Curator’s Statement

As curator of the Padiglione Architettura at EXPO 2015 Belle Arti, I was appointed by Vittorio Sgarbi to create the exhibition La città ideale. Omaggio a Gulgielmo Mozzoni and to define the contents and activities of the Pavilion’s program. The Models Section of the exhibition (from May to October) has been set up in the atrium of the Pirelli Tower, adopted exceptionally into an exhibition space for this occasion. The plastic models of the ideal cities will be suspended on transparent pedestals, having the Piazza Duca d'Aosta and the city of Milan as the background. The exhibition will conclude with the Drawings Section in the Pirelli Tower’s event space (from September to October), in which one will be able to admire the great design output of Mozzoni, both as a high-profile professional and in his visionary proposals. The selection of the Padiglione Architettura expands with Milano capitale del moderno, a cycle of conferences in the spectacular space of the Pirelli Tower’s E. Jannacci Belvedere, open exceptionally to the public for this activity, and with the systematic organizing of activities related to architecture and design for the city of Lombardy: universities and academies, the Triennale exhibitions, the itineraries of modern architecture in collaboration with professional associations, the archives of the modern, and activities linked to the world of design. My intention is to focus on individual works of architecture (large, critical, and canonical, in their contradictions between autonomy and dependence on a specific place and historical time), to return them to the center of theoretical discourse, attempting to escape the aporias of transdisciplinary approaches. On the other hand, the city is also considered as a central theoretical theme, both in the urgent investigation of the dynamics of inclusion/exclusion and of appropriation/deprivation within economic and social relations between forces and urban groups, as well as in understanding its nature as the center of the development of architectonic culture. Finally, at the same time I am promoting the idea that the cities of Lombardy are part of a larger conurbation ranging from the Alps to the Adriatic. In this specific type of urbanization, in which urban sprawl and the polycentric city form part of the particular megalopolis that goes from Turin to Venice and Ravenna, city and countryside continue to coexist at the same time, while remaining clearly separated. This is part of the heritage of our culture and our history, in contrast to the many dynamics of consumption and land erosion of the contemporary global metropolis: an alternate possibility for the future of the city.

Lorenzo Degli Esposti