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A note on the collages

David Wild recently wrote a brief note on the history of the collages that he has been making over 35 years. We give it here, with the examples to which he refers.

The bizarre Chicago Conspiracy Trial of 1969–70, which had taken place behind Mies van der Rohe’s reticent, black façade to the downtown Federal Building, prompted a first attempt at a narrative approach to collage. It was published in Architectural Design magazine (1975/3), together with a book review.

‘Technofetishism’ went with an article for the journal Alt’ing (Aberdeen, 1996) which concluded ‘… instead of the substantial ironclads of the Industrial Revolution, a light metal jacket, generally of imported material’.

By the time of Fragments of utopia (Hyphen Press, 1998) it became harder to say which came first, the collage or the text.

On a lecture tour of Denmark and Norway in 1969 I first met the remarkable Nils-Ole Lund. For me, he is the master of architectural collage, some of his work following in the footsteps of Karel Teige’s combination of surrealism and functionalism. In his book Collage architecture (Ernst und Sohn, 1990) he included my house ‘The good habitat 3’, at the centre of which stood the stove that caused the catastrophic editing of my library.

First recovered fragments were used for a Christmas card (1992), showing the house in an idealized setting.

Current compositions could be said to include an element of nostalgia for a vision of the future lost in the past, continuing the antique method of cut and paste.

‘The age of steam: portrait of Marx’ (2011)

David Wild