Marble. Carving the Future
The MARMO | MARBLE. CARVING THE FUTURE exhibition draws attention to the profound interconnections between culture, the land, creativity and manufacturing quality that underpin the uniqueness of Italian-made products in the world.
Marble and natural stone are among the primary materials that characterise Italian craftsmanship. Because of their architectural and sculptural use over the centuries and their ductility today, they constitute a unique and unprecedented narrative and exhibition context.
This conception of a technological itinerary aims to express the global vision of an extraordinary production chain engaged in an ongoing interchange between business and art, between contemporary artefacts and the works of the master sculptors Michelangelo, Bernini and Canova, and, in doing so, celebrates the strength, the technique and the beauty of a static material par excellence.
The exhibition itinerary is accompanied by an original soundtrack composed to connect each exhibition area through an immersive sound experience, offering visitors a strong emotional and perceptual engagement.
The initial area, through the portal, provides the viaticum to getting to know the materials, natural stone and marble: perception spaces are born of the subjectivity of an operator who seeks to identify a path, a guide, a series of harbours to serve as landfalls on his/ her technological itinerary. The spirit of the spectator prepares for the narrative and acoustic experience of the exhibition to then set out on his/her journey.
Praise of Strength is the first story: its aim is to show how perseverance, intelligence and passion are the pillars of the dramaturgy of the MARBLE production chain. The excavation and transport of the quarried material are the first transformation, the marble blocks are taken to the storage facilities to be processed. This is where visitors learn about marble excavation and processing, the activities where Italic ingenuity is passed on and finds expression according to the different tasks carried out and their technical content.
This is the starting point, where the images convey the presence of man and the neuralgic actions, emblematic of courage and strength.
The Moses is a (235 cm high) marble sculpture by Michelangelo, dating from around 1513-1515, retouched in 1542, and preserved in the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome. Its filmic presence is conceived as a celebration of a memorable sculptural work, full of strength, drama and content, a symbol of Michelangelo’s identity as a man and as a sculptor. This marble sculpture is part of the statuary complex for the Tomb of Julius II (the pope is buried in St. Peter’s together with his uncle Sixtus IV). Once of the first statues sculpted for the project of the pope’s mausoleum, it was also the only one, of those conceived from the start to be used in the scaled-down final result, which saw the light of day after forty years of tormented vicissitudes.
Praise of Technique is the second story: the application of advanced present day technologies brings about innovative developments in the MARBLE production chain. The constructive dimension of automated machinery and tools for material processing interacts with human-driven processes. Yet the human presence remains essential in order to control the machines, achieve the best results and chart new paths for future operations.
Apollo and Daphne /Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Apollo and Daphne is a sculptural group inspired by a tale in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which tells of Apollo who is shot by a revengeful Eros with a golden arrow and falls in love with Daphne, a nymph follower of Diana. Pierced by a leaden dart, the nymph rejects the love of the god and begs her father Peneus, a river god, to change her appearance. The sculpture represents the culminating moment of Daphne’s metamorphosis into a laurel tree. Gian Lorenzo Bernini creates a theatrical mise-en-scène in which the viewer’s eye follows the development of the transformation.
Praise of Beauty is the third story. This area aims to reveal the correlation between the beauty of the designer’s creative act and the technological advancements in the processing of the materials. Beauty recaptures its roots and the craftsman’s gestures, carrying them into the present of Italian companies and into a future where innovation is key and beauty determines the actions of finishing and aesthetics. The stroke, the design, the modelling dissolve in the interplay of light and shadow, as if the stone and the marble were themselves the generators of movement.
Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss /Antonio Canova
Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss by Antonio Canova from a special viewpoint: the sculptor’s conceptual approach to Apuleius’ fable. The technical beauty of the sculptor’s famous final touch, which gave mankind a vital benchmark to define the Neoclassical movement, still surprises for its contemporary relevance as an example of universal beauty.
A space between historical identity and the imaginable future. In this area, visitors can have both a tactile experience and a visual and acoustic immersion of great emotional impact.
A repertoire of marble and natural stone creations arranged in a display case for the tactile experience precedes a model of a city composed of futuristic architectures, where marble and stone accompany the architectural developments. These are artefacts made by the same companies that provide their autochthonous knowledge and materials, under the constant coordination of CONFINDUSTRIA MARMOMACCHINE, the deus ex machina of this exhibition. The itinerary ends with Atelier Italia: the last film and music station of the exhibition.
On the screens, images of the ancient city of Rome scroll by in a 3D reconstruction.
Pliny, in his Naturalis Historia, writes that the first person to publicise the beauty of marble was Mamura, Prefect of the Blacksmiths in the retinue of Julius Caesar. Strabo states that after 48 B.C. the richest homes in and around Rome and the main monuments were made of marble and natural stone. The female faces of some of Antonio Canova’s busts are superimposed in a sequence, their gaze turned to the future in the knowledge that Stone and Marble would come to embody the strength and passion of the many Italian men and women who, to this day, continue to be part of the life and growth of this extraordinary industry.
AN EXHIBITION PROMOTED AND ORGANIZED BY
ITALIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Director General for the Promotion of Italy
Deputy Director General/Director for Integrated Promotion and Innovation
LUCA DI GIANFRANCESCO
Head of the Office for Integrated Promotion
CARLOTTA COLLI, ALBERTA LAI, FABIO RUGGIRELLO
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
ITA ITALIAN TRADE AGENCY
ARTISTIC AND CREATIVE DIRECTION BY
Founder, CEO and Creative Supervisor
General Manager, Head of Content and Editorial Strategy
Creative Director, Head of Production and Technology
Exhibition Design Director
Associate Creative Director
Chief of Staff to the CEO
Public Affairs & International Relations
Assistant to the Creative Director
Sound Designer, Assistant to the Artistic Director
Digital Archive Coordinator
Beulcke+Partners | Visual Identity
Executive Assistant to the CEO
ROBERTA DI MARIO
DAVIDE TISO and NICOLA DI PAOLO
Exhibition Sound Design
A SPECIAL THANKS TO
FONDO EDIFICI DI CULTO AND BASILICA DI SAN PIETRO IN VINCOLI (ROME)
GALLERIA BORGHESE (ROME)
MUSÉE DU LOUVRE (PARIS)
MUSEO GYPSOTHECA ANTONIO CANOVA (POSSAGNO)
ALTAIR 4 MULTIMEDIA ROMA
WITH THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE FOLLOWING ITALIAN COMPANIES
ANTOLINI LUIGI & CO, BRETON, CMS, CONSORZIO MARMISTI BRESCIANI, COOPERATIVA OPERAI CAVATORI DEL BOTTICINO, DELLAS, DENVER, EMMEDUE INDUSTRIE MONTANARI, FRANCHI UMBERTO MARMI, GDA MARMI E GRANITI, GRASSI PIETRE, ILPA ADESIVI, KWEZI, LAPIS URBE, MARINI MARMI, MARMI E GRANITI D’ITALIA, MARMI GHIRARDI, NIKOLAUS BAGNARA, ODONE ANGELO, PIMAR, PORFIDO FRATELLI PEDRETTI, PRUSSIANI ENGINEERING, SANTAFIORA, SOFIL