IMPRINT OF THE FUTURE. DESTINY OF PIRANESI'S CITY
Exhibition and research by Sergei Tchoban
A native of St Petersburg who has organically absorbed the harmony of this city’s proportionality and similitude, Sergei Tchoban has always striven to understand the laws which govern the development of cities like St Petersburg and the great prototypes in whose image it was created. Is it possible to preserve these cities’ outstanding quality? And is it possible to pursue this quality today, at the current stage of development of architecture? These are the central questions posed in the present exhibition, which marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720 – 1778). One of the greatest artists of his time, Piranesi succeeded in capturing the development of the European city as a phenomenon which, despite many layers and internal contradictions, is nevertheless harmonious.
Until the principle of contrast, as a predictable consequence of technological progress, became a key vector in the aesthetics of architecture during the 20th century, the image of the European city was relatively homogeneous and, as a result, coherent – which is possibly the reason why we a priori perceive historical cities created earlier than the 20th century as harmonious ensembles and, in their best manifestations, as masterpieces. With the start of the 20th century and architecture’s acquisition of fundamentally new capabilities in creating building forms and surfaces, the process of introducing new strata into the urban setting became especially dramatic. But does this process really imply destruction of a masterpiece? Are we destroying harmony or creating a fundamentally new type of harmony? This is the main question as far as the present exhibition (and almost every European city today) is concerned. It is a question which Sergei Tchoban sets out to analyze and answer – extremely expressively and polemically – with the help of architectural drawings.
© Sergei Tchoban
- 15 October 2020, 12:00 to 31 January 2021
Istituto Centrale per la Grafica
Via della Stamperia 6
00187 Rome, Italy
- Istituto Centrale per la Grafica
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