Archizoom Pettena Superstudio UFO
14 February - 18 April 2009
The world of art, young critics and artists in particular, is taking a fresh look at the period from 1965 to 1975 of architectural research which profoundly shook up its theory, thought and language at a time when the boundaries between many disciplines had melted away. Art cinema music dance and theatre mixed together in projects of a refreshing breadth, influencing and contaminating each other with a willing curiosity.
The places where this was happening were Vienna, London, New York and… Florence.
As yet it is unknown how and why it happened here, but it was in Florence that Archizoom Superstudio UFO and Pettena gave rise to experiences that were central to influencing not only Milan (with students of Bernard Tschumi, Peter Cook, Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas arriving from London), but in the years to come also Jodorowsky (The Holy Mountain) and young artists in their 20s and 30s who pointed out this relationship in the Aperto exhibition at the Corderie in the 1980 Venice Biennial.
In Milan Sottsass, Mendini, Raggi and Navone, in Florence 9999, Ziggurat and Buti, in Turin Strum, in Naples Dalisi, in Vienna Hollein, Pichler, Zund up, Himmelblau and Haus Rucker, in London Archigram and Street Farmer, in the USA Ant Farm. Together with the originators Archizoom Superstudio UFO and Pettena, they marked a trend that came to be called radical architecture. A galaxy of the most diverse researchers following their own personal itineraries within a discipline that had opened up to dialogue and freedom of expression.
Starting with Archizoom Superstudio UFO and Pettena, Galleria Il Ponte has begun to take a new look at those years, at the avant-garde research work that some consider still underway. By presenting graphics, drawings and designs which, together with the writing and theory behind them, had a profound influence on the world of architecture and the visual arts, we can now prove how a lot of built architecture, outside Italy of course, and present-day works of environmental art, were generated and influenced by the work of young Florentines in the 1960s and 70s. Today we can say what happened to the shape of building in the USA (Magazzini Best, Site), Paris (Parco de la Villette, Tschumi), Santiago de Compostela (Visitors Center, Eisenman), Yokohama (Cruise Terminal, Foreign Office), was but a derivation of ideas for sketches, drawings and photomontages by Archizoom Superstudio UFO and Pettena, as is also the case in many instances of contemporary artistic research, above all in what is nowadays called environmental art.