Vittorio Messina

Henry Moore Studio, Dean Clough

The 1996 paperback edition of Architecture and Utopia, Manfredo Tafuri’s important text on urban modernism and ideology originally published in 1973, features an arresting etching by the architect Aldo Rossi: L’architecture assassinée, 1975, depicts teetering buildings, collapsing pylons, fissured walls, and exposed brickwork—a modernist city on the point of disintegration. A Village and Its Surroundings, the outcome of Roman artist Vittorio Messina’s 1998–99 residency at Dean Clough’s Henry Moore Studio in Halifax, presents a comparable (equally ambivalent, equally thought-provoking) “assassination” of urban modernity.

Might the two be distantly related? Messina’s installation work, with its deceptively simple, clean-cut methods of assembly and its recycling of basic everyday objects, is often aligned with Minimalism and arte povera. However, its distinctly narrative, even allegorical

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