The contemporary perception of a historical object is somehow special and it differs from various approaches exercised in the past. Remains of the past times are always hard to deal with: you may either treasure them for being products of an age that is gone or you can destroy them so that they don´t occupy precious space that can be used for the new. The first approach requires the shared view of those responsible that we should care about history, connect to it, try to understand it. If there is to be a connection, it makes perfect sense that our environment should share some of the environment of our ancestors. This has its limits of course, otherwise we would have to live in a giant museum. The approach agreed upon is based on delegation of certain people who decide whether an object, apart from being historical, is also valuable in terms of artistic quality, technology, etc., whether it is useful enough. The goal is a responsible proportional share of the historical and the present or even futuristic. Because respect for the old can easily be conflicting with an excitement for progress, novelty.
What I find interesting is the fact that observing the old objects became a sort of a positive fetish, or at least a source of excitement. The sight of people queuing in front of something 500 or more years old is extraordinary in a way. Mainly because it is a somewhat new element, a product of the past, say, two centuries, if we ignore the medieval rulers´ craving for antique objects, which is a different matter. Old buildings and objects provoke emotions: pride, nostalgia, wonder… and they create an illusion of a connection with history. As a tourist, one does feel, by paying a visit to its main antiquities, that he or she forms a connection with the past of the place, discovering its character as a result. It is an illusion of course, because you can never understand a place by simply looking at its foundations and it all may be more about self- satisfactory feeling of being “cultural”, but it does make sense and its consequences are mostly positive. There are many ways to interpret the trend, but what we may observe as its result is preservation, care for the historical objects.
Apr 16, 16:31 (Filed under: Architecture )