(in catalogue of “Manifesta 7”, 2008)
(…)Pettena’s contribution to Manifesta 7 punctuates important aspects of his polyphonic work, from utopian desires to blend architecture with nature and to oppose the geometric rigour of modernism through imaginary topographies of his carpets and photographic series that foreground a notion of unconscious architecture down to the studies of perception that consider architecture’s imperfections and call for a more attentive reading of architecture.
The sketches of Grass Architecture set architecture free and constitute the artist/architect early statement, requesting the use of natural materials and a symbiosis of architecture and the landscape.
Pettena’s carpet Itineraries Territories Maps Enclosures is made up of small tapestries, referring to the four subjects that define the space inside or outside those “magic circles” that are the walls of a city.
His monumental installation for the façade of the ex-Peterlini, Archipensieri, is a “lesson in spatial perception”: iron structure composed of vertical poles soldered with horizontal and slanting poles corrects the anomalous perspective using the golden section. The structure changes depending on points of view and only the frontal view offers the profile of a classical temple.