TALKING ARCHITECTURE, CITY:HALL
This documentary tracks the process of building the new Seoul City Hall. Talking Architecture, City:Hall by Jeong Jae-eun is an interesting case analysis about how our society perceives architecture. It is a clear testament to a politician’s ambition to change the aethestics of a city and the complacent attitude of bureaucrats in administration who assist him clashing vehemently in the designing, planning, and constructing stages. If that is the main narrative of this documentary, the bundles of questions that branch out from it are innumerable. The questions that cannot converge into one, ranging from whether an old building should be considered a cultural heritage or junk that has outlived its function to the low level of cultural consciousness of citizens who push politicians to embark on a project to gain public consensus, narrow down to acute conflict among the experts who are working on the actual construction of the new city hall and then explode. Director Jeong Jae-eun does not answer any of the questions herself. Instead, she chooses to observe the anguish and conscious of a person who has made their choice. The documentary is not a sharp criticism and does not rush as it observes the process of the new Seoul City Hall being built and makes us realize that resolving the age-old architectural practices that have put down deep roots during the long period of modernization is as difficult a task as unifying North and South Korea. This precious documentary piece breaks away from the trap of aspiring to efficiency and presents another introspective perspective of architecture as public property.
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