Gaetano Pesce. The Period of Great Contaminations: Housing Unit for Two People, project, Axonometric section. 1971

Gaetano Pesce The Period of Great Contaminations: Housing Unit for Two People, project, Axonometric section 1971

  • Not on view

This is one of a number of works by Pesce—made for The Museum of Modern Art’s 1972 exhibition _Italy: The New Domestic Landscape_—that present a third-millennium archeologist’s discovery of an underground southern alpine city from a hundred years earlier. The drawing illustrates an age in which people have settled in various underground pockets, drained of mineral oils and water and sealed off from the outside world by large stones. These “archeological remains” are meant to reflect essential conditions for living, such as “the exploitation of the interior of the planet,” “the importance of space,” “the necessity of isolation,” and “noncommunication as characteristic of human life.” The house is the subject of psychoanalytical and philosophical inquiry that discloses hidden political shades in its direct, if fictional, reflection of life.

Gallery label from 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design, September 12, 2012–March 25, 2013.
Additional text

Gaetano Pesce's drawings of the Period of Contaminations, Housing Unit for Two People, are two of a number of works designed for his installation in The Museum of Modern Art's 1972 exhibition Italy: The New Domestic Landscape. Pesce's work presented a third-millennium archeologist's discovery of an underground southern alpine city from a hundred years earlier. The drawings illustrate an age in which people have settled in various underground pockets, drained of mineral oils and water, and sealed off from the outside world by large stones. These "archeological remains" are meant to reflect on essential conditions for living, such as, "the exploitation of the interior of the planet," "the importance of space," "the necessity of isolation," and "noncommunication as characteristic of human life."

Publication excerpt from an essay by Bevin Cline and Tina di Carlo, in Terence Riley, ed., The Changing of the Avant-Garde: Visionary Architectural Drawings from the Howard Gilman Collection, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2002, p. 108.
Medium
Goache, watercolor, and graphite with scoring on paper
Dimensions
39 1/4 x 26 3/4" (99.7 x 67.9 cm)
Credit
Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation
Object number
1221.2000
Copyright
© 2021 Gaetano Pesce
Department
Architecture and Design

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