“He starts leaving discrete signs in the landscape, almost invisible traces, he continues building real architectures or metaphors of the architectural profession. ” (Barbara Radice)
“Design Metaphors” is a sequence of photographs taken by Ettore Sottsass Jr. during his journeys to the deserts of Spain (Barcelone, Madrid, Almeria, Grenade) and to the Pyrenees. The Metaphors are temporary land-art or pseudo architectural constructions created in the landscape, made of poor and fragile items, pieces of string, wood, ribbons, leaves, stones, pieces of clothing, etc., referring to the precarious nature of things.
At that time Sottsass was questioning the role and the responsibility of the architect in contemporary industrial culture and felt the need to get back to the origins of architecture: with these buildings, sort of “study of the architectural language” (Barbara Radice) he tried and investigate the relationship between the individual and the physical environment. Houses without walls and ceilings, doors that overlook the vacuum, bottomless floors, beds where you cannot sleep and many other objects which put man as a spectator in front of the true meaning of his own existence and his destiny.
At once philosophical divertissement, a policy statement and a religious rite, Metaphors lies between involvement and detachment: “I felt a deep need to visit desert places, mountains, to re-establish a physical relationship with the cosmos, which is the only environment that is precisely because it can not be measured, anticipated controlled or known ….” (ES)
Each photograph, provided with a title (often ironic) and a theme, questioned “the relationship between people, thoughts, and the space they occupy” (B. Radice). Created with the express purpose of exposing them, the photographs were exhibited for the first time at “Man Transforms,” an show curated by Hans Hollein in 1976 at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York.
Previously, Sottsass on Socks:
Ettore Sottsass Jr. – The Planet As A Festival, 1972
Ettore Sottsass jr., Mobile and Flexible Environment Module, 1972
Related: “Ettore Sottsass“, by Philippe Thomé (Phaidon Press, 2014)”
Via: Endless Interior