Entitled ‘Beauty connects people’, the Italy Pavilion in Dubai will pay tribute to our country’s history, present and future. Here’s a foretaste in the interview with Studio Rampello & Partners.
Rampello & Partners was officially founded in 2017 following the encounter between the artistic director and curator Davide Rampello (you might recall him at the Triennale, among others) and the creativity of three young women endowed with complementary skills, namely Tania di Bernardo, Greta Carandini and Erika Bignami. They teamed up while creating the Zero Pavilion at the Milan 2015 Expo and later developed into a creative studio focusing on design, artistic direction and the production of exhibitions, installations, events, festivals and cultural communication projects. After engaging in projects such as Memory and Contemporaneity at the Venice Biennale in 2017, Milano XL during the Milan Fashion Week 2017, Panorama and Arts of Italy for OVS, they will take up their new challenge at the Dubai Expo (from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021) with the completion of the conceptual phase of the design of the Italy Pavilion, entitled ‘Beauty connects people’, which will pay tribute to Italy’s excellences. They explained the details in the following interview.
What are the goals of the Studio Rampello?
Our projects all share a specific and ambitious goal: that of creating educational initiatives capable of stirring emotions, in which the narrative form conveys highly detailed content that makes a striking and memorable impression through the form itself. The studio nurtures a vision of culture made up not only of art, museums, galleries or institutions, but also social stories, know-how, imagination and scenario projection. Whether we’re involved in exhibition routes or cultural communication projects aimed at companies, we always seek to transform cultural contents into a collective heritage, accessible to all and usable by people of any age, diffused through universal emotions such as awe and wonder.
The Italy Pavilion: what will we find inside it?
The narrative route inside the Italy Pavilion will take the visitors on an unprecedented journey through the Italy of Beauty, touching on the country’s extraordinary past (its grand history and arts), its formidable present (the power of ‘Made in Italy’ and its excellences in the most diverse fields: fashion, food, design) and its promising future (with topics associated with green economy blending technological innovation and environmental sustainability).
In other words?
The idea of hybridisation, contamination and the harmony between different worlds, disciplines and skills will be the metaphoric key to unlock the distinctive character of Italian genius. In other words, Beauty viewed as the common thread running through stories and geographic locations will be the key word to convey a unique story, through a spectacular route filled with theatrical effects and emotion, but also creative inspiration and detailed information.
What’s the starting point?
We started from the general theme of Expo Dubai 2020, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, and, in creating the concept design of the Italy Pavilion, drew inspiration from the ‘connection’ element, defying its technological dimension in favour of a more historical and authentic connotation. Hence the idea of the title, ‘Beauty Connects People’. We started out by asking ourselves the following question: ‘What is it that keeps us all connected in Italy? In the vertical sense, the fact of being connected to a past littered with centuries of glorious history? And, horizontally, being connected to our present?’ Our instant, and perhaps obvious, reply was: Beauty.
How will you interpret the idea of Beauty, the core of your concept?
‘Beauty Connects People’ is a motto reflecting an idea of Beauty that transcends mere aesthetics to embrace virtues, values, know-how, creativity and the traditions of all our country’s excellences. It can be likened to a collective unconscious awakened and fuelled by the spectacular staging of the most powerful and distinctive Italian trait. Beauty, which in Italian tradition and innovation blends and incorporates style, cultural and spiritual wisdom, design capabilities and creative genius.
What will you refer to?
In searching for an expressive mode capable of conveying this idea, we relied on words and discovered the etymology of the word ‘paradise’, which means ‘garden’. Paradise is, by definition, the space where beauty, order and universal harmony reign. The garden, therefore, as a symbol of harmony and balance between the elements, which any object regarded as ‘beautiful’ must possess.
In ancient Italian-style gardens, the concept of beauty was not associated with the distinctive quality of the ornamentation, but with harmony between the parts and their relation to the whole. Starting from this assumption, the route inside the Italy Pavilion will embody an actual journey through the paradise/garden that is Italy. This idea clearly evokes the extraordinary biodiversity and incomparable diversity of our country’s landscape, while the metaphoric-scenic connotation of the garden establishes a link with the previous Milan 2015 Universal Exhibition and its implications for the agricultural, food and environmental sectors.
What are the strengths of the project?
The idea and the strong focus on the theme: The ‘Beauty Connects People’ concept is an effective motto for Italy but also serves as a wake-up call for the rest of the world: just as we regard Beauty as a defining mark of identity and sharing, likewise other countries must equate it with ‘connection’ and the sharing of knowledge, experiences and emotions pertaining to a sense of taste and beauty with an increasingly international dimension.