The encounter between CAMPO and Le FRAC Centre of Orleans produced Misunderstandings, a project which, addressing one of the most important archives of architectural experiments worldwide, opens a reflection on the operative value of museums and collections for the contemporary discourse and practice of architecture.
Approaching Le FRAC Centre’s collection less with the cultural diligence of the curator than the amateur curiosity of the architect, CAMPO discards the traditional monographic, typological or historical readings, to adopt a looser and unconventional framework that pairs human emotions and architectural principles.
Fear/Structure, Hope/System, Nostalgia/Form and Surprise/Limit are the four binocular lenses through which we looked at the collection as a living material that can be studied but also manipulated to reflect on the contemporary condition.
CAMPO selected from the archive twelve couples of visual documents – drawings, images or models photographs – three for each dialectical theme, to give them stripped by any information regarding the original project, to twelve architects as brief. The invited contributors have been asked to respond to the diptych through the project of a book in which freely collect and organize the reflections and speculations provoked by the images.
Suspended from their material context and subtracted to the precision of history the images acquire a new life, becoming projective instruments in the hands of the invited contributors. Juxtaposing and displacing elements of the collection in a new framework that disrupts their conceptual and historical meaning, allows for Misunderstandings, temporary mistakes and purposeful inaccuracies that liberate unpredictable narratives from the sheer visual power of the works.
Misunderstandings is also a meditation on the fundamental need of architecture as a form of reaction to emotions, intended as a primordial and collective process. On the one side emotions constitute our common and generic capability to relate with each other, on the other side our capability to give form to the environment is the necessary physical and mental instrument that allows to live together. If today emotions are more and more at the core of human activities – where sentiments and relationships constitute the ultimate productive force – architecture, giving form to the materiality of space and its representational power, can interfere with the impalpable nature of emotions, accelerating, delaying or altering the on-going processes of social and political transformation.
The exhibition has been the first step of a larger cultural project initiated by Le FRAC Centre, which will culminate in the Biennale of Orleans 2017, titled “Walking through someone else dreams”. After the event at CAMPO the twelve diptychs and books traveled back to Le FRAC Centre of Orléans in January 2017, where the original materials has been exhibited together with the new contributions.