Tendenza, which is not only the Italian translation for the word “trend”: a pioneering post-modern international architectural movement mainly created by Aldo Rossi, but also the exhibition taking place at the Centre Pompidou – Paris, (June 20th – September 10th, 2012) curated by Frederic Migayrou. The movement glorifies the so called political and critical architecture, with a particular attention to realism and rationalism, rejecting utopian ideas and advocating a return to more historical and classical forms. This collection, bringing together a selection of about 250 drawings, models, books, photographs, paintings, movies and magazines, forms a unique variety of documentary material including works by architects such as Mario Ridolfi, Carlo Aymonino, Paolo Portoghesi, Ernesto N. Rogers, Aldo Rossi, Gianni Braghieri, Antonio Monestiroli, Arduino Cantàfora and many others.
The exhibition appears to serve two intents. On one hand, it displays a wide rich panorama of works as never seen before (indeed, the Centre Pompidou flaunts the vastest collection of Italian architecture in the world); on the other one it might suggest different interpretations on the concept of trend as a becoming idea. Yet this seems to be a good way to remind the social role that architecture should cover.
Tendenza represents a seed that found fertile soil in Europe – in Germany thanks to Joseph Paul Kleihues, Oswald Mathias Ungers (Rem Koolhaas’s menthor); in France thanks to Christian de Portzamparc; in Switzerland thank to Mario Botta and Fabio Reinhart – and, of course, in the United States thanks to Peter Eisenman, who is to be considered responsible for the circulation of A. Rossi’s writings.
The aim of this trend was to research for a new architectural language, a typo-morphology. This critical attention would be mainly translated in an intense period of graphic production, as shown by A. Cantàfora’s masterpiece and manifesto titled “La Città Analoga” (created for the 15th Milan Triennale, 1973). It represents food for abstract thoughts on modern architecture and points the attention on a return to form. In fact, according to A. Cantàfora, this tendenza has its roots in the comparison between two pivotal moments of architecture history, which is to say the movement generated by Illuminists architects in XVIIIth century, and the one cof the avant-guards begun in the early XXth century. This 8 meters-long creation is almost an absolut consecration of the idea of urban space as an underpinning collective reason for existence; therefore architecture is seen and depicted as an expression of collective being, of a becoming process that keeps dealing with its own history.