Fetish or architecture?!


Corriere, 28/11/2008

Dibattiti: Divide il nuovo libro del progettista. Dorfles: “Ripartiamo dall’invenzione”; Campos Venuti: “No dalla politica”

Ma l’architettura non è feticcio

Gregotti: “impossibile costruire se tutto è immagine o evento”

di Pierluigi Panza

Più e più volte i solerti seguaci di Hegel hanno annunciato la <<morte dell’arte>>, che poi l’ha sempre scampata.

Ma di recente, in Italia, è il De Profundis dell’architettura è tenere banco, a man sinistra con l’antropologia apocalittica di La Cecla (Contro l’Architettura) e l’ambientalismo mistico-pop di Celentano; a man destra con la difesa identitaria anti-grattacieli di Berlusconi e del <<ritorno dei valori>> dei conservatori. Se La Cecla aveva diagnosticato il male dell’architettura nella sua <<riduzione a griffe>>, e il curatore della Biennale, Aaron Betsky, aveva già liquidato la disciplina con un paradossale <<gli edifici sono tombe>>, Vittorio Gregotti lancia invece un appello Contro la fine dell’architettura (Einaudi), l’arte alla quale ha dato una vita.

Il cardiogramma che Gregotti fa alla disciplina ricorda in parte a quello di La Clecla: il sistema della comunicazione ha fagocitato il vitruvianesimo, l’architettura è stata ridotta a oggetto d’arte, l’immagine prevale sulla composizione, lo stile formale sull’istanza sociale. Oggi il carattere di rappresentazione – pubblicitario e comunicativo – travalica l’analisi territoriale e ciò porta ad una liquidazione generale dell’idea di opera. <<Oggi è la riproducibilità alla diffusione dell’immagine, la moltiplicazione del suo valore espositivo>> che conta, <<e questo è precisamente il contrario di un atto di scelta politica. Sono questi i valori che decretano il successo mediatico>>, denuncia. Al valore culturale, sociale, e religioso delle opere si è sostituito il solo valore <<espositivo che vanifica in modo diverso le specificità disciplinari. Oggi le pratiche artistiche tentano di far coincidere con la funzione di comunicazione il tutto>>, invece la nozione di comunicazione <<è solo una componente>> tutto spinge alla feticizzazione dell’architettura.





Many many times Hegel’s followers had  proclaimed “the death of Art”, but at the end, Art is still alive.

Nowadays, in Italy, the architecture De Profundis fullfils the zoom, on the left side with some thougths of La Cecla and Celentano, on the right one with some public ideas of Berlusconi.

La Cecla identifies the architecture’s cancer in the regular “adaption of architecture to fashion brands” (Contro L’Architettura); Aaron Betsky says “buildings are tombs”; otherwise, Gregorotti raises an appeal against the end of architecture (Contro La Fine Dell’Architettura).

The screening Gregotti makes of the subject is similar to La Cecla’s one: communication system has assorbed the Vitruvianism, architecture gets reduced to art work, image wins against composition, style against social needings.

Global communication goes over the territory borders and that involves that a general idea of art work rises and becomes the only one right.

Gregotti says that today the possibility of exposing a work of art and its possibility of been reproduced many times  are the source of value of that piece of art. The success its real only when media declare it. Everyhing, every religious, cultural and social features are driven to communication.



Eveything brings architecture to become fetish.












VADE RETRO: arte e omosessualità



It was the last straw!


Vittorio Sgarbi is over!


The art and cultural scene in Milan in July 2007 was the subject, along with the LGBT world, of a sad news story …and this city should be ashamed of itself!
The exhibition “Vade retro – Arte e omosessualità”, organized by Artematica and promoted by the Councillorship of Culture of the City of Milan was never opened to the public because of the long wake of controversies, changes of mind and censorship after the event opened on 10 July 2007.
The source of the hullabaloo was the Mayor of Milan, Letizia Moratti, or “Suor Letizia” [Sister Letizia], as she was called by the Council Spokesman on Culture of Milan, and strong supporter of the exhibition, Vittorio Sgarbi.
The day after the opening Moratti asked to be allowed to personally view all of the works in the catalog and, after her initial decision to remove two works and prohibit visitors under 18 from accessing the exhibition, she dealt an even harder blow by ordering the removal of another ten works “to get rid of all references to religion and pedophilia”.
The Mayor’s censorship compelled the organizers to cancel the opening of the exhibition, which will be held in another city on a date to be decided.

Here are the photographs of the first three works excluded from the exhibition: the first is “Miss Kitty”, by Paolo Schmidlin, depicting old half naked man wearing a wig and thigh-high hose, said to resemble Pope Benedict XVI.
Another is a manipulation of the photograph that depicts Sircana sitting in his car near a transsexual. The latter is portrayed as Jesus Christ.
The third incriminated work is “Ermafrodita [Hermaphrodite]” by Paul Schmidt: a nude man with his female genitals in view.






Here you’ll find the 150 artists supposed to exhibit: Alberto Abate, EVA&ADELE, Nobuyoshi Araki, Arbour, Agostino Arrivabene, Assume Vivid Astrofocus, Franko B, Matteo Basilè, Betty Bee, James Bedgood, Jacopo Benassi, Louise Bourgeois, Carlo Bertocci, Antje Blumenstein, Louise Bourgeois, Daniele Buetti, Jeff Burton, Davide Cantoni, Maurizio Cannavacciuolo, Felipe Cardeña, Jota Castro, Maurizio Cattelan, Eleonora Ciroli, Larry Clark, Lovett&Codognone, Mataro Da Vergato, Edwin David, Filippo de Pisis, Mark Dermond, Sebastiano Deva, Gulio Durini, Tracey Emin, Rainer Fetting, Leonor Finì, Tom of Finland, Fischerspooner, Samuel Fosso, Jim French, Lino Frongia, Anna Fusco, Pierre et Gilles, Gilbert&George, Luis Gispert, Nicola Gobbetto, Anthony Goicolea, Nan Goldin, Steven Gontarski, Ettore Greco, David Hilliard, David Hockney, Harry Holland, Nir Hod, Francesco Impellizzeri, Anna Keen, John Kirby, Micha Klein, Steven Klein, Terence Koh\Asian Punk Boy, Yayoi Kusama, Bruce La Bruce, David LaChapelle, Annika Larsson, Alex Lee, Marc Leckey, Christian Leperino, Mariangela Levita, Philip Lorca Di Corcia, Bruce of Los Angeles, Urs Luthi, Ivan Malerba, Robert Mapplethorpe, Ryan McGinley, Klaus Mekrens, Man Lu Ming, Paco&Manolo, Pierre Molinier, Claudio Nonnini, Yasumasa Morimura, Barbara Nahmad, Helmut Newton, Tom of Finland, Erwin Olaf, Luigi Ontani, Gonzalo Orquin, Paul P., Camilla Paternò, Philip Pearlstein, Dino Pedriali, Walter Picardi, Jack Pierson, Guglielmo Pluschow, Carol Rama, Terry Richardson, Terry Rogers, Ugo Rondinone, Rosy Rox, Thomas Ruff, Dean Sameshima, Matteo Sanna, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Livio Scarpella, Paolo Schmidlin, Collier Schorr, Andres Serrano, Marcello Severi, Marcello Simeone, Moio&Sivelli, Alix Smith, Paolo Schmidlin, Paul Smith, Orfeo Tamburi, Mario Testino, Giovanni Testori, Lorenzo Tornabuoni, Andy Warhol, Sam Taylor.Wood, Iké Udé, Francesco Vezzoli, Claudio Vitale, Coniglio Viola, Wilhelm Von Gloeden, Bruce Weber, Joel Peter Witkin, Young Elizabeth.















A spontaneous question comes to mind: did this case of censorship actually arise from the wish to exclude works considered to be “in bad taste” or the fact that the exhibition organizers openly declared that the exhibition deals with the theme of homosexuality? In other words, would the incriminated works have been excluded by any other exhibition of contemporary art? Probably not.
Finally, the fact that such a controversy occurred precisely in Milan, a city that is in the forefront of the nation for its open-mindedness and nondiscrimination against the LGBT population, is a further cause for concern…













CAMP: where?


“Ovunque ci si imbatta in un qualcosa di “fuori dal mondo”, di un qualcosa che però ci entusiasma e ci coinvolge nel suo eccesso, abbiamo incontrato il camp.”


Wherever you find something that is not in its right place, something that, for this reason, is funny and interesting and make you take part of its new sense, there you find the essence of camp.





















Trash Luxe, an exhibition (20-30 September 2007) for the London Design Festival at Liberty’s, celebrates the creativity of reworking/remastering unwanted goods into desirable products. With the concept of luxury being increasingly rethought and redefined, using objects with a sub-narrative: vintage materials, material/packaging waste and other disposable items, gives layered meaning and added value to otherwise overlooked commodities. Here are some of our highlights, including  new chandeliers from Stuart Haygarth and some very cool Zulu bowls made from telephone wires!



Stuart Haygarth


Dubbed ‘salvage design’, this make-do and mend approach to the design process yields imaginative results. Marcus Fairs, founder of icon magazine and current editor of the online design and architecture site dezeen.com, curates this eclectic exhibition, bringing together a range of new talents and visions both playful and practical.



Our shortlist highlights innovative works and processes used to re-imagine banal, often forgotten objects:




An artist a little bit campy and his prices… too high!


Corriere, 18/11/2008

Dibattiti: dopo le dichiarazioni di Damien Hirst che ha ammesso: “Le mie opere ipervalutate”

Perché la crisi fa bene all’arte

Bonito Oliva: il ritorno ai valori reali favorisce i giovani italiani

Di Stefano Bucci


È come se il papa si fosse augurato un aumento degli atei. C’era da aspettarselo: le dichiarazioni rilasciate ieri da Damien Hirst all’Indipendent (“le mie opere hanno prezzi eccessivi, la crisi economica che sta colpendo anche il mercato dell’arte è positiva soprattutto per i giovani”) non sono passate inosservate. Il medesimo quotidiano britannico definiva ipocrita la posizione di Hirst, dal momento che “lui stesso ha contribuito a gonfiare questa bolla”.

“Damien Hirst ha ragione” assicura Achille Bonito Oliva, il primo critico ad avere portato in Italia il 43enne artista inglese attualmente al primo posto nell’elenco dei 100 uomini più potenti nel mondo dell’arte secondo la rivista ArtReview (era la Biennale di Venezia del 1993).

Spiega: “L’arte è stata troppo a lungo considerata un investimento impersonale, solo un modo per fare soldi. Ora, con questo suo gesto, Hirst riporta il collezionismo ad una dimensione estetica, potrei dire quasi rinascimentale”. Chi se ne avvantaggerà? “I giovani, certo. E soprattutto l’arte italiana, tra le poche ad aver mantenuto sempre prezzi ragionevoli”.


Corriere della Sera, mercoledì 19 nov. 08, pag. 49





The reason why the crisis is good for art

By Stefano Bucci


It is the same as the Pope sentence “I would like a growth in the amount of atheists”.

It would happen: Damien Hirst declarations to the Indipendent (“My works of art are too expensive, the economic crisis is dealing also with the field of Art but it is positive for joung artists) didn’t go unobserved. The Indipendent itself has described as hypocritical Hirst’s position as Hirst himself was one of the pioneers who have fed this bubble.

“Damien Hirst is right” assures Achille Bonito Oliva, the critic of art who firstly took Hirst, the 43-year-old artist who – up to ArtReview magazine – gets at the moment the first place in the “world of art 100 most important people” hit, to Italy ( it was in the occasion of Venezia Biennale in 1993).

Oliva carries on: “Art has been considered as an impersonal investment for too long, it has been thought as just a way to make money. At this point, Hirst’s sentences try to bring the art of collecting back to its own aesthetic dimension, I have half a mind to think tocollecting in its Renaisance meaning”.

Who is going to get any benefits from this situation? “Young  artists, obviously. And above all the Italian Art because nowadays it is one of those that have always shown accessible prices”.




In Revolt into Style (1970), George Melly wrote that in the Sixties Pop was a sort of synonymus with Camp.

Nowadays to avoid the confusion is much more easier.

Although Camp supported the achievement of Pop Art, Camp has been contaminated by many other styles; at the same time Pop helped Camp style to become more lively and popular, but Camp is older than pop of 300 years at least.





Popular (for the folk) vs easily accessible

Escape (just for short time) vs definitively easy

Dispensable vs cheap

Cheap vs artificially magnificent

Young vs in worship of youth

Sexy vs artificially sexy

New vs made of quotations

Glamourous vs artificially glamorous