Reading "The Beaubourg Effect: Implosion and Deterrence," I couldn't help but feel like Baudrillard needs to chill out a little. His hysterical writing gets a bit out of hand! But he makes some interesting observations about the Beaubourg, in relation to architecture, its role, and mass culture. Additionally, he hints at the whole art debate we talked about earlier with Derrida, Lyotard, etc.
What, asks Baudrillard, should be placed inside this "monument of cultural deterrence?" (p. 64-65) Nothing! It seems to me this is because this famous building "functions as an incinerator absorbing all the cultural energy and devouring it"--which in turn points to the assumption that Baudrillard still romanticizes the modernist notion of art. (p. 61) Beaubourg thus creates a space to which masses swarm, "as they rush toward disaster sites, with the same irresistible Ã©lan." (p. 66)
If I am reading this correctly, it seems as though Baudrillard's rushing stream of attack on the Beaubourg stems from the fact its architecture disappoints because it fails to resist the "hyperreality of culture." This building is so offensive because it falls into the trap of the homogeneity of consumer culture, something, I think Baudrillard believes to be a huge faux pas of architecture.
I am curious about how Baudrillard feels architecture should function in light of simulacra and simulation--clearly Beaubourg fails his test. What would be a structure he feels operates as something noteworthy, something other than the simulacrum of an oil refinery for culture??