Building Interest

"Art and Architecture" was held in the desert, but the subject was hardly dry

In general, the artists on the panel proved their social necessity by being sweeter and funnier than the architects, and the women by being braver than the men. Horn, claiming there was one last point she felt compelled to make before departing, described Iceland's plan to build its first road through the ice and ash of the country's interior. "This need to build a road. This need to build a big building. It's about sexuality," Horn said, matter-of-factly.

Moderator and Houston architect William Stern promptly tried to change the subject. Calling Horn's point a tired one, he instead raised an even more tired one, about the relationship of architecture and technology. Admittedly, I thought the technology question irrelevant, and Gehry, who noted that he hires people to figure that stuff out for him, seemingly did as well. But van Bruggen, again, offered a salient point. On her first visit to Marfa since Judd's death, she brought the discussion back to her late friend, pointing out that it took Judd 20 years to carry out his vision in Marfa with precision. With the latest technologies, she noted, "We can build a museum in six years. And still, it has to survive time."

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