Coulter, Gerry: Tadeo Ando, One World Trade Centre and “The Ground Zero Project”, 25.06.2014

I. Introduction

The recently opened One World Trade Centre (One WTC or “The Freedom Tower” as some insist on calling it) in New York City is a curious edifice. The building is the center piece of an ongoing effort to respond to the events of September 11, 2001. It is a remarkably unexceptional modern tower of glass and steel (104 stories) reaching a symbolic 1776 symbolic feet (541m) at the top of its 408 foot (104m) high tower. I am among those who did not think that anything would make us miss the architecture of the twin towers as much as this building does. America felt it had to respond to 9/11 with a big building and that is what it has done. Now that we have One WTC I wonder if anyone wonders what we might have had in place of this monstrous ode to architectural mediocrity and petty local politics.

Coulter, Gerry: Ecology And Two Deaths, 06.10.09

Consider the story of the soldier who meets Death at a crossing of the marketplace, and he believes he saw him make a menacing gesture in his direction. He rushes to the king’s palace and asks the king for his best horse in order that he might flee during the night far from Death, as far as Samarkand. Upon which the king summons Death to the palace and reproaches him for having frightened one of his best servants. “I didn’t mean to frighten him. It was just that I was surprised to see this soldier here, when we had a rendez-vous tomorrow in Samarkand.”[1]

Coulter, Gerry: In the Shadow of Post-Democratic Capitalism – A Fascination for China, 26.11.08

 

I. Introduction

The relationship between the art of China and Western Art Museums has changed noticeably over the past decade. Previously we could expect Chinese artworks to appear primarily in historical, archaeological, anthropological or textile museums but not in major art museums (many of which still do not own an important Chinese art work). Many significant Western art museums have tended to avoid Chinese art specifically and Asian art generally. This is because Chinese art has remained outside of the definition of “art” (which in Western museums has been focused on oil paint and not the use of ink on paper, or ink and colour on silk or bamboo).

In the past five years, through a series of traveling shows, and a re-envisioning of existing holdings, our exposure to Chinese art in Western museums has increased. In the next section I examine how these shows are broadening the scope of what is on view in the West. In the third section I examine the global cultural context of these shows given China’s entry into a unique historical position – the potential bearer of post-democratic capitalism to the New World Order.