Monday, September 5, 2011

My Favorite Polish Dutchmen

To hide a repair to historic fabric is to graffiti under another name.
In the USA in a repair to historic fabric the tendency, what I contend is an illusion of falsity, is to hide the repair.

I, for one, take a delight to see repairs that are obvious and that shout out that they are an historical intervention. They took place at a time with materials and technique that we can read as strongly as any patina. If we have the eyes. All within themselves they become as micro-fictions to the overall narrative of the entire built landscape.

Should the bullet holes be covered over any more than the thorns?

The clean lines, the invisibility of matched color, the exact tone of surface to make the repair invisible reveals a preservation philosophy driven by an abstract bureaucratic aesthetic of rule that has lost respect for the innate qualities of the material, of nature and of the environment that we exist within.

These Polish dutchmen, for me, illustrate in their detail and over-profiles, in the lack of their precision to hide, an understanding of the long-time of an old culture. They reveal a sensitivity to the temporal nature of the traditional tradesperson who yesterday and today had a hand to touch and was not a trickster made to hide their smile.

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