Inventory, Catalogue, Systems of Flux…, a Statement
Our work has been in an empty, rarefied area: there is a space between architecture and the visual arts, and there is a space between cultural professions and life.
This space is the only “non-alienating” surface in our experience, it is the only area in which, outside professional routines and pure existence, we can search for a coincidence between “being” and “doing”, acting and existing…
A space for reflection…
A space for critical activity (or philosophical activity), through which to explore the many ways of doing, and to try, with serene indifference, to order and give a sense to our activity. The choice of such an area of action involves a double movement: one must leave everyday activity to be able to control it critically, and then return to reality itself in a different situation. Only thus can one check means and ends; only thus can criticism become action.
The specialization of the cultural professions has brought a condition where they can be imagined as closed and concentric circles, revolving around a central nucleus at different speeds.
Thus, at times, one ring experience is more experienced than others, and vice-versa… more advanced, that is, is in respect to a radial line representing an ideal section on present reality.
At any rate, the problem is that of overcoming this schematic division. and passing from one area to another, using different experiences in a more generalized and final vision.
The only valid thing that I learned at the university was that the architect is a man who ALSO, among other things, operates in the field of architecture: this maxim has a strictly political value and meaning. This meaning was that in our present situation, it was impossible to begin any architecture without first having changed the structures of the society. And this is what our people saying at the universities at the moment… On the other hand, the “social” system in which we leave is strong enough to incorporate and use every gesture and product of ours. The only product which it will not be able to absorb is violent revolution or non-violent intelligence.
The ways of non-violence in culture resemble guerilla warfare: they are underground, they change their objectives, are mobile and incomprehensible.
I believe in this destroying action on the part of culture: culture as an unbalancing factor.
In order to exist the society of superproduction and superconsumption requires maximum extension and efficiency of the imperialist processes: economic imperialism (exploitation of natural resources) for the “outside” countries, and cultural imperialism (becoming used to and supporting current society) for the “inside” countries.
Vittorio Gregotti wrote some years ago that we cannot plan a revolution with architecture, but that it is our precise duty to plan a revolution IN architecture.
It seems to me that this is a position to all intellectuals today: the opposition to the system is expressed through the elaboration of alternative behavior models, or at any rate behavior models intended to unbalance the status quo…
In architecture, critical activity has always been with the concept of utopia; utopia is not an alternative model: it puts forward unresolved problems…