Friday, August 31, 2012

Spike Lee does Good to Michael Jackson's Bad

(Venice, Italy) Michael Jackson's Bad album was released on August 31, 1987, twenty-five years ago today. This morning here in Venice, we screened Bad-25, Spike Lee's exceptional documentary about the making of the album. Bad-25 will leave no doubt that Michael Jackson's estate is in good hands with John Branca, who is also here in Venice. Audiences in the United States will see an edited version on Thanksgiving on ABC. Be sure to watch it, and then go look in the mirror. I promise you will have a new appreciation for Michael Jackson and tears in your eyes.

Spike Lee said the mandate was to "concentrate on the music." He had complete access to everything, and today we "saw stuff that nobody has seen before." The documentary opens the window on Jackson's creative process, and allows us to understand how hard he worked.

The making of the "Bad" short film -- Jackson refused to call them music videos -- was riveting. Jackson wanted to badden-down his image, so he asked Martin Scorsese to make the short film. Richard Price, who was asked to write the video, said he felt he had to do it because the combination of Martin Scorsese and Michael Jackson was simply too bizarre -- Jackson had enlisted an asthmatic Italian and an asthmatic Jew “to show the brothers that he’s down with them.” The film is packed with zesty bits of trivia, such as reminding us that Wesley Snipes made his acting debut in "Bad," and revealing that the "Annie" in Smooth Criminal who Jackson wants to know is okay -- "Annie, are you OK? Are you OK? Are you OK, Annie?" was the name given to all CPR practice dummies.

 Sheryl Crow, who was a back-up singer on the Bad World Tour from 1987-89, said Jackson "changed the molecules in the room." A journalist asked Spike Lee if the Christ-like image of Michael Jackson at the end of the "Man in the Mirror" performance in Wembley Stadium, which concludes the documentary, was intentional. Lee said he didn't know and she'd have to ask Michael. "But you can see by the way he was singing that song that he was not of this world."

Michael Jackson was another extraordinary example of the Creative energy personified on Earth. By focusing on the music and the creative process, Lee has humanized Michael Jackson into the hard-working professional artist he was. I could not find the clip of my favorite line: the young Wesley Snipes' challenge after the dance number: "What you gonna do? DANCE us to death?"

Michael Jackson redefines the word "bad," building on where Mary Poppins had gone before.

Michael Jackson: Bad.

Mary Poppins: Even Badder.

Ciao from Venezia,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

P.S. The face on that "Wanted" poster that is torn down near the end is of Martin Scorsese.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

LIVE! From the 69th Venice Film Festival - The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Moshin Hamid, Riz Ahmed, Mira Nair, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber
(Venice, Italy) "I believe I have been put on this earth to tell stories of people like me who come from two worlds... who live between worlds," said Mira Nair, director of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which opened the 69th Venice International Film Festival, and is based on the novel by Mohsin Hamid, who is also here in Venice. Nair spoke about the enormous schism that has developed over the last decade between the East and the West, and hopes the film will be a bridge to understanding better how the world changed dramatically on 9/11. As an Indian who lives in New York City, Nair has a unique voice that requires attention.

Kate Hudson
Starring Riz Ahmed (Changez), Kiefer Sutherland (Jim Cross), Kate Hudson (Erica) and Liev Schreiber (Bobby Lincoln), the film starts with the dramatic kidnapping of an American professor in Pakistan, intercut with the family of Changez listening to powerful devotional Sufi music. The music was sung by a family of renowned Pakistani Qawwali singers, led by brothers Fareed Ayaz and Abu Mohammed, from Karachi. I have heard them sing this music live here in Venice during the International Music Festival in 2010, and it gave me goosebumps -- it is uplifting, intense and other-worldly -- like an ethereal telephone call to the heavens.

In my opinion, the film succeeds beautifully, but I, too, live between worlds, and have direct, personal experience with just how badly the United States government can behave overseas. "They" hate "us" because a dark element in the US government -- unknown to most American citizens -- deliberately tries to re-shape other countries the way "we" want them to be, using the most insidious methods imaginable. It doesn't work; it only enrages the rest of the planet; but this dark element can't seem to understand there is another way to go about change.

In 2007, Mohsin Hamid wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post entitled, Why do They Hate US? Hamid was born in Pakistan, but moved to the United States at the age of three after his father was accepted into a PhD program at Stanford. Here's an excerpt:

'Why Do They Hate Us?'

By Mohsin Hamid
Sunday, July 22, 2007
...The residue of U.S. foreign policy coats much of the world. It is the other part of the answer to the question, "Why do they hate us?" Simply because America has -- often for what seemed good reasons at the time -- intervened to shape the destinies of other countries and then, as a nation, walked away.

... Americans need to educate themselves, from elementary school onward, about what their country has done abroad. And they need to play a more active role in ensuring that what the United States does abroad is not merely in keeping with a foreign policy elite's sense of realpolitik but also with the American public's own sense of American values. 

Mira Nair and Mohsin Hamid seem to genuinely love the United States of America, as I do myself -- I spoke quite passionately about this to Kyle Scott, the US Consul General from Milan when I met him at the US Pavilion at the International Architecture Festival on Monday. We love the United States and the freedom, joy and opportunities that abound, and anybody who feels that way is an ally, not an enemy -- which is why it is peculiar that the foreign policy is so warped. More from the article:

...All of which leads us to another, perhaps more fruitful question that Americans ought to consider: "Why do they love us?" People abroad admire Americans not because they back foreign dictators but because they believe that all men and all women are created equal. That concept cannot stop at the borders of the United States. It is a concept far greater than any one nation, no matter how great that nation is. For America to be true to itself, its people must broaden their belief in equality to include the men and women of the world. 

The challenge that the United States faces today boils down to a choice. It can insist on its primacy as a superpower, or it can accept the universality of its values. If it chooses the former, it will heighten the resentment of foreigners and increase the likelihood of visiting disaster upon distant populations -- and vice versa. If it chooses the latter, it will discover something it appears to have forgotten: that the world is full of potential allies.

Kate Hudson and Riz Ahmed
From Xan Brooks' review in the Guardian:

Venice film festival opens with 9/11 drama The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Director Mira Nair, who lives in New York, hopes American audiences will see it as a film made by people who love the US

The Reluctant Fundamentalist – directed by Mira Nair from the novel by Mohsin Hamid – is a globalised rites-of-passage tale, torn between two worlds, pointed towards disaster, and damning capitalism and terrorism with the same brush. Yet while the material may be contentious, its director insisted that the film be viewed as a dialogue rather than a confrontation.

Mira Nair
"I hope American audiences receive it as it was intended – as a film made by people who understand what it is to love America," Nair said. "I hope they see it as a conversation between two cultures that goes beyond the prejudices that contaminate us. I really believe, unlike George W Bush, that it's not a case of 'You're either with us or against us'. There is a third way. There is common ground."

Neither Mira Nair or Mohsin Hamid are dummies. They were not born in the United States, but they have lived there long enough to offer valuable insight. Their skin is not white and their names are exotic, but they have a point of view that needs to be heard in the West.

Ciao from Venezia,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lance Armstrong in Venice

Lance Armstrong - Photo: Bike Radar
(Venice, Italy) Since Lance Armstrong is in the news, I thought I'd share my Lance Armstrong in Venice story.

On May 9, 2009, the Giro D'Italia was held on the Lido, a long sandbar on the Adriatic Sea, which is about a 10 minute vaporetto ride from the historic center of Venice. I knew zero about professional bicycle racing back in May, 2009, but I had an Italian boyfriend, "Marco," who was a timekeeper for official sports, and he invited me to go. At dinner the evening before, Marco told me that he would have a pass for me at the race course on the Lido, and that there were two rules:

1. Since the pass allowed me to access all areas, I was not to go near the holding area where the bikers waited just before they began their race because they needed to concentrate.

2. I was not to call him because he needed to concentrate and his phone would be closed. He said he would be over by the private airport on the Lido, and to head in that direction after I arrived.

Cat Bauer's flag on balcony June 15, 2012
That morning there was a colorful regatta on the Grand Canal and we were encouraged to put up our Venetian flags. Since I had no real flagpole, I put my flag up on the end of a metal mop handle, attached it to a wooden broom handle, and wrapped some colorful ribbon around the heavy tape connecting the poles. I had on my Venetian tee-shirt, and, after the regatta, off I went to the Lido. 

I had no idea what to expect since I had never been to a cycle race before, so I was surprised to find that the entire Lido was blocked off. People crowded along the barriers. It seemed like all the armed forces of Italy were standing guard. It was impressive, and I slowly began to realize that Giro D'Italia was an important cycling race, an international event. From Wikipedia:

Along with the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, the Giro makes up cycling's prestigious, three week-long Grand Tours.[1][7] The Giro is usually held during late May and early June.[1]

Here is a short YouTube clip to give you an idea what it was like. As you can see, it's fast and perilous:

Marco had told me the race started at 3:30, and not to be late. I was late. Another problem was that with the road blocked off I had no idea how I supposed to get to the airport, or where I was to supposed to pick up my pass -- and I couldn't call Marco to find out. I started walking. Every time I saw someone with a pass around their neck, I asked them where they had gotten it, but there were different pick-up locations depending on the color, and I had no idea what color my pass was. I decided to go straight to the airport, which was about a half-hour walk.
When I finally arrived at the airport, I went to the Start Line. The entire area was zoned off, and there was a huge crowd with heavy police presence. I squeezed up to the fence. I asked a policeman on the other side if he could get a woman holding a clipboard to come over, as I wanted to see if my name was on the list. I said, in Italian, "My name is Cat Bauer and my boyfriend is a timekeeper and he has my pass." I didn't know the word for "timekeeper" in Italian, and sort of mimed a watch. The woman glanced over at me, shrugged and said my name was not there.

Next to me, a short American woman spoke up. "What did you just ask?" she demanded.

 "I asked if my name was on the list because my boyfriend is a timekeeper and he has my pass."

"That's not going to work. Do you know how many Americans want to get back there? They're not letting any Americans get back there."

"Well, I think they will let me back there. I've lived here for eleven years, and I really do have a pass." I wondered why she was being so snarly.

"Well, I've lived here for eight years, and I'm telling you that you're not getting back there."

I laughed. "You're funny! What do you do?"

"I'm not at liberty to say. But it has something to do with the military."

I realized that, indeed, I was surrounded by people who were speaking in English, not Italian, and started wondering if they were all in the military. I approached another policeman and told him my dilemma. "This is the Start Line," he said. "If your boyfriend is a timekeeper, then he would be at the Finish Line." Uh, duh. "How do I get to the Finish Line?" "You have to cross the racetrack, and go around, down..." The directions blurred. The police opened the barrier and escorted me across the racetrack.

I wandered around and found myself outside a long row of tents, a red carpet kind of area. I told the guard my story, which had turned into a sort of sing-song chant: "My boyfriend has my pass. He is a timekeeper. May I go inside?" The guard let me in, and I discovered that the rows of tents were filled with different sponsors displaying their wares. I stopped at a tent that was offering local olive oil samples, dipped with fresh bread.

I started chatting with a few other people. "Honestly, I don't know anything at all about cycle racing. The only cyclist I've ever heard of in my life is Lance Armstrong."

"Lance Armstrong is here," said one guy, munching on some bread.


"Yeah, he's right over there." The guy indicated somewhere at the end of the tents. "He's racing for Astana." Whatever that meant. (I only found out today, while researching this post, that Lance Armstrong had just returned to racing on April 30, 2009 -- ten days before I saw him -- after retiring in 2005 with seven Tour de France medals.)

Photo: Ken Conley
I went down to where the guy had pointed, and found myself just outside a chain-link fence, the cyclists in uniform in some kind of holding area, waiting for their turn at the Start Line -- exactly where Marco said I was not supposed to go. There was a handful of people outside the fence with me. "Which one is Lance Armstrong?" I asked, keeping my voice low so as not to disturb the cyclists' concentration. A young Italian girl indicated the cyclist directly in front of me on the other side of the fence. "That's Lance Armstrong. You can see he has a different helmet than the others."

In fact, Lance Armstrong was wearing a very cool "Livestrong" helmet, which I later found out was his foundation to help people who have cancer. "Do you know a lot about racing?" I asked the girl. "Oh, yes," she gushed. "It's fantastic," and began rattling off the benefits of the sport. I looked at the toned bodies of the cyclists; their uniforms fit them like a second skin. They did look very... healthy and exceptionally... fit. They were beautiful; I had never been so close to a group of perfectly toned bicycle-men before. I decided at that moment that cycling was an excellent influence on young people, and on older women, too:) Lance Armstrong was so close to me that I could have poked him through the fence, but I resisted.

Off zoomed Lance Armstrong and the Astana team, and off I went to find Marco and my pass, hoping to make it to the Finish Line before Lance did. I exited the tents, walked for another bit, and found myself in a large field with rows of bleachers inside locked metal cages, the fronts of the cages adjoining the race course. Ah, ha! I thought. The Finish Line! I walked up to a cage at the same time that Massimo Cacciari, the then-mayor of Venice, arrived on his bicycle. I remembered that he was a biking enthusiast. He started to go inside the cage. "Massimo!" I called. "Can you please let me in? I really do have a pass!" Massimo looked at me and said, "I don't have the power to let you in." I watched, disappointed, as the gate closed behind him. The man at the gate with the key said, "Well, I have the power to let you in. Come on in."

The man opened the gate, and in I went. I found myself locked inside a cage of bleachers, right on the edge of the race course. But where was the Finish Line? I made my way to the front of the bleachers, whose door was also guarded by a man with a key. I told the man that my boyfriend was a timekeeper, that he was at the Finish Line, and he had my pass. The man opened the door to the cage. "Look." He pointed a bit down the race course. "Do you see that banner across the road? THAT is the Finish Line."

Off I went, crossing the street (at that point there were no bicycles or cars whizzing by) walking right on the edge of the race course itself, following a camera-man and a couple of other people who appeared to be with the media. We passed several other cages of locked bleachers. As we approached the Finish Line, a policeman checked each one of us for our passes. When he got to me, he saw I didn't have one. A group of Carabinieri came to get me. "You have to leave." They said. "No!" I said. "I've come this far! I can't go back now! I really do have a pass!" Walkie-talkies squawked. Discussions were held. Finally, one Carabiniere opened another cage. "Go inside there and wait until the race is over." I was one cage away from the Finish Line, and figured that I had gotten close enough -- just in time to watch Lance Armstrong zoom by.

Mark Cavendish-Photo: Italian Cycling
After the race -- which was won by Brit Mark Cavendish --they unlocked us, and I made my way to the booth where the timekeepers sat looking down at the Finish Line. I went inside and found Marco, who handed me my pass, gave me a quick kiss, and said he still had to work. I went back outside and bumped into the lady with clipboard, the one I had originally asked about my pass at the Start Line. I wiggled the pass that was now around my neck. "I told you I had a pass," I winked.

"Oh, I'm so sorry!" she said.

"Don't worry about it. I had so much fun trying to reach the Finish Line, it was better without the pass!"

After that experience, I learned more about Lance Armstrong. I discovered that he had beaten some very serious cancer. Just that fact would be enough to make him a hero. From Wikipedia:

 On October 2, 1996, then aged 25, Armstrong was diagnosed as having developed stage three testicular cancer (Embryonal carcinoma).[14] The cancer spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain. On that first visit to a urologist in Austin, Texas, for his cancer symptoms he was coughing up blood and had a large, painful testicular tumor. Immediate surgery and chemotherapy were required to save his life. Armstrong had an orchiectomy to remove his diseased testicle. After his surgery, his doctor stated that he had less than a 40% survival chance.[15]

Photo at Washington Times
After that, Armstrong went on to win the Tour de France seven consecutive times, starting in July, 1999. Those are the medals that the United States Anti-Doping Agency -- an American taxpayer-funded non-profit anti-doping agency, which was created three months later in October, 1999 -- think they have enough power to strip away, despite the fact that he has never tested positive for doping.

Now, today, August 24, 2012, Lance Armstrong says he will no longer battle against the United States Anti-Doping Agency. The USADA says it is an admission of guilt. Armstrong says he is sick of them wasting his time.

From his very strongly-worded statement:

"Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart's unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today - finished with this nonsense."

Please click to read the Telegraph:

Lance Armstrong will not fight US Anti-Doping Agency charges - statement in full

Great move, Lance! Way to go! Take the wind out of their sails!  All these witch hunts, which seem to be originating in the United States of America, have got to stop. Nike, his sponsor, is standing by him, as is everyone else with a brain.

If Lance Armstrong wanted to race around the Lido ALL BY HIMSELF to raise money for Livestrong to spread the message that cancer is not a death sentence, I would pay to see him. And I never pay to see anybody.

What a bunch of dopes.

Ciao from Venice,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Night on the Town in Venice - Titian's Assumption - Dogma & Poetry

Assumption of Mary by Titian (detail)
(Venice, Italy) Nowhere else on the planet can a big night out on the town include a lecture by a top scholar about one of the world's greatest masterpieces in front of one of the world's greatest masterpieces inside one of the world's greatest churches, followed by music written by one of the world's greatest composers.

Last night, Giandomenico Romanelli, who was the Director of the Civic Museums in Venice, gave a talk entitled Titian's Assumption - Dogma and Poetry inside the majestic Frari to an audience of mostly local residents. After the lecture, Interpreti Veneziani, a group of local musicians played the music of local resident (now deceased) Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto per 4 violini, violoncello, archi e cembalo op. 3 n. 10 Estro Armonico for an enthusiatic crowd in front of local artist (now deceased) Tiziano Vecellio's painting Assumption of Mary. Sure, you can hear a lecture like that in other venues, but not right in front of the painting itself! And not inside the very church where it belongs!

How amazing is that?! Here in Venice, you can just walk out the door, take a little stroll and experience such an awesome spectacular, performed by local talent, surrounded by your neighbors -- FOR FREE.

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Titian's first major public commission in Venice, the Assumption of the Virgin for the high altar of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (1516–18), established his place as the leading painter of the city. Contemporaries noted that some viewers were uneasy with its novel portrayal of the dynamically twisting Virgin and the gesticulating apostles below. It broke with tradition as well in the heroic scale of the figures and the use of bold color. The Assumption can be seen from the far end of the church, drawing the eye to the sacred space of the altar.

Tomorrow is August 15th, Mary's heavenly birthday -- the day she ascended into Heaven -- which makes her a Leo, ruled by the Sun. I wrote about the Holy Day and national holiday last year, in 2011, and four years ago, in 2008, so this year we will have a re-run:)

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15, is one of my favorite holidays here in Italy. It is when Mary ascended into Heaven, body and soul. I went to Mass at the Basilica this morning in the company of a German woman whose father is Catholic and mother is Lutheran. She remarked that the Catholic religion is one of the few where female divinity is worshipped along with the male image of God.

Ciao from Venezia,

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Four Seasons - Italian Pavilion at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition

Stabilimenti Olivetti I.C.O Copertura cortile Nuova I.C.O.1958 
Architetto Eduardo Vittoria 
Courtesy Francesco Mattuzzi e Fondazione Adriano Olivetti
(Venice, Italy) The Italian Pavilion, curated by Luca Zevi, has announced its vision for the 13th Venice International Architecture Exhibition. Riffing on The Four Seasons, the project imagines an encounter between Architecture and Business to kick-start Italy out of the economic crisis. 

1950 Olivetti Lettera 22
The First Season - Nostalgia for the Future - starts with the visionary entrepreneur, Adriano Olivetti (1901-1960), son of the founder of Olivetti, Camillo Olivetti. Adriano Olivetti transformed the Italian workplace. Those who were fortunate enough to use an Olivetti typewriter will remember how beautifully designed they were; in fact, many Olivetti products are in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Olivetti believed that people who respected each other and the environment could avoid war and poverty. He shared the wealth, cutting his employee's hours while increasing their salaries and fringe benefits, and hired innovative architects to turn his industrial complexes into works of art.  

The Second Season - Assault on the Land - moves to the 1980s when, after the exit of major businesses from Italy, projects were swiftly developed in a kind of desperate frenzy that gave no consideration to architectural design or how they fit into the existing environment.

Teuco-Guzzini Stabiimento 
industriale Pica Ciamarra Associati Montelupone (MC) 
1996 fontana ph. Francesco Jodice
The Third Season - architecture for the ‘Made in Italy’ system - Following Olivetti's path, for the past fifteen years, some "Made in Italy" companies have focused on creating first-class architectural designs that incorporate business, people and the land into an aesthetic environment. 

The Fourth Season - reMade in Italy - From May 1 to October 31, 2015, Milan will host the World Expo "Nourish the Planet, Energy for Life." With this in mind, the Italian Pavilion will be a place where designers, businessmen and politicians take a serious look at how to blend nourishment, movement and living into the same equation.

Here's the press release, slightly edited:

The Italian Pavilion at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition la Biennale di Venezia 
Architecture for the ‘Made in Italy’ system 
from Adriano Olivetti to the Green Economy 
curated by Luca Zevi
 Venice, Tese delle Vergini at the Arsenale 
from 29 August to 25 November 2012

 This year is not like others. The Italian Pavilion must place itself at the centre and reflect on the relationship between the economic crisis, architecture and the land. It must be a space where a project for our country’s growth can be imagined.  The ‘common ground’ must be translated into a solid, visionary project in which culture and economy enter into a new agreement.

--- Luca Zevi, curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition.

Archimede Solar Energy Sed
direzionale Maryfil Architecture Massa Martana (PG) 2011
ph. Paolo Ficola
The project unfolds like a possible meeting, the rewriting of an ‘agreement’ - shared place and possible space - in which architecture, land and environment communicate with economic development -- a ‘common ground’ between business and architecture as an inescapable requisite for recovery. The story describes the ‘four seasons’ of architecture for the ‘Made in Italy’ system along its bumpy and fertile path in search of a virtuous relationship between architecture, growth and innovation.

Stabilimenti Olivetti I.C.O. Primo ampliamento Salone dei 2000 1934 
Architetti Luigi Figini, Gino Pollini 
 1st season: Adriano Olivetti - nostalgia for the future

Adriano Olivetti vince il Compasso d'Oro per 
la Lettera 22 di Marcello Nizzoli 1954 
Per gentile concessione della Fondazione Adriano Olivetti
It is a path that can only begin with Adriano Olivetti’s work in postwar Italy as the paradigm of a development model in which industrial politics, social politics and cultural promotion come together to promote an innovative direction for changes to the land. It was a unique experience for the times and the context, which induces a positive ‘nostalgia for the future’. Olivetti was an innovator in the way he did business and in his vision of the world, his choices and his principles. He was convinced that ‘doing business’ cannot stray from an ethical and responsible attitude to the workers and the area that housed the factories. A lover of the avant-garde in art and architecture, he involved all the most talented architects and designers of the 1950s, making every industrial complex into a work of art. Ivrea (Olivetti headquarters, near Turin) became the place for testing a virtuous ‘factory city’, considered an experimental module of a possible regional development. The Pavilion opens with this story because Olivetti’s vision - which kept architecture, economics and the land together - may become the key point on which to begin rewriting the future of the country.

2nd season: the assault on the land

Starting from the 1980s, with the widespread entrepreneurial fervour following the loss of major industries from Italy, there was a kind of ‘assault’ on the land by projects that were very vigorous in terms of production, but wholly disinterested in any form of architectural expression or appropriate insertion in the landscape. This was the period of production ‘in the stair cupboard or warehouse, often dressed up with a house in Swiss chalet style’, the zero point of architecture for the ‘Made in Italy’ system.

Ilti Luce Centro ricerca e produzione UdA Torino 2002 7 ph.Luigi Gariglio
3rd season: architecture for the ‘Made in Italy’ system

In the last 15 years some ‘Made in Italy’ companies - marked by an ‘Olivetti typology’ in dimension and specialised production - have decided to build their factories and head offices to first class architectural designs. The result is buildings that pay heed to the poetics of the places and the objects, to the lives of people and to environmental sensitivity, documented - and ‘narrated’ - in the exhibition. Doing ‘virtuous’ business also in imagining the production places and marketing is helping to create new landscapes. The exhibition is transformed into a pathway of discovery, knowledge and reflection on architectural and planning works for the ‘Made in Italy’ system. The sense of the perspective lies in their action: industry that asks architecture for the outline of the places, the everyday, its own identity. 

iGuzzini Light Laboratory Maurizio Varratta Recanati (MC) 2010 
ph. archivio Iguzzini illuminazione
 4th season: reMade in Italy

The challenge of the ‘fourth season’ - the systemisation of ‘Made in Italy’ companies in the direction of a Green Economy - is fated to meet the challenge of Expo 2015 ‘Nourish the Planet’, which will be an extraordinary opportunity for reflecting on the relationship between land and environment, city and agricultural production, and the sense of ‘design’ in the north and south of the world. Nutrition, which will be the hub of Expo 2015, prompts further analysis of the sustainable community concept: the relationship between city and countryside, industrialisation and agricultural production. The Italian Pavilion thus becomes a place where designers, businessmen and politicians begin to seriously look at the questions of living, in anticipation of an era when the obsession with the megalopolis must leave room for new rules inspired by the community, in which nourishment, moving and living become functions of the same equation. Some recent Italian experiments that move in this direction will be illustrated: upgrading towns by inserting new-generation production activities; rethinking of public spaces aimed at a city on a child’s dimension, which become the parameter of the quality of life in urban spaces, in an attempt to rethink the city as an eminently public place.

Sal.pi Uno Sede produttiva Enzo Eusebi Preci (PG) 2012 
in corso di completamento
A sustainable Italian Pavilion 

The Italian Pavilion does not restrict itself to asserting a new way of living, but tries to offer a kind of prototype of a different type of housing, which keeps together the culture of the environment and the Green Economy. The Pavilion will thus be turned into an energetically self-sufficient and environmentally welcoming place. Multimedia tools and innovative technology will allow the visitor to interact with the story, to ask questions, to virtually meet the main characters in the story being told. Interaction with animated elements - holograms, virtual people and videos - will mark every stage of the narrative. Conversations, interviews and performances will occupy the space every day.

Ciao from Venezia,