2008-04-05

modernism is pop: hippety hip hop

thank you, lars gezelius, for this youtube tip: the “flute song” video of los angeles rappers alkaholiks (2006) is filmed against the backdrop of several contemporary architectural landmarks in malmö, sweden - such as the new turning torso housing tower (santiago calatrava 2005), and the recent öresund bridge, which connects malmö/sweden and copenhagen/denmark since 2000. (but also the not quite recent, but all the more classical, high-modernism of malmö’s hyllie water tower of 1973 gets to be in the video.)







i just now (april 2008) received this trippy hip-hop clip tip as one reader’s feedback to an earlier article of mine - about american recording artist moby’s 1997 video for his“james bond theme (moby’s re-version),” which - just like the alkaholiks clip - happens to be a pop culture video shot against a backdrop of significant (swedish) modernist architecture; shot entirely on location in and around sergels torg, the modernist downtown district of sweden’s capital city. read it here.

but if the ten year old example of moby in downtown stockholm was all about a kind of nostalgia for the past; all about - more than 20 years after the fact - rendering the 1970s and 1960s modernist post-war architecture picturesque (after decades of neglect and public disdain), this recent hip-hop example from malmö is an example of today's very different mindset: of how popular culture actually seems to be totally in sync with today’s neo-modernist architecture.



modernism used to be elitist, out of sync with the tastes of contemporary society (it took more than 20 years for sergels torg to be “discovered” by moby and video director jonas åkerlund). today it seems architectural modernism (be it modernist classics such as the hyllie water tower, or quite contemporary examples such as the calatrava turning torso) is no longer elitist; today modernism is pop.