ornament and crime
loos himself, an austrian architect who had repeatedly stood on trial for child assault (i apologize for mentioning this in such a rhetorical way but somehow whenever i hear the word "austria" the words "cellar" and "child assault" are not far, although i guess it's a bad sense of humor), liked things to be "smooth", "clean" and "precious". he is considered an important precursor for the brutalist architectural movement which other people in turn have critisized as being "cold" and "totalitarian". (a lot of quotation marks...).
in his book on judaism vilém flusser writes that what is truly beautiful about jewish culture is exactly it's weird randomness and senselessness, the strange traditions (hide the matzah, no electricity on sabbath, a drop of water to purify the wine etc.). because a culture that spends its time hiding matzhah for the children to find, using their toes in the elevators on fridays because you're not supposed to touch electricity with your fingers, is a celibratory one. one that celibrates the absurdity and irony of life. whereas a culture interested in pure efficiency, that calculates and measures everything, and defines it with final purposes, is just ugly and makes a society sad, imprisoned and in the worst case terribly barbaric and fascist.
it's strange with loos, because he has obviously designed some rather interesting houses and has had a major influence on architecture until today. i just don't understand the negativity of his approach and why he has to denounce papuan tattoos or the ornaments of a house from novosibirsk to do what he feels compelled to do.
spending time randomly making beautiful tattoos or russian cornices seems pretty civilized and precious to me. i guess that's why i so like deleuze who was a strong opponent to hegel's concept of negativity and dialectics and stood in for plains and prairies filled with diverse, stratified, energetic fields or beams coming from all over the place.