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November 11 2011

Pipilotti Rist: Parasimpatico / Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Cinema Manzoni, Milan / Italy

Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist has some experience with unusual locations. She has been presenting her works in churches and on LED billboards, and her videos often emerge in unexpected places such as toilets, liquor bottles, and handbags. For her latest project for Fondazione Nicola Trussardi she uses the interior of the historic Cinema Manzoni in Milan, Italy as surface for her video projections.

Parasimpatico is the first major solo exhibition by Pipilotti Rist in Italy. The project combines old and new work. Pipilotti Rist wraps the spaces of the Cinema Manzoni in a new skin of images. In combination with the Manzoni’s interior architecture and decoration, Rist creates an immersive experience of light, color, movement, and sound.

In the lobby of the former movie theater the Cape Cod Chandelier (2011) welcomes the visitors. Moving up the grand a machine blows soap bubbles at the audience (Nothing, 1999). The video installation Lobe Of The Lung (2009) is projected onto the undulating surface of the ceiling. The journey through Pipilotti Rist’s universe continues in the foyer with the video installations Rain Woman (I Am Called A Plant) (1999) and Sip My Ocean (1996).

For those going to the restrooms, there are two video monitors in the restrooms presenting Solution For Man and Solution For Woman (both 2011). Finally, the great auditorium houses three major video works. Open My Glade (Flatten) (2000), a giant self-portrait is projected on the original, panoramic screen of the theater. Across the entire ceiling and walls Pipilotti Rist projects parts of the human anatomy (Extremities, 1999). Finally, the work Homo Sapiens Sapiens (2005) is projected in the lunette near the balcony, on a fresco by Nicolò Segota.

Pipilotti Rist was born in Grabs, Switzerland in 1962. The artist lives and works in Zürich and Sommerset. As a child, Elisabeth Charlotte Rist was fascinated by Astrid Lindgren’s character Pippi Longstocking. She decided to adopt the unconventional name Pipilotti, which combines Pipi and Lotti, a nickname for Charlotte. Pipilotti Rist studied applied arts, illustration, photography and visual communication in Vienna and Basel. Apart from her career as visual artist, she also has been member of the all-female rock band Les Reines Prochaines.

Pipilotti Rist’s work has been shown in the world’s leading art institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. She has participated in major art events such as the biennials in Venice, Sydney, Istanbul, Moscow, Shanghai, Berlin, Lyon and Sao Paulo. Currently, Pipilotti Rist has a solo show (Eyeball Massage) at the Hayward Gallery in London.

For over fifty years the Cinema Manzoni was one of the most important movie theaters in Milan. The richly decorated and frescoed movie theater was designed by architect Alziro Bergonzo. It opened in 1950 and immediately came to be seen as the most elegant movie theater in the city. It was used as location for important films such as Michelangelo Antonioni’s Story of a Love Affair (1950) and The Lady Without Camelias (1952). The Cinema Manzoni definitively closed in September 2006 and now awaits transformation. Thus, Pipilotti Rist’s exhibition is a unique opportunity to see the spaces of the former Cinema Manzoni in their original state.

With Pipilott Rist’s Parasimpatico, the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi continues its concept of rediscovering forgotten places and hidden treasures in the heart of the city of Milan and bringing them back to life through contemporary art. Previous artists involved have been Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset, Darren Almond, Maurizio Cattelan, John Bock, Urs Fischer, Anri Sala, Paola Pivi, Martin Creed, Pawel Althamer, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Tino Sehgal, Tacita Dean, and Paul McCarthy.

Pipilotti Rist: Parasimpatico at the former Cinema Manzoni runs until December 18, 2011. The exhibition has been curated by Massimiliano Gioni.

Pipilotti Rist: Parasimpatico. Presented by Fondazione Nicola Trussardi at the former Cinema Manzoni in Milan / Italy. Opening reception, November 8, 2011.

PS: Interview with Pipilotti Rist coming soon.
PPS: Photo set after the jump.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Photo set:

February 23 2011

Yinka Shonibare, MBE: El Futuro del Pasado at Alcada 31 in Madrid

El Futuro del Pasado at Alcalá 31 in Madrid is the first solo exhibition of Nigerian-British artist Yinka Shonibare’s work in Spain. The show features a series of photographs based on Francisco de Goya’s etching “El sueno de la razón produce monstruos” (“The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters”) from his “Los Caprichos” series. Also on display: the work Shonibare did for the Fourth Plinth in London; “The Big Three”, a group of sculptures representing the managers of the three major American car companies; the film “Un Ballo in Maschera”; the first group of collages made by Shonibare; and “Cannonball Heaven”, an installation produced especially for this show. The exhibition has been curated by Octavio Zaya.

Yinka Shonibare, MBE: El Futuro del Pasado at Alcada 31, Madrid / Spain, February 17, 2011.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

PS: Click here for more ARCO videos.

April 30 2010

Italy in summer: insiders' guide

From alfresco cafe culture with the Milanese, gelato with the Romans and all-night revelling with the Genovese, our experts give the lowdown on local life

Alfresco partying, Milan

Milan's fashion pack really comes out in force during summertime, when those in Gucci sundresses and D&G shades sip on espressos while people-watching over sun-soaked piazzas. Cafe culture is big business here, and there are alfresco eats aplenty: the new outpost of California Bakery (Piazza Sant'Eustorgio 4) offers a mouthwatering menu and a beautiful outdoor backdrop.

Milan's bar scene also spills outside in summer (though many shut up shop in August); the Roïalto roof garden (Via Piero della Francesca 55) is the place to soak up the sun, while the Diana Garden terrace (Viale Piave 42) is the place to be seen. Corso Garibaldi has a string of hip bars – try the Radetzky Café at 105. Temporary venues also pop up each summer, although Bar Bianco (Viale Enrico Ibsen 4), a cocktail bar in Parco Sempione with a live DJ, is a trusted favourite.

When it comes to outdoor clubs, the best are Café Solaire (Gate 7, Circonvallazione Idroscalo, Segrate, +39 02 3406 756096) near Milan's artificial lake by Linate airport, and Karma (Via Fabio Massimo 36, +39 0256 94755) – here you can party under the stars and rub bronzed shoulders with the rich, famous and fabulous. The Milan Film Festival in September finishes off a fun summer in the city.
Townhouse 31 (+39 0270 156, doubles from €199) is an understated townhouse with a courtyard bar
Nick Clarke, writer for Hg2, luxury city guide series

Peace and people-watching, Florence

A hop and a skip over the tourist trap Ponte Vecchio, hiding in the cute-as-a-bug's-ear neighbourhood of San Niccolò, lies the peace of the Bardini Gardens (Via dei Bardi). Rising in stepped terraces towards the ancient city walls, these simple and lovely manicured gardens offer a grandstand view of Florence across the Arno, and the €7 entrance charge also gets you free admission to the neighbouring Boboli Gardens, the Pitti Palace costume museum and the Medici Treasury. When you totter out of the Pitti Palace you can rest your toots at a lovely little wine bar Pitti Gola e Cantina (Piazza de Pitti 16). Just opposite the palace, this elegant little prime people-watching perch – with its tiny streetside terrace – serves tasty fare in addition to a cheeky Tuscan sip list. Perfetto.
J and J Hotel (doubles from €130) near the Duomo has stylish white rooms
Grant Thatcher, founder, Luxe Guides

Ice-cream and cocktails, Rome

When in Rome in the summer, do as the Romans do and head out into a sun-soaked space such as the Spanish Steps or the Piazza di Trevi, or indeed pound the pavement of Via dei Condotti in search of something suitably filigree to slip into. The creamiest gelaterie of the city-based crop are Giolitti (Via degli Uffici del Vicario 40) and San Crispino (Via della Panetteria 42). For lunch, there's nowhere quite as trendy as Trastevere: bookstore-cum-café Bibli (Via dei Fienaroli 28, +39 0658 14534) serves excellent food in a quaint covered garden. If it's a terrace with a view you're after, Caffè Capitolino (Capitoline Museums, Piazza del Campidoglio 19, +39 0669 190564) has panoramic views of the city and, on a clear day, the Alban Hills.

On sticky summer nights, it's all about quaffing negroni cocktails on hotel rooftops or lingering till late on trendy terraces. For the former, take the elevator to the 7th Heaven Bar at the Aleph Hotel (Via di San Basilio 15), while the latter can be enjoyed at Joia (Via Galvani 20). And if that isn't enough summer goings-on, the Estate Romana Festival between June and September – with more than 150 music, sporting and film events – ensures that there is always something outdoorsy to do. NC

Shakespeare and Zeffirelli operas Verona

Verona in summer means the arena (Via Roma 7), the enormous Roman amphitheatre which is home to one of Italy's best opera seasons, from mid-June to the end of August. This year, the arena pays tribute to Italian director Franco Zeffirelli by staging his versions of five much-loved operas: Aida, Carmen, Il Trovatore, Madame Butterfly and a new production of Turandot. But the city is also offering a packed calendar of events at other venues, with jazz concerts at the Roman theatre (Palazzo Barbieri, +39 0458 066485), ballet (among others, Romeo and Juliet) also at the Roman theatre, and Shakespeare plays (in Italian) at several venues around town. And of course Verona itself is always worth a visit, with the beautiful, bustling Piazza delle Erbe, the views from Castel San Pietro and pretty Piazza del Mercato Vecchio, which often hosts street performances.
Hotel Verona (+39 0455 95944, doubels from €88) has plain but pleasant modern rooms
Carla Passino, editor,

Art and picnics, Rome

Notwithstanding its collection of awe-inspiring masterpieces by Canova, Bernini, Raphael and Titian, the Galleria Borghese (Piazzale Scipione Borghese 5, +39 0685 48577), is all the more divine for its splendid location in the sylvan parkland that is Villa Borghese. The recipe for the perfect day is simple. A day or two before, book your timed-entry tickets for the galleria, then reserve your cestino of goodies at Gina (Via San Sebastianello 7, +39 0667 80251) situated just by the Spanish Steps – their lovely rentable wicker picnic hampers come complete with everything you need including checkered tablecloth, glasses, plates, fresh sandwiches, fruit, wine and even a thermosflask of coffee – how neat is that. On the day, stop by Gina en route and you can leave your hamper at the cloakroom check-in while you ooh and ahh. Not a picnic person? No problem. Within the park is the grandiose Casina Valadier (Piazza Bucarest, Villa Borghese, +39 0669 922090). A leisurely alfresco lunch under the trees of this palazzo's dappled terrace is perfect for those who prefer something a little less rustico. Taste and culture. Gioia! GT

Heated battles and cool jazz, Genoa

Genoa is staging thousands of events this summer to celebrate its role as one of the Mediterranean's most important cities. There will be art, with an exhibition of Caravaggio's landscapes at Villa del Principe until 26 September (Piazza del Principe, +39 0102 55509,, poetry, with an international festival at the Palazzo Ducale (Piazza Matteotti 9, +39 0105 574000, from 10 to 20 June, historic re-enactments, including a regatta on 2 June, where vessels from Italy's four ancient maritime republics – Genoa, Pisa, Amalfi and Venice – do battle with one another, and religious processions (in honour of the city's patron San Giovanni, on 24 June). But most of all there will be music. The rhythms of the Mediterranean world will take centre stage all summer at Genoa's old harbour, Porto Antico, filling it with sounds from Europe and Africa.

Women will be the focus of Just Like a Woman, a three-day celebration of international music queens, featuring Sinead O'Connor, Morcheeba and Diana Krall, on 8, 12 and 14 July respectively, all at Porto Antico (Via al Ponte Calvi 5, +39 0102 485711). But Genoa's musical programme also has a strong American flavour, with a Guitar Festival paying tribute to Jimi Hendrix (between 16 and 28 July at Porto Antico), an exploration of American music at Villa Bombrini (5-25 July) and Gezmataz's, the city's biggest jazz event, a five-night feast of concerts and workshops with, among others, Ornette Coleman, Vicente Amigo, Paolo Fresu and Stefano Bollani (all at Porto Antico). After a quieter August, the Genoese summer season culminates with the Notte Bianca, an all-night revel, on 11 September.
Palazzo Cicala (+39 0102 518824, doubles from around €190) has airy white rooms, funky bathrooms and period furniture CP

Love and romance, Trieste

Few places are more conducive to romance than Trieste, the grande dame of Italian coastal cities, stretched white and neoclassical along the Adriatic Sea. This spring and summer, Trieste takes the mantle of Italy's romantic capital by displaying Francesco Hayez's 1859 painting Il Bacio (The Kiss), the masterpiece that celebrates the love between a man and a woman (and, as an allegory, between Italians and their soon-to-be-unified homeland) until 15 August. The show will also include three watercolours by the same artist, and will take place against the haunting backdrop of Miramare (Viale Miramare, +39 0402 24143), the wedding cake of a castle built for Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian and his wife, Charlotte of Belgium, on a small promontory west of the city.

But summer romance is in the air everywhere – take a walk along the promenade at night to see the moon playing on the water, or climb up to the cathedral and castle of San Giusto to admire the panorama over Trieste's red roofs, the harbour and the soft wavelets beyond. And don't forget to walk the path that links the seaside towns of Sistiana and Duino, to take in the magnificent sea views that inspired Bohemian poet Rainer Maria Rilke's Duino Elegies.
The Hotel Greif Maria Theresia (+39 040 410115, doubles from around €120 – call for best rates) is a grand affair in the seaside suburb of Barcola CP © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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