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Superstudio

Considerations on forms of love.

In 1972 and 1973, the Italian architectural review "Casabella" publishes "Fundamental Acts", five stories by Superstudio. The group used storyboards, texts and images to mould the trail for five videos approaching as many salient human conditions: Life, Education, Ceremony, Love, Death. The "Life" and "Ceremony" stories were immediately developed in form of video, and the first was even featured in the exhibition "Italy: The New Domestic Landscape" (MoMA, New York, 1972) with the title "Supersurface. An Alternative Model for Life on Earth". The "Education", "Love" and "Death" stories remained on paper instead. Finally, in 2010 on the occasion of the São Paulo Biennial, those last were developed as videos too, using the texts published in the Seventies and a selection of images from the Superstudio Archive.

"Love" is a story published on "Casabella" n. 377 (1973) and comprehends five texts and photomontages, while storyboard are not used this time. “Love letter for Magdalene" takes as a pretext a blank page, waiting to be written with a love letter. This empty page is the space hosting the simulacra of all possible kind of loves, from the purest liaison to the most excessive and irreverent ones, here recalled in the form of a flash. "A building in the jungle" presents a stratified architecture: the outer shell, with its modern architecture made with glass and steel, hides a very different reality. In fact, after entering the building and passing a second structure made of curtains, one reaches a parallelepiped, at the core of the previous ones and incorporated with them and made of stone. This massive structure inside contains a crude mud mound where a man takes shelter. He is the head of the builders and is already abandoned by his workers and by inhabitants of the structures he built up; the "Innamoratrix machine", activated in his presence, allows the man to retrace and dream all the architecture that he built, or the one where he lived in, or the buildings that he saw and accurately measured, but above all the machine shows him brief images of "lovers, children, friends, the wonderful objects which fill lives." "Guide to the Temple of Love" is the third text originally composing the Atti Fondamentali "Love" episode, but it remained unpublished then. The building is described in its very detail and the space is proposed as a metaphor in order to remember that love always carries its opposite, hate, alongside it. Infact, inside the decorative and charming architectural envelope, there is a dark spiral staircase that leads to the deepest abysses of love. But in the ancestral combination of love and death, the first is replaced there by hatred, represented by the character of Medea. "A story of meteorites" is a visionary tale of a dense black mass approaching the earth, and made up of "all the dreams of reason, all the interrupted architectures, all the frustrations of the intellectual profession and all the illusions of revolutions by means of architecture". In the impact, the earth withdraws and forms a crater of which geometric forms are born. A fourth part follows, entitled "Or the realization of self-through architecture", and describing an ideally perfect architecture one that many people have been trying to follow and create since times. The film ends with the fifth story, entitled "An environment for love at first sight".

The film "Love", in its present version, was created using the texts "A building in the jungle", "Guide to the temple of love" and "Love, or the realization of self through architecture".

Authors icon Credits

Architect: Superstudio
Mentioned project: Fundamental Acts (1972-73)
Music: Philip Glass - Music with changing parts; Laurie Anderson - Big Science-O Superman; Music du Vietnam: Quatre pieces dites royales du Ca Hue; Ru Con Na Bo; Ludwig Van Beethoven - Sinfonia n° 9 in Re min, op 125 4 - Presto
Text selection, images & direction: Gian Piero Frassinelli (Archivio Superstudio)
Voiceover: Simona Arrighi, Riccardo Naldini
Sound: Benedict Frassinelli
Video production:Interaction Design Lab
Video editing: Alessandro Contini
Copyright: Archivio Superstudio, Fundação Bienal De São Paulo

Italy 2010
Duration: 17'21"