10 December 2015
It is a rather strange feeling to enter the spaces of the PAC and find they have been adapted to the model of the Continuous Monument (1969), the most famous of the projects produced by Superstudio, the Florentine collective of radical architecture founded in 1966 by Adolfo Natalini and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, who were later joined by Roberto and Alessandro Magris, Gian Piero Frassinelli and Alessandro Poli. The exhibition Super Superstudio, curated by Andreas Angelidakis, Vittorio Pizzigoni and Valter Scelsi, helps us to understand the role of profound renewal that the group entrusted to architecture, at a time when it was felt there was an urgent need to find a response to the crisis of modernity. Their denunciation of a “world made uniform by technology, culture and all the other forms of imperialism,” in some ways still relevant today, is also reflected in the names of the projects: Life without Objects, Invisible City, Machine for the Vacations, Superesistance, Supersurface, The Falling in Love Machine. Thanks to the variety of the means of expression utilized, the exhibition presents an exhaustive picture of the group’s work. Their most iconic pieces are on show: the furniture of the Misura series, covered with white plastic laminate decorated with a squared pattern, the stackable Sofo modular couch, the Bazaar segmented seating system. And then the utopias of the Twelve Ideal Cities with improbable names like Città Coclea Temporale, New York of Brains or the Magnificent and Fabulous Barnum Jr’s City. The curators have not confined themselves to presenting a historical overview, but have also included 21 works created by contemporary artists who have utilized techniques that can be traced back conceptually to those of the movement: like Danai Anesiadou’s vacuum packs, perfectly sealed and filled with personal objects, Pablo Bronstein’s drawings or the inhabitable structures and narrations of Petrit Halilaj and Alvaro Urbano. For anyone wishing to delve deeper into the subject, we can recommend the book Superstudio. La vita segreta del monumento continuo, edited by Gabriele Mastrigli and published by Quodlibet.
Super Superstudio. Radical art and architecture
Curated by Andreas Angelidakis, Vittorio Pizzigoni and Valter Scelsi
PAC—Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan
October 11, 2015-January 6, 2016