“he who seeks to reconcile himself with his own buried past must behave like a man who makes excavations…. and he who is content with the inventory of his discoveries without being capable of indicating on the actual ground the place and the point where the old is preserved is deluding himself completely. for true memories do not have so much to give an account of the past as to describe precisely the place where the seeker took possession of it.” – walter benjamin [1]

27/07/2011 § Leave a comment

gianni pettena, about non-conscious architecture (1972-73)

gianni pettena, about non-conscious architecture (1972-73)

gianni pettena, already seen portable landscape (1973)

 

these photos owed something not only to the “existential experimentalism” of funk architecture, but also to “absolute architecture”, written by hans hollein and walter pichler in 1963, which insisted on an “exploration of the symbolic, archaic values of architecture, of its emotional values and irrational meanings,” aimed at uncovering the “mythical past of the origins of architecture.”  from that moment on [gianni] pettena was to share the conceptual view the architecture as a joint research into language and physical space: a research that he would commence by parodying the spirit of classifcation of an eighteenth-century traveler, in the manner of alexander von humboldt, in other words by regarding the physical adventure of architecture as a cosmogony.

out of this came the series of photographs entitled “about non-conscious architecture”, which comprise frontal views of the rocky walls of the monument valley, with their hieratic symbolism; aerial photographs of a cartographic character; the dikes of salt pans; roads that seem to come from nowhere and lead nowhere, crossing the line of the horizon.  or, again, hypertrophied details of mineral substances in which the reference implodes.  [2]

 

gianni pettena’s series of photographs in about non-conscious architecture would eventually be cataloged and organized into a briefcase he carried around as a part of his travelling show already seen portable landscape.

 

study the terrain

a young hare

 

 

notes:

[1]     the walter benjamin quote comes from:

Brayer, Marie-Ange. “Interpretation of the Landscape in the Work of Gianni Pettena.” Gianni Pettena. Ed. Dario Cimorelli. Cinisello Balsamo (Milano): Silvana Editoriale, 2003. Print.

but was attributed to:

Didi-Huberman, Georges. L’empreinte. Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou, 1997. Print.

[2]     ibid.

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You are currently reading “he who seeks to reconcile himself with his own buried past must behave like a man who makes excavations…. and he who is content with the inventory of his discoveries without being capable of indicating on the actual ground the place and the point where the old is preserved is deluding himself completely. for true memories do not have so much to give an account of the past as to describe precisely the place where the seeker took possession of it.” – walter benjamin [1] at a young hare.

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