Consagra at 16. International Architecture Biennale, Venice, 2018

16° Venice Architecture Biennale, Italian Pavillion Arcipelago Italia, Pietro Consagra: Model of Gibellina Theatre, 1972 (current reconstruction) and Città Frontale (Frontal City). Transparent Tris n. 2. Buildings n. 4, n.5, n.6, 1968, inox steel, 43x150x50 cm.
16° Venice Architecture Biennale, Italian Pavillion Arcipelago Italia, Pietro Consagra: Model of Gibellina Theatre, 1972 (current reconstruction)

Pietro Consagra, Città Frontale (Frontal City). Transparent tris n. 2. Building n. 4, n. 5, n. 6, 1968 inox steel, 43x150x50 cm
Pietro Consagra, Città Frontale (Frontal City). Transparent tris n. 3. Building n. 7, n. 8, n. 9, 1968 inox steel, 40,5x150x50 cm

Until 25 November 2018
16. International Architecture Biennale, Venice
Padiglione Italia, Tese delle Vergini, Arsenale

Within the Italian Pavilion Arcipelago Italia, curated by architect Mario Cucinella, at the Venice Architecture Biennale, open to the public until 25 November 2018, a reutilisation project for Consagra’s Gibellina Theatre, which has remained unfinished, is presented.

Created by Consagra in 1972, the theatre reflects the concept developed for the Città Frontale (Frontal City) in 1968, of which several scale models for the buildings, featuring no right angels and set up in an irregular urban plan, are exhibited. Consagra’s scale models of the Frontal Buildings (1968) in stainless steel, with two identical transparent facades, have a “continuous curved plane” profile and appear as enveloping, welcoming habitable sculptures in which curved planes, slopes and differentiated levels would determine active behaviour by stimulating the imagination of the Internal Author – into which Consagra envisaged each inhabitant would be transformed – hence enabling them, as he explained in his theoretical essay “La Città Frontale” (“The Frontal City”), published in February 1969, to experience art as “the only way to keep oneself suspicious, susceptible, nervous, intolerant, evasive, enthusiastic, balanced, unbalanced, attentive, aggressive, lazy, imaginative, libidinous, free, ungraspable.” 

Already since 1968 Consagra opposes the misuse of rationalist architecture by stating: “We no longer wish to live in cubes, nor in spheres or tubes. We do not want to end up in conventional dimensions dictated by the standards of mass production. We do not want to live within any concept of normalization.
Whatever space we happen to use must be mobile, temporary, transparent, paradoxical and amenable to fluctuating ideas. It must evade the eternal structures of Power”.

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