The Glass Builders #2. Sparkling like pyramids

Daniele Maffeis

An extensive solo exhibition by Daniele Maffeis (Bergamo 1982), revolves around contemporary glass architecture as seen through the retrograde filter of the plate glass utopia that inspired the expressionist architects around Bruno Taut (1880-1938).

08.10.2015 - 09.11.2015

@ASSAB ONE | via Assab 1, Milano

curated by Kunstverein (Milano) & Alessandra Pioselli
with an extraordinary contribution by Takashi Sagishi

opening Thursday 8 October 2015, h18:30
with public conference by Takashi Sagishi

exceptionally open on Saturday 10 October 2015, h15:00 - 18:30
on the occasion of the 11th Giornata del Contemporaneo promoted by AMACI

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Starting points are four stories by Paul Scheerbart (1863-1915), writer, visionary essayist, inventor, forerunner and instigator of the so-called Gläserne Kette (the Glass chain a.k.a. Utopian Correspondence) group of expressionist architects. Scheerbart strongly believed that architecture had the capacity and the moral obligation to work towards a radical renewal of human civilization. The instrument of this transformation was to be the replacement of the grimy brick with the brightness of glass architecture. Scheerbart’s four stories form the pretext to orchestrate a visual and verbal play of cross-references between the architectural expressionism of the early twentieth century and contemporary glass architecture -- with a particular reference to the city of Milan and its recent urban evolution.

The exhibition includes large-scale 3D renderings of urban landscapes, drawings referring to fictional and historical events, a maquette in plexiglass, and sculptural tables, all intertwined with both textual and photographic fragments. Like a puzzle or also like the literary format of Chinese boxes the installation set up by Daniele Maffeis taints and loses itself in continuous references between past and present, in an uncertain balance between historical accuracy and counterfeiting, between archival rigor and simulation.

The project and exhibition are greatly enriched by the extraordinary participation of Takashi Sagishi, connoisseur of the works of Scheerbart. Sagishi will hold a public lecture on Thursday 8 October 2015 at 6:30pm upon the occasion of the opening of the exhibition.
Furthermore, a relatively small but impressive historical retrospective centered on some architectural and literary topoi recurrently featured in the production of the various exponents of the glass utopia: Architectonic Apocalypse; Architectonic Metamorphosis; Heroism and Erotism of Building. The historical retrospective is the fruit of a collaboration between Takashi Sagishi (curatorship and archive documents) and Daniele Maffeis (installation).

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication containing the four narratives by Paul Scheerbart: Apocalisse Architettonica II e altri racconti indebitati di Paul Scheerbart Published by Kunstverein Publishing, Milano.

Special thanks to: Viviana Algeri, Simone Brolis, Francesco Cafagna, Anna Castelli e FAR Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Mauro Danesi, Monica Dolci, Angelo Donizetti, fondazione Shapdiz, Simone Longaretti, Michele Giulini, Mariella Guzzoni, Silvia Marini, Matteo Maino, Alberto Marengoni, Simone Moretti, Antonio Pasquariello, Claudio Nini, Francesca Santambrogio, Francesca Parisi, Barbara Ventura and all Kunstverein (Milano) members!

The exhibition was realised with the generous collaboration of ASSAB ONE
And technical support of For.tex, TSC textile Solution Center; Foto Emmedi; VismaraAttilio