Mies van der Rohe

Nice to honor Ludwig Mies van der Rohe‘s birthday today with a Google doodle. Remembering Mies van der Rohe also fits with reminding forced emigration by German, especially artists, avantgardists, musicians, and of course the Jews who managed to do so, before World War II, an issue that I have been reflecting about lately through my course on Create Nonfiction focussing on immigration.

Interestingly though, Google highlighted the National Gallery in Berlin, his last building opened in 1968 and probably not his most practical when it comes to its function as a modern art museum: All exhibitions are in fact below the ground, bunker-like. Probably a case of function follows form. Here, the word Google had to fit into the building! His Chicago skyscrapers, the Barcelona pavillon, are all works that have been much more influential, interior and landscape shaping.

I like the building though. Transparent, simple. Remember, it was built next to the Berlin wall, effectively shutting off a society.

 

advent calendar casablanca

I somehow have the impression that there aren’t as many installations (usually do not serve anything but filling the space and, sometimes, look good) on Morrocans public spaces, plazas and crossings, than in Europe.

But yesterday I left to Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, and the biggest city with nearly 4 million people, just 55 minutes from Rabat, to go to the official headquarters of Transparency Maroc. Well, headquarter sounds maybe a little exagerated, but it is the main administrative office, a tiny, but very nice two-room flat with a great view on the backyard from the bathroom.

There are many impressions of the city that I hope to be able to share with you in a later post, but for now, I wanted to add this picture of the United Nations square, and the clock tower of the Medina in the background. I like this half globe in the middle of the crossing, picking up the earthy colors of the murals of the Medinas, and contrasting modernity with tradition, a contrast that is in developpment all over the country.

17 December Casablanca

17 December Casablanca