Serialisation, similarities, resemblance, copying and copyright issues are among the main themes in some of the installations at the 13th Venice International Architecture Biennale. These topics are actually pretty interesting not only in the architectural field, but obviously also in other disciplines including art, design, fashion and even film (think about the concepts of re-making, re-issuing and so on...).
"Copycat – Empathy and Envy as Form-Makers" by Cino Zucchi Architetti is one of the installations based around these themes that intrigued me, but intrigued also the Biennale jury who awarded it at the end of August a Special Mention.
The installation in a way explores the boundaries between originality and resemblance. Italian architect Cino Zucchi and his team (Sara Bazzoli, Stefano Goffi, Diego Martinelli and Paolo Moretto) put together a series of cabinets, each housing a different "family" of images or objects - from an entire entomological collection featuring tiny and larger insects to a series of 1:1250 "Waterline" submarines, from souvenir buildings to chapati rolling pins and architectural models, from pictures of post-World War II residential building façades in Milan to portraits of people.
All the objects and images are meticulously arranged according to size, silhouette, shape and colour while, for what regards the images of people, the way they dress becomes the defining and unifying aspect (and in this case the images employed in the installation could actually compete with those taken by trendy street style photographers, even though the latter compulsively look at the differences in people's styles, while the former focus on random yet evident similarities, check out the last picture in this post). The main point of the installation is showing how individual items in these families share common features suggesting a formal culture, not governed by any given rule.
The architect focused in particular on "customs" and "habits" being used as values to define similarities and affinities, revealing underlying and unconscious values and proving that man-made objects are not single formal entities, but they have always shown different levels or similarities among each other.
I found the main theme of "Copycat" - defining a family of objects and wondering how it can contain infinite variations and creating a rich common ground not dependent on originality but on resemblance – quite inspiring. This format (like the one explored in yesterday's post) could indeed be applied to other fields including fashion.
If you think about it, a fashion collection is actually a variation upon certain themes, but also the idea of families of objects could be perfectly employed for prints or in accessories (Zucchi's installations are after all "collections", albeit they are collections of objects or images...). In case you want to develop further the "Copycat" theme, I'm going to leave you with a sentence included in this installation and taken from Paul Valéry's Mauvaises pensées et autres (1942): "That which resembles nothing does not exist".
Member of the Boxxet Network of Blogs, Videos and Photos