We have the ugliest bridge in the world – the Helix

April 24, 2010

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What do you think about the new double helix bridge in the Marina?

I don’t know about you; but this is has to be the ugliest bridge in the whole wide world (wonder why I am not posting a picture, it brings pain to me) – I am sorry but nothing about it appeals to me not the material, design or even the nervous way it twirls across the bay – just looks to me like a giant industrial drill bit that I have mounted on my Bosch.

I happen to be one those who really appreciate architecture beyond the dictionary meaning of “nice,” to me the perfect blend of form and function that makes a building, bridge or even something as everyday as a simple telephone booth can be attractive, appealing and even edifying – I also happen to be one those who believe modern art should be accessible to all – that simply means, it must have a conscience – a respect for the human scale along with being able to convey a thought or idea without too much fuss – to paraphrase; it needs to have a soul.

But this double helix bridge has absolutely none of that; it’s just one huge mess of twirling metal like some glorified polished barbed wire; and it doesn’t do anything to for me – I can see absolutely nothing in it; no inner expression of modern man; let alone figure out how it can be juxtaposed against the skyline to say how we have managed to arrive at some golden age; unless of course it happens to be some exotic Tibetan urination technique that I have never heard about.

That’s unusual; odd even; because I happen to be one of those few men who take immense pride in being able to find beauty in the mundane, ordinariness and sameness of life (could that explain why I spend so much time looking at myself in the mirror…mirror, mirror on the wall who is the…).

For example: I can ever recall vividly during my averagely miserable university days when I was dating a nice Italian girl who had a penchant for antiquities; chaperoning her to the Tate (Museum of fine arts in London).

And in one annex featured an Avant Garde exhibition – in one section a pail and mop was in the middle of the chamber; and there I was happily recounting to her how this was an allegory of the syntheses of modern life and functional form-making yada yada yada yada yada – till of course, the janitor came along and spoilt it all by asking us to move along he began to mop away – no prizes for guessing what happened after that – she said, I;ve call you; don;t call me – that could possibly explain why I wasn’t very hot with the girls during my Uni days.

The point I am trying to make is I happen to be one of those few people who can find beauty even if it resides in its infinitesimal form – I could for example have a conversation with even someone who most men would consider ugly and within a span of a hour; I could probably mined out 3 or 4 things that makes her so beautiful that I’ve probably want to see her again. Or spend maybe a half hour looking at something like a fire hydrant and somehow manage to glean some fundamental paradoxes about post modernist life yada yada yada yada – along with how art can be simultaneously an ideal, yet remain a politically and socially engaging expression in whatever context it choose to express itself.

But this double helix bridge over the Marina just takes the cake when it comes to taxing my creative juices; as I can see nothing there; nothing to even claim that it’s anything as it is so absolutely devoid of expressiveness, originality or imagination, except maybe to say:

“Did you know the genetic helix that separates a monkey and a human being is just 2%”

Bet you didn’t know that.

Darkness 2010 – The Brotherhood Press 2010

“Darkness take a long look at Singaporedaddy….we are all wearing anoraks, tennis shoes and ear muffs; but look at him. He is wearing a pin striped charcoal Zegna suit; a pristine white shirt with button down collars; a luxurious velvet tie and shoes that sparkle…speaks 12 languages fluently writes 4 of them impeccably and you will find him in his element in either the Ritz Carlton in London or some Bedouin tent in some far flung corner of the world; the perfect diplomat….the perfect weapon fashioned by the Guilds…he is their Praetorian; always ready never missing a beat like a precision Swiss time piece; what I am trying to say to you my dear apprentice (Darkness) is this goes beyond elegance?

In other words to be really elegant you first need to cultivate grace – I worry about you Darkness especially when my time comes to go, as you are rough around the edges – that’s why the Guilds will always be suspicious of you and if you do not dedicate yourself to this study of elegance, my fear is the Guilds will never listen to you –  but if you notice, Singaporedaddy doesn’t seem to have that problem, is it because his demeanor radiates authority and calmness even in the face of great adversity? Or could it be what he embodies is just maturity, wisdom and knowledge? – I don’t think so, as any charlatan can accomplish that with the help of a couple of bent historians and academic derelicts to help him write his crooked memoirs – but when you look, talk and interact with him what strikes you like a diamond bullet is he may perhaps be one of those few men who have not only managed to successfully escape mediocrity, but perhaps he may also belong to the rarest of the rare; those who have already taken possession of their future without even bothering to ask for permission. That is beautiful Darkness….very beautiful….do you understand my apprentice?”

Vollariane 2002 / conversation with Darkness / captured by an auto-bot / recorded in the book of ages – the Brotherhood Press 2010

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