Hosted by Dick Cavett, the film explores the landmark buildings and career of the man who transformed New York City during the “Gilded Age” – Stanford White – one of the most prominent American architects during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Why Rem Koolhaas Brought a Tractor to the Guggenheim
The architect, a champion of cities, now turns a spotlight on the countryside in a sprawling new exhibition about the other 98 percent of the world.
Rem Koolhaas at the Koppert Cress greenhouse in the Netherlands, a space related to his new exhibition, “Countryside, The Future,” at the Guggenheim.Credit…Jussi Puikkonen for The New York Times
THE HAGUE — A manifesto and love letter to the city in the 1970s, the book “Delirious New York” helped propel the reputation of a young, restless Dutch journalist-and-screenwriter-turned-architect.
Nearly forgotten now, a display of drawings accompanied the book in 1978 — real and also wonderfully imaginary views of the city by the author, Rem Koolhaas, and his colleagues at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, or OMA, the architecture firm founded a few years earlier by him, Madelon Vriesendorp, and Elia and Zoe Zenghelis to develop what they called “a mutant form of urbanism.”
“The Sparkling Metropolis,” as the show was called, occupied what then doubled as storage rooms at the top of the spiral of the Guggenheim Museum. “The irony wasn’t lost on me,” Mr. Koolhaas remembered the other day, about the fact that Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guggenheim’s architect, hated cities.
We had gotten together in the Rotterdam offices of OMA. I had come to the Netherlands to talk with Mr. Koolhaas about the new Guggenheim exhibition he has put together — a bookend to “Delirious New York” and, in a sense, to his career.
We’ll see how the show, “Countryside, The Future,” opening Thursday, is received during its six-month run — whether museumgoers find it exhilarating or shambolic. I’ve only seen it half-installed. It looks to be a huge, text-heavy, dizzying affair with something of the aesthetic of an old Soviet World’s Fair pavilion, spilling out of the Guggenheim’s front door, where a tractor, remotely operable by iPad, is now parked on Fifth Avenue.
A corrective to the focus on growing cities, “Countryside” aims to turn a spotlight on the 98 percent of the planet not yet occupied by cities. Anticipating the obvious criticism, Mr. Koolhaas describes the show as a “pointillist” portrait, a “global sampling” of “the current condition of ‘countryside,’” which he acknowledges seems “a glaringly inadequate term for all the territory that is not urban.”
By not-urban territory, in other words, Mr. Koolhaas means farms and wilderness and oceans and villages — the Kalahari, the Great Barrier Reef and the Dakotas — but also dense exurban clusters of high-tech industrial sites and mega-campuses for Amazon fulfillment centers and Tesla giga-factories in places like the high desert outside Reno, Nevada.
The show pings from urbanizing villages in Kenya along Chinese-funded train routes, to endangered communities in Siberia where climate change is hastening the melt of permafrost.
There’s a bit about satellites supplying real-time data to computer-driven tractors plowing immense mono-farms in Middle America; another about M-Pesa, a mobile-phone-based money-transfer system funding businesses in remote parts of Tanzania.
And a bay in the Guggenheim rotunda is devoted to Iraqi, Syrian and other immigrants resuscitating ghost towns like Camini, in Calabria, Italy, and the village of Manheim, near Cologne, Germany.
Years in gestation, the show is the collective output of an army of collaborators and students. Troy Conrad Therrien, the Guggenheim’s curator for architecture, brought Mr. Koolhaas onboard in 2015 and oversaw the project’s development. Among many others, Mr. Koolhaas teamed with Samir Bantal, who runs AMO, the research arm of OMA, and Niklas Maak, the excellent German architecture critic. Graphics for the museum layout and for the dense, palm-size catalog are by Irma Boom, the great Dutch book designer. The catalog’s size is a kind of inside joke. Mr. Koolhaas is famous for producing doorstops.
He takes no clear political position on many of the hot-button topics the show raises, portraying himself as a reporter not pundit, realist not cynic, equally amazed and appalled, refusing moral judgments or virtue signaling. A familiar pose by him, it may confuse some, frustrate others. The topics evolved out of “a personal journey, where our energies led us,” he told me.
They led to places like Koppert Cress, which Mr. Koolhaas invited me to see. It’s part of the industrialized sprawl of car dealerships, highways and factories just outside The Hague, the opposite of what most people would call the countryside. The Netherlands, it turns out, is the world’s second largest exporter of food because of its state-of-the-art greenhouses — businesses like Koppert Cress, a high-tech producer and supplier of micro-vegetables, whose facility is the size of 23 football fields.ImageOne of the vast greenhouses in Koppert Cress, whose facility is the size of 23 football fields.Credit…Jussi Puikkonen for The New York TimesImage
Extremely interesting long film about New York towards the end of the Great Depression. This film is in colour, motion-stabilized, enhanced and speed-corrected by me. It was shot between 1935 and 1939. Duration: nearly 42 minutes. It shows many images of New York’s buildings (Empire State, Chrysler and Woolworth buildings a.o), Bridges, Aircraft, Neon lights and Steamships. Especially the footage of the famous ocean liners RMS Queen Mary, which was brand new at that time, and the SS Normandie and SS Conte di Savoia footage (in color!) is intriguing. The film was probably made by a wealthy family involving an elderly lady who appears half a dozen times in the film. Maybe they booked the famous SS Normandie cruise to Rio in Feb.1938 or Feb.1939.
The official trailer for “A Rainy Day in New York”.
|eva dorrepaal||Sat, May 18, 6:10 AM (2 days ago)|
Hooray! The first ten minutes of my new play have been created. Well… ahem… let’s say it’s a work in progress. I will perform this 10 minute excerpt at the 24th annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts:
OUR FOUNDING MOTHER (working title)
With a criminal record and a vengeful ex-husband, Rachel Faucette attempts to keep food on the table and protect her son – Alexander Hamilton – from discovering the details of her sordid past.
Written and performed by Eva Dorrepaal. Created with support from the Susan Batson Studio and Hamilton’s New York.
I will perform it at approximately 8:44pm on May 24th downstairs in the Cabaret Theater, 155 First Ave at 10th Street, New York, NY 10003. It is the LES, which means sometimes shows are delayed, so keep that in mind. Entry: Free
II. Also free is a screening of an Edwin Brienen film to celebrate the release of the Brienen Blu-ray boxset: the five-film Blu-ray box set is now available at Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy and Walmart. Sounds evil? Yes, it sounds downright evil!
“Brink’s five-film “Edwin Brienen Collection” is an invitation for extreme cineastes, if you will, to sample the work of a Dutch auteur, whose films can rightly be said to mirror those of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Theo Van Gogh, Andy Warhol and artists associated with Brechtian theater. There’s no question that he elicits exemplary work from his small repertory company of fearless actors: Eva Dorrepaal, Esther Eva Verkaaik, Vivien LaFleur and Agnieszka Rozenbajgier.”
– Soiled Cinema
If you are not familiar with the work of this avant-garde Dutch filmmaker please join us for the screening.
7:40 pm – 8:57 pm REVISION – APOCALYPSE II
In a futuristic world where terrorist attacks rule daily life, forced chip implantation is commonplace, and government control is routinely exerted through manipulation of the media, Traci is haunted by an inner demon.
Starring: Eva Dorrepaal, Clayton Nemrow. Writer & Director: Edwin Brienen.
Here is the trailer:
The screening of Revision – Apocalypse II will take place during the Film Program of LES the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts.
May 25th @7:40 pm downstairs in the Cabaret Theater, 155 First Ave. at 10th Street, New York, NY 10003.
If you can’t make it to the screening, you can order the 5-film Blu-ray set at
And finally, what you all have been waiting for, the Eva Quiz:
1. Who was Alexander Hamilton’s mother, and how can her character best be described?
- An untamed woman
- An ex-convict
- A maverick
- A feminist
- It can’t be a Jane Eyre character if Eva is writing it.
- All of the above
2. What was her profession?
- A pirate
- A pickpocket
- A witch and sometimes a medium
- A writer
- A shopkeeper
- A whore
- All of the above
3. On which accusation was she sentenced to prison?
- Giving birth to a radical
- For reading Plato to the plebs
- All of the above
The first person that replies with the correct answer wins:
1st Prize: The Edwin Brienen Blu-ray box set. (Worth $34.99 + shipping!)
Consolation prize: Free admission to the Lower East Side Festival.
Hope to see you,
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