Tag:

Contemporary Art

Silence! The Chef is Creating – At Contraste Milano

Milan (Italy). How can the Contraste restaurant recently (September 2015) opened in Milano be defined? It’s not just a restaurant: people don’t go there simply for “eating something”.

I started this post writing my feelings about this place: not only the food, but also the atmosphere and, in general, my personal experience. Then, I deleted everything I had written! Why?

Very simply, because I think that

food is – in this respect – incredibly similar to photography. It’s such a personal and intimate experience, that it’s illogical taking for granted the opinion of the others.

What I can do, is recommending this place – not necessarily because it’s good (perhaps someone could find it “normal”, or even “outrageous”) – but because for sure it offers an absolutely unique experience.

Around each dish, there’s an accurate and meticulous research on ingredients, as well as on composition and on balancing of flavors. The customer becomes spectator of something going beyond the simple “tasting”, other senses are involved: sighting, smelling and touching of course, but also hearing, when you listen to the story of what you are going to heat (or have just eaten).

At the restaurant entrance (although it looks like an apartment, with few tables in what is a dining room with a living room) there’s this nice “welcome”: a face comes out from a dark wall, and with the finger at the nose looks saying “silence! The Chef is creating”. And the chef is just there, you can see him at work through the keyhole in the wall…

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Tom Friedman – Untitled at Fondazione Prada

Milan (Italy). Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to visit the newly opened Prada Foundation (Fondazione Prada) in Milan – Largo Isarco, 2. The Foundation is hosted in a former industrial site, amazingly redeveloped and reconverted in spaces for exhibitions and cultural activities. It includes also a very trendy bar, designed by the popular movie maker Wes Anderson (author of “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Grand Budapest Hotel”, just to mention some among his most popular movies).

I promised to myself that I will come to visit the Prada Foundation again soon to take photographs specifically of the buildings, the interior spaces and the architectures (only these things alone are worth a visit). The photo posted here – together with the other two linked at this tag – has been taken inside the “Cisterna” (cistern), a huge building divided in three parts and hosting the temporary exhibition called “Trittico”. Trittico envisages “a dynamic display strategy” and is made by “three carefully selected works from the Collezione Prada, installed at a time and periodically rotating” (from the official website). The name of this installation is Untitled by Tom Friedman: a scattered motion of plastic pictograms.

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Reframe by Ai Weiwei at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence (Via Della Spada)

Florence (Italy). Last weekend I was walking around the downtown of Florence, when I saw this interesting installation made by the contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. It’s a serie of 22 rubber boats positioned in correspondence to Palazzo Strozzi’s windows, on its façade. The installation’s title is “Reframe – Nuova Cornice” (new frame). In these years the same type of boats have been used by refugees which, escaping misery and looking for a better life, cross the Mediterranean Sea and arrive in Italy.


Firenze. Lo scorso fine settimana, passeggiando per il centro di Firenze, ho visto questa interessante installazione dell’artista contemporaneo cinese Ai Weiwei. Si tratta di una serie di gommoni, montati sulla facciata di Palazzo Strozzi, in corrispondenza delle sue finestre. Il nome dell’installazione è “Reframe – Nuova Cornice”. Si tratta degli stessi gommoni utilizzati dai profughi per attraversare il Mar Mediterraneo ed arrivare in Italia per scappare dalla loro miseria alla ricerca di una vita migliore.

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Pino Pascali – Pinne di Pescecane at Fondazione Prada

Milan (Italy). Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to visit the newly opened Prada Foundation (Fondazione Prada) in Milan – Largo Isarco, 2. The Foundation is hosted in a former industrial site, amazingly redeveloped and reconverted in spaces for exhibitions and cultural activities. It includes also a very trendy bar, designed by the popular movie maker Wes Anderson (author of “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Grand Budapest Hotel”, just to mention some among his most popular movies).

I promised to myself that I will come to visit the Prada Foundation again soon to take photographs specifically of the buildings, the interior spaces and the architectures (only these things alone are worth a visit). The photo posted here – together with the other two linked at this tag – has been taken inside the “Cisterna” (cistern), a huge building divided in three parts and hosting the temporary exhibition called “Trittico”. Trittico envisages “a dynamic display strategy” and is made by “three carefully selected works from the Collezione Prada, installed at a time and periodically rotating” (from the official website). The name of this installation is Pinne di Pescecane (Shark Fins) by Pino Pascali: five shark fins made of painted canvas on wood. A pillar of his “finte sculture” (fake sculpture), where the term “fake” invites a more nuanced reading, with the animal shape intended always as part of a concealed whole which is left to imagine.

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John Armleder for La Rinascente

Milan (Italy). Since my previous post apparently created a sense of discomfort related to what typically happens around Christmas (at least here in Italy, and more specifically in Milan), I think it’s a good idea to recreate the right spirit associated to this important day.

Cities have been preparing for Christmas since the end of November, with their lights and decorations. Milan – of course – couldn’t be different from all the others (including Florence, photographed some days ago) and the popular shopping mall’s brand “La Rinascente” this year hired John Armleder to perform an exclusive art installation inside its shopping windows.

I liked the idea of dedicating shopping windows to contemporary art: I think somehow it changes the perception of “being just a consumer”, and makes people feel a bit less “no-brained” then they are (me included), when they realize they are in the middle of the maddest crowd, running up and down the stories looking for the perfect(ly wrong) gift.

I took this photo on Saturday (although it was not “just a common Saturday”, it was a real “Panic Saturday”) and at the end I enjoyed a lot this uncommon day. I thought to capture an image with people crossing in front of my lens, simply because a shopping window is a shopping window if there are people…

The conclusion is the same: only art and beauty (and photography) can save our souls…

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Damien Hirst – Lost Love at Fondazione Prada

Milan (Italy). Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to visit the newly opened Prada Foundation (Fondazione Prada) in Milan – Largo Isarco, 2. The Foundation is hosted in a former industrial site, amazingly redeveloped and reconverted in spaces for exhibitions and cultural activities. It includes also a very trendy bar, designed by the popular movie maker Wes Anderson (author of “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Grand Budapest Hotel”, just to mention some among his most popular movies).

I promised to myself that I will come to visit the Prada Foundation again soon to take photographs specifically of the buildings, the interior spaces and the architectures (only these things alone are worth a visit). The photo posted here – together with the other two linked at this tag – has been taken inside the “Cisterna” (cistern), a huge building divided in three parts and hosting the temporary exhibition called “Trittico”. Trittico envisages “a dynamic display strategy” and is made by “three carefully selected works from the Collezione Prada, installed at a time and periodically rotating” (from the official website). The name of this installation is Lost Love by Damien Hirst: it’s a cubic submerged gynecologist’s office transformed into an aquarium populated by colored fishes.

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Thomas Demand – Grotto Process at Fondazione Prada

Milan (Italy). Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to visit the newly opened Prada Foundation (Fondazione Prada) in Milan – Largo Isarco, 2. The Foundation is hosted in a former industrial site, amazingly redeveloped and reconverted in spaces for exhibitions and cultural activities. It includes also a very trendy bar, designed by the popular movie maker Wes Anderson (author of “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Grand Budapest Hotel”, just to mention some among his most popular movies).

I promised to myself that I will come to visit the Prada Foundation again soon to take photographs specifically of the buildings, the interior spaces and the architectures (only these things alone are worth a visit). The photo posted here represents the Grotto Process (Processo Grottesco): in order to realize the photographic work “Grotto”, Thomas Demand studied and reproduced a 3D model of a grotto using many layers of cardboard, which “simulate” the geologic stratification, including stalactites and stalagmites (in the lower left corner of the image, the stratification of cardboard layers is pretty evident). The final photo (displayed at the entrance of the room) demonstrates how something perceived as real, at the end is unreal and artificially reproduced.

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Jorge Mendez Blake – The Castle at the 13th Istanbul Biennial

Istanbul (Turkey). To write this post, I decided to unearth an old photo taken years ago (in 2013) at the 13th Istanbul Biennial – and I did it for two reasons…

The first one, it’s because in these days – after another horrifying terrorist attack, which killed more than 40 people at the Ataturk Airport – I have Istanbul in my heart more than ever. Those who know me (or, at least, those who follow my blog) know how much I love Istanbul, a city where I have lived many years and that completely changed my life (and not only because it was in Istanbul where I discovered my passion for photography, one Sunday afternoon during a walk along the Bosphorus).

The second reason, it’s because I’m more and more convinced that the most efficient (and probably the only) way to fight terrorism, is opening people’s minds to culture; and it’s not a coincidence that one of the activities of terrorist groups is the destruction of cultural heritage (I already wrote some thoughts on it in a post about a night visit at Louvre Museum).

The Jorge Mendez Blake’s work, exhibited at the 13th Istanbul Biennial, was perfectly describing – and it still today describes, without the need of a single word – what I’m trying to explain in this short post. A book, wisely positioned at the base of a wall, shows its destructive force, creating a discontinuity in a tall and solid structure made by little bricks.The metaphor is rather evident: spreading culture will create many of these “discontinuities” and will make walls – built up with terror and hate – collapse.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one….

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Reframe by Ai Weiwei at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence

Florence (Italy). Last weekend I was walking around the downtown of Florence, when I saw this interesting installation made by the contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. It’s a serie of 22 rubber boats positioned in correspondence to Palazzo Strozzi’s windows, on its façade. The installation’s title is “Reframe – Nuova Cornice” (new frame). In these years the same type of boats have been used by refugees which, escaping misery and looking for a better life, cross the Mediterranean Sea and arrive in Italy – in Europe, to be more precise. For this reason, I considered it appropriate including in the composition an European flag, a traffic sign indicating “no access” (which is more or less what Europe answers to their request) and the shopping window of the luxury brand Louis Vuitton…


Firenze. Lo scorso fine settimana, passeggiando per il centro di Firenze, ho visto questa interessante installazione dell’artista contemporaneo cinese Ai Weiwei. Si tratta di una serie di gommoni, montati sulla facciata di Palazzo Strozzi, in corrispondenza delle sue finestre. Il nome dell’installazione è “Reframe – Nuova Cornice”. Si tratta degli stessi gommoni utilizzati dai profughi per attraversare il Mar Mediterraneo ed arrivare in Italia – o meglio in Europa – e scappare dalla loro miseria alla ricerca di una vita migliore. Per questo motivo, ho ritenuto appropriato includere nella composizione della mia foto sia una bandiera europea, che un cartello di divieto di accesso, che la vetrina di Louis Vuitton…

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