Fondazione Antonio Ratti Accepting Applications
Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Yona Friedman
Public Improvisations

Application deadline 3 April 2008

Yona Friedman (Budapest, 1923), French architect and theorist, is the Visiting Professor of the 2008 Advanced Course in Visual Arts, taking place in July in Como, Italy. The Course, directed by Annie Ratti since 1995, and curated by Anna Daneri, Cesare Pietroiusti and Luca Cerizza, is a workshop of artistic and theoretical experimentation led by important international artists.

The XIV edition of the CSAV takes place 1 – 23 July 2008, at the Spazio San Francesco in Como, Italy, and is open to 20 young international artist selected by the Course commission. During the Course students will be involved in daily workshop activity with Yona Friedman, in in-depth theoretical studies with the curators, and participate in seminars held by distinguished protagonists of the world of culture. Classes take place from Mondays to Saturdays.

In Friedman’s words: “During the Public Improvisations seminar we will explore improvisation and simple techniques, which do not need complicated instructions, drawings or plans. To be accessible to the general public, art has to employ simple techniques, easy to implement. Improvised public art can be explored anywhere in public spaces: in streets, in woods, in a hall or on a lake. The site itself is part of the work of art.”

Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1923, Yona Friedman has been living in Paris since 1957. Architect and a theoretician, he studied in Budapest and at the Technion in Haifa. In 1956, at the 10th International Congress of Modern Architecture (ICMA) in Dubrovnik, the rational planning typical of the Modern Movement was called into question by his “universalist” approach and his belief in the role of the individual. In December, 1958, Friedman founded the Groupe d’Études d’Architecture Mobile (GEAM) whose focus was adapting architecture to the changes occurring in modern life. He would rise to prominence with the publication of L’Architecture Mobile (1958) and his idea of Ville spatiale. With his concept of “superstructures” to be built over existing cities and locations, he has always sought to provide people with the knowledge and tools to determine their own living environment. Friedman advocates a combined analytic and holistic approach. Among his texts are Towards a Scientific Architecture (1975), A Better Life in Towns (1980), Pro Domo (2006). He took part in several international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale and Documenta, and belong to collections of some of the most important international museums. Among his most recent works is the project for the Contemporary and Modern Art Museum of Rovereto (2006), and 2008 will be the year of Friedman’s solo shows in Bordeaux – at the arc en rêve and at the CAPC – and in Frankfurt,
at Portikus.

The XIV Advanced Course in Visual Arts features a series of events among which a conference on 3 July 2008, at the Fondazione Antonio Ratti, entitled Intelligence starts with improvisation with Yona Friedman explaining his works and the site-specific project – on display from July – designed and realized for public spaces of the city of Como.

The end-of-course exhibition and the publication related to the course will be presented in Milan (November 2008) in collaboration with C/O Careof, Neon, Viafarini, Artegiovane Milano. On this occasion a jury will select the winners of the third edition of the Epson FAR Award for artistic research.

The Advanced Course in Visual Arts is free; board and lodging costs are not covered. The application form can be downloaded from the website . It should be completed and sent both online and via post by April 3rd, 2008, together with a portfolio of previous works (preferably printed portfolios – CDs and DVDs only for video material). Selected applicants will be notified by the 15th of May. All the documentation will be returned only by request.

Visiting Professors of the previous CSAV editions: Joseph Kosuth (1995), John Armleder (1996), Allan Kaprow (1997), Hamish Fulton (1998), Haim Steinbach (1999), Ilya Kabakov (2000), Marina Abramovic (2001), Giulio Paolini (2002), Richard Nonas (2003), Jimmie Durham (2004), Alfredo Jaar (2005), Marjetica Potrc (2006) and Joan Jonas (2007).

Info: and Anna Daneri tel. 39 031 233213, [email protected]
Press office: Ilaria Gianoli, mob. 39 333 6317344 e-mail [email protected]

Image above:
Yona Friedman, Ville Spatiale, project, 1958 62, courtesy Yona Friedman

For more information go to:


March 6, 2008