[Radical Sociology & Urban Planning] Strum Group: fotoromanzi, 1972 (complete series)

400,00
magazine / periodical
Torino, Italy
s. p.
1972

Torino: self-published; Editrice Casabella, 1967, 31×22 cm. Complete set of 3 issues published by Strum Group as a contribution to “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape” exhibition at MOMA in 1972 which was curated by Emilio Ambasz (see catalogue p. 252-261). Gruppo Strum (“Group for Instrumental Architecture”) chose one of the most popular means of communication in Italy…

In stock

Description

Torino: self-published; Editrice Casabella, 1967, 31×22 cm. Complete set of 3 issues published by Strum Group as a contribution to “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape” exhibition at MOMA in 1972 which was curated by Emilio Ambasz (see catalogue p. 252-261). Gruppo Strum (“Group for Instrumental Architecture”) chose one of the most popular means of communication in Italy during the ’60s and ’70s, the fotoromanzo or fotonovela, with the aim to communicate their research and statements in the most effective way. The group consisted of Piero Derossi, Giorgio Ceretti, Carlo Giammarco, Riccardo Rosso and Maurizio Vogliazzo while the 3 issues featured photography by Paolo Mussat Sartor. Only three thematic and interconnected instalments were published in total The Struggle For Housing, Utopia, The Mediatory City. This is the rare first edition in English that was followed by a – more common – second one in Italian that was distributed as a supplement for an issue of Casabella magazine.

****

The Struggle For Housing
1. The Board Room of a large company. The Chairman makes a speech on the necessity for raising production at any cost. He illustrates the
means at his disposal to control the functioning of the city.
2. Four realistic examples of the living standards of the Italian proletariat, from the standpoint of the relation between housing
and factory labor, with particular reference to the problem of migration. 3. At a general meeting of workers and students, a politically conscious worker explains the workings (and shortcomings) of public building in Italy.
4. Four realistic examples of struggle that end up with an equal number of occupied houses. The police defend the landlords.
5. The struggle for homes induces the proletariat to organize collective services that they themselves manage, thereby producing red nursery schools, red health clinics, red markets, people’s housing developments, etc., etc.
6. The position that the political vanguard should take on the housing issue is debated during the general meeting. The struggles in the various districts become general and link up with the struggles in the factories, affecting the whole city.

Utopia
1. Theoretical writings on the values and limits of Utopian city proposals. Diagrammatic scheme of the institutions, agencies, persons, texts, and journals concerned with Utopia in Italy.
2. Description, with theoretical explanations and visual presentations, of the principal Utopias (the Utopia of the social-democratic, or comfort, city; the Utopia of the communication city; the Utopia of the flexible city; the Utopia of the mobile city; the Utopia of the continuous city; etc., etc.).
3. Diagrams for counterpositions of possible ways by which the implications within the Utopias described are manipulated and deformed by the bosses and find a place in the attitudes of the fighting political vanguards.
4. Theoretical discourse on how Utopia is to be brought about.
Utopia as a means of intervention. List of the most significant positions. 5. Catalogue of conditions and situations in which Utopia can play an immediately positive role in backing up the organization of political
vanguards.
6. The mediatory city as a means of overcoming Utopias.

The Mediatory City
1. Five realistic examples of the precarious living conditions and the struggles on the margins of ruling-class legitimacy. The common denominator is rejection of the established order as limiting creativity. 2. General meetings of workers and students on the theme ‘Extend
the struggle from the factories to the whole of social life.’ Catalogue of political papers on the relation between the factory and the city. A resolution is passed to start specific activities designed as phases in organizing the struggle.
3. Catalogue of actions and objects that can be used in organizing the proposed activities. Specialists supply the requisite technical and economic data.
4. The construction of red bases must become a mass action. All the workers in the factories and districts throughout the city must be informed by means of appropriate campaigns, and their active participation must be requested.
5. The reformists try to direct the needs born of the workers’ struggles back into the framework of institutional enterprises. They propose projects for functional and modern social centers, alternative cities, and programs for serious cultural activities.
6. Mass action rejects the compromise and carries on with organizing the cause. Red bases spring up throughout the city; the proletariat defends them from police attacks.
Organization of the cause redefines the functions and form of the capitalist city.

Ambasz, 1972 p. 256-260

*

The explicit Marxist message contained within the pages caused unease among the museum’s board of directors and outright anger among several members of the public. “I was called by David Rockefeller who was at that time the chairman of the museum board and said to me ‘Mr. Agnelli [head of FIAT] is my friend and you have him on the cover of one these magazines branded as Capitalist’,” says Ambasz. “I replied that I had asked Mr. Agnelli if he would accept this, as otherwise we would remove it and he replied ‘But I am a capitalist. It’s perfectly ok’.”


condition: Some handling wear – typical for this kind of cheap paper. Single, diagonal tear of about 2cm on the lowermost part of Utopia issue. A presentable, Very Good set.