Debate: Modern or Traditional?
My friend was indoctrinated into a High Modernist paradigm, in which all surfaces and materials were meant to have integrity and remain of a piece with the structures they refer to. Something like wallpaper was antithetical to this belief because it covers a surface but doesn't reveal it. It is not the thing itself.
My counterpoint has always been this: what about narrative? What about whimsy, sensuality and character?...
My friend acknowledges that his Modernist philosophy allows no room for "theatre," but sometimes I like being entertained.
So let's take a poll: do you like doilies, curlicues and wallpaper, or are you a white-box modernist? And if I must be held to the purposes of this column, this whole argument resurfaced because I mentioned that I like the base color of this wallpaper.
Special thanks once again to Benjamin Marcus for his endlessly quotable assistance.
- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter