Liebe Grüße aus Graz von Superstudio
Architecture as a Political Instrument
September 21 – November 30, 2019
Curators BB Mak and Ludwig Engel
Exhibition in Graz at Haus der Architektur as a collateral event of steirischer herbst 2019
When Superstudio formed in Florence in 1967, pop and consumer culture were reaching an historically unfathomed high. Against this hyper-materialism, the group took a critical stance aiming at making architecture disappear completely thus taking away its power as a representational weapon of market ideology. Superstudio’s most famous work – The Continuous Monument, An Architectural Model for Total Urbanisation – offers a glimpse into the paradox that the task of designing an utopia brings with it: Intended as a fierce criticism of an insatiable capitalism by stripping architecture of all its form and meaning, today, Superstudio’s designs – stripped of their historical context – are often misinterpreted as visions representing our globalized and digitalized planet where any alternative to market economy has become unthinkable.
Given this historical example, highly relevant questions for today arise: How powerful is architecture today in shaping the future? Does today’s architecture production offer ways of alternative thinking? Can it visualize systemic change, can architecture even trigger change? And if so, how can its perception be processed in such an accelerated manner that its transformative power prevails instead being bent by history?