aesthetics of nostalgia pre-dates Roman times, let us not forget. What's interesting are the cycles it weaves..

Anyway, just checked out the music and it's well worth a look.

Greyhoos said...

Point taken, anon. Which is something I was thinking of delving further into in my next post on all the "hauntological" biz. (In which cases, the theoretical discussion usually falls more along the lines of a "nostalgia in the postmodern age of mechanical reproduction/commodification" argument.)

Greyhoos said...

And yeah, the music's quite good...what I've heard of it so far.

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