A set of collages made from mainly contemporary sources, which recount episodes in modernist architecture in the twentieth century. This is a story of a fragile and occasionally noble dream, in the context of a history going violently wrong. These images are supplemented by short parallel prose meditations. Wild’s images have a wonderful rightness of form. But they are far from idealized: politically charged, they have a disconcerting sense of erotics and low humour.
|availability||out of print|
|dimensions||276 × 210 mm|
|illustrations||126 colour pictures|
|binding||sewn & flapped paperback|
While David Wild has made his mark as an architect and builder, teacher and writer, we have had to wait a long time for this, his first book. As we might expect from Wild, however, the book is much more than mere words and pictures. Delve deeper and it reveals something of a personal manifesto by this lifelong agent provocateur, with both the beautiful collages and their accompanying texts assembled with perfection and wit.
Architecture Today, no. 89, 1998
With his extraordinary self-build house in north London, David Wild demonstrated his deep understanding of the Modern Movement. Sophisticated in its planning and knowing in its details, it stands among the best British buildings of its time.
Now Wild has produced an exemplary work in another medium: a book of collages accompanied by short essays. He discovered and fell in love with the Modern Movement in the 1960s when it was still credible in its own terms, eagerly exploring its monuments and consuming its propaganda. He has since spent half a lifetime ruminating on the brave scale of its aspirations, regretting the collapse of so many of its promises, and coming to a painful understanding of the gap between architects’ visions and political reality. The love is still there, even if the contradictions remain digestible only with a heavy dose of irony.
Fragments of utopia is a moving, amusing, and sometimes savagely ironic sideways look at the Modern Movement, skilfully composed and beautifully produced. The collages nicely complement the short texts, cheeky in their juxtaposition of people and places, and with apt use of postage stamps as temporal icons.
Peter Blundell Jones, Architectural Review, September 1998