[Exhibition] Savage Architecture + Freeport at CIVA Stichting

May 24, 2017

CIVA Stichting presents this double exhibition reflecting on the idea of archives carried out by Love di Marco and introducing Davide Sacconi’s research on Gian-Piero Frasinelli’s work with Superstudio and 2A+P/A.

 

Gian Piero Frassinelli and 2A+P/A - Central Archive of Human Cultures, The Archive and the Offices, 2015 © Gian-Piero Frassinelli & 2A+P/A

Gian Piero Frassinelli and 2A+P/A – Central Archive of Human Cultures, The Archive and the Offices, 2015 © Gian-Piero Frassinelli & 2A+P/A

 

Architectural  proposals,  texts  and  visual  documents  shown  in  this double  exhibition  come  from various stories and temporalities. Savage Architecture unveils an approach that covers almost 50 years (1968-­‐2015) comprising prophetic texts and architectural projects while Freeport -­‐  The  archive as urban catalyst conveys the development of a reflection through the framework of the an academic  year.


 

Practical Information

Savage Architecture & Freeport -­ The archive as urban catalyst
24 May – 16 September, 2017
Fondation CIVA Stichting
Rue de l’Ermitage 55 Kluisstraat, Brussels
Belgium

 


Initiated since his diploma project in Florence in 1968, the approach of Gian-­‐Piero Frassinelli lead to a recent culmination point through the design of two architectural proposals in association with 2A+P/A; a synthetic case-­‐study exercise aiming to give shape to a critical thinking that evaluates fundamental relashionship between humankind and architecture. Those two projects share a common ground with the project developed by Love di Marco: the principle of archiving as museum display. In the background  of this  idea  lay fundamental  notions  related  to  the   conservation   of  memory   and the construction of a collective narrative.

 

Gian Piero Frassinelli - Anthropology Research Center, Model of the management offices. Graduation thesis project at the Faculty of Architecture of Florence, 1966. © Gian-Piero Frassinelli personal archive

Gian Piero Frassinelli – Anthropology Research Center, Model of the management offices.
Graduation thesis project at the Faculty of Architecture of Florence, 1966. © Gian-Piero Frassinelli personal archive

 

In a very unusual manner when considered from a historical and museographical perspective, each of those projects develops a direct relation to an entire set of objects or artwork from a collection. The narrative as well as the experience related to artefacts is therefore drastically modified since the curatorial intermediate fades out. It is related to the disappearance of the canonical role of mediation that those projects unfold, on the one hand.

 

Superstudio - The Twelve Ideal Cities, First City: 2000-tons City, 1971 © Superstudio archive

Superstudio – The Twelve Ideal Cities, First City: 2000-tons City, 1971 © Superstudio archive

 

On the other hand, the peculiar architectural form of the projects – warehouses rather than museums – generate questions related to iconic representation and symbolic dimension of what is a museum – both as an interior experience and as a physical presence within the surrounding environment. Unlike the  ‘White  Cube’ (neutral  interior  aiming  for  a  clinical  display  of  artworks)  and  contrary  to the ‘Architectural Gesture’ (strong presence of an iconic object within the city fabric – cfr Bilbao effect), both projects reveal a basic infrastructural core-­‐logic in order to provide harsh discovery and intimate experience of history, culture and art.

 

Gian Piero Frassinelli and 2A+P/A - Budapest Ethnographic Museum, The mystery of presence,2014. © Gian-Piero Frassinelli & 2A+P/A

Gian Piero Frassinelli and 2A+P/A – Budapest Ethnographic Museum, The mystery of presence,2014. © Gian-Piero Frassinelli & 2A+P/A

 

Savage Architecture

TEXT BY DAVIDE SACCONI. Savage Architecture is a journey to the root of the relationship between architecture and man in four episodes. Departing from Frassinelli’s unpublished graduation thesis for an Anthropology Research Center (1968), lingering on the dystopian and revealing scenarios of The Twelve Ideal Cities (1972), the trajectory culminates in the recent collaborative projects of Frassinelli and 2A+P/A for the Budapest Ethnographic Museum (2014) and the Central Archive of Human Cultures (2015).

 

Gian Piero Frassinelli and 2A+P/A - Central Archive of Human Cultures, Excursion in the Archive, 2015 © Gian-Piero Frassinelli & 2A+P/A

Gian Piero Frassinelli and 2A+P/A – Central Archive of Human Cultures, Excursion in the Archive, 2015 © Gian-Piero Frassinelli & 2A+P/A

 

This   fifty years-­‐long   journey   among   different   experiments   unveils   the   foundations   of   a project alternative to the current blind faith in the economic and technological reason. The anthropological gaze gives form to an architecture that is savage because it refuses to impose the power of reason  over the symbolic, animal, vital and therefore political dimension of man.

Savage Architecture rejects the domestic man and looks at the primitive without the burden of progress or development but instead with the freedom of the barbaric, the wisdom of the ancestral, and a profound awareness of the  collective character of architectural knowledge.

 

Gian Piero Frassinelli and 2A+P/A - Central Archive of Human Cultures, The case for Human Cultures, 2015 © Gian-Piero Frassinelli & 2A+P/A

Gian Piero Frassinelli and 2A+P/A – Central Archive of Human Cultures, The case for Human Cultures, 2015 © Gian-Piero Frassinelli & 2A+P/A

 

Savage Architecture at its core, is the difficult yet necessary achievement of a field of tensions between control and freedom, narrative and technology, individual expression and collective rituals. A project that, conscious of the violence inherent in human relationships,  imagines  mechanisms and narratives to give form and value to irreducible dichotomies of mankind.

The recent collaboration between Gian Piero Frassinelli -­‐ founder of the Florentine collective Superstudio  -­‐  and  2A+P/A  -­‐  architectural  practice  based  in  Rome  -­‐ relaunch a  long-­‐established  yet generally  overlooked  debate  on  the  relationship between  architecture  and  anthropology.   Moving away  from  an  historical  or scientific   perspective   to embrace   the   point   of   view   of   the   project,   the exhibition Savage Architecture genealogically reconstructs the ethos of such collaboration

 

Freeport (Axonometric) Love di Marco © CIVA

Freeport (Axonometric) Love di Marco © CIVA

 

Freeport – The archive as urban catalyst

TEXT BY LOVE DI MARCO. Freeport -­ The archive as urban catalyst is a project developed by Love Di Marco during the academic year 2015-­‐16 at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, under the direction of Peter Swinnen  and Flavien  Menu —  Unit Intermediate  13.

Once an important cultural and political symbol, centrally located and accessible to the public, the European archive is now a private affair, hidden behind closed facades on the peripheries of our cities. Its epitome is the typology of the Freeport, which forms a network of tax-­‐free havens for the storage of art and other valuables for the ultra-­‐rich. Exchanging power for profit, they are European places of exemption, bypassing both financial reality and spatial context.

 

Freeport (Highbay Perspective) Love di Marco © CIVA

Freeport (Highbay Perspective) Love di Marco © CIVA

Freeport (Highbay) Love di Marco © CIVA

Freeport (Highbay) Love di Marco © CIVA

 

With public cultural infrastructure facing an economical crisis globally, might it be worthwhile to look to this passive, brutally economical typology from a more social point of view, to find a way of activating its potential as a catalyst for change?

Through a mutually beneficial partnership, the Freeport injects a new economy into a site, allowing it to be activated for public use. The existing facilities, in turn, become ideal platforms for temporary display, augmenting the value of  their  content.  Looking  beyond  mere  design  solutions,  the architect facilitates an unorthodox partnership that is neither social nor liberal, but that could nevertheless be truly productive.

Brussels, a city whose collection of modern art has been taken hostage for almost a decade, is the perfect guinea pig for such an experiment.

 

Freeport (Birdview) Love di Marco © CIVA

Freeport (Birdview) Love di Marco © CIVA

Savage Architecture + Freeport Exhibition Poster  © CIVA

Savage Architecture + Freeport Exhibition Poster © CIVA


 

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