Image 0 - Territory as Palimpsest: The legacy of André Corboz
Image 1 - Territory as Palimpsest: The legacy of André Corboz
Image 2 - Territory as Palimpsest: The legacy of André Corboz
Image 3 - Territory as Palimpsest: The legacy of André Corboz

Territory as Palimpsest: The legacy of André Corboz

The exhibition aims to examine the complex corpus of works by André Corboz, an art and city historian from Geneva, whose library and documents collection are preserved in the USI Academy of Architecture Library in Mendrisio (ref. Fondo A.Corboz) and whose interests ranged from Palladio to the Territorial Grid of the United States, from planning during the French Enlightenment to postmodern Switzerland.

To this day, Corboz's metaphor of the “territory as palimpsest” remains pertinent.  His writing was increasingly aware and critical of the constructed nature of the territory from the 1980s on. To Corboz both landscape and the urban condition were terms needing to be constantly questioned and problematised. In doing so, he addressed issues that have remained crucial, in particular in the polycentric, urbanised Swiss landscape that has been undergoing a dramatic spatial evolution.

The exhibition uncovers connections between diverse subjects, taking visitors into Corboz's intellectual laboratory, providing insights into his work methods and narrative strategies. It will also address his activities as cultural critic, writer and educator of historians and architects.  The exhibition's thematic sectors are structured along two main themes: How to read the territory and Knowledge production and historiography. This distinction emphasises Corboz's contributions to the discourse of landscape and urban development on the one hand, while also illustrating the evolution of a self-trained historian who travelled through multiple disciplinary fields.

Together with the exhibition at the Teatro dell’architettura Mendrisio, a dedicated website will be published. Along chronological axes (biographical and bibliographical) it will present various facets of Corboz's work. Drawing from textual and visual sources in the A. Corboz record group, the website will show how Corboz’s research projects were designed and implemented in his publications. Then the website will provide additional documents for visitors to the exhibition, while opening a window for future research on A. Corboz record group based on his estate in Mendrisio.


  • OPENING Mon: Chiuso / Closed / Geschlossen / Fermé
    Tue... Fri: 14:00 - 18:00
    Sat... Sun: 10:00 - 18:00
  • CATEGORIES Exhibitions and fairs