Libmonster ID: UZ-751
Author(s) of the publication: E. I. KONONENKO

It is unlikely that the study of any aspect of the life of the modern East can ignore the Islamic component. And there is hardly a more vivid visual evidence of the presence of the Muslim community than the buildings of mosques, the appearance of which often causes fierce disputes.

The climatic and social characteristics of the main regions of the" world of Islam " led to the formation of three classical types of religious buildings - the Arab courtyard mosque, the Iranian ayvanna mosque, and the Turkish zala mosque. To this day, Muslim architecture is aimed at reproducing these types, generating numerous stylizations for historical monuments. However, the "international architecture" that emerged in the 20th century also affected religious buildings and gave rise to "non-classical" mosques.

The book"Architecture of a modern Mosque" by , Doctor of Art History, is dedicated to such projects. Istoki " (Moscow, Progress-Traditsiya, 2014, 232 p.)*, continuing the publishing series on temple architecture. The author is not interested in a traditional mosque, i.e. following ready-made "recipes", but in fundamentally new concepts of understanding the architectural space for Muslim culture, primarily Western ones, used to form a" non - classical " mosque, in other words, about the inclusion of the architecture of Islamic countries in the modern artistic process.

Speaking about the internationality of religious architecture, the researcher starts from an important thesis, which is not always recognized by "traditionalists" and is not often confirmed by practice:"mosques built in the style of modern architecture do not necessarily have to resemble mosques of the historical past"1. The basis for this statement is the belief that the usual forms of a mosque can easily be transformed without prejudice to ritual practice, since, unlike temples of many religions, Muslim buildings practically do not depend on established architectural images. That is why the focus is not so much on the buildings themselves as on the ideas of modern architects that at first glance contradict the accepted rules.However, as it turns out, there are no such rules established by anyone: a mosque can serve as any space that meets very restrained liturgical requirements (for example, orientation and ritual cleanliness).

Many modern architects offer the customer structures that are not always similar to the usual mosques, but, nevertheless, can serve as places of prayer and turn into attractions. Back in the mid-20th century, in many cities of Europe and America, the newly formed communities of ethnic Muslims were often given empty buildings of warehouses, bus terminals, and fire stations that were adapted for performing namaz. However, architects are no longer limited to adapting the space - they are trying to find an "architectural body" for collective prayer, to create new images that express the ideas of Islam, including those that have not yet received material embodiment. For example, inspired by the Qur'anic verse that places the Throne of God above the waters (Qur'an 11:7), French architect Michel Pinsot woz-


* Sh. M. Shukurov-Head of the Department. Department of Comparative Cultural Studies of the Institute of Cultural Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, author of the monograph " The Image of the Temple. Foundations of temenology and temple Consciousness" (Moscow, 2002) and articles on the art of Iran and architecture of the XX century, ed. collective monograph " The Temple of the earth and heaven "(Moscow, 2004-2009) (author's note).

page 74

He built a mosque in Casablanca on an artificial base above the Atlantic Ocean, and today the "island" arrangement of mosque buildings is no longer original.

In the work of Sh. M. Shukurov, an excellent connoisseur of not only the art of Islam, but also the culture of the XX century, the emphasis is placed precisely on the origins of non-classical architectural images for the East, which he sees in the bold projects of Western masters who turned the mosque into an "experimental field" of searching for the correspondence of new forms of unchanging function: "Modern Western culture is ready to help, first of all, the Arab world should get rid of excessive narrativeness, rough understanding of metaphors, as well as the usual principles of following tradition."2. Whether this is necessary is another matter. However, according to the author, international architecture already poses new challenges for Muslim masters, offering other models and their own solutions to architectural problems.

It turns out that a mosque, having the ability to transform and not constrained by the temple imagery, can afford not to remain just a prayer building. Using the works of a number of the world's leading architects - F. L. Wright, O. Niemeyer, L. Kahn, Z. Hadid and others - the author traces the refraction of several traditional "theologemes" in modern Muslim architecture (the shape of a cube borrowed from the Kaaba, open space, light, water, garden, book). A mosque, as practice shows in both European and eastern cities, can be combined with a scientific institute, a cultural center, an ensemble of the Parliament, or even an Opera House. It can lose its roof (similar to the first Arab mosques), and walls (even the Qibla wall facing Mecca, an indicator of the direction of prayer, turns into a transparent plane, behind which a garden opens, which becomes an image of Paradise), and even an unshakable foundation (sea waves will roll under the feet of the worshippers). It may not even be a building at all (the concept of a "disappearing mosque", like a prayer mat appearing during prayer and dissolving into a city square): the functions of the mosque give modern architects a rare but justified opportunity to play with an uncharacteristic category of time for architectural problems, which cannot be given, for example, by a Christian (or any other)one the temple.

The great merit of the author is both introducing the reader to new names and little-known and rarely published monuments (including unrealized projects - "paper architecture"), and providing an opportunity to take a fresh look at the key figures of Western culture who responded to the"Islamic call" in various forms. What is the "Baghdad project" worth, when Le Corbusier, FL. Wright, W. Gropius and other recognized creators of international architecture, including Christian churches, were involved in the implementation of the plans of King Faisal II, ready to turn the capital of Iraq into a testing ground for avant-garde ideas!

The author admits that a radical update of the mosque concept does not always find a response from the customer - it is much easier (and sometimes safer) to reproduce the proven type of building over and over again. For example, the project of" too non-classical " mosque, made by the British architect N. Foster for Astana, was rejected. Some conceptual ideas have to be abandoned for various reasons already in the construction process, simplifying, and sometimes even depersonalizing the author's ideas. Let me remind you that the Turkish designer Z. During the construction of the Shakirin Mosque in Istanbul, Fadilioglu not only coordinated the project with the clergy, but also asked residents beforehand whether they would boycott the built mosque. Her creation, based on the familiar image of the "Ottoman mosque", has become a source of pride for the Turks as a successful combination of "old" and "new"3.

However, Sh. M. Shukurov is not interested in the fate of projects, but in the potential capabilities of the mosque, the limits of transformation of the religious building, which do not contradict either the Muslim understanding of the prayer space or the Quranic images. Partially closing the gap about the contemporary art of Islam in Russian literature, the book about the origins of the "conceptual" mosque allows us to assess the creative possibilities of architecture in the East and expand our understanding of the direction of development of the Muslim region's culture.

E. I. KONONENKO, Candidate of Art History State Institute of Art Studies


Shukurov Sh. M. 1 Architecture of a modern mosque. Istoki, Moscow, 2014, p. 12. (Shukurov Sh. M. 2014. Arkhitektura sovremennoy mecheti. Istoki. M.) (in Russian)

2 Ibid., p. 16.

3 See: Kononenko E. I. Waiting for the "superproject": landmarks of the Turkish Mosque // Asia and Africa today. 2014. N 4. с. 67 - 68. (Kononenko E.I. 2014. V ozhidanii "superproekta": orientiry turetskoy mecheti // Azia i Afrika segodnya. N 4) (in Russian); aka-Turkish Mosque: between neoclassical and non-classical / / Art Studies. 2014. N 3 - 4, с. 176 - 179. (Kononenko E.I. 2014. Turetskaya mechet: mezhdu neoklassikoy i neklassikoy // Iskusstvoznanie. N 3 - 4) (in Russian)


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