chapter  25
12 Pages

(Un)political

This text is born out of a vague sense of malaise, the feeling of moving about on a

dangerous dark side, unexpectedly aroused in its author by an overwhelming return of

the ‘political’ theme at the heart of the interests of contemporary architects, artists,

scholars and curators. This pivotal role of ‘commitment’ does not just characterize the

work of groups and individuals whose approach has an explicitly activist nature, but

actually dominates the scene at 360 degrees, from ‘under 30’ groups that operate ‘in the

social area’ all the way to the Pritzker Prize,1 from the remotest and most underground

initiatives, to exhibitions in the most important and institutional museums. Theoretically,

this phenomenon, which has by now been acknowledged also by the mass media,2

should gratify the weary soul of a survivor of the 1970s that this author is. Instead, along

with a certain endearment, it provokes a feeling of distrust, and arouses many difficult

questions. Some of these questions can be used as starting points for this short essay,

although what follows will not really provide answers. We can therefore consider this

exercise as the opportunity for a very modest first approach to the new scenarios in the

relationships between architecture and politics, which indeed should deserve a rather

different space and commitment.