The new series of exhibitions devoted to the Frac Centre-Val de Loire’s collection, invites the visitor to reconsider the very foundations on which architectural experimentation has been built since the start of the 1950s.
This first phase called "Arkhè", looks back over contemporary interpretations of architecture’s founding myth. From the teachings of Vitruvius, in the 1st century BC, to Reyner Banham’s flamboyant and resolutely pop iconoclasm, architecture has not ceased unveiling its origins: primitive hut or first fire, woven canvas or sculpted monument, garden of Eden or mother’s womb… Behind each model, behind each new start, is a certain vision of man: the first architecture prescribes what the last man will be.
Thus the exhibition reverses the “futurological” perspective that regularly accompanies the Frac Centre-Val de Loire’s collection. The “prospective” often indicates an obsession with innovation and new beginnings. It succumbs to that form of headlong flight that is typical of the avant-garde, and that constantly re-enacts the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns.
Yet no one can help but search for their origins. Planning for the future means always proposing a “cosmogony”, that is to say writing a genesis using a starting point to thus envisage an outcome. Experimental architecture therefore appears as reconsideration of the foundations of all things – an arkhè – opening up a multitude of possible worlds. With no exclusion of any given one.
With the artworks of: BIOTHING, Aristide Antonas, Cavart, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Hans Hollein, Haus-Rucker-Co, Riccardo Dalisi, François Dallegret, David George Emmerich, Yona Friedman, Vittorio Giorgini, David Greene (Archigram), Günter Günschel, Angela Hareiter, Haus-Rucker-Co, Martin Honert, Wes Jones, Dušan Kuzma, Ugo La Pietra, František Lesák, María Mallo, OCEAN Design Research Association, Walter Pichler, Arthur Quarmby, Franco Raggi, Philippe Rahm, Charles Simonds, Olivier Seguin, Ettore Sottsass Jr., Superstudio, Piere Székely