*1940, Bolzano (I)
Lives and works in Florence (I)
Installation, performance, corrugated cardboard
Courtesy of the artist
Gianni Pettena’s performative installation POIESIS, conceived especially for the Biennale Gherdeina, echoes the anarchitect’s radical statements of 1968, expressed in a trilogy of CARABINIERI, performed in the courtyard of Novara’s city hall, MILITE IGNOTO (UNKNOWN SOLDIER) in Ferrara’s Palazzo dei Diamanti and GRAZIA & GIUSTIZIA, presented at the 6th Festival of Avant-Garde Music in Palermo. Pettena’s large-scale installations consisted of a wall of cardboard measuring about ten meters by two in the form of a word; the sheets of corrugated cardboard assembled into three-dimensional shapes with staples, eventually spelling out a statement of a political relevance and urgency. The trilogy held a contextual dialogue with the city, in which words, constructed deliberately out of cardboard, a perishable material, ended up self-destructing. For a radical architect Gianni Pettena, it was a reflection of the desire to transcribe thoughts in terms of slogans, typical of the student revolt in May 1968; the desire, expressed but to no effect, to spell out an ideological position, to signal the intention to take a stand, even as operators in the field of architecture. And so these three inscriptions took on gigantic dimensions, invading the architecture, conversing with the architecture, limiting its meaning. The preexisting architecture just served as a backdrop to the phrase that was in itself a stereotype.