In 1969, the Triennial Biennial Trigon under the title “Architecture and Freedom” took place in Graz as part of the second Steirischer Herbst festival entitled “The future as will and imagination”. In a competition, artists and architects, in particular, were called upon not to engage in utopian speculation, but to critically confront current developments and confront their work with the negative global trends of today.
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21 September – 8 November, 2019
HDA – Haus der Architektur
Mariahilferstraße 2, 8020 Graz
In the exhibition at the Künstlerhaus Graz, the Florentine architectural and artists group Superstudio installed a first variant of their “Continuous Monument – An Architectural Model for Total Urbanization” as a walk-in model, called the “Grazer Zimmer” (Graz Room). The work was both a critique and manifestation of an architecture that acted in the spirit of global capitalism and erased forever any form of political, moral and ethical alternatives. At the same time, the Continuous Monument represented the endpoint in the historical development of geometric monumental architecture and thus offered the opportunity to liberate architecture and give it new strength. Precisely because of this ambivalence, the Continuous Monument not only became one of the most published and most cited works in the urban and architectural discourse of the past 50 years but is also considered a futuristic prophecy of a digitized world, which Superstudio’ s collages evoke metaphorically.
Fifty years after Superstudio responded to the zeitgeist of the 1960s with a criticism of the notions of progress that defined the era, artists and architects of a younger generation now examine the social conditions that accompanied the production and reception of Superstudio’s ideas. Influenced by digital image production, they have developed an immersive environment for the exhibition “Sorry, the file you have requested does not exist.”, which examines the role of architects as space designers and explores the future potential of architectural tools. The presented positions address the increasing visualization of the present, questioning not just reality but also the agents that refer to this reality.
Fifty years after Trigon ’69, under the title “Greetings from Graz by Superstudio”, the House of Architecture in Graz (HDA) presents the traces and fragments of the Continuous Monument left by Superstudio in the Graz archives of steirischer herbst and Neue Galerie. “Our projects/actions increasingly move away from the very essence of architecture and design, and so (from the circular logic) everything that we do is more and more approaching architecture and design until it coincides with …” (Superstudio, 1973 ) By way of example, the political situation from which “architecture and freedom” emerged as the program of the Trigon in Graz in 1969 will also be illustrated. Finally, the exhibition asks about the current relevance of Superstudio’ s criticism of architecture and its role in the present. What force did architecture have as a means of agitation, which power of social transformation do you still inhabit today? To this end, young architecture and artist groups will formulate contemporary perspectives against the background of the historical exhibition. The selection of the young positions is based on the international Call for Ideas of the Future Architecture Platform.