In Palermo, in the square named after Ruggero Settimo, in front of Politeama Garibaldi theatre designed by Damiani Almeyda “Changing Architecture landscapes and towns, the value of architecture” takes place, as a celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Register of Architects of the Province of Palermo in collaboration with Fondazione Arch of Ragusa. The main value which moved towards the realization of this exhibition was to bring Architecture to the town and its citizens and not just to insiders: setting the exhibition in an urban scenery made Architecture be the witness and the actor of its own value.
The setting chosen, a public square, could have given a sense of rhetorical self-praise, but the participation, the success, the emotional involvement of the citizens proved the right decision was made by letting Architecture present itself. The formal look of the exhibition (a large circle inscribed in a squared frame) curated by Mario Chiavetta and Gaetano Manganello for the Register of Architects of the Province of Palermo and of Ragusa respectively, does not impact on the urban landscape, conversely, it creates a sense of transparency and permeability with its early 20th century “backstage” and the Politeama Garibaldi theatre which result both highlighted.
The formal references draw on and date back to historical architectural signs, from the ancient enclosures to the “tholos”, the theatres and the amphitheaters of the ancient Greek and Roman world, whose presence makes Sicily a unique open-air museum.
The resulting exhibition consists of a formal setting-up of 90 radial slices on a circular structure with four openings, projects designed for several parts of the world and more than 60 architects are involved. Each team or architecture firm shows its contribution to the current architectural debate and illustrates Architecture and its values to Palermo and its citizens, as there is no future without Architecture.
The values described by the name of this event/exhibition/show result in a determined contribution (through works and projects) to the debate to come, which should be more concise and incisive, in order to let architects take back those places intrinsically proper to their “splendid vocation to Art”. Architecture is an essential cultural resource, a social patrimony to be used to develop and promote our Country and Beauty: a typical Italian characteristic concerning Arts and Architecture in the Western world. These ideas underline how public administrations have been deaf in not considering Architecture as a pivotal part of public actions so far.
The task of the curators was to enhance people’s attention towards Architecture, first in Ragusa, where the exhibition began on the bridge Ponte Nuovo, and then in Palermo. This travelling exhibition, as it was originally conceived, will continue in areas and squares of the city centre of Messina and Catania, in order to reach as many people as possible and show that Architecture is the measure of progress and civilization of our country.