Frank Gehry vs. the Neuroscientists

The injured Esa-Pekka Salonen sent his regrets, so it fell to Frank Gehry -- who was to have appeared alongside Salonen on last night's L.A.-comes-to-New York double bill at the New York Public Library -- to carry the show alone.

If only Gehry had been alone onstage, or up there with one rather than three interviewers, and on a program that wasn't quite so determined to proceed with a discussion of Salonen despite his absence. As it was, and through no fault of Gehry, the conversation was a disjointed and disappointing affair.

But in literally the last two minutes of the not-quite-90-minute talk, Gehry gave the audience a sense of what it might have heard all evening, introducing the subject of neuroscientists' recent investigations of creativity.

"They're getting into it. They're trying to get into the act," he said. "But the questions that they're asking are like, they want to know ... the effect of square or round shapes or things like that. And I keep saying, you know, 'Get a life. That's not the issue.' The issue, the real issue ... is why do we do it? Why did Mahler do that stuff? And why do people love it? How does it nurture us? To understand the importance of it in our lives and what it does for our children and our world and our daily existence: That's the issue. Why? We need it. So why deny that? I think these efforts, to whether it's circle or square, is a denial mechanism."
May 12, 2009 2:47 PM |


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