Francesco Pittigli Berger
Architectural storyteller (First 6 Images)
Architectural storyteller is a project that currently consists in about 25 works made through the use of images that Francesco personally shoots during his comings and goings with the addition of architectural volumes and guides. More than a collection of images, he understand this work as a real writing divided into chapters forming a tale.
A tightened, analytical and whether even ironic writing. Francesco writes about space, time and being, by analyzing the “here and now”. All work consists of images taken from absolutely different contexts but linked through a process of visual mitigation going to look for an overall result as homogeneous as possible. The element so far that is always there is new york (megalopolis) to represent the extreme “vertical” by definition of our society, put in connection with other elements (situations): architectural, landscape or historical elements or, again, related to common places (religion). This project of continuously reset (tabula rasa) and reconstruction (stratification) depends, he believes, more by his experiences and his origins. Francesco is from Montecassino, a town known for its role during the second world war; it was razed by bombs and then rebuilt in the 50’s in some sort of mixing of various historical / architectural elements.
In summary, architectural storyteller is a story made up of different stories deconstructed and then stitched together, with the intent to create a text formally homogeneous. In fact the main stylistic rather than visual mold are due to a literary matrix (Calvino, Sanguineti, Ginsberg, Corso, Ferlinghetti …)
Simple Housing (Last 4 Images)
Simple Housing was born as a personal project, almost therapeutic. Francesco needed to work, as he does in the profession of designer, with few elements (light, volume, shadow) but having an approach as possible as gestural, pictorial. He had in mind to create scenarios devoid of any superficial element, pervaded by a merely apparent calm, because simple housing consists of evolving scenes, as if anything could happen at any moment. At the beginning the project was made up of a dozen of drawings, then, thanks to the interest of an American art director, who asked him to develop though this language an advertising campaign, he worked up to collect about 50 images, which Francesco thinks are likely to increase, since he constantly works on Simple Housing.
You choose to translate your perception of the sorrounding environment in two vary different ways, what dictate this choice?
Yes, it is true, the two languages are completely different from each other; more than a choice this has been a necessity. In “Architectural Storyteller” I go searching moments of everyday life and commonplaces to “rewrite”, I talking about moments (“here and now”), moments when something is happening. In “Simple Housing”, instead, I plan scenes in which “something is going to happen.” In summary they are two scriptures temporally different.
Do you trust that the therm “tabula rasa” is possible in our contemporary society? And if so what is your definition of it?
I believe that our society in some sense needs a “tabula rasa” (in Artistic sense); we live in a intuitive age where, in my opinion, we miss (to extremize) schools, doctrines, new and tangible languages and defined historical phase. We chase the speed and the immaterial and in doing so we are losing the opportunity to write an organic and homogeneous story, further we are building a mixed system of old and new. This mine is not a criticism, is a summary analisys. If we did an excavation probe in a landfill we would find on the same line of stratification a “star-tac” and an iPhone, more, a reproduction of a Greek column and a bluetooth headset … and all this is emblematic. the need to run often takes time to produce in a reasoned way; so we’re going to reuse old and new things to create languages that are not innovative but hybridizations.
In the artistic we, probably, are the result of the 70s vanguards collapse.
Of course the term “tabula rasa” is a linguistic extreme, utopic, is an invitation to stop us for a moment and start again in a reasoned way. The production offer of our society has greater than the production demand.
How do you choose to juxtapose monochrome and colour, fow aht elements and with what effect?
The choice of using black and white mixed with color makes me able to highlight additions and subtractions, and, to obtain a readable stratification (the stratification is a concept around which I’m working for some time), without altering the homogeneity of the work. Mine is an analytical system before than aesthetic, the extracted images are unions / comparisons of contexts completely different from each other; the Megalopolis (New York), almost always present, and different contexts that can be suburbs, excerpts of natural or abandoned landscapes, ancient and ultra-modern. It is practically an architectural and anthropological analysis, extremely personal. Elongated Volumes represent hopes. Architecture is a comprehensive process that could includes everyone, not designers only. What I would like is a collective, collaborative, architecture.
Simple Housing looks at scenarios where “everything could happen”, how do you translate this feeling in an image?
I was always fascinated by the undefined and by the concept of tension;, I love incomplete architectures, those waiting to be finished by the human experience and / or by the action of time. Simple Housing born as a personal project, I say that it is therapeutic for me, when I work on it, I use a method in reverse: I start with a complete image, where they consumed actions and, by subtraction, I carried the narration to the point of the story that interests me, “to the moment before that,” as soon as I found this time I begin to define, in an increasingly minimal way, the scene with only 3 elements: volume, light, shadow.
You seize to feature any people in this series, do you think that introduction of figures would have added a too terrestrial element defying as such utopic scenarios?
Introducing figures does not interest me because it would mean include people who “are doing things” and then I should tell the end of the story, not the “moment before”; on the contrary I am interested to let glimpse their potential actions as companions of the actions that the time (the passage of time) take on the landscape and the architecture. In my point of view be “proud” of simple housing implies participation by the viewer to complete the story in his own way. I would love one day to see these scenarios completed by other people, see a final written by others starting from this ground.
How are the images used within the advertising campaign?
The images have been used by an American mortgage. They have been used for the web and as an integral part of corporate identity of the company. This makes me very proud. It was a wonderful experience, I had clear instructions from the art director but no interference, but rather full freedom of language, this is magnificent, it is gratifying in terms of work.
What means do you prefer to work with, digital or canvas? Which do you feel is more authentic?
I believe that the authenticity of a work is given by the content of the work itself and not the ways in which the work is achieved. Personally I don’t have a favorite technique, I feel fine with both, I simply choose the tool, the language based on what I have to achieve.
However in both cases, I start with a manual approach, the sketch by hand in my opinion is still an important preliminary step in the design / programming of an image or Architectural work.
Francesco Pittiglio B_ was born in Cassino in 1981.He lives in Italy. Graduated at the Faculty of Architecture “Valle Giulia” (La Sapienza University of Rome), he works as an architect, designer and illustrator.