As a part of the Biennale Sessions programme, Istituto Marangoni Firenze students and tutors were invited to exchange views and ideas about the main exhibitions and national pavilions of the 2022 Biennale d’Arte di Venezia. 

By Isabella Chevasco Champsaur and Massimo Romanelli. Cover image: Simone Leigh, Brick House, 2019. Installation view at The Milk of Dreams, 59th Venice Biennale. Photograph: Massimo Romanelli.

The 2022 Biennale d’Arte di Venezia can feel like a carnival for grown-ups, if you are an art enthusiast. This edition’s main subject, The Milk of Dreams, embraces diversity in its vision of the connection between bodies and the earth. It presents a metamorphic journey through artworks of all kinds, aiming to eliminate all forms of binarism. 
A bright Venetian sunshine welcomed us to the main entrance of the Giardini and into the gigantic main exhibition curated by Cecilia Alemani. Students had the pleasure of visiting the central pavilion, and the neighbouring areas of Giardini and Arsenale, alongside the Istituto Marangoni Firenze students and staff. The whole weekend trip to Venice resulted in an enriching, thrilling and stimulating experience, where we had the chance to consolidate our relationship with our classmates and professors in an unbeatable setting.
The peerless spaces of the Biennale, surrounded and shaped by nature and water, make the perfect scenery to think about how most humans worldwide have a collective delusion of superiority within their ecosystem. 

Precious Okoyomon, To See the Earth Before the End of the World, 2022. Installation view at The Milk of Dreams, 59th Venice Biennale. Photograph: Massimo Romanelli.

CO-EXISTENCE IS THE POINT

The visit started at the Giardini, where Biennale’s central pavilion is located. An introductory talk hosted by Istituto Marangoni Firenze faculty members Carolina Gestri and Riccardo Rubino1, part of the Biennale Sessions program, welcomed and gave us a detailed overview of this year’s edition. With a specific focus on the theme, Rubino, as a Fashion Stylist and tutor, explained during his intervention that “co-existence is the main key and trend of this edition, intending to achieve a super connection with something you didn’t before. This translates to fashion, showing untouched nature alongside pieces inspired by this same artistic trend.” 

Giardini, 59th Biennale di Venezia, 2022. Photograph: Massimo Romanelli.

Gestri, on her side, added the importance of self-awareness to fully understand the topic, inviting us to “listen to our bodies in different situations, in order to understand if a scenario is inviting or not.” She highlighted other focal points of The Milk of Dreams, such as inclusiveness and fluidity, which are key to “coexist and take care of others.” 

Biennale Sessions 2022: lecture by Carolina Gestri and Riccardo Rubino for Istituto Marangoni Firenze. Photograph: Massimo Romanelli.

After a few words from Francesca Tavanti, Director of Education at Istituto Marangoni Firenze, we started to immerse ourselves in the wide variety of formats the Biennale offers. As we were accurately informed in the talk, the focus is always on diversity, giving a comprehensive outlook on reconnecting with the “non-human” and technology as individuals. Artworks of all formats share the rooms. The public is free to visit them in any preferred order, allowing a side-by-side appreciation of pieces from sculptures or paintings to video art and installations. 

GARDEN THERAPY

Aesthetical rules seem nonexistent, considering the evident visual divergence that arises when walking from one room to another. Across The Milk of Dreams, the Biennale re-introduces Surrealism from the perspective of Leonora Carrington. It uses five historical capsules to touch upon other fields of artistic research through the work of their most celebrated masters and pioneers.
The capsule The Witch’s Cradle encircles Meret Oppenheim and Remedios Varo and employs their work as base points to illustrate the complexity of female identity and the surreal.

Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill, Counterblaste, 2021. Installation view at The Milk of Dreams, 59th Venice Biennale. Photograph: Massimo Romanelli.

Moreover, at Giardini, the experience of alternating between pavilions is almost therapeutic. As the imponent nature that ornaments the garden alleviates the highly stimulative display of the pavilions, the onlookers are invited to acknowledge a new approach to their kinetic existence, transformation and communion with the nonhuman. Anthropomorphic allusions can be recognized all over the venues, allowing multiple perceptions of the same works to coexist. 

Uffe Isolotto, We Walked the Earth, 2022. Installation view at Denmark Pavillion, 59th Venice Biennale. Photograph: Massimo Romanelli.

ATMOSPHERIC MUTATION

The Arsenale experience develops otherwise, as the whole space is distributed differently. The high ceilings of the Corderie construct the ideal displaying space for artworks of this nature, allowing its appreciation even with a vast amount of people inside the place simultaneously. Despite the crowded rooms, there is a persistent interconnection between the spaces and the main topic of the exhibition.

The building interiors evolve as the route inside the aisles develops, creating multiple atmospheres throughout the installations and artworks of the central exhibition. In this area, the visitors have less freedom to move as they please since the whole passage of it is guided by the way the Corderie are made. The space mutates in harmony with the artworks, featuring a vast amount of textile works, sculptures and canvases.

Large-scale sculptures by Gabriel Chaile take the spotlight at the beginning of the exhibit, where the Argentinian artist displayed five massive pieces made of adobe and bricks. Each oven-like sculpture was supported by an invisible metal structure, allowing them to have unique shapes. These works represent Chaile’s indigenous origins and are part of what he calls the “genealogy of forms”. By making traditional vessels with humanlike features, he portrays his ancestors through traditional objects and the values of nourishment and collaboration they passed on to his generation. 

Gabriel Chaile, Irene Durán, 2022. Installation view at The Milk of Dreams, 59th Venice Biennale. Photograph: Massimo Romanelli.

DEFYING THE BOUNDARIES

The overall experience of visiting the 2022 Biennale gives an extensive understanding of the contemporary art panorama. It feels like a seemingly never-ending stimulative encounter with art, where the variety of the works and the constant references to the central theme of this edition makes it a culturally enhancing experience.

Candice Lin, Xternesta, 2022. Installation view at The Milk of Dreams, 59th Venice Biennale. Photograph: Massimo Romanelli.

The audience’s mind and body become one when contemplating these masterpieces, designed to take the edge off the distance between us as humans and our instinct, defying the boundaries of what we are accustomed to perceiving. An enormous variety of themes, from ecosexuality to the consequential effects of the pandemic, are the key players of a Biennale edition that all visitors will enthusiastically remember. 

On the background: Katharina Fritsch, Elefant / Elephant, 1987. Installation view at The Milk of Dreams, 59th Venice Biennale. Photograph: Massimo Romanelli.

Isabella Chevasco Champsaur is an Undegraduate student in Arts Curating at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.
Massimo Romanelli is a Postgraduate student in the Art Management Master’s programme at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

1. Respectively, Course Leader of the Art Department Master’s programmes and Fashion Styling Programme Leader at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

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The fruitful collaboration between Istituto Marangoni Firenze and the conceptual artist Andy Picci continues under his new Mentorship for this academic year with a project that will bring students from both Multimedia Arts and Arts Curating courses in a Metaverse. 

By Jessica García Corral and Giulia Piceni. Cover image courtesy of Andy Picci.

The increase of technology in the art world and modern hyper-connectivity have caused our relationship with space and time to change radically. The new world to conquer is now the digital universe, the metaverse.
Supported by the Mentorship of renowned conceptual artist Andy Picci, students from the Art Department will develop together on Spatial a new world to display their works and research. Curated by Arts Curating students, this metaverse will host artworks from the Multimedia Arts programme to reflect on the possible meaning of identity and education in the metaverse.

I’MF: To start the interview, I would like to ask your definition of a metaverse. Since there has been a lot of noise around it, we’d like to know what metaverse means. Is “metaverse” the right word to define it?

AP: It is tricky to name something yet to be defined. I guess it’s more about what the metaverses will be like, rather than what they are supposed to be. I like to think about metaverses as extra rooms for our physical world. A place where we can gather, hang out and meet up in a way reality doesn’t allow us to.

I’MF: This year, the students from Multimedia Arts and Arts Curating courses are introduced to Spatial, a new platform that will take virtual exhibitions to another level. First, how did you come across Spatial, and why did you choose it as a medium for this project?

AP: What I found interesting on Spatial was the aim to let everyone create their own metaverse. I found it fascinating to allow users to define their virtual place’s usage and aesthetics.

Istituto Marangoni Firenze first metaverse classroom on Spatial. Kick-off meeting with Mentor Andy Picci & the students from Multimedia Arts and Arts Curating courses.

I’MF: As an artist, you have repeatedly questioned identity through virtualisation. How can a digital universe help a process of self-discovery?

AP: I don’t see virtual worlds as a way to escape reality. I found similarities between closing my eyes to meditate and wearing a VR Headset to explore an undefined world. That’s where I started my research on how memories define our perception of ourselves and our surroundings. For me, building metaverses is an opportunity to express and share our true inner selves and allow people to access them. Some sort of Meditation 3.0.

I’MF: During this upcoming Mentorship at Istituto Marangoni Firenze, what is the ultimate destination you would like to reach?

AP: I really hope the students will bloom and understand that the quest for self is not based on others’ perceptions but on our understanding of a subject’s context. The way we process this journey is what makes it personal.

Andy Picci is a conceptual artist and I’M Mentor at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.
Jessica García Corral is a Multimedia Arts undergraduate student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.
Giulia Piceni is an Undergraduate student in Arts Curating at Istituto Marangoni Firenze

The new digital project “A Feminine Lexicon” by Arts Curating students Pia Diamandis and Elena Tortelli opened in May at museo.ferragamo.com.
Their project took inspiration from Museo Salvatore Ferragamo’s “Women in Balance”, an exhibition curated by Stefania Ricci and Elvira Valleri that celebrates the history of Italian women during the economic boom and the rapid changes in their identities. “A Feminine Lexicon” continues this conversation into what is considered feminine today through the works of eleven international contemporary artists and their testimonies.
In the digital exhibition, through audio recordings, all the artists describe their works and how they relate to a larger feminine lexicon in their own words. An excerpt of these reflections is gathered here for I’M Firenze Digest readers as a way to help them dive deeper into the exhibition.

By Pia Diamandis & Elena Tortelli. Cover image: Haruka Sakaguchi & Griselda San Martin, Anna Weng, Typecast Role: China Doll; Ideal Role: Detective, 2018, digital photography. Courtesy of the artists

“A Feminine Lexicon” artists include New York City-based photographers Haruka Sakaguchi (b. 1990, Osaka, Japan) and Griselda San Martin (b. 1978, Barcelona, Spain).
In “A Feminine Lexicon”, they showcase their series Typecast, photographs of Hollywood actresses, showing them in the most typical roles they have been asked to play and in the ideal roles they would like to play. The resulting sequence of four images recalls the practice of attaching a series of head-shots in different situations and roles to an actor’s resumé to show their acting experience. This underscores the need to affirm one’s identity, in a few short lines, and with a limited number of pictures, in the market of personalities that is Hollywood.
Haruka Sakaguchi & Griselda San Martin’s photographs are featured in the Representations section of the exhibition “A Feminine Lexicon”, underlining how retelling and representing are ways of caring and, at the same time, of defining one’s identity.
The Representations section features works by Stacey Gillian Abe, Haruka Sakaguchi & Griselda San Martin, and Reba Maybury.

PD, ET: How would you best describe Typecast? Where did the idea to make it come from?

GSM: Typecast is a satirical portrait series addressing typecasting practices in the entertainment industry.
Lack of diversity is amongst one of the most deep-rooted – and oldest – problems in the film industry. While ethnic minorities constitute nearly half of the US population, only 3 out of 10 lead actors in film are people of color and only 1.5 out of 10 film directors are female.

Though Typecast deals specifically within the entertainment industry, our goal is that it stimulates dialogue on implicit racism and how media representation directly correlates with one’s identity. Representation matters; it’s hard to overstate the importance of seeing someone who looks like you portrayed as a three-dimensional character with agency and dignity. Our project illustrates the plausibility of a more equitable future – both on-screen and in real life.

PD, ET: In your opinion, how has the representation of feminine identities evolved today? Do you think that visual art can change how we can represent, narrate, and ultimately see the others?

HS: Fortunately, the representation of feminine identities is diversifying thanks to the overall decentralization of the entertainment industry from traditional Hollywood studio productions to the emergence of competitive streaming services. We have evolved from seeing a singular archetype of womanhood as determined by a handful of powerful and usually male Hollywood studio executives to a much broader range of feminine identities born out of a multitude of younger, more innovative and more market-savvy writing rooms.

Haruka Sakaguchi & Griselda San Martin, Lolia Etomi, Typecast Role: Prostitute; Ideal Role: Serena Williams, 2018. Digital photography. Courtesy of the artists

While we believe that visual art is an effective tool to define and redefine selfhood, we also believe that the art world can have a very limited audience. By infusing humor and satire into our work, we hope to reach a broader audience and humorize – not vilify – ethnic and cultural stereotyping as an outdated and obsolete practice.

INFORMATION

A Feminine Lexicon is an online exhibition curated by Pia Diamandis and Elena Tortelli, students in Arts Curating at Istituto Marangoni Firenze for Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, available at museo.ferragamo.com.

Haruka Sakaguchi & Griselda San Martin are documentary photographers. They live and work in New York City, USA.
Pia Diamandis and Elena Tortelli are undergraduate students of Arts Curating at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

Exciting upcoming projects for Istituto Marangoni Firenze Alumna Montserrat Salvat. After attending a short course in Fashion Illustration at Istituto Marangoni Firenze, many doors opened for her, including the opportunity to realise her dream of becoming an illustrator. 
After her recent collaboration with established fashion brands, she talked to us about her techniques, her experience at Istituto Marangoni Firenze, and her latest successes.

By Giulia Piceni. Images courtesy of Montserrat Salvat.

I’MF: How was your journey with illustrations? Has it always been your dream to become a full-time artist and illustrator?

MS: Perhaps it was an unconscious feeling that I always had inside. Drawing was my outlet; it was a way to express my hidden feelings until I decided to share them. I quit my job in finance and turned my passion into my life. 

I’MF: How would you describe your time at Istituto Marangoni Firenze?

MS: It was an extraordinary experience. The high potential of its environment leads you to a perfect atmosphere where creativity is the only way. I feel so grateful to the staff, the colleagues and my tutor Domenico Strecapede who encouraged us to uncover the best in our technique.

I’MF: Which are your favourite mediums so far? Are you currently experimenting with something new?

MS: Watercolor, Bic pen and ink on paper, from my point of view, are the easiest way to express concepts without wondering. I also use ceramics, which gets me closer to the Earth. Transforming this material into jewellery pieces and illustrated plates helps me preserve the harmony and ethics entrenched in my roots. 

I’MF: You mentioned using a lot of ink in your works. Calligraphy is critical in your practice when it’s about reimagining a logo or completing an illustration with words. How would you describe your relationship to writing and drawing?

MS: It is part of my art. I complement my drawings with words that function as a detail, personalisation, or just an addition to what I want to communicate. I love writing what my inner energy feels and featuring it in sentences that sometimes are unfinished or unconnected: to me, it feels like poetry. They are a firm expression of my soul. In any case, I hide my signature in the stroke without clearly writing the name or logo.

I’MF: What are the artists and brands you look up to the most to seek inspiration? 

MS: Picasso, Dali, Goya, Dorothea Tanning, Egon Schiele. Talented designers and brands such as JW Anderson, Maria Gracia Chiuri for Dior, Alexander Wang, Burberry by Riccardo Tisci, Kim Jones for Fendi, and Delfina Delettrez. All of them and more.

I’MF: You’ve worked with very well-known fashion brands. What were the challenges you had to overcome to complete these successful collaborations?

MS: Basically, self-confidence. That’s one I’ve learned through experience: ensuring that your work is worthwhile and improves the final result. Illustrators are always seeking to please customers, which is understandable. Still, people should try and feel more comfortable showing and sharing their hard work and experimenting with new techniques for each project.

I’MF: Among the prestigious fashion Houses you’ve worked with, Valentino is surely one of the hottest brands. How would you describe this experience?

MS: It was a project for the presentation of Valentino’s new Born in Roma perfume in Barcelona. Apart from being the essence of one of the cities I love the most, my job was to capture the most beautiful desire clients had in mind on cards and recreate them as I liked: they were mostly flowers, shoes, tops and glasses. It was about connecting the customer with the brand’s essence, seeking a special way of making this encounter happen. 

I’MF: Even if you’re mainly working in the fashion industry, are you interested in bringing your expertise to other fields? 

MS: Of course, I constantly think about it. I’m mostly dreaming about ceramics, decorations and accessories that bring up your spirits once you get them. I’m also working with music, creating jingles covers and even organising short talks and workshops about fashion and illustration.

I’MF: Can you tell us about the recent projects you are most excited about? 

A project about Elsa Peretti will be presented in Miami during Art Basel this year and hosted at Istituto Marangoni Miami in a VIP event. The Halston and Elsa Peretti Foundation organise this exhibition. I consider Elsa Peretti one of this century’s most talented and perhaps unique personalities: emblematic, ahead of her time and a tenacious lover of beauty.

Montserrat Salvat is an Alumna from Istituto Marangoni Firenze. She attended a Fashion Design intensive course in 2020. 
Giulia Piceni is an Arts Curating undergraduate student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

Lo schermo dell’arte film festival in Florence keeps proving its worldwide part in gathering new artists and art while exploring new forms of creative expression.
The 15th edition of Lo schermo dell’arte took place at Cinema La Compagnia, opening its doors to all students, with free admission to those under 30 supported by Gucci. 
The following is a selection of seven takeaways by the Arts Curating students that attended the event online and at the cinema.

by Isabella Chevasco Champsaur, Camila Heredia Oranday, Riccardo Menichetti, Giulia Piceni, Lorenzo Risani. Cover image: Rosa Barba, Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage, 2021, installation view at CANGO Cantieri Goldonetta, Florence. 

Founded in Florence in 2008, Lo schermo dell’arte film festival aims to support international artists who create art within the realm of moving images, exploring the connections between cinema and contemporary art. 
With over 300 international artists, directors, producers and curators invited through the years, Lo schermo dell’arte also holds research and training campaigns, exhibitions, artist residencies, and other programs. Here are seven snapshots and recommendations taken by Arts Curating students during a week full of screenings, talks and encounters.

1. DEATH OF A NATION

Hectic, tense, and overstimulating, the first and only film by American artist Andres Serrano, the creator of Piss Christ (1987) and other provocative photographs, is the collection of images from the breaking-in of Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. by Trump supporters on January 6th, 2021. Gathering inspiration from the highly controversial film by D.W. Griffith, Birth of a Nation (1915), this new compilation takes a sarcastic turn as you watch how the event went down from the beginning to the end. 

Andres Serrano, Insurrection, 2022, still from video, courtesy of the artist.

The artist re-titled the series Insurrection. The shots are meant to be upsetting, to start a conversation. The audience was watching in a trance; it made you feel in the middle of the action, pushed around by the rioters. After a long applause, Serrano explained his process and the reason behind the film. He stated that, unlike their nation’s name, the country is very divided; he wanted to provoke society following the template of Griffith’s film. 

2. MODERN BORDERS

The borders are again a subject of the art scene. While worldwide politics are facing the themes of war and migration, two artists try to analyse boundaries as living subjects and not just as locations.
45th Parallel (2022), a fifteen-minute short by the Jordan artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan, features a monologue narrating the story of a cross-border theatre & library, one of the few places where families divided by the US-Canadian border can meet.

Yaara Bou Melhem’s Unseen Skies (2021) instead addresses two types of borders: between the earth and the sky and between Mexico and the USA, seen through the eyes of artist Trevor Paglen. Initially, the two borders look like separate entities. Then, at the end of the film, the two become one. They are proven to be symbiotic relationships.

3. WE CRAVE IMMERSION

This call for immersion does not manifest as a demand for virtual realities like the metaverse. Rosa Barba’s Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage (2022) colourfully illustrated a deep dive into Cyprus’s sea. The film was presented as an installation at CANGO, where visitors were encircled by a screen illuminating the immersive images.

Rosa Barba, Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage, 2021, still from video, © Rosa Barba / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022.

Pensive shots of fish, algae, and shipwreck remnants suspended the audience as the space allowed their minds to go underwater. As comfortable as it may be to see things from home, detail and colour get lost when moving pictures are shrunk to fit varying dimensions. We crave immersion, inside and outside the digital world.

4. CONNECTING DISTANCES 

Using excerpts from films produced between 1990 and 2018, Irani Bag (2021) is an ode to the poetry of subtle seduction that passes through the handles of a bag. Accompanied by written observations, the images show how this simple object becomes an outlet to release rage, an tool of self-defence, an extension of the feminine body, an object of love when filled for one’s lover: a bag can be these and much more, an instrument against an untouchable being: the woman.

Maryam Tafakory, Irani Bag, 2021, still from video, courtesy of the artist.

This short visual essay by Maryam Tafakory, one of the participants in the VISIO programme promoted by Lo schermo dell’arte, reshapes the way Iranian cinema portrays touch during the current ban on physical contact between actors.

5. TRAGIC VIEWS FROM THE TOP

Aziz Hazara gives us a literal overview of what being a child in Afghanistan means in five minutes and ten seconds. However, the short film’s point of view is not what you would expect. We are used to seeing dramas and tragedies before us; here, the perspective is above the scene.

Aziz Hazara, Eyes in the Sky, 2019, still from video, courtesy of the artist.

Recorded with the help of a drone, Eyes in the sky (2020) follows some children having fun in the most unexpected playground: a war ground. In all of this tragedy, still, there is space for hope. The final gazes of the characters leave no interpretations: their souls are full of faith in the future.


6. A VISUAL TRIP


The videos by Simon Liu and Yuyan Wang, participants of VISIO, the European programme dedicated to up-and-coming video artists, share multiple characteristics: a constant flux of images, acid tints, reality transformed into abstraction and a broken record playing like a desperate litany. Because of the structure and absence of dialogues, these pastiches are reminiscent of Koyaanisqatsi (1982), the surreal masterpiece by Godfrey Reggio.

They also share a circular structure: in E-ticket (2022), the final long shot with the sound of horses’ hooves references the initial melody. In One thousand attempts to be an ocean (2022), the opening canvas painted on top with a light blue hue, misleadingly interpreted as the sky, reveals itself at the end as a depiction of lathering waves.

Isabella Chevasco Champsaur, Camila Heredia Oranday, Riccardo Menichetti, Giulia Piceni, and Lorenzo Risani are undergraduate students in Arts Curating at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.


The new digital project “A Feminine Lexicon” by Arts Curating students Pia Diamandis and Elena Tortelli opened in May at museo.ferragamo.com.
Their project took inspiration from Museo Salvatore Ferragamo’s “Women in Balance”, an exhibition curated by Stefania Ricci and Elvira Valleri that celebrates the history of Italian women during the economic boom and the rapid changes in their identities. “A Feminine Lexicon” continues this conversation into what is considered feminine today through the works of eleven international contemporary artists and their testimonies.
In the digital exhibition, through audio recordings, all the artists describe their works and how they relate to a larger feminine lexicon in their own words. An excerpt of these reflections is gathered here for I’M Firenze Digest readers as a way to help them dive deeper into the exhibition.

By Pia Diamandis & Elena Tortelli. Cover image: ChongYan Liu, still from Talking, 2022. Photo: Yadi Liu. Courtesy of the artist

 “A Feminine Lexicon” artists include Paris-based visual artist and filmmaker ChongYan Liu (b. 1995, Guizhou, China). Her work tackles socio-economic inequality and intersectionality.
In “A Feminine Lexicon”, ChongYan Liu showcases the video Talking (2022) , representing the point of view of a young deaf woman as part of an intimate conversation between a young couple. The framing follows the woman’s eyes as she observes the monologue of the husband, who, in sign language, shares his desire to resolve a dialogue crisis with his partner. 
ChongYan Liu’s Talking is featured in the Struggles section of the exhibition “A Feminine Lexicon”, underlining the challenges that feminine identities continue to face today in their public and private life, alone or together.
The section Struggles features works by Alfiah Rahdini, Johanna Toruño, Haruka Sakaguchi, and ChongYan Liu.

PD, ET: How would you best describe your work, Talking? What has inspired you to create the video?

CL: One day I was walking down a street in Paris with a friend and we saw two disabled people. They were talking in sign language, probably talking in French sign language. In that moment I was wondering how they could really understand each other or if I was able to sign the French sign language, how we could communicate together.

ChongYan Liu, still from Talking, 2022. Photo: Yadi Liu. Courtesy of the artist

So, how can we really cross all the borders existing in all the languages and can we really understand each other?
Here comes the idea and I wanted to build this situation where the husband is both talking and using French sign language to communicate to his wife. The audience can imagine to be the wife that the husband is talking to. I say maybe, and this is what makes this project even more interesting, because we can never know what’s the real experience of the deaf person.

PD, ET: In your opinion, what are the current struggles that feminine identities face today in their private and public life?

CL: For me the struggles that the feminine identities are facing today are mostly invisible, but they are everywhere, in every detail, in every term we use. I hardly view myself as a feminist. Probably because every individual I see, I just see as an individual. Perhaps I do sound precise, but I do feel concretely this struggle starts existing in every detail and it can hide smartly in this small detail.

ChongYan Liu, still from Talking, 2022. Photo: Yadi Liu. Courtesy of the artist

I cannot give a precise example, but it exists in public and private life. The struggles can be hidden in language and maybe it existed already in the creation of my video, and it exists in my artistic process. To describe this with words is very difficult, but from my point of view, I believe that these struggles exist everywhere and any time.

INFORMATION

A Feminine Lexicon is an online exhibition curated by Pia Diamandis and Elena Tortelli, students in Arts Curating at Istituto Marangoni Firenze for Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, available at museo.ferragamo.com.

ChongYan Liu (b. 1995, Guizhou, China) is a visual artist e filmmaker. She lives and works in Paris, France.
Pia Diamandis and Elena Tortelli are undergraduate students of Arts Curating at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

Hagoromo is the last solo exhibition by the Tuscan artist Massimo Bartolini, curated by Luca Cerizza with Elena Magini at the Centro d’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato.
Through everyday objects, the artist transforms a pre-existing environment, giving it a new form for the viewer to experience a new world.
Visitors find themselves within a path that guides them in discovering themselves and the artist.
The exhibition becomes a rebus that unconsciously and independently resolves itself as a practical experience but continues to be unveiled rationally over time.

By Lorenzo Risani. Cover image: Massimo Bartolini, In là, 2022. Exhibition view: “Hagoromo” at Centro Pecci, Prato. Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio.

Doubt, uncertainty, fear and hesitation. That’s what you feel after crossing the exhibition entrance. There’s a sculpture representing a portion of a field and a photo of a sky. Where are we? What is the connection?
There are numbers attached to the walls. Then a sound, a melody that calls us, a series of notes that invite us to move forward.
So, we move inside the second environment. A structure composed of scaffolding pipes develops in the centre of the room and continues in the next rooms. Numbers mark space and time, and the melody continues to guide us through the area. Then other sounds add up, coins falling to the ground, sounds engraved on vinyl. Then an answer or maybe just another doubt. With a neon, the artist declares a ‘lack of soul’.
Continuing to move within the seven rooms connected by the same sonority, we enter a sort of trance-state during which music becomes time and time music.
But the sound is not the only element that alters our sensitivity. Through small hidden details, the artist transforms the exhibition space into a new reality and conditions our way of experiencing it through kinetic sculptures.

THE LEGEND

Hagoromo is the name of a Japanese legend that dates to the eighth century. It is among the most-performed Noh plays, the classical Japanese theatre with masked dancers and actors.
The legend goes that a fisherman was walking with his companions at night when he found the hagoromo, the magical feather mantle of a tennin (an aerial spirit or celestial dancer) hanging on a bough.

Top and above: Massimo Bartolini, Basement, 2011, bronze casting. Exhibition views: “Hagoromo” at Centro Pecci, Prato. Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio.

The tennin sees him taking it and demands its return because she cannot return to heaven without it. The fisherman argues with her and finally promises to return it if she shows him her dance or a part of it. She accepts his offer.

Massimo Bartolini. Exhibition view: “Hagoromo” at Centro Pecci, Prato. Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio

In the finale, the tennin disappears like a mountain slowly hidden in mist. Hagoromo (1989) is also the name of what artist Massimo Bartolini considers his first mature work. During the performance, an artist improvised music, and a dancer reacted to it by moving inside a cuboid on wheels.

RATIONALITY

Once I left the exhibition, I sat down to reflect and freeze my sensations.
The most instinctive part of my brain perceived that I had given meaning to all the information it had received, while instead, I had not rationally realised yet what I had experienced. As the days went by, through some reflections, the pieces of that jigsaw began to match.
The answer I gave myself is that through this exhibition, the artist tries to guide us (the spectators) through his artistic path.

Massimo Bartolini, Conveyance, 2003. Painted stainless steel, motor, water, mud. Exhibition views: “Hagoromo” at Centro Pecci, Prato. Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio

After entering the exhibition, the viewers find themselves in front of a terrain whose meaning and functionality they do not understand yet.
Then, once they lower their guard, they are guided by music. The viewer becomes a dancer moving in time and space towards a different world from which the artist has extracted his works.

Massimo Bartolini, Rugiada, 2020, pearlescent paint on aluminum. Exhibition views: “Hagoromo” at Centro Pecci, Prato. Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio

With this exhibition, the artist leaves us precisely what we find in the last room, a portion of land. A fertile soil on which you can grow. Our mind and creativity transform from an uncultivated terrain, of which we do not understand the functionality, to a portion of soil ready to be the base of our world and reality.

Lorenzo Risani is a Multimedia Arts undergraduate student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

Today is a special occasion: I’M Firenze Digest has published its 100th article. To celebrate the event, the Editorial staff invited the new Istituto Marangoni Firenze Director of Education, Francesca Giulia Tavanti to narrate her views on the world of Fashion, Art, and education.
The column Educating the Digital aims to connect students and the creative industry. Our readers can find interviews with tutors from Istituto Marangoni Firenze and active fashion and art professionals talking with students about their careers. This interview not only considers Francesca Giulia Tavanti’s career path as a motivational example for the readers but also gives a glimpse into the innovative educational practices that the future has in store for Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

By Giulia Piceni. Cover image: Illustration by Jessica García for I’M FIrenze Digest.

I’MF: A good starting point for our interview could be describing what it means to you to be part of the Istituto Marangoni community, especially now as Director of Education.

FGT: The first word that comes to my mind is responsibility. As Director, I feel it towards the community I manage: and it’s more about excitement than pressure. 
I feel that my mission is to enhance talent. Therefore, I perceive school as a tool in the hands of the students to help them know who they’re becoming. That’s why I’m always looking forward to a strategy to enhance talent through initiatives and projects.
Istituto Marangoni is one of the world’s highest-ranking schools in fashion, art and design; moreover, it is an academic environment with a lot of room to create new projects and experiences together. 

I’MF: Concerning your career, how did you become Director of Education at Istituto Marangoni Firenze?

FGT: I started in 2016 as a tutor. I still remember the first time I entered this building at its opening six years ago: I knew I was getting inside a new universe with specific aspects, qualities and values.
I was one of the few teachers in the Art Department who felt like a newborn in the Istituto Marangoni family at that time: nobody knew how to handle this new creation. I “adopted” this baby, and the school immediately allowed me to improve the art courses: I had a voice in the matter. My role naturally and spontaneously improved: I became a Unit Leader and, in 2020, Programme Leader of the Art Department. 
COVID arrived, and my role became even more crucial because of it. It was necessary to rethink education and the academic offer with an eye to Istituto Marangoni’s identity: it was a long process, but we managed to shape a team of tutors. I gradually surrounded myself with many excellent professionals and friends. And now, here I am as Director of Education!

I’MF: To dig deeper, you always had a strong relationship with the educational side of the art world, building bridges between the public, students and institutions. Which previous experiences have influenced most of your current approach as Director of Education?  

FGT: I presume there are two key experiences: the first was to be a student myself. Being Director of Education means that it is essential to understand a student’s point of view. I try to imagine the potential student’s experience for all the projects I propose. 
The second source of inspiration for me was my job at Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi: it allowed me to understand that I wasn’t a curator or an art critic but that I loved staying between the artworks and the audience instead. 

In this sense, being a tutor is being a mediator at first. It’s not about repeating a list of information you can easily find online. A tutor teaches you a method, an approach that the Internet can’t do. I remember many situations where I had so much fun and learned a lot while being a tutor. It puts you in a position of constant exchange with others. 

I’MF: Istituto Marangoni Firenze is a little gem among the numerous Istituto Marangoni venues for its peculiar mix of fashion, arts, sustainability, and technology. Can you predict the digital innovation you plan to bring to the school this academic year?

FGT: You mentioned two keywords that perfectly describe the school’s direction: sustainability and technology. As the new Director of Education, I would like to approach sustainability as an asset, as a method to incorporate into the teaching process: a systematic act towards change is highly needed everywhere. Think about our recent project in collaboration with FENDI and Sarah Coleman: it was about finding a solution to recycle and upcycle waste or scrap materials. Now we should take a step further and avoid creating the problem right from the start.

Francesca Giulia Tavanti with artists Sarah Coleman, and Istituto Marangoni Students, together for Dis-cycling: the seductive allure of creativity in sustainability project for FENDI. Photo: Virginia Niccolucci.

The second keyword is technology, with all its collateral implications, such as the Metaverse and digital innovation. I feel like the digital world is not an extension of our identity but a fundamental part of it. I don’t think one excludes the other: we should integrate it into real, tangible life. 
Richard Sennet’s The Crafsman is an inspiring book that discusses the relationship between humankind and technology; its pages declare that understanding any tools necessitates a tangible experience. That’s what we’re looking for in our programmes: reconnecting with the artisanal Florentine identity. After all, it’s the same thing that Renaissance artists did with art: creating an experience that still doesn’t exist in reality.

I’MF: To close our interview, is there anything you would like to say to the readers and writers of I’M Firenze Digest?

FGT: I would like to encourage interaction from the readers. We would love it if you proposed something or shared your opinions with the team. I’M Firenze Digest is a tool to create a bridge between the people outside Istituto Marangoni Firenze and the students. Please, readers, feel free to email us your comments, ideas and questions.
For the writers, I say: have fun! Write something that you would like to read. Try to be brave. Your vision and perception of the world differ from ours, and the Journal is your generation’s tool of expression, not mine. Speak truthfully about your ideas, and feel free to express yourself in the best way. Do not feel obliged to fit the schemes.

Giulia Piceni is an Arts Curating undergraduate student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

The new digital project “A Feminine Lexicon” by Arts Curating students Pia Diamandis and Elena Tortelli opened in May at museo.ferragamo.com.
Their project took inspiration from Museo Salvatore Ferragamo’s “Women in Balance”, an exhibition curated by Stefania Ricci and Elvira Valleri that celebrates the history of Italian women during the economic boom and the rapid changes in their identities. “A Feminine Lexicon” continues this conversation into what is considered feminine today through the works of eleven international contemporary artists and their testimonies.
In the digital exhibition, through audio recordings, all the artists describe their works and how they relate to a larger feminine lexicon in their own words. An excerpt of these reflections is gathered here for I’M Firenze Digest readers as a way to help them dive deeper into the exhibition.

By Pia Diamandis & Elena Tortelli. Cover image: Helena Hladilová, Tyvole, 2022, bardiglio marble, watercolor. Photo: Camilla Maria Santini. Courtesy of the artist and SpazioA, Pistoia.

“A Feminine Lexicon” artists include visual artist Helena Hladilová (b. 1983, Kroměříž, The Czech Republic). Her work navigates her experience of motherhood, finding amazement in subjects and the forming of inner life and her children’s unbridled imagination that are part of nature.
In “A Feminine Lexicon”, Helena Hladilová showcases a series of marble sculptures, embodying the numerous bedtime stories that the artist, a young mother, tells her children. Made of marble, mineral inserts, and watercolours, the sculptures are the translation of a private, intimate tale the artist uses to describe her world to her children. 
Helena Hladilová’s marble sculptures are featured in the Kins section of the exhibition “A Feminine Lexicon”, underlining the links, bonds and connections that we make, as Donna Haraway suggests, inside and outside our blood ties.
The Kins section features works by Monia Ben Hamouda, Helena Hladilová, Lebohang Kganye, and Alice Visentin.

Helena Hladilová, Rachanda, 2021, white Carrara marble, travertino, watercolor. Photo: Camilla Maria Santini. Courtesy of the artist and SpazioA, Pistoia

PD, ET: How would you best describe your recent marble bas-relief? Where did the idea to make them come from?

HH: Although prior to motherhood my production focused mainly on rearranging elements and objects that existed in the world spontaneously, almost as if I were expressing my amazement at the imaginative forces of Nature, after motherhood my work has become more manual, and I no longer seek that same amazement in creations from the outside world, no longer in objects but in their subject matter. Particularly in shaping the soul and unbridled imagination of my children, who are also part of Nature anyway.

Helena Hladilová, Tanuki, 2021, white Carrara marble, moresco brown, watercolor. Photo: Camilla Maria Santini. Courtesy of the artist and SpazioA, Pistoia

A momentary departure from the art scene led to a return to the fantastic and playful realm of my children, a world of stories in which matter is not always constant but constantly changing. If on one hand this theme is based on a child’s imagination, on the other it reveals my need to adapt to my new dual role as a mother and as an artist, the bridging of imaginary and real, domestic, and social, family and work dimensions. And while in the first part of my career I was amazed at what the world had created, singling it out and then presenting it as works, in this second phase I am presented with my own amazement emerging from the relationship with what I have brought into the world.

Helena Hladilová, Perinbaba, 2022. Bardiglio marble, onyx, watercolor. Photo: Camilla Maria Santini. Courtesy of the artist and SpazioA, Pistoia

PD, ET: As we consider your work deeply rooted in the kinships and bonds that you are continuously creating inside and outside your family environment, what is your relationship with traditions, memory and family ties?

HH: I feel a distinction should be made between memory and family ties. While memory reaches back in time and is not necessarily linked to reality, it can vary and blur, family ties are the opposite, built on the reality of the present, with a view to the future. My works are somewhere in the middle, between these two different perspectives. I use durable materials, connected to an idea of commemorating the past, although my subjects come from imaginary tales, intimate stories resulting from the way I live the present.

INFORMATION

A Feminine Lexicon is an online exhibition curated by Pia Diamandis and Elena Tortelli, students in Arts Curating at Istituto Marangoni Firenze for Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, available at museo.ferragamo.com.

Helena Hladilová is a visual artist. She lives and works in Tuscany, Italy.
Pia Diamandis and Elena Tortelli are undergraduate students of Arts Curating at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

To open the new Serial columndedicated to carefully selected series and their connection to art and fashion, we will analyse Undone – distributed by Amazon Prime Video – from a precise perspective, keeping our eyes on the spiritual side of the series. 
Considering technical aspects such as the use of a rotoscope and the more intellectual side of the psychological drama, the author focused on the importance of keeping traditions alive in Undone, set in an era of disillusionment about the intangible.

By Giulia Piceni. Illustrations by Jessica García Corral for I’M Firenze Digest.

UNDOING THE WORLD

Actress Rosa Salazar plays Alma, a 27-year-old woman unhappy with her monotonous life, marked by conflict with her mother, an ordinary romantic entanglement, and a rollercoaster relationship with her little sister.
Uprooted from her Mexican origins, she is involved in a car crash that awakens supernatural powers in her body and mind. She bumps into the spirit of her dead father, Jacob (played by Bob Odenkirk). She starts having visions, flashbacks and hallucinations, which the other characters see as signs of schizophrenia and PTSD. 
During these events, she is admitted to a superior dimension where she can communicate with Jacob, who desperately asks for her help to change the past to avoid his tragic death. 
Just like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, she is offered a great opportunity to change the paradigm that defines her life. Alma was trapped in the routine’s loop before, and now, freed by the repetition of daily rituals, she is ambushed in another spiral of deception. 

A PHYGITAL ANIMATION

It would be partial to discuss Undone without considering the role of animation, applied through the use of rotoscoping: the art of reinterpreting live-action images through drawing. Seen as a “cheating technique” by many purists, the director Hisko Hulsing ennobled this practice: according to him, the animation was the only possible way of narrating the story, being rotoscope the perfect tool to achieve a balance between realism and imagination. 
The allure of Undone’s dreamy world was emphasised by an element usually considered secondary: the background. All the settings were physically painted by trained artists in Amsterdam. The oil paintings were created with the 17th-century wet-on-wet technique, mixing the colours on the palette and on canvas to achieve better gradients. The artworks were then mapped in a 3D environment so that the rotoscoped animations of the live-action recordings could be animated. A final composition phase brought together six work layers: rotoscoping, colouring, painting, shading, 2D animations (for dust and fire, for example) and colour correction. This creates a reality that is vaster than what usually would meet the eye.

MAGIC, SCIENCE AND RELIGION

During Alma’s mystic journey, the spectator is introduced to the religion of the Nahuas: the ensemble of Mesoamerican pre-Columbian tribes to which Alma descends. A minority that still exists in Mexico, its spiritual life has been strongly affected by Catholicism.
The ancient Nahua spirituality that works its way into Alma’s mind is beautifully set into our contemporary world by screenwriters Kate Purdy and Raphael Bob-Waksberg, contributing to a psychological drama rooted in a mixture of magic, science, and religion.

© Jessica García Corral, 2022

Undone is a series about life going beyond itself: it’s an ode to everyday life alongside fantasy in a disenchanted world framed by an overlapping maze of artistic techniques. The audience could have easily been sceptical about the elements of magic and spiritualism if they weren’t so beautifully woven into the narrative. Those two ingredients contributed to creating a distance between the story and the viewer who, unable to use Alma’s superpowers, interprets the images on the screen as a projection of a possible world: realistic enough to partly believe in it but also sufficiently different to prevent any judgment. 

THE LONELIEST MAN IN THE WORLD

August 23 is the date of death of the Indio do Buraco, better known as the Indigenous Man of the Hole. This unique human being spent decades as a fugitive from the imposed civilisation process that repressed the Amazon region of Rondonia. In a few decades, he saw all his family killed for economic interest, causing him unrepairable trauma toward non-indigenous people1.
The FUNAI (Fundação Nacional do Índio)2 could do nothing but monitor and follow him until his death. He was found dressed in colourful feathers: he got ready for his last rite. The millennial knowledge that his tribe held and was condensed in him has now gone forever.

I found out about the death of the Man of the Hole by accident a few days after finishing watching Undone. This news reminded me of a scene where Alma gets inside her grandma’s Geraldine memories to save her from being secluded in a psychiatric hospital. 
We should keep the intangible heritage of the Nahuas shown in Undone and that of the Man of the Hole, who will be forever unknown to us, in our hearts and minds as a collective act of appreciation for cultures that are slowly fading due to society’s growing detachment from the past and savage treatment of our common home. 
Memory never dies, and you will never be forgotten, Man of the Hole. You, The Loneliest Man of the Earth

Giulia Piceni is an Arts Curating undergraduate student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.
Jessica García Corral is a Multimedia Arts undergraduate student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

1. The Guardian (2022) Amazon activists mourn death of ‘man of the hole’, last of his tribe. Online [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/28/amazon-activists-mourn-death-of-man-of-the-hole-last-of-his-tribe, last accessed, 14.09.22].
2. The FUNAI is a Brazilian governmental association that aims to protect and preserve the indigenous population on the nation’s soil.

Nel Tuo Tempo is the latest solo show by the Berlin-based artist Olafur Eliasson, curated by Arturo Galansino at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. With the assistance of natural elements such as water and light combined with everyday objects, including windows and mirrors, viewers’ perceptions are sublimated in a poetic, unpretentious way.
The visitors are encouraged to experience every room and installation through their senses. And this is what happened to the article’s writer while visiting the main floor of the exhibition. 

By Giulia Piceni. Cover image: Olafur Eliasson, Colour spectrum kaleidoscope, 2003. Color-effect filter glass, stainless steel. Exhibition view: “Nel tuo Tempo” at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence. Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio. © 2003 Olafur Eliasson

FAMILIAR ALTERATIONS
When I was little, my mum gifted me a kaleidoscope. I used to keep it inside a drawer among the kitchen tools and stare at its little universe of colours during moments of boredom. 
It was a kaleidoscope unique in its kind. On the opposite side of the ocular lens was a perpendicular circular hole. It was necessary to insert a glass tube filled with water, sand and glitters: a vividly coloured hourglass.
The tube could be rotated, and that rearrangement of liquids and solids made the tiny elements relocate inside the shiny water, which was pure pleasure for my eyes. In those moments, the world appeared as colourful as never before: I was craving to get inside that illusory dimension and jump from one facet to another.
While I was gaping at the books’ titles in the bookshop after the visit to Olafur Eliasson’s exhibition in Palazzo Strozzi, I glimpsed a light-coloured box containing a bunch of kaleidoscopes. Very simple in their shape, and without the option to rotate any of their parts, they directly overlooked the space around them. At that moment, the meaning of what I had just seen on display instantly became clear: the prismatic world we look for so we can dream is just in front of us. 

ILLUSORY REFLECTIONS
After walking up the stairs to reach the piano nobile of Palazzo Strozzi, I arrive in the first room, apparently empty. I look around and spot something on the left wall: a window multiplied in its measurements. But I don’t see the window: I’m gazing at its shadow, its ghostly presence that holds the title of Triple seeing survey (2022). The projection shows the glass’s peculiarities that compose the casement’s squares through wall-mounted spotlights. We could call them imperfections, but after a quick overview, you can admire the appealing modernity of their almost abstract lines: an unexpected feature that emerges from their glorious artisanal past.
These artworks, alongside Tomorrow and Just before now (2022), are the first ones that welcome visitors inside Palazzo Strozzi. They were specifically created for the exhibition Nel Tuo Tempo and planned to be framed by the walls of the Tornabuoni cultural space. 
Artificially projected rays that vary from a neutral hue, contemplating the twilight colours and reaching contrasting artificial tones, transform bits of the venue into the main focus of these works.
Essential and effortless in their representation, these light-based installations recreate the effect of Gothic stained-glass windows inside Palazzo Strozzi. 
Windows and lighting, prosaic and ethereal: both contribute to resignifying the relationship between the ancient venue and the contemporary artworks inside. It was a new approach to creativity and display for the Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. 

NOT JUST MOLECULES
After this luminous introduction, the following rooms could be considered a unique attempt to reshape the space using mainly two elements: our presence and mirrors.
Most representative in this category is the art piece Solar compression (2016), consisting of yellow-saturated mono-frequency lamps installed between two mirrors.

Olafur Eliasson, Solar compression, 2016. Convex glass mirrors, monofrequency lights, stainless steel, paint (white), motor, control unit, wire; Red window semicircle, 2008. Glass mirror, spotlight, tripod, color-effect filter glass (red). Exhibition views: “Nel tuo Tempo” at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence. Photos: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio. © 2008, 2019 Olafur Eliasson

Their light, whose rays fill the sixth room in its entirety, has the unique feature of manipulating our perception of colours, pushing our eyes to see the world in hues of black, white, and the lam’s main tint, yellow in this case.
Beholders can acknowledge this phenomenon by looking at themselves in the reflective surfaces that float in the middle of the room, spinning around themselves in a calming rhythm. 

Through this invitation to interact with the space around them, visitors are guided to resonate upon an elementary yet mesmerising fact: our simple existence actively affects the world around us. We produce alterations in our environment not only by moving molecules but also thanks to the reflections that things have upon us (physically and metaphorically) and the shadows we cast on the objects we encounter.
Because of us, single individuals and collective human beings, everything gets a new meaning; our unique, spontaneous action in the space around us opens our reality to a new poetic opportunity. 

LAST BITS
The last rooms of the exhibition stand out for their immersive quality. For example, Beauty (1993), a spectacle of water particles, unveils a sublime experience that focuses on the transience of things and our ability to see the world in alternative ways.

Olafur Eliasson, Beauty, (1993). Spotlight, water, nozzles, wood, hose, pump. Exhibition view: “Nel tuo Tempo” at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence. Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio. © 2019 Olafur Eliasson

The mist on which a rainbow is projected contributes to creating an ever-changing aerial sculpture; observed from different angles, it can generate radically different visions and perceptions in the eyes and mind of the viewer. 
This feeling is more generally beheld in the mixture of tangible, unpalatable and abstract elements that Olafur Eliasson masterfully displayed,
adopting an honest lyricism: delicacy at its finest. 

After all these aspects, it is evident that the kaleidoscopes in the bookshop are not the just pocket-sized version of the Color spectrum kaleidoscope (2003) – a sculpture in the tenth room of the exhibition, which colourfully alters the reality filtering from the narrower of its two openings – but they physically express the meaning of the entire show. 

Olafur Eliasson,Your view matter, 2022. Exhibition view: “Nel tuo Tempo” at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence. Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio. © 2022 Olafur Eliasson

Sometimes we don’t require an optical ploy to see the magic inside our reality. After all, everything we need is our presence, some light (preferably the one everyone has inside) and the fearless desire to be amazed by everyday life like a child again. 

Giulia Piceni is an Undergraduate student in Arts Curating at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

On October 16th, two students graduating in Fashion Design from Istituto Marangoni schools in Milan and Florence got the chance to physically showcase their final collections during the Lakmé Fashion Week in Mumbai. A great success for both the two Alumni and for Istituto Marangoni, the fashion show was supported by GFWi and FDCI. 
A commentary by the Director of Education of Istituto Marangoni Firenze highlights the Florentine School’s core values: technology and craftsmanship. 

By Giulia Piceni. Images courtesy of Graduate Fashion Week.

A starry night, young talents and an exceptional event are the ingredients of the closing catwalk of Lakmé Fashion Week, starring two of the best graduating collections from Istituto Marangoni’s Milanese and Florentine schools. 
The event was organised with GFWi (Graduate Fashion Week International), the most prominent international association that aims to create a dialogue between a wider audience and the BA fashion graduates through catwalks (both digital and physical), showcases, webinars and inspiring talks.
The show was also supported by FDCI (Fashion Design Council of India), a non-profit organisation that promotes young talent, industry corporations, educational institutions, and the best professionals in the field. Its main objective is to push Indian Fashion towards a more sustainable root to success.

LE GIVRE 

XingXing Su, who studied Fashion Design at Istituto Marangoni Firenze, saw her collection Le Givre displayed at the End of the Year Fashion Show in Florence and during this exclusive event. Inspired by Katherine Morling’s ceramics, areas of interest such as technology, craftsmanship and nature come together as a visual feast of flowers, pale tones, and spots of black. 
Interestingly, the young designer adopted a 3D pen to enhance her designs, adding some level of manipulation.

TECHNOLOGY AND CRAFTSMANSHIP

About the fashion show, Istituto Marangoni Firenze Director of Education Francesca Giulia Tavanti stated, “Istituto Marangoni’s international approach and its solid network allow our students to participate year after year in the world’s most prestigious events in fashion education. We couldn’t be more proud of their achievements: a springboard that prepares them for a thriving career.”

When asked to comment on the style of the young Fashion Design graduate, Tavanti said, “GFWi has been a unique opportunity for our Fashion Design Chinese student XingXing Su. She showed an international audience a perfect combination of our School’s values: technology and traditional Florentine craftsmanship”.

REFLECTIONS

Istituto Marangoni Milano was honoured to see one of its talents getting the international audience’s attention. The collection by freshly graduated Francesco Imberti was inspired by personal themes, such as the feelings of love and rejection experienced when he was younger. The set of emotions Imberti referred to for his project was also linked to his research on gender identity.

Francesco Imberti, Reflections, 2022. Lakmé Fashion Week, Mumbai. Images courtesy of Graduate Fashion Week.

Following this mood, the garments were shaped in rectangles to produce zero waste and shift the practice of pattern-making from a strictly socio-cultural meaning to a gender-fluid form.

“It is an immense honour and pleasure to present our graduate student’s accomplishment in an international showcase like GFWi and Lakmé Fashion Week, substantiating the wide-ranging and global presence of Istituto Marangoni worldwide but especially in Mumbai where we are an established educational provider since 2017,” says Ms. Diana Marian Murek, Director of Education at Istituto Marangoni Milano.
“The collection we exhibited in this occasion is the one of Francesco Imberti, winner of the Best Talent of Istituto Marangoni Milano 2022, a zero waste, no gender, all sizes collection, that in its sustainable and inclusive values represents Francesco’s unique sensibility regarding the world he and many young creatives are experiencing today.”

Giulia Piceni is an Undergraduate student in Arts Curating at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

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