Moderna
About the Museum of Modern Art "Moderna" in Malmö of Tham & Videgard Arkitekter.
Pasajes Diseño #21, July, 2010

To what extent are we used to the idea of "modern"? Does it really make any sense nowadays the word "modern"? Or what is most important, do we really care? Moderna, the museum of modern art in Malmö clarifies some of these doubts and refreshes others.


Photo by Åke E:son Lindman.

When you see the museum of Modern Art Moderna in Malmö for the first time is like if it was asking you to love it. Or to hate it, which is almost the same for this matters. Little more than desperately, its clear intention to attract all our senses with such an undisguised expression of colors, contrast and symbolism, provokes a reaction that has little to do with the one that provokes the most establish museums of modern art, which we could define plainly as indifference. There is no need to mention, but I will, the well known and unfortunate case of the extension of the MoMA in NY as the best example of lost of modernity of an institution that was, back in the day, the flagship of the modern.
So forget about all this, and as this building is asking by the action-reaction effect, judge it. Look at its new face and decide if you like the orange or not. Declare that the small extension is out of context or that it does not make any favor to the old building. Think that maybe the perforated plates have no relation with the bricks they are supposed to relate, and that if there is any, is just a purely stylistic reference. Make a tour around the interior space of exhibition and cafeteria and get angry because you think it is too boring for something supposedly modern or too much for an old building to deal with. In one word, complain.
But, hey, wait a second. Stop and think about it, just one more time. Since when does "the modern" need our or any approval? Is not the lack of respect one of the key factors of modernity? Do we really want proposals that please everybody? And is not the old factory a building that really needs a modern prothesis because otherwise it would not attract the necessary attention despite being more than 100 years old?
Hate or love, the essential paradox of the modern consists exactly of this, of provoking emotions. Which one do you decide to chose is up to you. Please, stay awake (thx, dfw).