06 Sep                     26 Sep 2014

S-Space Mondial Festival No. 1

09 - 11 November 1971, Florence

exhibition views

S-Space, the Scuola Separata Per l'Architettura Concettuale Espansa (Separate School for Expanded Conceptual Architecture) was founded in 1970 by two Florentine experimental architecture groups, 9999 and Superstudio. It achieved its highest point with the Mondial Festival in 1971, entitled Vita, Morte e Miracoli dell'Architettura (Life, Death and Miracles of Architecture).
In addition to the founding groups Superstudio (Adolfo Natalini, Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, Roberto Magris, Alessandro Magris, Gianpiero Frassinelli and Alessandro Poli) and 9999 (Giorgio Birelli, Carlo Caldini, Fabrizio Fiumi, Paolo Galli), the main contributors were: Gianni Pettena, Remo Buti, Ugo La Pietra, UFO, Zziggurat, Renato Rinaldi, Giuseppe Chiari, Jorn Mayr, TV OUT, Marc Balet, Ant Farm, The Portola Institute and Street Farmer.

S-Space Mondial Festival No.1 combined a number of initiatives – environmentally-oriented with a conceptual or anarchistic approach – and supported a broader social concept of architecture, an "architecture as strong as that made with cement and bricks and more than that, it is self-conscious and legitimate, and a radical push towards a more ideologically autonomous status for architecture"1.

The event Vita, Morte e Miracoli dell'Architettura (Life, Death and Miracles of Architecture) took place from 9 to 11 November in the discotheque Space Electronic on Via Palazzuolo and in some open spaces (for example, the Ponte Vecchio). In the afternoon hours, the discotheque, which was opened in February 1969 by members of the group 9999, was a meeting place for students of the Separate School for Expanded Conceptual Architecture.

On the occasion of the Mondial Festival, the lower floor of the discotheque was turned into a pond with fish, grass and trees all around. On the upper floor, on a raised platform, a real garden with real vegetables had been created. It was a life-size replica of the living room of the Casa Orto project, in which, thanks to a new technology, a family could live in harmony with nature by growing vegetables that would provide them with a livelihood. For the occasion, 9999 presented the images of the TV recording on the identification of alternative similar models in the Canticle of the Creatures by Saint Francis of Assisi”. Superstudio exhibited, among other works, The Twelve Ideal Cities.

Life, Death and Miracles of Architecture included various performances including the Florentine artist Renato Rinaldi on a petofono (fart machine) device. The collective UFO performed by interacting with elements of their polyurethane Doric portico installation. Street Farmer enacted a two and three dimensional comic strip and, on the final night, presented in the form of a political statement and film, followed by the distribution of pay packets containing grass and sunflower seeds that read Plant in pavements to push up slabs. 9999 presented some projects previously realized as S. SPACE Esterno Alba in Piscina, Esterno Controllo Alberi Sonorizzati and S. SPACE Interno Jam Session, as it appears in the flyer announcing the event.

1 S-Space, Untitled, in Gruppo 9999 and Superstudio, (eds.), Vita, Morte e Miracoli dell'Architettura