by Jerry ElengicalJun 07, 2022
Milan-based cultural platform HoperAperta is presenting a project at Fuorisalone that delves into the sphere of spatial perception, as seen through the ideas of French philosopher Raymond Ruyer. Spread out over two venues from June 6 -12 June during Milan Design Week 2022, the project derives its underlying theme from Ruyer’s idea of La Superficie Assoluta (The Absolute Surface), and hence, its first edition, at Spazio Banner - an exhibition and pop-up space at Via Sant'Andrea 8a, Milano - has been titled thus, and is being conducted in association with Boutique Banner of Milanese luxury brand Biffi Boutiques. Following this opening on Monday, June 6, the next segment of the event, named Cosmologie Domestiche (Domestic Cosmologies) will be held in collaboration with 5vie Design Week on the terrace of Milan's Hotel Ariston two days later.
A mentor to many renowned 20th-century thinkers - including Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jacques Lacan, Gilles Deleuze, and Félix Guattari - Raymond Ruyer’s ideas have been funnelled into a series of design and art installations inspired by the thoughts of other renowned minds. At Spazio Banner, the installations present a narrative knit together with three progressive levels of 'surface relationships', - as per the title and theme. "One tied to space, between light (time) and matter, one tied to form, intended as expression and emotion, and one tied to image, meaning memory and symbolic form,” as per HoperAperta.
Curators Patrizia Catalano and Maurizio Barberis share in an official statement, “The absolute surface is a holistic surface, a total visual field that includes the observer and the observed without limitations, without borders. The limits of this continuum are defined only by our determination to retrace these forms to an aesthetic conscience.” They continue, “A concept that underlies the possibility of subverting our perception of space-time. The absolute surface expresses itself through a trans-spatial and trans-temporal potential that brings the observer and observed into a single perceptive domain.”
For his contribution to the exhibition at Spazio Banner, Barberis has drawn from the work of Russian physicist Minkowski to create Olonia (also known as “of love as symmetry of power”), a metal console with a bronze finish featuring a photograph printed on metal. Bridging Minkowksi’s graphic representation of Einstein’s theory of General relativity with the idea of The Absolute Surface, the work also derives inspiration from Tommaso Buzzi’s vision of an ideal city, drawing from the architecture of La Scarzuola in Umbria, Italy.
Alongside this, designer duo Armando Bruno and Alberto Torres are displaying Il Cielo Stellato (The Starry Sky) - an immersive installation consisting of a video frame printed in high definition and stretched using an aluminium structure. The project is said to represent the concepts of both the aesthetical and ethical sublime from Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason. As Armando Bruno explains in a press release: "The first creates a feeling that connection with the world is unintentional, while the second identifies the universality of the subject itself. Therefore, a connection exists between the surface of the sky, conscience, the knowledge of light, morality, the weave of space-time, quantum mechanics, and embryogenesis. This work tries to explore these themes and reconnect them to a simple human gesture: to look up at the sky above us.”
Steve Piccolo’s What Went Wrong investigates “discrepancies between mechanical time measurement (clockwork) and psycho-temporality (neural clocks). Phase shifting of repeated loops may trigger perception of rhythmanalytic cycles as hypothesised by Henri Lefebvre.” Additionally, photographer Roberta Orio’s Materia is part of a series of images captured in the Italian Alps, which have been rotated to impart a warped vision of gravity that highlights a “dystopian vision of the perceived landscape.”
Other works being exhibited at the Spazio Banner show include the likes of Luigi Ciuffreda's Meta_Superficie installation, Alfonso Femia’s L’Entre Deux concept, Duccio Grassi’s L’Intelligenza degli elettricisti light installation, the Ki-mono cloth and metal dress by Tiziano Guardini, Alessandro Melis and Liyth Musallam’s Spandrel o Pennacchio spatial concept, the Hublot? mixed-media paintings by Sonia Ros, Davide Valoppi’s SQ2.8 transformable partition, and Light Scape - another light installation by Carmelo Zappulla.
Meanwhile, at the Cosmologie Domestiche exhibition at Hotel Ariston, artist Cristina Fiorenza’s Moon Vase and Dressed Vessel explores the 'surface' through the traditional forms of a container, straddling the formal and technical margins of ceramic traditions. Norwegian visual artist and sculptor Irene Nordli’s Vessel for the unknown is composed of two containers in hand built porcelain, made up of fragments that create three-dimensional collages bearing anatomical references. Berlin-based designer Anne-Sophie Oberkrome’s LTDO Vase is a hybrid analog-digital sculpture that has been 3D-printed from sand, creating shifting perspectives that defy the image of a traditional vase while exuding a grainy texture that evokes pixelation.
Matteo Pellegrino’s Souvenir #03 and #06 Carparo stone vases bound by polyurethane resin is an extension of the designer’s inquiry into the use of resins, polyurethane foam, and silicone, giving new life to a collection of archaic vases. Rudy Ricciotti and Marco Arioldi’s vase untitled, is influenced by the experiences of Italian writer and filmmaker Curzio Malaparte during the First and Second World War, highlighting the futility of armed conflict and the mental anguish of those enlisted to partake in it. The 13 unique pieces on show also include Alessio Bertallot & Pointillistico’s audio installation Della Forma Vaso in musica. What’s going on, VOID by Analogia Project, Natura morta con paesaggio rurale by Ivan Forcadell with Juan Salvado, and Zanellato/Bortotto’s Marble Marbling vase pair.
All the pieces have been realised with the assistance of leading Italian firms that deal in metal, ceramic, stone, marble, and plexiglass, such as Julia Marmi, Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua, Danilo Trogu, Marmi Faedo, Materica, Oemmebi, Sprech, Visualplex, Cromonichel, De castelli, Del Savio 1910, and Dresswall. With no dearth of heady inquisitions into some of the most well-known philosophical and scientific theories in recent history, HoperAperta’s showcase brings an introspective and thought-provoking edge to the lineup of events occurring in tandem with this year’s Salone del Mobile. Milano.
STIR takes you on a Milanese sojourn! Experience Salone del Mobile and all the design districts - 5vie, Brera, Fuorisalone, Isola, Zona Tortona, and Durini - with us. STIR’s coverage of Milan Design Week 2022, Meanwhile in Milan showcases the best exhibits, moods, studios, events, and folks to look out for. We are also excited to announce our very own STIR press booth at Salone del Mobile - Hall 5/7 S.14, Fiera Milano RHO.