The Concept of Preconception

[ The article refers to the ongoing Tottenham Court Road regeneration project by Hawkins\Brown and the possible demolition of some Eduardo Paolozzi’s mosaics from 1980s ].

The words gathered in this text have the pre-concept as a subject, or perhaps they may speak of creativity or conceptual art, and also of how architecture evolution has recently led to chain ideas to the narrow cage of preconception.

These words do not establish their form in the defensive statement of a thesis, they aim to set a relationship between several thoughts that coming to the keyboard from disparate corridors of knowledge met unexpectedly in the act of writing. What these fingers want to communicate is not based yet on a defined idea, rather on a mechanism that is triggered exactly by a lack of bias against intuition. Eduardo Paolozzi has never moulded preconceptions; art has always built itself as free expression of a gesture that tells the story of a sheer experience titled ‘creation’ using tesserae and scraps as characters. The figures carved by Paolozzi’s instinct have smelled the urgency to go beyond the pattern of preconception so as to be able to grasp a discovery as total art.

If someone might think that architecture could rest its feet on the safe plane of pre-concepts, then what this text is concerned about is the dangerous trend that goes along the increasingly crowded streets of repressed expressions, swallowed outbursts that fear exceeding the visible limit of certainty. Preconception does not help to think beyond an image rather to limit the possibilities to one, the already seen.

The words gathered in this text probably will have nothing appropriate, they are a sudden surge that strikes without hesitation the railing placed in front of one of Paolozzi’s creative deeds; a grid that prevents the public to approach the free thinking mosaic in order to wipe it in a few months, and et voilà it has been turned into the rigid and neutral pre-concept of Daniel Buren.

By mentioning these two artists a few sentences away from one another, the text does not intend to make a comparison between the two; it is important that they remain separate so that the different sound of their language may avoid finding harmony in a simple juxtaposition. Both artists have hands made for creating; the first through the overcoming of preconception, the second by starting from it. If the revamp of Tottenham Court Road station intends to determine a collision between the experience of creating and the reality of a built pre-concept, that is to say between Paolozzi and Buren’s art,  then the words written in this text have found the purpose for which they were born: to invite the Reader to consider that two opposite artistic gestures cannot coexist within the same place as a shrill pastiche would lead unavoidably to the annihilation of the former into the latter.

Perhaps the words of this text have now taken the imperative tone of an assertion, thus if they will be interpreted with this meaning those who have had the patience to read until this point will be forced to find their own position in respect of the concept of preconception, therefore making this objectified thoughts worth existing.


‘The arches are no longer needed because they are not supporting anything …they would not work with the new design because the structure is completely different. There will be a modern space there five times as large with new art work by Daniel Buren’. ( Roger Hawkins )


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s