Ephemeral Architecture Built to “stay.” Urban Transformations for the Realization of the Great Exhibitions in Italy in the First Half of the Twentieth Century: From the Realization to Present

    • IMG_0296
    • Presentation speakers
      • Giovanni Arena, Second University of Naples, Italy

    During the Thirties and Forties of the Twentieth century in Italy, the main themes in the arts imposed by the fascist regime were inspired by ancient Rome, to the colonial conquest and the construction of new enterprises in Africa. These recurrent themes, together with an exhibition apparatus required, mainly technical, did not prevent some artists and architects to achieve peaks of high quality. The propaganda messages that were produced in the thirties and forties of the twentieth century in Italy, are due mainly to two aesthetic trends: one is part of the paradigmatic model of the Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution of 1932, the experimental matrix futurist resolved through the widespread use of photomontage and typography on an architectural scale, highly plastic. The other, a little later, to address rationalistic, headed by those artists and architects working mainly in Milan, Triennale, an international example of Nizzoli, Terragni Pagano. Fascism did not put prohibitions to a pluralism of languages, focusing, of course, but not excluding the monumentalism modern research. As is known, the voices of the vanguard had no feedback as constant in public commissions, which were generally preferred terms which are more tied to the academic tradition.
    Most important in this period is the theme of unity of the arts (especially in the Great Exhibitions), that their social function, to involve explicitly the role of artists through their classification in the seventeenth corporation, the professionals and artists in fact, according to a plan of reorganization of Italian society through the “corporativismo” (corporatism). My paper will deal with the delicate question of the development of the culture of the Great Exhibitions, investigating the question of ephemeral architecture build for the “long duration” during the first half of the twentieth century in Italy, and analyzing the radical urban transformations that have changed entire parts of this city, comparing the first experiences of the Milan Triennale (starting from the Triennial V, 1933), of the Triennale d’Oltremare of Naples (1940) and the Universal Exhibition in Rome E42 (never opened) from the point of view urban transformation of the areas concerned, the quality and the different types of pavilions designed, the quality of the stands of the exhibition content and messages of propaganda, the quality of urban interventions, the analysis of buildings and architectural episodes most significant trying to identify the evolution of these spaces and to illustrate how they lived today.