Brutal Space

January 24, 2023

I snapped this during the height of the Covid pandemic. Sometime around late 2021. Unlike some. I didn’t enjoy the lockdown at all. Hence I made it a point to get out as much as I could. During one of my salutory mournful walks. I was lucky enough to get lost in some building. I liked the way, the afternoon sun streamed so cleanly to highlight the contrasting edges thru the camera. In a sense this harsh and surgical delineation between light and darkness was remiscent of what I previously gathered abt brutal architecture. To my limited understanding, brutal architecture was all about power projection. Most of it was cobbled together from the Japanese science fiction manga series written and illustrated by Tsutomu Nihei. Where the main protagonist was often depicted alongside very imposing and dark architecture that looked functionally terrifying. Brutal architure wasn’t about finesse or even form following function to produce what the Swedes would call Hygge. Rather it was all about how far concrete and glass could invade one’s personal space and even overach to attempt to appropriate one’s consciousness. In essence. I saw the endless and sometimes mindless regulation of movement on people during Covid as a form of sovietization that mirrored the repulsive philosophy of brutal architecture…. The lines were too harsh and arbitary with broad draconian strokes between 1 and 0 and 0 and 1 with no possible room for improvisation or even negotiations. Like I said. I loathed those fucking Covid lockdowns. And when I look back on those lost years, it just mirrors many of my equally lost sentiments. The terror of loneliness, the constancy of the pain of my cut up hand, the sense of alienation that comes from the arbitrariness of judgement and being misunderstood all the time (even today I find it difficult to go back to those friends. I tried many times to rekindle the camaraderie, but there’s always enough resentment to stay away and this is a source of profound sadness) the depths of struggling to find ones rightful place in a strange and alien environment. The futility of the moment and above all the mood of ennui that seemed to go on and on and on. I am just glad it’s all over n done with now. Go on….. Breathe!

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