Sunday, 29 April 2012

Nooks and Yuri

Bruge is in a plentiful supply of alcoves, especially in the area of Astridpark. This according to Yuri (a fictional character of In Bruge fame) it’s a perfect place for the heinous crime of murder. But for Yuri, the big concern is over 'alcoves…or nooks and crannies?'

Whilst Yuri seems none too bothered about the unfortunate grizzly end for one individual that will be the result of his selling of armoury to a portly Irishman, his quest for a more appropriate term to accurately describe these architectural nuances seems to plaque his dialogue rather too much. It seems odd to me that a gentleman of this unique calliper, interested in facilitating hit men, gangsters, the all round not the loveliest of folk, would need a better descriptor to deliver his disturbing advice.

Alcoves tend to suggest a specific form, a recess in a room, a place for grannies books, a safe haven for dust, a unthreatened post from which to leave generic images of your glorious gap yar photos, framed in ‘authentic’ livery with hand painted ornament to reassure any viewer of the authenticity of it's Asian jungle far from the reaches of the manufactured (although stamped with 'made in india' on the underside), origin

The alcove is easily illustrated but rarely ventures beyond the living room. It’s type cast as an easily defined space fit for the purpose of sound storage. It however meets few benefits for Yuri, and neither does it have much skope for exploration in my ever tentative look into my supposed interest of the fabled all encompassing narrative architecture.

‘Nooks and Crannies’ seem to better reflect the construction of these archi-types that populate the Astridpark area and allow for the sinister story line conducted by Hollywood’s scribers to play out. But it’s unfortunate that the nook and crannies formula retain such a negative label, from general space waster and space planners’ nemesis, to the arch rival of the modernist machine ὰ habiter, and now top hitter for Yuri’s advice on delivering 6 feet under, it’s about as much loved as a wolf whistle.

I wonder what younger Yuri, a loved and opportunity rich, ambitious boy of the post war Belgium, state educated, tentative yet confident lad, explorative with charming naivety, a giddy thinker, a happy go lucky dreamer, what would he have made of the nooks and crannies. What would his memories be, what we he do with them, instead of his shadowed quirky self of late.

The nooks and crannies from an array of person’s anecdotes, plenty dull, but plenty not so dull, generate the very crux of the story and turn the inopportune moment, into a delicious melody of chance.Take Frodo and team for a prime reference. During his early foray into the unknown, He, Sam, Pippen, and Merry take quick refuge in the nook below the track, perhaps a little fortunate, but then it would have been a dam sight shorter story if they had no where to hide, the horse chap picks them up, kills the lot of them (ironically the absence of an alcove at this moment in time is the reason for their demise) takes the ring, and bobs your uncle, Middle Earth is destroyed. The nook saved them.

The nook and the cranny are the unspecified, un-regulated, un-loaded space for the strangest events to take place. Consistently overlooked as a blight to ‘space’ the good nook and cranny has potential in the private or public sector, from residential to office spaces or maybe rural farmland. They can offer little pieces of intimacy for that cheeky kiss. For the stashing of all things tea related. For your new ant farm. They can act as secret meeting areas, public meeting areas, devious meeting areas, chickens meeting areas….if you have chickens. They can be awkward, unusual, simple, bland, cosy, dark, damp, cold, frosty, full of ice, ants, cheese and crackers, or paint by numbers. They can lead to secret lairs, squat loos, or to nothing at all.

But I think the young gun Yuri would have just peed in them. After all, his national icon is Manneken Piss

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