Loos - Adolf Loos "Ornament and Crime" 1908 For...

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Adolf Loos “Ornament and Crime” 1908 For the best site showing images of Loos’s work go to 1. The embryo passes through the stages of the development of animals and the child through the stages of development of mankind, Papuan [a tribal society in New Guinea], Teuton [a Germanic tribe], Socrates, Voltaire [the French enlightenment intellectual], at which point he becomes aware of the color violet which wasn’t known before the 18 th century as some of today’s colors will not be recognized until the future. 2. The child, like the Papuan, is amoral (the latter eating his enemies), but not criminal, whereas a modern man who ate his enemies would be. The Papuan tattoos everything in reach, but the modern man who tattoos himself is criminal or degenerate, most prisoners bearing tattoos, and the rest are latent criminals or degenerate aristocrats. 3. The urge to ornament one’s face and other things is the origin of fine art. All art is erotic. 4. The cross was the first ornament and was erotic. The first artwork was to rid the artist of natural excesses [semen?]. Horizontal and vertical lines [in a picture, or the cross?] represented male penetration, and the creative joy was the same as that of Beethoven. 5. But a man who covers walls with erotic symbols today [graffiti] through inner urge is criminal or degenerate. Less cultured countries have more graffiti on lavatory walls. It is natural for children and Papuans to ornament, not modern man. 6.
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course PHIL 66 at San Jose State University .

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Loos - Adolf Loos "Ornament and Crime" 1908 For...

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