Pictures for words

Archaic or modern?
The first is a photograph of the court of the Campo Santo at Pisa, which accompanies the frontispiece. Of the other fifty images that are published full-page in Esperienza dell’architettura, other three represent the same subject, the Campo dei Miracoli in Pisa; with the four shots of the Acropolis [1] make up the core of a larger group, composed of sixteen pictures taken from the classical tradition, the monuments of the archaic, in addition to Torcello or Pavia. Indeed, we can divide the number of pictures in the book in a few themes: scholarly tradition, tradition spontaneous, other cultures, personal life and Modern, to see immediately that there are sixteen representations of tradition also spontaneous [2] , details of fragile wooden buildings, decorative crafts, plaster graffiti in a childlike way, small houses surrounded by lawns in Scotland, a ladder and a calf carved from work in the country. To stagger the writings there are also nine images dedicated to the East and distant lands, five personal references, including the strong-willed line of the friend Steinberg, and only four are devoted to modern figures, two photos from New York and two works by Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe [3] . A final image closes the photographic story of a life in the Torre Velasca atmosphere of Milan [4] . Among these images a lot of detail shots, and some faces: the portrait of Giuseppe Pagano, a Japanese boy, eyes and mouth of a Buddha that emerges from cambodian vines carved in stone. For many years the title given by Rogers for this book was the conquest of human scale [5] .

Archaic or Modern? The most important speaker of the modern movement in postwar Italy, the friend of the masters of CIAM, the intellectual who taught us to appreciate the New Architecture, chose to illustrate the book containing the corpus of his most important writings with these images so particular, shots of places without author and without time [6] , loved and used the shots, who accompanied him through the experiences of “Style”, “Domus,” and ” Casabella Continuità ” [7] . The most beautiful astronomical observatory built by Jai Singh shows the universal scale of  its clear geometric form, without further comment. The iconography of the modern is completed  in the second level, the more explicit, of the verso pages, mounted with multiple images, captions and explanatory texts, where we find the specific choices made by Rogers on the Modern: the Masters, but also, importantly, the precursors, the primordials.
Let us return to the full-page images of Esperienza dell’architettura and find that the illustrations above are not accompanied by captions and that the legends appear on the next page, we may almost say hidden, as if Rogers wanted to give us time to establish with the object represented an immediate relationship, pure, unfiltered by cultural conditioning [8] .

Pictures for words
Moving between the vast editorial production of Rogers, is seen as in any text, the use of illustrations is made in favor of a wider discourse, a kind of subliminal repertoire that offers different levels of reading, from a first explicit meaning, through allusion, to uncover the web of relationships that are established between multiple images.
The freedom of interpretation of a presentation made strong only by the  rule of a good neighbor [9] alludes to the creative process design that can not be said. Pictures for words [10], in fact, to reveal the secret speech, the parallel work conducted through the iconology.
The works written or directed, such as magazines, are composed of heterogeneous materials Rogers, born mainly from specific occasions. The most important text, Esperienza dell’architettura, is a collection of essays, as well stressed Francesco Tentori [11] , is not fitting  to Rogers the idea of writing a theoretical text, a treaty.It is rather more in keeping with his character’s aspiration to give documents to form a thought: photographs, architectures, design, materials selected from the refined taste of the author, which together draw a precise idea of architecture, ready to be offered and reinterpreted from the reader [12] .
In the comparative reading of the imaging apparatus of notes, books and magazines, are clear the many ways to use images of Rogers: could be the two-color cards printed summaries of “Casabella Continuità “, graphic textures that become kind educators of taste, but can also be symbolic images, used to accompany texts in different years, as with Constantin Brancusi’s sculpture, Le commencement du monde.
Their assembly want to suggest and not to impose: relationships and meanings [13] that the subject grasps, as well described by Salvatore Veca, a student of Paci, when he confirms this double meaning of Rogers work between personal, subjective and rational, objective [14] . If the written word, in its uniqueness, forces to move towards the objective thought, freedom of the image compensates the subjective [15].
So elegant black and white photographs can scream their suffering and their membership in a changing world, with the obligation to live that intelligence requires, but with an explicit desire for another time. The intimate knowledge of being a man of his age forces him to speak of the modern movement, but his taste for revolution in the forms back to his true passions [16] .

Eyes that see
The eyes of the young Ernesto in 1927, when he enrolled at the Polytechnic of Milan, are forced to confront every day, the house in Via Serbelloni which was then living, the site of one of the most incredible houses in Milan, the finite to build in that year by Aldo Andreani in the complex via Mozart: an unusual building, where the strength of the field of architecture, expressed here by the massive rusticated marble coating, becomes, in his torn and dismount, a sort witness in a loud voice of the suffering of the body construction, a pre-term was invented deconstruction of classical form, which at the top of the building is now bare, as if to prove the liberation accomplished by the modern language code, this is the image that the young Rogers in the eye when the classroom is to study the new rationalism [17] and decided to join the faculty of architecture. And it is this one of the first image that represents a theme that we will be as dear to Rogers describes this architecture In fact, in its concrete physicality, the issue of unfinished forms, forms in transition, new forms of modern fighting hard against the ancient beauty to find their expression.The young man from Trieste, a master of modern mannerism of the war, has gained by confronting one of the best examples in which the ambiguity of the charm of the ancient language conflicts with the obligation of his passing.

Rogers is still a student to draw his own essay on the architecture: it is interesting to note that chooses to accompany the written story with a photo, which collects a few meager pages of comments in pen where two or more photographs were associated with each other.The symbolic value that is attributed to the illustrations is declared as one of the first sheet, where we find a white box where the image is still to be found, and whose caption reads: This locomotive makes us smile, so says the young student, showing how the image – any locomotive, may not be, after all – is needed to explain the intuition, almost unconscious, the importance of the close relationship of the technique with his time, his destiny fleeting, as opposed to the continuity in the history of the building.
In the first articles of Rogers on “Dial” peep some of the illustrations in the years ahead that will form a constellation of references, like a fragment of an ancient wooden ceiling, but perhaps it is in the file that the image control style, and their relationships, is ripe.The human figure, initially archaic living space becomes a multitude of public architecture, showing itself as a dominant theme.Among the elegance of the overlap of images printed on tracing paper, whose summation gives a new synthesis of imagery, the cross-section appears axonometric of the Colosseum, one of the figures that will accompany him up the volume elements of the architectural phenomenon of 1961.The man, measure and proportion, the field of architecture and constructive relationship with nature find their representation in Style [18] , a case almost no text, where the images are featured.

Following Anonymous
At the time of Rogers, at the end of the war, became director of the magazine “Domus” founded by Gio Ponti, the enthusiasm and verve of the young architect were swept away by the life lived.Again the choice of images tells the personality of the new director, his commitment, awareness and at the same time, baste the reality of a speech of issues, themes recounted through an image: the “shabby” which shows the balloon fragility of the progress of technology, but also the archaic vase and the two lines, to introduce the theme of the decor.Rogers writes: “What are those two lines?Incomplessi become tangled, unwanted, swollen, leaves, dragons, monsters […] so as to substantially transform the accidental. ” This ridiculous little vase Persian five thousand years ago, used to quote Adolf Loos’ Ornament and Crime, is paired with an egg of Constantin Brancusi, with the first form.
Cesare Macchi Cassia [19] has defined Rogers’ passion for the forms of the early twentieth century, the movement of the line of Art Nouveau and Art Nouveau or the uncertainties of protorationalism, as the attention to a precise moment, when there is forms of revolution, freedom and highlighting the potential for learning with figures still undecided, in training, not yet frozen into beautiful icons useless to think about the new, the other.We can talk about forms and training because the same Rogers is interested in the teaching of the creative act, passed in its methodological aspect of the great European schools: a few numbers on his “Domus.The man’s house, “we find Gropius and Max Bill, as representatives of the Bauhaus and the Ulm School and a pedagogy of the arts, where they speak in opposition to the form of method [20] , but without sacrificing the beauty of the formal continuity of the sculptures of Bill, whose illustrations accompany the text.

The early years of “Casabella Continuity”
Rogers directs “Casabella” from 1953 to 1964. Eleven years and an important test on the composition of the artwork: it goes from a white cover with a cover of complaint. As you read the contents of the magazine, ranging from theoretical topics of the discipline until the last sections of detail buildings constructed in the city, a comment decorative accompanied us silently.
The first twenty-four numbers do not have any image on the cover, only change the color of the new pair of words, and the possible variations of the fitting with Casabella Continuity [21] .The office anticipates content was then taken up by the title so that the paper on which was printed the summary wore imprinted an image, often abstract and reduced to a strong sign graph, unrecognizable fragment of a reference loved, a detail of Sullivan or traditional decor Norwegian does not matter. Other types of paper made up the issue: the articles of coated paper in black and white, the poverty of the colored paper reviews and columns, the precious card in color, free removable, detachable, bringing beloved characters such as Perret and Antonelli, to animate the architectural offices.
It would be too long to bring the many stories that the pictures of “Casabella” we whisper, and perhaps Rogers himself would not accept the reduction being put on display, so I allow myself to dwell only on the most obvious.
It is known that “Casabella” was the place where the modern masters were published, their variation in the Italian high culture of the profession, as well as the documentation heartfelt traditions and cultures from extinction: Rogers, especially in the early years, chooses its modern, and chooses to tell us about it with a particular point of view.
The images show buildings included in the last part of the context as well as zoom in on the scores of the facade where the whole architecture is no longer legible. Again, the details of construction, the particular and universal at the same time, the context for understanding the refined thicknesses Perret or Sullivan, to make us perceive the charm of the formless Gaudi, but also to communicate the reality of custom architectural construction of an ancient wall, the instrument is the detail. And the thought goes to the magnificent photographs by Werner Bischof [22] , to the amount of silver chloride used to enhance the use of detail to explain the general, not to fall into a lack of perspective, in the absence of the oneness of the entire future.It will be the abstract architecture of these fragments appear to leave their possible installation of a new architecture.
But photography is not graphic design, and we realize increasingly that Rogers uses mostly for their particular photographic material aspect. “Every moment is inserted into the drama of existence and can not be regarded as an abstract entity” and the matter is the tool for the representation of a historical moment. So when he says that “if the modern, we can talk about the process of stylization” wants to emphasize the phase in which the character, through matter, found formal expression in a specific culture, in a time and interprets them in the personality.It will be the concreteness of the specific nature of matter in the form to release the absurd banality of repetition and force every new artist to discover unknown relationships between form, matter and meaning.
Rogers architect careful, precise scholar of forms and scales of the project and their material and construction possibilities, but also a thinker who provides the materials of the history of the poetic future architects: it is no coincidence that the protagonist is often a picture of his essays very beloved by Rogers [23] , a photo of a wall of the Acropolis of Athens, this is ‘Casabella’ experience in architecture, which seems more natural to associate the words of Rogers: “objects become old when they passed to be old , but this is selected as a few examples.When they become old again become current assets and we can make use of practical and everyday cultural consumption ” [24] .

Closing Experience
It seems now outlined the path that led to the choice of subjects of the images of architectural experience.Some of these are familiar to us, Rogers has already announced a few shots here and there, as the beloved urban architecture in the famous Uffizi article on the decoration of the number 7 “Dial,” or the archaic Persian vase or sculpture of Brancusi in “Domus,” but here we find them eventually assembled into a complete speech: in analogy to the theory of parts made, ready-written, so by using the iconographic images already loaded with meaning.If you can guess that the archaic material is used to describe the architecture, the East to highlight the slow processes of evolution and teach us the technical details of the construction, you can now see the warping of the Treaty made with images [25] .
So the circle closes. In 1958, out of experience in library architecture in the same year completes the construction of the Tower Velasca and the magazine “Casabella Continuity” changes direction decisively with the issues monthly, the introduction of cover images and quarterly issues, but especially with the new role of young people, Aldo Rossi and Francesco Tentori as editors [26] .The new magazine will be equally fascinating, some numbers would mark the Italian architecture, Tentori will take forward the discussion on cutting images with a very personal, just think of the three actresses who appear in the number 251: the bite of Anna Magnani in Rossellini, the flight Alida Valli in the Visconti and the crisis of Monica Vitti in Antonioni, alongside Burri Capogrossi Viganò and Gio Ponti. But other interests are: applications of the new society and the rediscovery of the complexity of the idea of the city in red or Canella. Today we re-read the lucid interpretation that has provided us with Ezio Bonfanti [27] of that moment and we sense that the whole, clear, startling opening of Rogers [28] is finite: it closes with the choice of a form for the city, the Tower Velasca, with the myth of his thought in a book with the students’ formal acceptance of violence, with the occupation of his “Casabella ‘by the study center in Rogers retires so that others may grow.
Who will know after that time will have the honor to be in contact and thus to learn from this open-minded. Some will fall in the Veneto region, others manage to get out of this teaching his personal poetics, but certainly not the teaching method with no forms to be imposed that Rogers had so appreciated in Gropius.
No one can say how Rogers has lived these last years, we can still, for one last time, watching with another image that has left us, photography [29] of his house: a small apartment in the heart of Milan, where a string of guest rooms away from the private study.On the desk working different materials, a Parker to write, books and collections of European thought, but also, above all, timeless tools come from afar, from China or Japan [30] .We have already mentioned the large number of pictures dedicated to the East that accompany us in his book, now here we find the character of continuity and utility brushes, notebooks, scissors and lacquered bowls that make up the man’s house.
[1] Pisa and the Acropolis are perhaps a tribute to the eyes of youth travels of Le Corbusier, to their ability to see the ark, with sketches and photographs, the greatest lesson of architecture?
[2] “We must establish, in addition, the relationship between spontaneous tradition (popular) and the classical tradition to weld them into a single tradition.”EN Rogers, The responsibility to tradition, in Id, experience architecture, Einaudi, Turin 1958, p.297.
[3] It has now completed the presentation of his four masters “official,” Wright, Mies, Le Corbusier and Gropius, present for the absence of image, such as the role of educator, Rogers store for him, imposes.Rogers writes: “I have drawn from Walter Gropius’s features educational setting, which is methodological.” He cites Gropius: “There is no end point in architecture, there is only continuous change.”EN Rogers, In Praise of architecture, in the centenary of the Polytechnic of Milan.Conferment of honorary degrees to Aalto, Kahn and Tange, Milan, April 4, 1964.
[4] As noted in the long caption, in this case, even early in the preceding page, under the title Testimony concrete, Rogers talks about cultural synthesis, decorative expression and character of its architecture, the “current language, inserted as an image in the continuity of tradition: that is entirely created. ” As the image tells us, as a drawing in a fixed time and for that you create.EN Rogers, experience architecture, cit., Pl.151.
[5] The first proposal to the 1951 Einaudi fact brings this title, coinciding with the title of the pavilion he edited at the IX Triennale in the same year, small exhibition consists of photographs alone.Only trace left of the title is the cover design.
[6] “In 1903, a trip to Greece and the Mediterranean, the beauty of the temples makes clear the importance of the world of the forms of past ages when they are not included as elements already solved but as vital elements capable of being developed .This concept of the vitality of the tradition in opposition to academicism develop later in two books Vom
Stil Neuen, the Essays of 1907 and 1910. “EN Rogers, Henry van de Velde, or evolution, “Casabella Continuity”, 237, March 1960.
[7] Style is an interesting issue shows curated by young graduates Belgioioso, Banfi, Peressutti and Rogers in 1936 for “Domus”.Rogers is the director of “Domus” from 1946 to 1947 and “Casabella-Continuity” from 1953 to 1965.
[8] We are of course talking about the first edition of the book by Einaudi in 1958.
[9] is difficult to resist a comparison with the Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Bilderatlas and freedom of association proposed in his famous paintings of the old-way through the issues and their continuation in the Western world.
[10] To paraphrase the title of Michael Baxandall, Words for the pictures.Renaissance art and criticism, Hogarth Press, London 2009, where the author explores the “words addressed to the works of art, words that represent them, words that speak in their name, which it is based or in some cases take their place. ”
[11] F. Tentori, The concept of continuity, Ernesto Nathan Rogers and surveys, “Papers of the Department of Architectural Design at the Politecnico di Milano”, 15, 1993, pp..86-87.
[12] “We think that our training, being postromantic, puts the creator of the work as one of the factors, of which the other is those who use it.Opens in each activity our gesture dialectic concluded, but necessarily vague, and to be done by everyone who uses it or admire. ” EN Rogers, Praise architecture, cited above.
[13] “A process of possible forms that are open to new relationships,” in E. Paci, Reports and Meanings, Lampugnani Nigri Editore, Milan 1965.
[14] S. Veca, In memory of Enzo Paci, the philosopher and the architect, Ernesto Nathan Rogers and surveys, cited above., Pp..48-50.
[15] “This is a gym of views: architectural manifestations of the phenomenon are described as proposed, no conclusions as to accept or reject.”EN Rogers, need the image, “Casabella Continuity”, 282, December 1963.
[16] “Architecture for the architecture does not make sense, as it has no sense of human action that ends in a tautology.”EN Rogers, Praise architecture, cited above.
[17] As is known, Ernesto Nathan Rogers over the years cultivated his first thoughts by attending lectures in philosophy at the high school of Antonio Banfi Parini.
[18] “The style is the way to be the character.” EN Rogers, character and style, in Id, experience architecture, cit., P.218.
[19] Matilda Baffa has called allusive forms.For the preparation of the intervention it seemed natural to hear the voices of Cesare Macchi Cassia and Matilda Baffa, who were neighbors in Rogers in those years. Or forms in process, as defined in Giovanni Marras The city as text.Autonomy of the architectural language and representation of the city, PhD in Architectural Composition, IUAV, Venice 1992. THIS IS A PRESS RELEASE TO THE DOCTORATE? NO, just typed the thesis …
[20] “The problem of giving formalities architecture, planning against formalism.”G. Canella, For Ernesto Rogers, The teaching of Ernesto N. Rogers, PhD in Architectural Composition, IUAV, Venice 1984. THIS IS A PRESS RELEASE TO THE DOCTORATE? yes
[21] If the first two covers speakers representing the Seagram building and a sketch of Le Corbusier, announces the third in the choice of Ridolfi, the comparison with the making of new Italian architecture.
[22] “What distinguishes the work of Werner Bischof is this quality to reveal, through the particular, the universal meaning of things in the most dense human sense: the continued participation in the act appearance with the sympathy of all feelings, so that it is not just an album of beautiful images, but a document of human history. “EN Rogers, Architecture and Photography, in «Casabella Continuity”, 205, April-May 1955.
[23] As confirmed by Matilda Baffa when I described with the precision of a sign carved in memory, the period in which Rogers helped put together the iconography of the book by Einaudi in 1958.The young assistant was anxious every morning in meeting the author, who welcomed the reassuring smile about not having changed anything, but she reversed the order was obtained the day before: every evening, returning it to the author change, supplement and correct images for your words.
[24] That ‘s opening words of Article 1964, EN Rogers on Le Corbusier, in EN Rogers Publishing Architecture, Einaudi, Turin 1968.The collection of editorials out when Rogers is already very ill, has no illustrations.
[25] From the back cover flap: “the choice of illustrations, which they themselves want to be speech, dialogue with the reader, become cultural image.”
[26] Gregotti, who had joined Rogers for many years, “Casabella”, became the director of “Modern Construction.”
[27] [E. Bonfanti], a magazine, in E. Bonfanti, M. Port, city, museum and architecture.The group BBPR Italian architectural culture in 1932-1970, Va. llecchi, Florence 1973, pp..218-223.
[28] “From him we learned to escape from being uniquely claim to speak […] to seek and love.”S. Dyers, or the praise of uncertainty Rogers, Ernesto Nathan Rogers and surveys, cited above.
[29] L. Spinelli, Milan Singles.The private apartment of Ernesto Nathan Rogers, “Domus”, 925, May 2009.
[30] In the classical world, “the figurative as it perfects the shape of a stone polish the water […] The same can be said for the Chinese and Japanese architecture, which evolve by refining the secular rather than signs of a marked change image “.EN Rogers, collective and individual mutations, in Id, architectural elements of the phenomenon, Guide, Naples 1981, p.83. In the book, first published in 1961, images are gathered under the title of sterile tables.