Artists Remake the World
The Author

The Author : Guillaume Désanges


Guillaume Désanges is a free-lance curator and art critic, founder and director of Work Method, a Paris based agency for artistic projects. He organizes international exhibitions projects and lectures.

Latest projects : “Ballistic poetry” (2016... [ read more ]

See all the authors +
Around the text
07 July 2021

Between activism, art and poetry, the augmented and liberating architecture of Gianni Pettena

With his roots in the Florentine scene, Gianni Pettena is a leading member of the Radical Architecture movement founded in Italy in 1965 to rethink the foundational principles of architecture. The movement sought to challenge the “imperative to build”, and to replace it with conceptual, artistic alternatives : free-thinking, imaginative new ways to live in the world. For Gianni Pettena, especially, this re-visioning of the principles of his discipline was expressed as a quest for the “primal roots” of architecture, based on open and mindful observation of nature, both wild and tamed. At the beginning of the 1970s, his journeys through the deserts of the American south-west defined the bedrock of a personal output that was both concrete and reflective, material and ideal. This awareness of the “natural” architectural potential of ecosystems untouched by Western industrialised culture, gave rise to numerous solo and group projects, installations, actions, performances and designs, together with sculptures, films and texts, both theory-based and intuitive, some of which were realised, others not : the key elements of his uncategorisable, highly original work. Pettena’s is an “expanded” or augmented” architectural practice, liberated and liberating, as it plies the open waters between activism, art and poetry.

Read also...