02 April 2009

Velvet Fence

Fence Co.
Photo by Jk***

“When one talks of mass-production houses one means, of course, the “housing scheme”. Unity in the constructional elements is a guarantee of beauty. A housing scheme affords the variety necessary for architectural composition and lends itself to design on a large scale and to real architectural rhythm. A well mapped-out scheme, constructed on a mass-production basis, can give a feeling of calm, order and neatness, and inevitably imposes discipline on the inhabitants. America has given us an example by the elimination of hedges and fences, rendered possible only by the modern feeling of respect for other people’s property which took its rise over there; such suburbs give a great sense of space; for once hedges and fences are removed, light and sunshine reign over all.”
Suburbia View 2
Photo by yan2003

I know that I will be banal, but I just couldn’t resist to comment on these lines which I went through a couple of days ago. Let’s go brainstorming now: ...America, fence, tunnels, Mexico, Tijuana, border, suburb, sprawl, gated communities, Los Angeles, Mike Davis, police, Iraq, Ford, Detroid, crisis, respect, Richard Sennett, Cabrini Green, black people, bus, woman, hamburger, cheese... (I stop because I am going too far.)

This L-C’s text reminds me the beginning of Blue Velvet by Lynch, in which you have the perfect suburban house and lawn, but the wooden fence is too white, roses too red, grass to green, people quietly gardening, the 1950’s fireman smiling as he passes by: everything larger than life. In fact, just in the adjacent vacant lot, you could find a decomposing human ear, your door to the dark, night, evil side of suburban life.
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