Garage Dallegret hosts François Dallegret’s visionary imagination between design, fine arts, architecture and technology. The drawings, the objects and the ephemera exposed describe an imaginative practice of the futurity that brings down the disciplinary limits between human body and object, subjectivity and urban context, reality and imagination. This is the first Italian monographic exhibition of the artist and architect, which is set up at Spazio Punch (Giudecca Island, Venice) based upon an idea conceived by Augusto Maurandi with Alessandra Ponte.
The radical character – from radix – of his projects shape a habitus that rethinks the relationship between space and object through a playful tone outside the logics of exploitation and production. Through his body, Dallegret performs with objects and environments, among pages and sketches of the projects. A metropolitan posture, in bars and clubs, and a technological euphoria, that looks to the future, act as counterpoints to this corporeality. The highly-technological automobiles, a space city sent on Mars and the mechanical objects are extensions of the body to reach whatever is beyond itself and beyond the present time. The drawings
and works shown in Spazio Punch’s former brewery express this sensory expansion through the machine. A different perceptual space is achieved with a retro futuristic taste. The exhibition’s setting, conceived by Supervoid (Benjamin Gallegos Gabilondo and Marco Provinciali), fluidly opens the space to enable the heterogeneity of François Dallegret’s experimentations and inventions.
Drawings and multiples made for New York Moma and some dysfunctional objects like La chaise enceinte (1965) inhabit the exhibition, appearing here and there, at random with no hierarchy.
The materials, supports and the different scales follow a narrative held by the spirit of the compositions and it runs the whole length of the two sides of the building. Atomix (1968), an educational model of atomic structures – 6000 freely moving precision steel spheres – has a dialogue with the six architectural drawings for A Home Is Not a House (1965). The former ones were sketched for the homonymous article by Reyner Banham in Art in America where the critic and the artist figure out architecture at the crossroads of proto-ecology and ultra- technology. In the same article, Un-house-Transportable standard-of- living package. The Environment-Bubble’s project depicts an inflatable bubble that adapts to the environment: Dallagret and Banham naked are sitting around a “totem robot”. The image serves as a counterpoint to Anatomy of a Dwelling, a standardized American house reduced to a net of pipes and cables between sky and earth. KIIK, a metal object shaped like a pill, intends to ease body distresses and mind obsessions. Furthermore, it helps to give up “ bad or good” habits such as to quit smoking or to start drinking. Among the human amplification devices, the IntroConversoMatic designed for Bizarre magazine – also known as NNMA (Network Neutrality Measurement Agent) – is a wearable machine made of an audio system, a monitor, a microphone, a keyboard and a transmitter/receiver/transducer. It protects the user’s mental integrity and aims to write, to listen, to see and even to have an introspective conversation with oneself. Well in advance of artificial intelligence, Littératuromatic (1963), on its side, produces literature. Le Drug is a pharmacy-discothèque in Montréal and includes a restaurant in a basement, a fashion boutique, a gallery, but you also can find anything from matchsticks to posters. Among other leisure places conceived by Dallegret we find: New Penelope, a club built in Montreal (1966-1967); Palais Metro (Montreal 1967), and West Village (Kansas City 1972). Eat & Drink, a fast-food, bar and club designed in 1972 for the World Trade Center of New York, remodels the type of space previously formalized
in New Penelope and remains a particular ambitious project. This genealogy is reintroduced in the exhibition with New New Penelope, a space conceived by Supervoid in order to gather together the audience, take a rest and share a convivial alternative perception of the show. Standing above the constellation of inventions, Wheely, a new futuristic device, is placed on a higher position since it articulates the exhibition’s architectural trajectories. It is an echo of the automobile Tubola (1968) and it’s been specially created for our Venetian venue.
As the first Italian monographic exhibition of the artist and architect, Garage Dallegret means to dialogue with the reflections displayed in The Laboratory of the Future by Lesley Looks, curator of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. At the crossroads between imagination as a planning device and architectural design as a perception of how to be in the world, François Dallegret’s experimentation is the answer that Spazio Punch offers to the need for a narrative concerning visions and practices of the futurity. The exhibition will also be a platform to develop projects through open calls for local designers, artists and architects.
Based upon an idea by Augusto Maurandi with Alessandra Ponte
Exhibition design: Supervoid
Graphic design: Alessandro Gori
Editorial Advisor: Alessia Prati
Scientific Advisory Board: Liliana Albertazzi and Mario Lupano
Logistics & Production: Marta Girardin and Hstudio
Digital Fabrication: Fablab Venezia
With the support of Extreme Printing