The most recent episode of “The Simpsons,” (Season 23, Episode 19) features a surprising cameo of the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.
On a family vacation cruise Lisa laments the petty entertainments of rock-climbing and water slides when she is whisked away to the “KidZone Elite.” This exclusive play area allows advanced children to sample from a vegan buffet, rehabilitate jelly fish, and even play with legos with Rem Koolhaas. This fleeting appearance shows the man behind OMA building a multi-coloured replica of the CCTV Headquarters in Beijing (2002), one of the firm’s most iconic structures, while almost a dozen pupils eagerly observe.
“The Simpsons” has featured countless celebrity appearances since the television show premiered in December 1989. A cameo represents the achievement of a particular level of fame – becoming a recognizable household name. The famous figures span many aspects of life from film and television actors, to music legends, and even ventures into science (Stephen Hawking has made several appearances as has astronaut Buzz Aldrin), but the world of art and architecture is generally under-represented.
Frank Gehry made an appearance in Season 17 as the creator of a concert hall for the town of Springfield, and now Koolhaas becomes another architect to receive the yellow makeover. Is this inclusion an acknowledgement on the growing interest of the general public in the world of architecture? Or is the placement within this elite and pretentious group of children’s activities a reflection of distance? Regardless, perhaps in the future more of the art world’s key figures will encounter the never-aging Simpson family, who will be next?
Words: Emily Sack © 2012 ArtLyst
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