The exhibition will showcase drawings, plans and documents from the collections of the Mart, the Museo Civico Ala Ponzone of Cremona, from the Order of architects, planners, landscape architects and conservators of Bologna, and from the Luigi Saccenti Quirino De Giorgio Archive from Vigonza. These are drawings of artists and architects who, in the early decades of the twentieth century, represented the theme of the city as a privileged place of modernity, of the future, speed and movement.
“La città utopica. Dalla metropoli futurista all’EUR42”
April 30 – September 25, 2016
Casa d’Arte Futurista Depero
Via dei Portici 38, 38068
The static urban landscape becomes dynamic —it grows simultaneously with the new machine ideology. But if the city imagined by Antonio Sant’Elia is only one dream project, Angiolo Mazzoni and Adalberto Libera – two pillars of the Rationalist architectural design – try to make it possible. Both of them were inspired by utopian programs for their designs; the former in some new buildings in the Pontine and the latter in the great buildings created for EUR42, the Universal Exposition. Also Tullio Crali and Quirino De Giorgio developed rather futuristic themes and insights through scenographic images with multiple points of view as suggested by the aeropainting in the Futurist manifesto.
Some fragments of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927 ), the first film added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World project are also displayed in the exhibition . The exhibition at the Mart , which will be on display from April 30 to September 25 and is curated by Nicoletta Boschiero, is part of Progetto utopia500, a project proposed by the publishers IL MARGINE and supported by the Cultural Activities Service of the Autonomous Province of Trento. The exhibition catalog contains, in addition to an essay by the curator, texts by Serena Aldi , Matthew Giacomello , Sara Martin , Paola Pettenella , Claudio Rebeschini , and Daniele Vincenzi.
UTOPIA/UTOPIAS by Nicoletta Boschiero
Excerpt from the catalog text. “The word utopia comes from the greek word οù “no”and τόπος”place” and means “no place”. The term coined by Thomas More in 1516 carries a double meaning, due to the identical pronunciation in English of Utopia and “eutopia”, which means “good place”.Utopia becomes the “good place” that is a role model, sometimes interpreted as something desirable but unrealizable or inaccessible or otherwise understood as an opportunity capable of directing the forms of social renewal.If translated in the twentieth century this double meaning may suggest, on the one hand, a project with small possibility of realization (which does not take place) and concerns mainly a futurist thought, whose artists dream of the future without being condemned to the commitment of making it possible.
On the other hand, the years between the two world wars have been characterized by what has been called the construction of utopia: in a productive period for the Italian architectural history, we see the process – difficult and contradictory – of making an idea feasible: utopia does not present itself as a metaphor anymore, as in the visions of Sant’Elia, but it becomes concrete and verifiable, it is transformed into an active policy, a conscious action such as the building of the city in an urban or transformed rural landscape; to the construction of which figures as Angiolo Mazzoni and Adalberto Libera have contributed.
The inclination towards the utopia of the city that doesn’t exist runs through the first part of the last century thanks to some pioneers who have dreamed, imagined, designed and built it. From 1914 and until 1934 proclamations of intent marked some futurist opera stages, producing a complex assortment of openings to new theoretical hypotheses.
Umberto Boccioni, as a medium, in a kind of prophetic vision, understands the rising city as if it were riding a runaway horse. Antonio Sant’Elia, considered revolutionary and prescient by his followers at the time, imagines the city as vertical and triumphant. Tullio Crali and Quirino De Giorgio, at the beginning of the thirties, while not assuming the role of guides, adhere to the futuristic poetic situating their designs in an undefined possibility that defies conventional standards of artistic production at that time.
Fortunato Depero, in the same year, will identify New York as a machine metropolis, within which the movement, the means of transport and the speed, characterize the urban context as much as the buildings. By contrast, many architects in the period between the wars it have in part contributed to the construction of material utopia, which wings from the building of new cities in the Pontine Marshes until the new district built in E42.