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Video: Gehry on the Talmud and the 'emotional juice' of successful museum galleries

March 6, 2009 |  4:00 am

As our Frank-Gehry-turns-80-week draws to a close here on Culture Monster, we offer two final video clips from my conversation with the architect. In the first, Gehry talks about his maternal grandfather, who owned a hardware store in Toronto and was also a Talmudic scholar. The image of a young Gehry sitting at his grandfather's knee, sorting nails and screws into piles as he answers questions about free will and the mysteries of human experience, seems to suggest something oddly, wonderfully important about the work Gehry went on to do -- particularly about the combination of workaday materials and probing, nearly existential curiosity that has been at the heart of so much of his architecture. I asked him how those discussions in the hardware store usually unfolded, and this is part of his response. The "Eisenman" he mentions is Peter Eisenman, an architect of Gehry's generation who has long put complex theoretical questions at the forefront of his work.

In the second clip, Gehry talks about the deeply fraught subject of designing museum galleries, including the rather straightforward ones he recently produced for his expansion of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO for short).

-- Christopher Hawthorne