Utopie Radicali: Florence 1966–1976 addresses the idea of utopia as a tool for social critique, by bringing together the projects and archives of Florentine protagonists Archizoom, Remo Buti, 9999, Gianni Pettena, Superstudio, UFO, and Zziggurat, whose radical work are on view together for the first time in North America. The exhibition explores how the work of these iconoclastic practitioners on redefining the concepts of ecology and territory, studying contemporary nomadism, dissecting the ambiguous and increasingly fluid relationship between leisure and productivity, investigating the application of behavioural theories to shape domestic space, and testing new relationships with objects as extensions of the body, made Florence into a focal point for new developments in architectural thought.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Italian radicals produced utopian architectural visions and critical analysis which engaged with and provoked contemporary society, and remain useful tools for tracing the transformations and revolutions of our own time. Florentine radicals broke away from modernist legacies and rejected consumer ideology to transform the language and discourse of architecture, in open dialogue with other disciplines including the visual arts, cinema, theatre, and dance.
Fifty years after the birth of the Italian radical movement, Utopie Radicali: Florence 1966–1976 highlights the enduring relevance of the Florentine radical scene through eight main areas of research: production and the Pop influence, the discotheque as a space of multidisciplinary experimentation, urban action as a practice of redefining public space, critique of the idea of architecture itself, city and landscape, the design of the body, nature as material and, finally, the moon as a possible new territory.
Curators: Pino Brugellis, Gianni Pettena, and Alberto Salvadori
Graphic design: Christian Lange Studio, Munich
Organized by Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Fondazione CR Firenze, and Osservatorio per le Arti Contemporanee, Florence