Pietro Porcinai’s Association today would like to present the inventory that followed its opening in 2010, the year that also marked the first anniversary of the Tuscan landscape architect. They have been years of research and explorations, of meeting and events accompanied by a growing number of members – that up to today are 107 – and from a more lively interest towards a personality that has become and will be the guide for those who will ask themselves the meaning and value that both landscape and garden have within the worlds of studies, civil battles, social and professional life.
The brief passage written for the opening publication which presented the balance of our first three year period, had been inspired by memorable article that Pietro Porcinai published in the journal “Il Mondo” in March 1946, in which the Tuscan landscape highlighted the importance of “education”, warning us that the idea of an association that of either judge impose but educate. First of all educate to “collaboration”. It’s a very decisive message that at the end of the long period of time that separates those difficult restoration years, but that in years not less difficult, holds a central question and also a solicitation on how the work within the Association should proceed.
Even though a lot has been done in the institutional and cultural field, and with an ever more lively social attention, it is clear, at least for those who do not wish to transform this environment into an easy entertainment subject, the necessity to spread a wider awareness of the landscape, as a work that starts first of all as an educational moment. And in this passage, next to the work carried out by institutional departments such as, for example, the university, it appears clearer than ever the importance of the contribution coming today “from below”, for example from associations which in this field often represent the most lively and curious side of civil and cultural debate.
The beginning of our Association have seen the development of many initiatives oriented to better know Porcinai’s work, in order to give a neat style to the studies that needed to be carried out, to studies on the field and to the didactic work, working on progressive acquisitions on different territorial settings, monographic researches carried out thanks to the support of public authorities, conventions, video materials. They are activities which our Association follows, as stated in its statute, in order to “let know and give value to the Florentine landscape architect’s personality and work... while promoting initiatives finalized to create an awareness and knowledge, while protecting and assessing the author’s personality, his works and preparing documentary material related to his professional activity”.
It is still very useful in our job the written text entitled Giardino e paesaggio, which Pietro Porcinai published in 1942 in the Atti della Reale Accademia dei Georgofili in Florence, republished edited by our Association in the year which celebrated the master’s centenary. As I had already written as a final chapter to the first three years, this brief work represents a memorandum and a guide, since today (?) – at the end of that long period of time of which I have already mentioned – the same questions are still arising: the relationship with history and the freedom of artistic expression; the interpretation of social and economic changes; the safeguards of contexts and that sense of belonging to different places and cultures; finally, the urgency of a correct vocational training of both technicians and administrators in the landscape sector. And it is in this context that the discussion remains open, and it is Porcinai himself directs us towards that homogenous look which has permitted every work, even the smallest one, to become an exemplary landscape reading exercise and the trace of a civil commitment which, already in the years of reconstruction, imagined to “transfer as much as possible the countryside into the city through the garden”.
The work of our association continues and inaugurates this year its third three year period of activity. Thanks to the work of our member and of all those who recognize in Pietro Porcinai a reference point and an instrument to better orientate one’s own working methods, their own passion, their point of view on a world that records, above all in the landscape, the many tension points and the signs of hope that cross a process of profound transformation of which we are a part of.