environment “Architecture becomes a closed, immobile object that leads nowhere but to itself and to the use of reason.”.
In December 1969 Il Monumento was published In Domus making its appearance to a wide public. The title was ‘Superstudio:Discorsi per Immagini’ translated as ‘Superstudio:Speaking through images’. In the first part (above) the empahsis are put on the symbolic power of architecture through representing the Kaaba, an aqueduct, a ziggurat and the Stonehege. In the second (below) we get a first insight to what the text referes to the ‘moderate utopia’, we see the photomontages of the continuos structure Il Monumento imposed over photographs of exiting places. The project was further developed in the next couple of years, focusing on the graphic quality of the photomontages.
In November 1971 they published a storyboard for a cinematic work-in progress ‘Deserti naturali e artificiali/Natural and Artificial deserts’ of Il Monumento which acts as a foundation, narrative to the photomontages and structures the project. They call it a “parable” which means a succinct allegorical story that illustrate moral lessons or religious principles. The story starts with presenting some efforts to justify the nature from Kepler to Vinci. They position geometry as an inherent form of knowledge and as a sign of human existence by gradually implanting the idea of geometry being a transhistorical and transcultural commonality, refering to fundamental forms of different ages and geographies such as pyramids, ziggurats, Stonehege, the Vertical Assembly and the Kaaba. This gives credibility and evidence to the Vitruvian position. In De architectura, Vitruvius mentions the Socratic Philosopher, Aristippus’s story when he interpreted the geometry on the sand as “traces of man”. Furthering, in the next set of images ‘continuos lines’ are positioned as the other trace of man next to the basic geometry.
“when human signs are not solids, they are along continuos lines, a theory of elements, the expression of the same will to sign and measure.” This …….acts toward a naturalization and justifying of their next move.
Following, Il Monumento is manifested as the ultimate act of architecture ” a single architectural construction with which to occupy the optimal living zones, leaving the others free”. Moreover, by including the biblical references of Genesis along with the Apocalypse to the narrative of Il Monumento’s birth, the architecture gesture is not only the logical result of the human reason but it also gains a divine blessing or then again a sense of faith. The square block appears as a first and ultimate act “in the history of architectural ideas” that eventually splits into smaller cubes spread over the planet carrying “the genetic message of its ordered race”. The architecture from this point is replaced and dominated by the simplistic manifestation of the cube. Moreover, below the illustration of Boullee’s Newton cenotaph there is a quote by Lewis Mumford “The world of Ideas, of beliefs, of fantasies, and projects is just as real as reality” highlighting the fact that what the mind, the imagination produces is just as important and authentic as reality. Following, on the last two pages of the storyboard The Continous Monument takes its definitive form, showing the ultimate act as a ‘single design’ going around the globe “measuring it, like longitude and latitude”giving shelter to the whole population. The existing environment built before this act would be reabsorbed by nature acting as a landscape, Il Monumento being the ultimate act of architecture.
What is important in this project so far is how through the unconventional role that the drawings play, PHOTOMONTAGE The project goes further by inducing a deeper and more convincing sense of reality by using the photomontage technique. This representational method was used as a combination of high quality