Giorgio Lucaroni

Balance of powers. Architecture and politics in the Biennali/Triennali (1923-1936)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Fascism; Architecture; Biennali/Triennali.

In early 1920s Italy, architecture went through a professional and artistic crisis. Since the unification of the country in 1861, architects had lost their prestige as artists, struggled at catching up with the new aesthetic canons of the Twentieth-century, and as a group of professionals showed lack of internal unity. Many complained about the absence of a direction and expressed the fear of architecture’s marginality in the broad realm of the arts. Conversely, in the interwar period architectural culture would play a seminal role in both the aesthetics and politics of Fascism. This essay explores how under Benito Mussolini’s rule the architects gradually became leaders of cultural events and institutions and as a result conquered a hegemonic space in the arts. By analyzing the case study of the Biennali and Trienniali exhibitions, I argue that such a transition completely reshaped the relationship between the discipline of architecture and the political realm.

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