Curated by Germano Celant
Frank O. Gehry is one of the most significant figures in contemporary architecture: he has helped to redefine its parameters, translating the deconstructivism and combinative logic of post-modern architecture into the constructive fluidity of the digital age. For him, architecture brings concrete form to the dimension of what is “possible”.
Gehry’s buildings exemplify his goal of sustaining the dynamic impetus of planning through to construction: indeed, the energy and experimental freedom experienced during the planning phase form a core part of his construction practice. Gehry’s spaces are conceptual yet habitable; and while they may resemble art installations or sculptures, they are also rooted in everyday urban reality, both impinging on it and modifying it.
The focal point of this exhibition was a model for a twelve metre-long habitable structure in the form of a fish (designed for the Gruppo Finanziario Tessile), which expanded on ideas that the architect had already applied to small-scale objects such as table lamps made out of ColorCore; Gehry would, in due course, successfully apply these same ideas to full-scale buildings with the help of digital software that enabled him to develop curvilinear forms on-screen.
With its archetypal shape and mid-sized proportions (halfway between a blueprint and a real building), the model of the fish-building exhibited in the Castello acted as an intermediary between form, edifice and city, establishing a link between the physical requirements of architecture and the illusory pleasures of art.