“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
[…] Image : « O vuoi guardare la valle ? », Ettore Sottsass, 1973, source Socks-Studio. […]
[…] Known for publishing hours’ worth of interviews with the world’s leading artists, Hans Ulrich Obrist is the artistic director of London’s Serpentine Galleries. (Sottsass) was 63 when he founded his architecture practice, Sottsass Associati. So, in his sixties, seventies, eighties, he developed a whole life as an architect which could be (considered) a career in itself. He designed the interiors of Milan’s Malpensa Airport, private homes and the famed early Esprit stores. Read: Grayson Perry explores the UK’s culture wars to the Serpentine If somebody had just his architecture career, that person would be a very significant architect of their generation. But he is this renaissance figure (who practiced) industrial design, ceramics, glass and interior design, but also paintings, photography and writing. It’s almost like the super string theory in science, where the world has 11 dimensions — he brought all the disciplines and all the fields together in one person. Every generation will find a different Sottsass to revisit. Obrist recommends: his lesser-known photographs […]