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Constructing Sexuality in Architecture The uproar over Zaha Hadid's Qatar World Cup Stadium will dissipate once it has been built, but as a "feminine structure," it must prove its success.

Dec 24 '13 10 Last Comment
 

backbay
Dec 26, 13 2:13 pm

i highly doubt zaha didn't know what she was doing.  Andre Sarrano's Piss Christ does the same thing-- its art created with the sole purpose of to starting an uproar and offending people, while the artist sits back saying "I don't know what you're talking about!".  this is zaha's version of miley's twerk and madonna's crucifix.  i personally hate when artists do something controversial for press, but at least architecture is in the mainstream american news.

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
Dec 26, 13 3:37 pm

I highly doubt that Zaha has any idea what she is doing. 

If Hadid was the ardent feminist that she claims to be she'd be trumpeting the sexuality if the design instead of denying it. Instead she just cries foul and says men don't get the same criticism. 

“It’s really embarrassing that they come up with nonsense like this,” Hadid tells TIME exclusively. “What are they saying? Everything with a hole in it is a vagina? That’s ridiculous.”

The curved, open roof is meant to evoke the the sail of the dhow, a traditional fishing boat common in Qatar. “Honestly, if a guy had done this project,” she adds, critics would not be making such lewd comparisons.

The design is likely the result of staffers like Patrik. I wouldn't be surprised if they are making fun of her.

t a m m u z
Dec 26, 13 4:27 pm

There is no contradiction between being a 'feminist' of sort (i would say fuctionally a feminist rather than a feminism that has itself as its own end)  and not wanting to depict, glorify, embrace, represent genitals. While some might be programmed to read it that iway  because of the prominence of a culture of feminism that does indeed sexually empower itself, that remains, nonetheless, one sector that choosesto do so. Does not imply a logical necessity leading from fighting for your right to practice a profession as an equal to a position of representing (or embracing misrepresentations of) your private parts.

In fact, I see a certain sexism inherent to this perception of a consequentiality based on false logic:You are a feminist if you show us your vagina. Ridiculous. 

I suspect that behind all the historical avant garde, the reasons why Zaha does not want people calling her buildings a vagina are owing to a sensibility that the prominent part of the west/ western media might not, largely, share. It is qatar that we're talking about. And as progressive as she herself might be, she may well find it distateful and trivial to be talking about genitals given a fundamental/cultural and personal proclivity  . I sense there is a different sensibility there and thats all there might be to it. Trying to bash her for that discloses narrow mindedness on the part of the basher. 

Nice
Dec 26, 13 5:14 pm

She herself made it a sexism debate when she said it would be received differently if it were designed by a man. She always plays up the idea that she has had it more difficult because she is a woman when in fact she has it more difficult because she designs structures that are near impossible to build and incredibly expensive. Her life in fact has been relatively easy, she was brought up in a wealthy family. She has no real reason to treat people like such inferiors the way hat she does.

t a m m u z
Dec 26, 13 5:42 pm

Nice: "She always plays up the idea that she has had it more difficult because she is a woman when in fact she has it more difficult because she designs structures that are near impossible to build and incredibly expensive. "

 

Her structures are not really that difficult to develop structurally and build (they are not designed to be structurally innovative) and as for being 'incredibly expensive', she probably gets as expensive as any other 'show offy' star architect. Anyway, being expensive is not a valid point of criticism here (although it is a valid point in other arguments) That one does not deem the profession to have been sexist runs counter to the awareness we have today that it has been so. And its to be expected that Zaha as both woman and a non white foreigner had to fight battles that she wouldnot have had to as a white local (british)or european man architect. I do not see your point, Nice. While yes, her (then) progressive architecture did also set her aside and affords further grounds for antipathy,, this is not to dismiss the needless prejudices that she might well have righfully pointed out to. Just because you don't like or agree with her work does not give you the right to be blind to other forces at work. 

Nice
Dec 26, 13 6:00 pm

I just think it's funny that she cannot laugh off a few comments made by comedians. Instead of just ignoring it or making a joke about it, she tried to turn it into a sexism issue. The building does resemble a vagina, what's the big deal?

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
Dec 26, 13 6:45 pm

Zaha has also complained that women are underrepresented in the profession. She should know, they are underrepresented in her office.

Her life in fact has been relatively easy, she was brought up in a wealthy family. She has no real reason to treat people like such inferiors the way hat she does.

It is the prerogative of the rich to treat those beneath them like shit.

backbay
Dec 26, 13 8:37 pm

"It is the prerogative of the rich to treat those beneath them like shit."

Well as long as we're making sweeping generalizations.

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
Dec 26, 13 8:41 pm

I only speak from experience. It's the basis of my book.

observant
Dec 26, 13 10:17 pm

"It is the prerogative of the rich to treat those beneath them like shit."

Well as long as we're making sweeping generalizations.

Sweeping generalizations occur when many people observe the same phenomenon, as in 20,000 Frenchmen can't be wrong.  But there's this prevailing bullshit namby-pamby attitude here that one shouldn't make ANY generalizations.  Since most of us are college educated, that's what it teaches you to do - to deduce and to connect the dots.  Consider that social psychologists and sociologists spend a lot of time making inferences about groups and societal strata. 

Parenthetically, how many people would have wanted to work for Leona Helmsley?  Let's see a show of hands.  I'm not seeing any hands.

It just occurred to me that if the architecture world didn't talk about this controversial lady over in London, they wouldn't have anyone to talk about.  Gehry and Morphosis are yesterday's news.  Either way, I still can't get over Holl's apricot ascot.  And how disconcerting that would be for the conventionally dressed first class passengers up in the front of the aircraft.

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