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International Pavilion: Italy

Barcelona Design Week is inviting other countries and cities to be part of an exhibition that showcases the best design talent from their territories. For this edition, the International Pavilion will be located at the Palo Alto open-air venue and will host two exhibitions featuring Italian design:

On the one hand, “Ferri Taglienti” is a work created by Odo Fioravanti and Gulio Iacchetti that reflects on the subtle relationship between nature and artifice, between what precedes man and what man precedes. It is the ancestral history of the domestication of the environment through thought and praxis, in order to get this relationship back on track to a human dimension, accessible to a low risk. The exhibition presents a selection of pieces related to the Italian rural landscape: pieces designed for working with wood as well as polishing, cutting and preparing it for winter.

On the other hand, the “Grado Zero” exhibition is a project commissioned by the site-specific Molto Molto group organized within the framework of the ITmakES project. Colour is a visual experience inevitably linked to sociocultural factors. Every colour has a meaning which we are more or less conscious of, and its presence in clothing, spaces and objects produces different connotations according to the context. In an almost instinctive way, we link certain values ​​with certain colours, associating them with traditions, motivations or ideologies.

In the specific case of white, it is usually associated with principles related to purity, neutrality or sterility. It is also associated with classic principles, a concept whose construction has included discourses of balance, elegance and restraint. Throughout this process, the value of white has been both a construction in itself and an element for the construction of other values.

If the white associated with classicism dominated, through architecture and sculpture, the production of spaces seeking relevance, one of the most important contemporary values ​​of white within art is that of neutrality and purity that goes beyond its own culmination, generating white as a non-value. White as a means to say that nothing is being said, to generate neutral, impartial spaces that leave room for the values ​​of others, for other contents. The white of the white-bucket. But, is this white really empty? What message is intended to be conveyed when saying that nothing is said? What does white hide?

And if we transfer the spatial values of white to objects, what can be read into the objects? By depriving them (supposedly) of chromatic value, do they become neutral and meaningless? Or are they, in an almost automatic way, classified as clean, elegant and classic? Is white really the zero degree of colour?

Grado Zero is thought of as a visual journey that seeks to stimulate reflection on the perceptive features and visual conclusions that we can draw from these objects. The objective of this exhibition is to consider, through a series of pieces made by different designers, how the receptive criteria of a shape or texture change, and what values ​​take on relevance once the chromatic impact has been removed and using the alleged zero-value.

The selection of designers carried out by the commissioners fully interprets the values of the ITmakES project, an initiative between the Italian Embassy in Madrid and the Italian Consulate in Barcelona where creative design and innovation involving both Italian and Spanish designers, architects, sound artists, create the way for creating and developing joint projects.

* Opening event: 6 June at 19.00 h
** Italian snack: 9 June at 19.00 h

Organized by: Barcelona Design Centre, Consulate General of Italy in Barcelona and Istituto Italiano di Cultura a Barcelona.
Collaborators: Sabores de Italia