Militant Modernism

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O Books, 2009 - Philosophy - 146 pages
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...subtle ingenuity and sheer exuberance Jonathan Meades, New Statesman ...freewheeling, spinning out ideas, theories and evaluations that may have their origin in the stony core of the built environment, but which spread to encompass most other aesthetic realms as well. Will Self, London Review of Books This book is a defence of Modernism against its defenders. In readings of modern design, film, pop 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 features new readings of some familiar names - Bertolt Brecht, Le Corbusier - but 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 - all arguing for a Modernism of everyday life, immersed in questions of socialism, sexual politics and technology. With svelte prose, agile wit, and alarming erudition, Owen Hatherley pries open the prematurely closed case of early 20th Century modernism. Simon Reynolds, Author of Rip It Up and Start Again - Postpunk 1978-84 Brecht meeting Ballard to create the science-fiction of socialism. Benjamin Noys, Author of The Culture of Death

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