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Sunday, 28 July 2013

It's raining tassels...

Ciao everyone!

Here I am again today...
As you can see I am now popping out posts as much as I can because I am really beginning to feel guilty for all the things I have to share with you and I am not yet...
Summer got me busier than I actually expected but I must say that until now it has been such a great one, eventful and with so many interesting things and hopefully it's going to stay like that for the next month which is the very last one that keeps me away from my last year in Dublin...

I don't know if anyone of you has been to Italy recently...
If yes, you MUST have noticed the extreme temperatures we are having here these days.
I am not talking about average heat or complaining about the usual things (which we Italians love to do: it's always too warm or too cold for us...) but this time I swear to you I am melting!
Right now I am writing outside in my mum's terrace which is usually the freshest place as we live just by the river and it's quite high and therefor normally windy.

Well... let's say that I am feeling like doing a sauna.
This is creating serious issues as it's quite hard to go out in general and normally absolutely impossible before five or six pm.
So either you go to the swimming pool (I thought about sleeping there at this point, it would be handier than keep going back and forth!), or you go to the seaside,
or you are f...
You know what I mean!

But a solution would be to get creative in the literal meaning of this sentence: make a list of exhibitions to see and museums to go and just walk around in the air conditioning but also enjoy some art and culture.
That's exactly what my friends and I are trying to do and today we've been to one of the exhibits we previously selected as must-see because of some other friends of us warmly (my god I feel warmer just writing down that word) recommended it to us.
It was a design exhibition in the Bisazza Foundation of Montecchio Maggiore, a very small village close to my home town Vicenza which has this incredibly famous and important general quarter for everything that means design and architecture Italian style, but not only...

The exhibition was inside of the Foundation and in order to get there you had to pass by the permanent one that is actually the part I enjoyed the most.

It was incredibly cool for me, thinking about the design classes back in college and the process which seats under the creation of something which is at the same time unique, beautiful and useful, to see how many amazing Italian designers we have and we had in the past.
The permanent exhibition in the foundation features designers/artist such as Fabio Novembre

Ettore Sotsass

Sandro Chia

Studio Job

As you can see from the snaps I took going around the exhibition, the absolute protagonists of it are the mosaics.
Almost every single one of the objects and design pieces exposed are made out of mosaic tassells.
Some of them very precious, as the white gold ones used by Studio Job, 
some other ones very colorful such as the ones used by designer Alessandro Mendini for his huge 

(Alice and I facing the chair!)

Some others combined in order to create very powerful designs and shapes, such as the ones made by Tord Boontje in his furniture.

But not only the pieces exposed where an explosion of reflective and colourful mosaic tassells: the entire Bisazza Foundation is covered in them: from the walls to the toilets, it's like it has been raining tassells for a while inside of this building and now they have all found their place somewhere and they are not gonna move as they look so perfectly put down...

It was really cool and as I love simple linear things (or maybe not...) all these tassells of different shapes and shades made me wish to have my own house full of mosaics one day.
I must confess, this artistic technique has always been fascinating me since the times we used to hang out in Ravenna doing school trips to study the Byzantine culture and how did it influence Italian art in the Middle Ages...
But seeing this incredibly fascinating technique being used in a much more modern way and not only to reproduce a scene or a particular subject but also to "cover" something else in order to make it unique and different really surprised me in such a positive way.

Some other artists/designer featured in the main permanent exhibition are Marcel Wanders and his crazy gold "Furniture for men" ("Mobili per uomini"),

And the Israelian Arik Levy and his mosaic sculpture which is the result of his research about the matter of spaces and non-spaces.

I absolutely loved the permanent exhibition but the very first reason who brought us to the Bisazza Foundation was another one: the small but very interesting part that the Foundation has reserved to architect and designer Richard Meier since last October.

From the plastics of his first buildings and houses, to the Church he has made in the occasion of the last Giubilee, to museums and libraries and concert halls he has designed and which are to be put all over the world, to his and his team's contribute to the concourse thrown by the major of NYC after 9/11 in order to decide what to build in the ginormous hole of Ground Zero, the panorama about this very talented architect and his own very personal style was pretty satisfying.
Sadly, there were eagles everywhere and that's why I couldn't snap some of the plastics or photographs exposed...

But instead that a picture, this time I would like to leave you with some words that Meier himself has said once:
"When I'm asked what I believe in, I say I believe in architecture. Architecture is the mother of the arts. I like to believe that architecture connects the present with the past and the tangible with the intangible" 

What else can I say...
Stay tuned!

I've seen lights far in the distance

As some of you might have guessed by this week's snapshots, last week end I was in Venice for what is probably the second biggest celebration in this magical town after the Carnival: the Redentore.

The festivity is actually an historical thing as it comes to remember the redemption of Venice from the plague in the Middle Ages.
In this day, many people gather in town to see the fire works that the pop up at night in the Giudecca Island, where the Church of Redentore is.
Many people bring their boats out in order to see the fire works from a closer distance and that's when the Giudecca Channel becomes so full of boats, some bigger, some smaller, that you could almost walk on them and get to the island jumping from one to another.

Between the people on the boats, the cheerful attitude is testified by food passing from boat to boat, but also drinks and laughs, as everyone was there together just because they are all celebrating the same thing.

Many young people and most students of the Universities in Venice make picnics and a very famous location for that is Sant'Elena, another Island pretty close to Piazza San Marco and reachable by passing a bridge.
In Sant'Elena the gardens on the sea offer the perfect location for a picnic but also a great view of the fireworks which despite being much smaller than the ones you'd see from a boat right beside the Giudecca, are still magical...

Also, Sant'Elena is a technical spot for the youngest generations as it's just a stop away from the Lido of Venice, where they always throw a huge beach party after the fire works, with the Vaporetto (which we could define bus-boat).

I consider myself so lucky this time as I personally think that the best way possible to enjoy the Redentore is being with someone who either is from Venice or lives in Venice.
That's why being with my friend Massimiliano, ex school mate and one of the people I love the most in the entire world, who has just finished his degree in Philosophy at Universita' Ca' Foscari was the best fun ever.
Not only because we got to know some of his friends and Venetian people, but also because we lived the life of an actual student in Venice, going around the channels to do a "bacaro tour" (Venetian version of the pub crawl...) and coming back to Rialto at 5 am with absolutely no one around.
It has been surreal and crazy at the same time.

We went there on Friday afternoon with my girls and Massi fetched us next to the station and brought us to his house in Strada Nuova.
From there we went all together with his friends to a big beach party at Lido where all the universitarian  students of Venice gathered together to celebrate the end of the courses and works shops for all of them.
The following day, after a great shower and a proper breakfast, Anna, Alice and I went all around town, taking advantage of the quiet that preceded the storm: everyone in Venice resting and getting ready for the celebrations at night.

I think I have never seen Venice that quiet.
Of course, under the sun and being able to walk around easily without bumping into people every five seconds it seemed more beautiful than ever...

Maybe going all around town it was not the greatest idea possible thinking about the night we had ahead of us... I think there are very few places in the world that tires you more than Venice.
Up to a bridge, down to another one all day long, but getting to Piazza San Marco in the evening and walking toward Sant'Elena in the sunset made us forget all the tiredness.
The light was just so perfect and absolutely beautiful, with that pink soft colour that is so typical of the skies in the North East of Italy and which was repeatedly painted by Tiepolo in the past...

But the absolute protagonists of the nights were, of course, the fire works...
As they were being popped from Giudecca us in Sant'Elena could enjoy the view of the entire panorama of Canal Grande with the lights away in the distance.

Being this my very first Redentore ever, I was pretty amazed from it and I've realized that despite what people say about how great it is, it's something you won't really understand until you see it.
It's the kind of experience that makes you feel like living in another dimension.
Another world where taxis are not on wheels but on the water, 
a world where you can walk into an island just by crossing a bridge,
a world where everyone seems to know each other and where a colored lights are brightening the sky in the middle of the night.

But maybe it's not actually another dimension, neither a different world.
Maybe it's just Venice...