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Carte blanche
111. 1:1. 16. 24.
1920. III. 1513.
70. 2014. 00.
1989. XXIV.
2014. 3.1964.
0.1/1.145. XX.
1. 0,0,0. ∞.

Edited by Sara Marini

Carte blanche
Future Utopia future
111. 1:1. 16. 24.
Edited by Sara Marini

Designed and printed by bruno

1920. III. 1513.

Cover printed by fallanivenezia.com

Carte blanche

70. 2014. 00.

Series editor
Sara Marini, Alberto Bertagna

1989. XXIV.
Scientific committee
Pedro Daniel De Mauro Fonseca,
Yumi Kayano, Manuel Orazi

Published by bruno
Dorsoduro 1621/A, Venice, Italy 2014. 3.1964.
0.1/1.145. XX.

1. 0,0,0. ∞.
First Edition December 2014
ISBN 978-88-99058-00-5
© 2014 the Authors

This book is made with the contribution

of Department of Architecture and Arts,
Università Iuav di Venezia Utopia

Edited by Sara Marini

Future Utopia

10 Future 111.
Twelve Cities in Search of the Future
Sara Marini

28 Future 1:1.
Can Our Cities Survive?
(The Future is no Longer What it Used to be)
Mauro Berta

32 Future 16.
Where Are We Now?
Alberto Bertagna

36 Future 24.
The Importance of an Utopian Vision
Renato Bocchi

42 Future 1920.
Back to Utopia
Valeria Burgio

46 Future III.
Power to the Future
Giovanni Carli

52 Future 1513.
For a not Schedulable Life
Pietro del Soldà

56 Future 70. 94 Future 0.
Future as Practice The Monkey and the Path
Lorenzo Fabian Valerio Paolo Mosco

60 Future 2014. 98 Future 1/1.

I Can Only Say One Thing About the Future: The Laboratory-City: Recycle and Repair
What I Wouldn't Want it to be Consuelo Nava
Antonella Gallo
104 Future 145.
64 Future 00. Future as Utopia
Visions of Future Visions Rosario Pavia
Emanuele Garbin
110 Future XX.
68 Future 1989. A New Aesthetic of Reality
Space of Expectations Francesca Pignatelli
Dario Gentili
114 Future 1.
72 Future XXIV. Reform or Revolution?
Architecture and Prophecy Chiara Rizzi
Andrea Gritti
118 Future 0,0,0.
80 Future 2014. Urban/Human Futures
Accidents. The City of Failure Daniele Ronsivalle
Fabrizia Ippolito
122 Future ∞.
84 Future 3. No More Alibis. Why We no Longer Have
Without Landscape Excuses to not Build Quality Architecture
Luigi Latini Massimo Rossetti

90 Future 1964.
The Egemony of the Present
Giulia Menzietti

Contents Contents
111. 1:1. 16. 24.
1920. III. 1513.
70. 2014. 00.
1989. XXIV.
2014. 3.1964.
0.1/1.145. XX.
1. 0,0,0. ∞.
future 1920.
“If time could reverse itself, there’d be a kind of utopian
perfectibility: you can take back all the things you wish you
hadn’t said, the smashed vase recomposes itself perfectly
[...] but that in some sense is our definition of time – that
which you cannot call back”1. Back from the time of
the Seven Fragments for Georges Méliès (2003), we are used

Back to

to seeing, in William Kentridge’s multi-screen installations,
pools of paint flying back into a bucket, spilled coffee filling
a coffee pot, torn book pages reassembling over a bookshelf.

Images, in William Kentridge’s movies, often run backwards.
There is a utopian potential, claims Kentridge,
in the technique of reverse motion: through reversing the
direction of a film, it is possible to invert the natural process
going from order to disorder. The South African
artist is certainly not the first filmmaker to have adopted
this technique, which is as old as cinema itself. The first
reverse gear in cinema history belongs to the Lumière
brothers, who, in Demolition of a Wall (1896), raised a wall
from its own ashes. In the large number of later occurrences,
among which Kinoglaz by Dziga Vertov in 1919 or Jean
Cocteau’s orphic trilogy (1930-1960), this cinematographic
technique has a connection with a return to origin, to
integrity, to life. When William Kentridge began
to be celebrated outside the borders of South Africa, after
the fall of apartheid in 1994, his work was largely perceived
as anachronistic. While the US was lost in the debate about
Modernism and evolution of painting towards progressive
self-reflection2, Kentridge was becoming a master in the
techniques of engraving, etching and charcoal drawing.
His models were Max Beckmann, Otto Dix and even
Francisco Goya. His plays were theatrical adaptation of
Valeria Burgio European classics, from Alfred Jarry to Georg Büchner, from
Goethe to Claudio Monteverdi. His technique of animation, forward; its spiral form reminds the Hegelian visualization
moreover, owed much to the pioneers of cinema and their of the dialectical movement of history; its apparently
obsolete technologies. Thus, reverse motion probably needs complex structure is made of the relation between simple
to be considered not only as a technical escamotage, but solid forms. Does this chain of references mean
also as a declaration of poetics. Does this mean a bent for a kind of nostalgia for an era trusting in the future? The
nostalgia? Kentridge refuses a conception of art history artist admits his passion for Russian Avant-garde, but

as progressive innovation and technological progress3. His mostly because of the contrast between its optimism and
stylistic choices represent an alternative view to a linear the consciousness of what happened a couple of decades
interpretation of time and art history. Reverse motion thus later. The reverse motion is then accompanied by the
corresponds to a rescue from linear time, a way to escape disenchanted consciousness that the hopes of a bright
the obsession for originality. The reverse gear future have been betrayed. The aim is going back to the
runs through a revival of media and icons from the past, time when technology was full of potential and trying out
representing in particular the prehistory of modernity. those alternative methods that have never been taken.
References mainly concern Russian Avant-garde and its Thus, on one hand, Kentridge is critical towards
German followers in the 1920s. In Kentridge’s theatre, a deterministic approach to art history. Rather than as
animated films and documentary footage are projected on the most advanced point in history, the present should
the background of the stage: far from being a contemporary be taken as a mosaic of phenomena in ferment, weaving
invention, this was typical of the theatre of the Weimar a net of references to different historical periods. On the
Republic. In particular, Erwin Piscator had responded to other hand, he feels attracted to those movements that
the threat of cinema to theatre in his days by integrating used to believe in the explosive potential of art, in its
the two media in a proto-multimedia show. On the other social function and in its ability to push history towards
hand, the shadow processions are so typical of Kentridge’s progress. Only through backward movement it is possible
works, from the mosaic of Toledo metro station in Naples to to reach that moment loaded with promises – the origin
the project for the Tiber embankment in Rome, are indebted, – and to momentarily erase what happened afterwards.
through Piscator, to the use of parades in Russian agit-prop
1 Kentridge W., Drawing Lesson Six: Anti-Entropy, Norton Lectures,
theatre. The Shadow Procession projected in a screen in Harvard 2012.
New York Times Square in 1999, reminds us the silhouettes 2 See, among the vast bibliography on this subject, Greenberg
of the fighting Bolsheviks behind the windows of the Winter C., Modernist Painting, in Idem, The Collected Essays and Criticism,
University of Chicago Press, 1995 and Danto A., After the End of Art,
Palace in the re-enactment of its taking in 1920. Tatlin’s Princeton University Press, 1997.
Monument to the Third International, that is often part of 3 See the fundamental essay of Krauss R., The Rock: William
Kentridge’s iconography, is probably the best monument Kentridge’s Drawings for Projection, «October» n. 92, Spring 2000.

to utopia ever built: though rooted to the ground, it leans

Future 1920. Back to Utopia Valeria Burgio

Carte blanche
White is the color of possibility.
White paper expects lands from the imaginary,
raises the issue of the witness.
Who bears witness to what, and why?
The when and the how are not so relevant:
this is about the author, his work, his audience,
our carte blanche.
Moreover Oscar Wilde said:
“My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death.
One or the other of us has to go”.
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