Confórmi: How Visual References Echo Through the Ages

Confórmi: How Visual References Echo Through the Ages

Confórmi (also on Instagram) is a project which began two years ago as a way to manage its curator's visual references. Bologna-based Davide Trabucco, the curator in question, describes the archive as "a personal work-instrument" that positions apparently dichotic elements into a visual relationship with each other. All of these images, Trabucco believes, "are already present in our collective imagery and in visual culture." Their visual impact is clear: formally and aesthetically, each visual pairing "is immediately understandable – even to the uninitiated."

Confórmi: How Visual References Echo Through the Ages - More Images+ 14

What we produce doesn’t belong to us anymore, once we deliver it to the world. Forms are already in nature: we must only give them new meaning.

"The working method on which the research project is based is comparable to the birth of a new image," Trabucco argues: the moment in which "a drawing, a sculpture or a painting reminds you of something else." Conforming to (confórmi translates to "compliance" in English) rigorous archival parameters—namely that each image is simultaneously square and diagonal—each product of the project reveals something new in its similarities to those which have come before it. According to its creator, the project "will stop growing at the same moment that the tool is no longer useful." It remains, for now, "an open archive that anyone can consult anywhere online."

Hover over the images to see their sources.

Alvar Aalto, Padiglione Finlandese, New York World Fair, 1938-1939 — David Chipperfield, MUDEC, Milano, 2015. Image © Davide Trabucco
Alvar Aalto, Silo, Toppila | Oulu, Finland, 1931 — Herzog & De Meuron, Feltrinelli Porta Volta, Milano, Italy, 2008-2016. Image © Davide Trabucco
Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Bürohaus Friedrichstraße, Berlin, 1929 — Herzog & De Meuron, Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, 2003-2016. Image © Davide Trabucco
Pezo Von Ellrichshausen, Blue Pavilion, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK, 2014 — Louis Kahn, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, 1974. Image © Davide Trabucco
Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Memorial to Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, Berlin, 1926 (destroyed by the Nazis) — Altar of the Chians, 3d century B.C, Delphi. Image © Davide Trabucco
Snake — Le Corbusier, Musée à croissance illimitée, Sans lieu, 1939. Image © Davide Trabucco
Le Corbusier, Villa “Le Lac”, Corseaux/Lac Léman, 1923 — Luigi Ghirri, Marina di Ravenna, 1986. Image © Davide Trabucco
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Model of S.R. Crown Hall, Photography © Chicago History Museum — Edouard Manet, Un bar aux Folies-Bergères, Courtauld Gallery, London, 1881-1882. Image © Davide Trabucco
Frank Lloyd Wright, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, USA, 1956–1959 — Sandro Botticelli, Chart of Hell (La mappa dell’inferno), Drawings for Dante’s Divina Commedia, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Roma, 1480-1495. Image © Davide Trabucco
OMA, Maison à Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France, 1994-1998 — Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, Riehl House, Potsdam, Germany, 1907. Image © Davide Trabucco
Frank Lloyd Wright, Johnson Wax Headquarters, Racine, Wisconsin, USA, 1936-1939 — Cristofani & Lelli Architetti, TOP CODE, Imola (Bo), Italy, 2005-2010. Image © Davide Trabucco
Herzog & De Meuron, Cottbus Library, Brandenburg University of Technology,  Cottbus, Germany, 1993-2004 — Alvar Aalto, Vase, iittala, 1936. Image © Davide Trabucco
Anne e Patrick Poirier, Exegi monumentum aere perennius, Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, 1988 — Le Corbusier, Acropolis of Athens, 1911. Image © Davide Trabucco
Louis Kahn, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California, USA, 1959-1965 — Bas Princen, Ringroad (Ceuta-Fnideq), 2007. Image © Davide Trabucco
Francesco Borromini, Chiesa di Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, Roma, 1642-1660 — Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Bürohaus Friedrichstraße, Berlin, 1929. Image © Davide Trabucco
Column, Temple of Apollo, Corinth, 540 BC — Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Bürohaus Friedrichstraße, Berlin, 1929. Image © Davide Trabucco
Louis Kahn, Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, New York City, 1972 — Superstudio, Il Monumento Continuo/Piazza Navona, 1970. Image © Davide Trabucco
Le Corbusier, Tower of Shadows, Chandigarh, India, 1957 — “Ecomostro” | Blot on the Landscape, Ostuni, Italy, 1980. Image © Davide Trabucco

You can see more images from the Confórmi project, here.

About this author
Cite: AD Editorial Team. "Confórmi: How Visual References Echo Through the Ages" 27 Feb 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

Alvaro Siza Vieira, Wohnhaus Schlesisches Tor (Bonjour Tristesse), Berlin, 1980-1984 — Alvar Aalto, MIT Baker House Dormitory, Cambridge, MA, USA, 1947-1948. Image © Davide Trabucco


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