PANEL 1 - AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVEE
(Prof. Emeritus TE Delft; Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Bauhaus in Dessau)
ARCHITECTURE OF THE TWENTIES IN GERMANY THROUGH THE CAMERA EYE
The Architecture Of The 1920ies Through The Camera Eye - The genre of portraying architecture, cities and landscape is common since the mid of the nineteenth century. Baldus, Atget, Marville, Stieglitz, Langdon Coburn, Steichen and in Italy the Alinari brothers were amongst the most famous photographers. With them and reproduction techniques, which Benjamin rightly analyzes as a step to mass-medialization, the iconologization of architecture starts. Especially the ideology of 1920ies functionalism would not have had its worldwide influence without the distribution of photographies in the print media and exhibitions as well as archiving all this material. Amateur photographers, among them architects such as Mendelsohn and Gropius, and professional photographers were eager to document the newest architectural achievements. After the move of the Bauhaus from Weimar to Dessau photography played an ever increasing role in this institution. Gropius, aware of the PR-effect, asked professionally-trained Lucia Moholy-Nagy to come up with a series of photos produced as postcards and material for journalists. Thus the Bauhaus building was transformed into an icon and vulgarized into something like a “Bauhaus-Style”. But realistic documentation was only one part. Parallel to it experimentation stimulated the protagonists: photograms, typophotography, double exposures and extreme spatial positions of the camera were employed. Highlight in the year 1925 was Moholy-Nagy’s book “Film, Foto und Malerei” and in 1929 the international exhibition “Film and Foto” in Stuttgart in Germany.
Maria Inmaculada Aguilar Civeira
(Cátedra Demetrio Ribes, Universidad de Valencia; Consellería de Infraestructuras, Territorio y Medio Ambiente)
ENGINEERS’ EYES: PUBLIC WORKS AND PHOTOGRAPHY IN TWENTIETH CENTURY SPAIN
La mirada del ingeniero. Fotografía e ingeniería civil en la España del siglo XX. Características de un género - La construcción de Obras Públicas durante la segunda mitad del siglo XIX será uno de los motivos más sugerente de los primeros pasos de la fotografía en España. Instituciones gubernamentales y empresas rindieron culto al progreso y a la modernidad del siglo con unos singulares álbumes fotográficos o reportajes selectivos. Un nuevo soporte de prestigio que fue antecedente de la fotografía técnica y corporativa. Para las grandes empresas del siglo XX la fotografía fue un claro recurso de marketing, de propaganda tanto de sus infraestructuras o instalaciones fabriles, como de sus productos. La incorporación de la fototipia y el fotograbado en los medios de comunicación democratizó la imagen fotográfica y la mirada hacia la ingeniería civil formó parte de lo cotidiano; llegó igualmente la mirada del fotógrafo aficionado. Registrar, documentar, mostrar, trasmitir, comercializar, forman parte de los objetivos de este género. Características que ya surgen definidas en el siglo XIX y que, con ciertos matices, se mantienen en el siglo XX. Si los álbumes de Obras públicas de la segunda mitad del siglo XIX serán los protagonistas del origen del género, las grandes colecciones fotográficas como la de La Maquinista Valenciana, los Docks Comerciales del puerto de Valencia, la Compañía siderúrgica del Mediterráneo y la Unión Naval de Levante se presentan como representativas del siglo XX.
(RIBA - Royal Institute of British Architects, London.)
BRITISH OUTLOOKS ON ITALIAN MODERNISM
British outlooks on Italian modernism - Modernism made a relatively late arrival in both Italy and Great Britain. It is therefore not surprising that very little modern Italian architecture was seen in that country before 1934, when the Royal Institute of British Architects organised an exhibition in its newly inaugurated headquarters to showcase the best of international architecture from the preceding decade. On display were photographs of works by Pietro Lingeri, Gino Levi-Montalcini, Edoardo Persico and Marcello Nizzoli. Since then there has been a cautious but recurrent interest in Italian Rationalism, mostly unencumbered by the negative associations with Fascism that have inevitably influenced the domestic view of that era. Photography has often been the conduit for a discovery, re-discovery and re-assessment of the works of architecture produced in the inter-war period. This paper provides an overview of the reception of Italian Modernism in the British architectural press, from initial responses to more recent evaluations, and highlights the role of photography as a mediator of information and interpretation.
(IUAV - Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia)
RE -INTERPRETING ITALY BUILDS:
ITALIAN ARCHITECTURE ACCORDING TO GEORGE EDWARD KIDDER SMITH
Re-interpreting Italy Builds: Italian Architecture according to George Everard Kidder Smith - George Everard Kidder Smith’s book Italy Builds. Its modern architecture and native inheritance. (1955) is a collection of astonishing architectural photographs, data and critical comment upon the traditional and modern architecture. The many forms of visual narratives adopted by the author become a valuable index to the kind of building the young mid-twentieth-century architect was prepared to see when he travelled Italy. Trained as an architect and, like many of his generation, using the camera as a tool of analysis and memory, Kidder Smith knew a certain amount of history but by no means considered himself an historian. He thus simply records what has interested him in the architecture of the past and present, and the photographs and explanatory text directly reveal how he has seen it. His eyes goes first toward the primitive: the solid, earth-heavy shapes of masonry, the panels of brickwork, the skeletons of wood, the directly functional types, the solemn personification of human qualities in the landscape. When Kidder Smith turns to contemporary Italian architecture he consequently develops new standards of judgments. He encapsulates in his photographs the great range of Italy’s modernist experience, always elegant, and usually with an intelligent touch. The paper will focus on the wake of the success between architectural photography and personal architecture criticism as a new creative processes which brought to light new ways of understanding both fields.
PANEL 2 - ITALIAN ARCHITECTS AND PHOTOGRAPHY
PANEL 3 - ARCHIVES, COLLECTIONS AND INSTITUTIONS
Renata Meazza, Enzo Minervini
Maria Fratelli, Elisabetta Pernich
PANEL 4 - CONSTRUCTION-SITES: BUILDING PROCESSES AND TRANSFORMATIONS
Sergio Poretti, Tullia Iori
(Sala Biagi, ingresso n. 4, 1° piano)
Piazza Città di Lombardia - Milano
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