At the Salle Expositions Esa Saint-Luc in Brussels, (Other) Houses like me, curated by Roberto Zancan and Gabriele Cirami (until 10 June) showcases the homes of the most influential Italian intellectuals of the twentieth century: a story that reveals how the home can become a place of representation of oneself and one's thoughts
What was Pier Paolo Pasolini's refuge like? Where does he prepare his works Luca Ronconi? There are many questions that often arise when we read about the life of a great intellectual. Then when you discover details about his life, curiosity grows. Why, for example, did Giuseppe Berto build a house in Calabria? And how long did Michelangelo Antonioni live in a dome? And why does Craig Ellwood prefer the Tuscan countryside to the Californian Case Study Houses?
The (Altre) Case come me exhibition, curated by Roberto Zancan and Gabriele Cirami, arises from questions like these to which it tries to answer with the exhibition itinerary at Salle Expositions Esa Saint-Luc Brussels and with the voluminous book that accompanies it.
(Other) Houses like me is the story of five Italian houses which had no impact on the history of national architecture but were strongly desired and personally built by intellectuals of first-rate: Giuseppe Berto, Michelangelo Antonioni, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Luca Ronconi.
The house as a self-manifestation
Comparing directly or indirectly with the reference of house like me of Curzio Malaparte in Capri, each of these figures of reference for the world of culture has gave birth to its own domestic utopia. That is, not only a house far from the center of the city where you can carry out your creative work with detachment and concentration, but also a personal stance on the way in which one should live in post-war democratic society. A place where you can introduce yourself to a private universe of friends and acquaintances, comfortable and comfortable and in dialogue with some of the most spectacular scenarios of the Mediterranean landscape.
Personal projects, which are lifestyles. Private posters and 'possible' of a more lively and 'right' way of living which, if observed today, also allow us to understand how our way of looking at the house and using the interior spaces has changed. The search for a condition of life that has also attracted other characters to live in less central areas of Italy and to find refuge from their worries.
This is the case of Craig Ellwood, a master of American West Coast architecture whose house in Tuscany is specifically included in this research by way of verification and the way in which international modernism has dialogued with the local culture of the Bel Paese.
Why looking at these houses is important
The curators say that it was important to "fill the gap between the lack of consideration on the part of the official architectural culture and the fact that the homes of these influential personalities in creating opinions therefore allow us to recognize the existence of different ways of living domestic space and to renew the way we look at architecture".
The exhibition set up by Gabriele Cirami and curated by Roberto Zancan in the spaces of Esa-Bruxelles presents the houses in a new light through the images of Filippo Romano, one of the masters of photography Italian architecture, the illustrations of the HPO group, a rich material from the archives of Gae Aulenti, Dante Bini, Antonia Berto, Craig Ellwood, Anita Eubenk, Cristiano Toraldo from France and is accompanied by sound documents with the voices of the protagonists of these stories.
The exhibit has a viral attitude.
The documents on display are not closed in a separate and exclusive space. Photographs, drawings, illustrations occupy the entire building with a recognizable layout. Each floor of the building is dedicated to a 'home'. Each house is identified by a few large-format images.
Plans, sketches, details, texts and small photographs present archival and unknown elements.