Where and when
Architecture with eyes on the future
On the occasion of the presentation of the Utopie Radicali exhibition at the Strozzina, Museo Novecento and the Florence Architects Foundation announce the monographic curated by Marco Ornella and Emanuele Piccardo and dedicated to the group of radical architects 9999 with unpublished photographs and films that trace their history.
It was 1969 when Space Electronic was born in a former flooded garage in Via Palazzuolo. Not the Florentine nightclub as it is known today, but a space of research and experimentation that has seen among its most assiduous visitors Dario Fo, Julian Beck and Judith Malina with their Living Theater and then Van Der Graaf Generator, Rory Gallagher and Canned Heat, Equipe 84, Area of Demetrio Stratos and Formula Three.
This progressive and forward-looking scene is discussed in Revolution 9999, the first exhibition of materials exclusively dedicated to the 9999 group of radical architects, active in Florence from 1968 to 1972 and founded by Giorgio Birelli, Carlo Caldini, Fabrizio Fiumi and Paolo Galli.
The space, located next to the monographic section dedicated to radical architecture by the Museo Novecento, is intended as a tribute to this group of young architects whom Giorgio La Pira proudly wanted as “ambassadors of Florence” in the East, as Carlo Caldini himself loved to testify.
Documents, video interviews and still images on a past that looked to the Florence of the future, these are the materials exhibited in an event organized by the Museo Novecento and Fondazione Architetti Firenze and curated by Marco Ornella and Emanuele Piccardo with the scientific direction of Valentina Gensini, which aims to return the themes of the 9999 research in chronological form: educational trips to North America, India and London, the happening and the disco Space Electronic.
The trips to the North American continent, made by Carlo Caldini and Mario Preti, allowed the original 1999 group (later transformed into 9999) to increase its architectural and cultural education through direct knowledge of the phenomena in progress, including the Californian counterculture , Paolo Soleri’s experiments in Arizona, the 1967 Montreal Expo, and visits to the metropolises of Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The 9999 study the theories of Marshall McLuhan and experiment with them in architectural space, as during the Happening on Ponte Vecchio on 25 September 1968: images of astronauts, signs and forms are projected on the wall surfaces that redefine perception through a visual code. of the monument. And then the Space Electronic nightclub, inaugurated in 1969, and which was the seat, among others, of the Living Theater and its performance Paradise Now, was conceived by Caldini and Fiumi who also took over the management.
The exhibition is an important opportunity to present unpublished materials, such as Super8 shots and films, photographs of the Living Theater, interviews with members of the 9999 group collected by Elettra Fiumi in the film A Florentine man dedicated to his father Fabrizio , the photographic sequences made by Giorgio Birelli during the construction of the boat designed by Paolo Galli, the final community act of the group before its dissolution.
The 9999 worked with the aim of redefining the forms and languages of the architectural discipline at the dawn of the nascent electronic era and of the massification of consumption, coming to formulate – in the context of the Italian Neo-avant-garde Architectural – a new form of design, in which the ‘intimacy of the manual process and the extent of the media event broadcast by television channels, technological progress and ecological sentiment.
Revolution 9999 is planned in collaboration with Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, which presents Utopie Radicali, at the Strozzina from 20 October 2017 to 21 January 2018, an exhibition that celebrates the Florentine creative season of the radical movement between the 1960s and 1970s. Therefore, by presenting the Palazzo Strozzi ticket, visitors to the Museo Novecento will be entitled to a reduced ticket, the same will apply to visitors to Palazzo Strozzi who will present themselves with the Museo Novecento ticket.
Designer and curator, he graduated from the Politecnico di Milano in 2011 and the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in 2013. In 2015 he published 9999. An Alternative to One-Way Architecture (Publisher plug_In) first monograph and first in-depth investigation – started in 2013 – on the 9999 group, a collective belonging to the Florentine branch of the Italian Radical Architecture movement, followed by essays and articles on the subject. Currently his research activity continues in the deepening of the figures not yet sufficiently investigated by historiography. He has written for the magazine “PLATFORM” and for the Quodlibet publishing house.
He graduated in Architecture at the University of Genoa in 2000. Architectural historian, photographer and director, he is an expert in Radical Architecture. Among the exhibitions we mention Radical City (Turin 2012), Beyond Environment (Los Angeles, 2014; Lissone and San Giovanni Valdarno, 2015). In 2013 he won the Graham Foundation Grants and in 2015 the Autry Scholar Fellowship. He is director of the digital architecture magazine “archphoto.it”, member of the editorial board of “Il Giornale dell’Architettura.com” and collaborator of “Il Manifesto”. His films investigated the figures of Adriano Olivetti (Lettera22, 2009), the architect Giancarlo De Carlo (The architect of Urbino, 2015) and the architect Vittorio Giorgini (La balena nel bosco, 2017), receiving awards at festivals of cinema. His photographs are kept at MAXXI Architettura and at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. He has lectured at the Princeton School of Architecture, Pratt Institute NYC, Sci-Arc Los Angeles, Polimi, Polito, IUAV.