PublicationsLanguage : French
Pages : 144
Format : 150 * 190 mm
Under the supervision of
Olivier Verdique alias Alvar Le Corvanderpius
Pierre Geurts et Antoine Lantair pour NNstudio
The last architect of the last generation of architects
"There are only two genres, the poem and the pamphlet," said Tristan Tzara, founder of the Dada movement. By this he probably meant that in literature, as in any other artistic endeavour, there are only two possible attitudes: creation or destruction. Louis-Ferdinand Céline set out the same option when he replied to Louis Pauwels in 1961: "What kind of man do you like most? - The creator. And who do you hate the most? - The destroyer."
In the 20th century at least, there were architects who abandoned their original discipline to become exclusively writers, as in the case of Michel Bataille; writers who excelled in architecture as well as in other forms of artistic expression, such as the polymorphous Max Frisch; writers who worked, more or less explicitly, as architects; and the example of Proust immediately comes to mind, a man who applied some of the principles of the Englishman Ruskin to elaborate the fanciful memorial cathedral of La Recherche. Fewer writers have really entered into an intellectual dialogue with architecture in order to find a common essence between the first and fifth major arts.
Proof that Verdique was able to become a satirist is easy to establish: you don't need to be a connoisseur of the practice of architecture to appreciate the ferocity of his charge, or to laugh at it, quite frankly. Verdique is a satirist merely by filling a gap of a century and a half: through the series of sketched and quintessential portraits that open the volume, he draws up a complete physiology of the architect - at least in French-speaking Belgium. Everything hinges on it: the modus laborandi, the way of dressing, the gestures, the way of speaking, even the complexion and hairstyle. We have seen Reybaud include the figure of the bohemian architect in his caricature of careerism. Verdique reverses the perspective by broadening it with the client and his aberrant desires, the typology of architecture magazines of varying quality, and even holidaymakers who cast a contemptuous and catastrophic glance at their new acquaintance as soon as they learn of his profession...
At no time does Verdique set himself up as a judge of his entire era. He does not allow himself to talk about Culture with a capital 'C', invoke superior, transcendent values, or interfere in other artistic fields. However, he staunchly defends what he knows better than anyone else, namely his profession, which is an art. He therefore protests against the increasing complexity involved in exercising his passion and calls for the liberation of restrictive frameworks, of the coercive system that suffocates creators of his status. He rebels, as a total libertarian, and fully deserves the label of anarchitect.
'Anarchitecte' is a collection of satirical pamphlets describing the daily harassment experienced by an architect at the dawn of the 21st century. The author dissects the processes of the profession, highlighting the clichés, hopes and ambitions, the widespread dysfunction and perhaps its greatest weakness, namely the lack of recognition of the role of architecture in institutional and decision-making bodies. From the depths of Wallonia, Le Corvanderpius sharpens his sharpest weapon, the pen, to denounce the absurdities of his daily professional practice. Through a local chronicle, his irreverent account transcends geographical boundaries to unite his fellow artists in a collective pride containing a desire to restore dignity to "the most beautiful and complete of all the arts.