Wake Up, Our Reality is a Gigantic Photomontage
Who influences you graphically?
We think it’s not about graphical references, tomorrow’s influences possibly will be far different from those of today; it’s about who led us to this kind of drawings and to the problem of representation in nowadays architectural project.
We have to say that Vittorio Pizzigoni, from Baukuh, and Valter Scelsi, who both have been our teachers, have taught us much in regard.
On what basis do you form your archive of imagery?
Honestly there isn’t a program. We use to collect images that are significant for us, from cinematographic frames to paintings, from album covers to comics, in order to create our archive, a sort of map of visual culture.
Our archive of imagery, our atlas i would say, is an important tool, and we believe that a map is fundamental to be able to better orient ourselves in an overcrowded galaxy of images with whom we come in contact every day.
You construct through fragments, does this reflect a specific vision of how we build and compose in art and architecture?
Yes, we can agree with this.
The fact that we live in a reality which is itself become a colossal photomontage, where different objects overlap in complex relationships is something that we have to keep in mind for better understand nowadays architectural representation and architecture itself. Like it or not we have to deal with this, and we can not think of a representation that ignores it.
The cold hyperrealism of some architectural views, in which we can not even establish a relationship with the silhouettes of the people who live there, because these are semi-transparent, has stood for an architecture that stands as an anonymous and alien object already in his abstract utopian representation; and lost the opportunity to choose how to relate to the multiple signs and layers that compose our world and imagery.
We, on the other hand, are interested in composing images of architecture that are not independent or separate from other visual arts, but as belonging to an alphabet where are connected various habits of seeing, and in which we recognize an habitable world.
What dictates the way you chose to render specific fragments, from a monochromatic palette to bright and vivid colours?
It’s all a matter of moods and atmospheres that these images try to evoke.
In particular these monochrome views are related to a specific project, a small country church, and this type of theme deserves in our opinion an a-temporal representation; as the idea of the ancient greek temple we have in our mind wants it white, because time has erased the vibrant colors that once covered it, these images are trying to bring the architecture which represent in an indefinite past, a condition that can be shared by the idea of religion and God, something that always has been and always will be, and by the vocation of architecture, which tends to eternity.
But the idea of the permanence of architecture is something that we also try in color images, and that makes us love the timeless environments of De Chirico’s paintings.
What is your work process? How do you cut and assemble?
There’s no secret forumla: sometimes we start from a sketch, sometimes from the photography of a maquette. It depends.
Malapartecafe is a collective of architecture students formed by Alessio Cesari, Emanuele Crovetto, Stefano D’Altocolle and Livio Frisenna.
They are currently studying at the Department of Science for Architecture of the University of Genova.