“It is our responsibility to be magicians, to be jesters, to be alchemists, to create hope where there is only illusion, to create reality where there are only dreams”. Marcel Wanders thus introduced the Barovier&Toso project at the Fuori Salone in Milan, from April 8th to 13th, 2014. An installation that was the fruit of imagination – fantasy, in film parlance – that held our hand and accompanied us into a magical world full of surprises, the very fabric of fairy tales and magic. Where everything was itself and its opposite, because they moved according to unpredictable laws and almost miraculously came to life.
A theatrical spectacle – because spectacular is the only way to define the cloisters of the Basilica of San Simpliciano, which have been transformed for the occasion into a wonderland courtyard filled with chandeliers reconfigured with anthropomorphic features: a mixture of forms that surprised and unsettled, because they travelled beyond imagination and challenged the most basic principles of physics.
The protagonists of this extraordinary performance were puppets and dancers: the former – Harlequins with ceramic faces and glass bodies moved by the invisible Mangiafuoco Puppet Master, populated the smaller cloister next to the church, the latter – elegant and graceful in their majesty, pirouetted on the extraordinary stage of the grand staircase of the main building. In the middle, rotating chandeliers and inverted pendulums swayed in slow perpetual motion.
Light sculptures that describe how emotion is, in fact, a movement (of the spirit) that Barovier&Toso crystallises in over seven hundred years of creations.