Statue from the courtyard of Livio Vacchini's house in Ascona built in 1969
Can a project be nostalgia-free?
F l o r i a n S t a n c i u
Yes, sure, but if a project is a project, that is to say, pro-jectum, it is putting-forward, in front, understood here as an authentic future, ex-tasy, it is an answer to a diffuse calling, a throwing towards and anticipation of what is to come (avenir-avenant-Ereignes). And because it is a putting-foward, towards the finite, it is a callback to what has been, to the authentic past. Towards the finite, that is, towards oriented time, linear and finite, towards my end; and precisely because of this impossible possibility can I project myself, thrown before my very self, as one that goes beyond, transcendant to myself. Because I am projected, in fact, towards my end, something similar to a project is possible. That is, I am thrown forward to nothing and nothingness, towards the worlds unfamiliarity, outside, and thrown extatically thrown back towards the things themselves, as one returned, that has come back, nostos. The taste of nothingness makes possible the appetence of looking for things. The time that was, the look back, projecting towards justify putting-forward towards possibility.
When a project is project, pro-ject, throwing forward, it is nostalgic, it is nostalgia itself. There is no throw forward that can be “nostalgia-free”; current nostalgia – pain and suffering for the return home (chez soi, heimat), the pain of being without a homeland, be it the conjugal bed of Odysseus, the new homeland and language of Aeneas, finally, the word (logos) as possible homeland for Hannah Arendt – rests on a more primordial nostalgia, on the suffering and want for something that has not yet come, the return is before and “home” is more primordial, a perpetual non-home, it is the strangeness of (only my) end, my never fulfilled completion.
So nostalgia, projection, are being-on-the-road, outside is my way of being inside, being without home, the incompleteness of in-the-end, and the project, when it is a project, in the limpidity of its tectonicity, celebrates the completeness of the world and, subtly, denounces its making. That is why when sight is sight it is nostalgia, looking on the world that has already passed, the world seen through the lens of nostalgia has passed and that is precisely why it is acutely visible, outside of presence, in a now of the moment, fleeting. Things are seen nostalgically (if this is not redundant, for how is sight anything but?) from behind, from their strangeness, displaced, far away, essentialised, we are tempted to say. For there is, inside of nostalgia, of projection, this tension of back-and-forward labor, expansion and contraction, sedentary mobility, utopia and rooting, abandonment and fidelity. The artifacts of the city, the city itself, confess it, nostalgically, every time.
Florian Stanciu and Iulia Stanciu set up the architectural office "STARH" in 1996. Their works, in architecture, restoration and interior design, have been awarded prizes at the Architectural Biannual (they received the medals of the Architecture Section in 1996 and 1998, of the Interior Design Section in 2000, the President’s medal in 2000, and were nominated several times), at the Architectural Annual, Bucharest (prizes at the Restoration Section in 2008 and 2012) and were nominated to represent Romania (in 1999, 2001, 2005 and 2013) for Mies van der Rohe Awards. Their work has been published in the “Phaidon Altas of Contemporary World Architecture” (the 2004 and 2006 editions) and in several issues of “A10 Magasine for European Architecture”, Rotterdam. Their works were presented in the Romanian Pavilion at the Biannual of Architecture in Venice, 2000, 2004, 2006
They both have the PHD title in architecture and teach at “University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest. (text from „Tower house” album – „Zeppelin Zoom” 2013)