One is instinctively led to think about conventionally derived ideas of architecture. It is customary to think of the architect as “someone who employs consolidated methods and designs using his intellect and sensitivity” in order to respond to peoples’ needs (Leon Battista Alberti). However much he may express his creativity, the ultimate purpose underlying his work is to satisfy peoples’ practical needs. In Subjective Involvement in Physical Spatial Entities, the concept of architecture is expressed in a broader, freer sense. Here it is considered as the structuring and translation of ideas into physical spatial entities. Bringing this discipline into the sphere of art opens infinite possibilities by disconnecting it from the “obligations of functionality”.

Every piece of architecture relates to our bodies, which by consequence are subject to the stimuli created by this encounter. We are free to perceive these stimuli as we wish and to translate them into personal feelings. Someone that builds a space, designs an exterior or organises an interior is able to condition our physical behaviour and feelings. Every intervention connected with buildings brings with it changes that inevitably affect us both physically and psychologically.

Starting from the conviction that we tend to notice places and what they communicate to us with particular attention when they are unexpectedly different from what we normally perceive, Emily Speed, Esther Stocker and Aeneas Wilder were asked to reflect on new interpretations of spaces, to try and think “architecturally”. This attitude can already be felt in the work of these three artists, which is characterised by strong architectural involvement. The exhibition aims to provide a real possibility to experience the gallery spaces in a new way, a means of shaking up our sensitivity towards buildings, which is often dampened by a lack of attention to the places we find ourselves in. These works, each with their own distinct personality, give physicality to potential new building logics. This exhibition is an opportunity to collect experiences derived both from physical and emotional relationships with “architectural gestures” in space as well as a free interpretation of the Psychology of Architecture and the concepts expressed on the subject by Heinrich Wölfflin in the late 1800’s.

The request made of the artists invited here to experiment with and within the gallery space brings with it a precise declaration of intent and will: to continue to consider the gallery as one of the main places in which art occurs, a place in which the experimental reach of an artist’s creative expression can be measured.

Speed’s work is based on the body – intended as a building – and its relationship to architecture, and on man’s desire to build despite the inevitability of decay. Her works make use of simple materials, very often recycled, with precarious physical structures. Façades (Flats) is the physical realisation of architectural suggestions that the artist picked up during several days spent visiting Rome and the surrounding area. The result is like a portion of city created by the translation of personal impressions. Memories of the past, evidence of which can be found in most of the buildings in Rome, are interpreted in this way. Speed’s method is also a way of building that rereads the layers of materials and styles that have built up over time. The artist reflects on the idea of a building within a building to arrive at the principle of the outside as connected with architecture. The structure created for the exhibition can be walked on, but only in part. Our physical participation is blocked outside the buildings. The outside is “the place that can never be completely occupied from the moment that it becomes always other, different, at a distance from where one is. Despite this however, being outside one thing nevertheless means being inside something else.” (Elizabeth Grosz)

Stocker further develops her interest in surfaces and the mental attempt to pass through them by entering a structure. The formal appearance of the work is joined by the personal interpretation that distinguishes all the “imaginative systems” arranged by the artist. Differently from previous works created using wires, written language is not spatialised in Einfühlung. The parallel lines sketch out surfaces that prevent physical passage through them. The spaces are accessed from the side and make use of the gallery’s open space. These “walls” do not however create clear separations. The observer’s gaze passes through the layers, the space is filtered. The result is like surface graphic interventions in space, visions of grids with different monochromatic densities that vary according to our physical position amongst them.

Building values such as durability and static security are subverted and questioned by Wilder. Despite the fact that he has made many outdoor works designed to last longer than just period of the exhibition, his work is based on the assumption that it is impossible to physically preserve something forever. His work revolves around transitoriness and temporariness. A kind of regeneration of things is automatically triggered by their destruction. This destruction is however circumscribed only to the individual works themselves and is cancelled out when Wilder’s artistic work is considered in its entirety. From this point of view what is created is a story of moments in a constant state of evolutionary rebirth. The works are the result of a calm and precise working method and a juxtaposition of elements. His structures do not just represent, they simply are. Without the aid of nails, glue, joints or other fastening systems, he erects works that are striking because of their structural “honesty” and formal precision. The two structures created for the exhibition are in a transitory dialogue with the forms that characterise the architecture of the exhibition spaces. Untitled # 163 is a self-supporting work compressed between two walls. Untitled # 162 is a sphere, which also uses no fastening systems and is able to form a freestanding structure thanks to the force of gravity alone. Both works are reflected in the curves of the gallery’s arches and vaults and seem to operate as spatial markers laying out the foundations for a new perception of the spaces.