Jeez, Somebody Really Doesn't Like the Looks of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts

Categories: Arts
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That somebody is Cornell University associate music professor David Yearsley, whose university bio says that during the past two decades, he's "immersed himself in the musical culture of the German Baroque." He's certainly going for baroque with this intriguingly punctuated essay posted to Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair's CounterPunch, in which he writes of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts:
Have a look at Dallas's biggest-most expensive-in-the-world arts project floating in a gray sea of concrete and weep over the brutal exercise of power and wealth that is high culture when wielded by the big hands of Texas oil men and Enron ex-cons. (Here's the Dallas project.) But shed your bitterest tears for this apocalyptic vision of "urban" life and design, two malls -- one cultural the other "traditional' -- divided by an eight-lane freeway; parking lots and roads, deadly to cross by foot, close its borders, everywhere strips of sprawling mayhem.

Where the Arabs and Asians race to build the highest skyscraper, the Texans favor the horizontal for their open-range cultural ambitions. They flout the billion-dollar price tag and their usual-suspect, dream-team of architects -- Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, and Rem Koolhaas -- with the subtlety of a Longhorn bull mounting a comely heifer.
And that's well before you get to the reference to "the nearby bail bondsmen and prostitutes [who] will be venturing across the ghastly perimeter of expressways." That's just crazy talk right there.

Update on Sunday at 2:17 p.m.: Yearsley and I exchanged a few e-mails over the weekend, and he's sent along a lengthy response to the Friends of Unfair Park's comments concerning his essay. I will post the professor's new essay Monday morning. A must-read.

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