South likes: Superstudio at Pinksummer, Genova

installation 1

Superstudio, La moglie di Lot, 1978, installation view, Pinksummer

South likes: Superstudio at Pinksummer, Genova
La moglie di Lot
Pinksummer, Genova, Italy
21 March – 6 June, 2014

“Architecture exists in time as salt exists in water”: this was the premise on the construction of a bachelor machine called La moglie di Lot when, in 1978, Superstudio participated to the Venice Biennale. Five salt sculptures placed on a zinc table were slowly melted by a mechanism dripping water on them. The first of these sculptures was a pyramid and, once dissolved the salt, it remained only a pyramidal structure made of metal wire. The second was an amphitheater and once dissolved left the place to a residential settlement. The third was a cathedral and when it dissolved it revealed an egg shell, “perfect and empty”. The fourth was the Versailles Palace, displaying, once dissolved, the brioche of Marie Antoinette. The fifth was Le Corbusier’s Pavillon of the Esprit Nouveau, and once dissolved it revealed a brass plate with the following inscription: “the only architecture will be our lives”.
The machine devised by Superstudio has been set in motion again in the venue of Pinksummer, Genova. The work is part of the late production of Superstudio, characterized by a rather ironic approach to the irreversible dissolution of every architecture. For even those utopic structures envisioned by the architects in their most renown work from the late 1960s and the early 1970s were supposed to fade away, as the salt sculptures are dissolved by the action of time. Each of the five sculptures works as a token of two antithetical notions, the one of monument and the one of anti-monument. And in these sense the iconic shapes of the salt figures, their disappearance and the ironic remains that they leave play with the idea of architecture’s duration in time. However, in order to get a proper understanding of this work, it is worth considering that La moglie di Lot was presented at the 1978 Venice Biennale together with another research that Superstudio started back in 1973: Global Tools, a collective survey about extraurban material culture carried out as a cycle of seminars with a big number of university students. The system of laboratories initiated by the Global Tools initiative was in fact an attempt to focus on the use value of creativity to dismiss any myth of globalization and understand the techniques, the customs, and languages of rural traditions. This research, which aimed at investigating the possibility of an architecture without architects, worked somehow as a counterpoint to the work now on display at Pinksummer. La moglie di Lot has a place in history as it sealed the end of Radical Architecture, when after the dissolution of the last monument the the only vision left to be achieved was the coincidence between architecture and life.

Michelangelo Corsaro

http://www.pinksummer.com/pink2/exb/sup/exb001en.htm

installation 3

Superstudio, La moglie di Lot, 1978, installation view, Pinksummer

installation 4

Superstudio, La moglie di Lot, 1978, installation view, Pinksummer

opening 2

Superstudio, La moglie di Lot, 1978, installation view, Pinksummer

opening 3

Superstudio, La moglie di Lot, 1978, installation view, Pinksummer

 

 

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