Milan is the background for “(T)rap&Architecture”, the project by Triennale

Milan is the background for “(T)rap&Architecture”, the project by Triennale

Giulia Guido · 1 year ago · Art

Yesterday we presented “(T)rap&Architecture”, the Triennale event powered by adidas Originals that will be streamed on Friday 16 April at 6 pm on the website and YouTube channel of Triennale Milano.

“(T)rap&Architecture” will be a digital talk that will see Bianca Felicori, curator of the entire project, discussing with Frah Quintale, Rkomi and The Night Skinny and reflecting on issues related to the city of Milan, the evolution that it has had over the years and how it will be in the future, but also on the deep bond that has always united the genres of trap and rap and the urban context. Topics already well known to the curator.

Architect, researcher and author for several Italian newspapers, Bianca Felicori in 2019 gives life to “Forgotten Architecture”, a platform where the focus is on lesser-known architecture around the world. In a short time, this project turns into a real archive of almost forgotten but always fascinating places, which has become a main resource for her independent works and collaborations.
At the same time, his research focuses on the relationship between architecture and other disciplines, first and foremost rap and trap music.

As well as exploring this theme, the talk also offers the possibility of discovering or rediscovering places in the city of Milan, from the suburbs to the central districts, both through the stories of Frah Quintale, Rkomi and The Night Skinny, but above all thanks to photographic and video documentation created specifically for the event.

The lens of Marco Aurelio Mendia, a photographer who has always been attracted to the urban landscape, and the camera of Van Khokhlov, a filmmaker specialising in advertising, followed the three protagonists to some of Milan’s iconic locations, where architecture is the main feature and characterises areas and neighbourhoods.

Curious to know how a project like “(T)rap&Architecture” is born, we asked Bianca Felicori a couple of questions, and to prepare ourselves even better for the event on Friday 16, we asked Marco Mendia and Van Khokhlov to explain some aspects of their work.

BIANCA FELICORI

How did you start your research project and what made you particularly passionate about the relationship between architecture and rap and trap music?

There are many reasons why I started this research project, but if we want to be concise we can say that it perfectly combines who I was and who I am into a single theme. When I was very young (eleven years old more or less) I started to approach Italian rap and then American hip hop (a reverse path, in short). Being born in Bologna, I felt very close to the scene of my city, at the time dominated by PMC-Porzione Massiccia Crew, but I also followed the Milanese and Roman scene in particular. Growing up and enrolling in high school, I realised how paternalistic an attitude towards this culture and its derivations really was. There was a sort of classist view and it was considered as a musical genre only suitable for those who lived in socially marginalised contexts. Which is absurd to think about today. Over the years, after enrolling in the faculty of architecture in Milan, I developed a personal awareness of the subject, I grew up and realised how much part of my cultural background could be read in relation to what I had become, an architect, a researcher and an author. This is where my interest in architecture used as a background in music videos was born and developed over time, becoming a pretext for establishing a political, anthropological and social debate on the city and our culture.

Why do you think it is important to pursue this discourse and what feedback have you received from those who have followed you so far?

I am privileged, the daughter of people who have built themselves up ‘from scratch’ as professionals and as parents. I am proud of the hard work they have done to achieve certain goals. The theme of social redemption is central for me today and is also central to this project. I believe that, in addition to the interest aroused by the idea of bringing a transdisciplinary experiment of this kind into a context such as the Triennale Milano, many of the people interested in the project also subscribe to the founding idea that I always try to make explicit. Moreover, this project will allow the artists’ audience to be reached and involved in a cultural environment. Vice versa, the artists will have the opportunity to read their work in relation to urban and architectural themes that are often considered disconnected from their reality.

MARCO AURELIO MENDIA

The architecture and landscape of the city are not unknown subjects to you. In fact, for years your artistic research has been based on street photography and exploration of the metropolis, starting from the world of graffiti artists and moving on to photographing from the rooftops and capturing the city’s skylines. Trap&Architecture focuses on the relationship between Milan’s architecture and music, how is this link reflected in your shots?

You could say that the projects are more similar than they seem, graffiti and urban exploration. The question I asked myself during the research is whether it is the person who exploits and contaminates his surroundings or the architecture itself that influences the person who exploits the corner of the city he is most attached to and grew up in. Personally, I think it’s a good mix: for example, some of the stories told through music are about the contexts in which the artists grew up, which inspired them, which contributed to their personal growth.My interest has always been to tell this subtle connection between man and urban context, whether it’s graffiti in underground tunnels, or rooftops overlooking skylines. It has always fascinated me to see how aseptic concrete can become a container for ideas and a source of inspiration on a multidisciplinary level.

What are the most difficult elements to calibrate and study in order to create shots in which the protagonist is as important as the surrounding environment?

Certainly in the design phase, that of combining two different languages, trying to tell the story of these architectural elements in the right way and giving the subject a voice.
Then in the realisation of the content, of the shots, it was very natural. I found a strong synergy between the selected places and the artists, just like a tailor-made photographic backdrop.

VAN KHOKHLOV 

Your work as a filmmaker started with your passion for skateboarding and then specialised in adverstising, especially in the world of fashion. Trap&Architecture, on the other hand, is a project that combines architecture and music, how did you approach this work? What was it like working with Frah Quintale, Rkomi and The Night Skinny?

I’ve always been fascinated by architecture, ever since I was a skate filmmaker. We would go everywhere, most of the time on the street, and you would find buildings with absurd constructions. In this project I found the me of those years and it was cool to put it all together. With Frah and the other guys there was an immediate understanding, many of them come from the same background as me and we understood each other immediately.

How did you manage to create a work in which the focus is on architecture without taking away space from the three protagonists?

Generally, you have to remember to insert the figures carefully into the architectural spaces: all you need is a little bit of handwork and the basics of composition. The rest is pure taste and imagination.

Milan is the background for “(T)rap&Architecture”, the project by Triennale
Art
Milan is the background for “(T)rap&Architecture”, the project by Triennale
Milan is the background for “(T)rap&Architecture”, the project by Triennale
1 · 7
2 · 7
3 · 7
4 · 7
5 · 7
6 · 7
7 · 7
“Okja” in ten frames

“Okja” in ten frames

Giulia Guido · 2 weeks ago · Art

Okja” is a 2017 film directed by Bong Joon-ho. Although it did not rake in awards like the subsequent “Parasite“, “Okja” ranks among the South Korean director’s best works and features an ensemble cast that includes Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Lily Collins, Giancarlo Esposito, and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The film tells the story of a young girl who for most of her life has raised a genetically modified “super pig,” building a bond of mutual affection with him. But their lives are set to change drastically as the industry that actually created the animal must take it back to begin the slaughtering process.
This is an exposing film against the mistreatment of animals within the meat industry that manages to deal with the topic by focusing on empathy and friendship. For this very reason in 2019 it was named one of the most influential films of the decade by the New York Times. 

In “Okja,” the state of mind of the protagonist and her animal are reflected in the colors of the sets and the choices related to the cinematography, curated by Darius Khondji (Seven, Midnight in Paris, Uncut Gems), which manage to completely capture the viewer. 

Okja
Okja
Okja
Okja
Okja
Okja
“Okja” in ten frames
Art
“Okja” in ten frames
“Okja” in ten frames
1 · 11
2 · 11
3 · 11
4 · 11
5 · 11
6 · 11
7 · 11
8 · 11
9 · 11
10 · 11
11 · 11
The illusion of calm in the illustrations of Kento IIDA

The illusion of calm in the illustrations of Kento IIDA

Tommaso Berra · 2 weeks ago · Art

You know the sky on certain summer days, when you couldn’t find a cloud miles away and everything above our heads is a delicate blue, the color of the sweetest of spun sugars? Illustrator Kento IIDA finds in this atmosphere of calm the inspiration for his works, images of tranquil landscapes but leaving an atmosphere of suspicion, as if something unforeseen will happen soon, or as if something unforeseen has just happened, far from the eyes of possible witnesses.
In these vignettes there are always elements or signs that suggest a movement that breaks the calm, sometimes the movement has already happened or is in progress, as in the case of cars launching from bridges or space missiles lifting angular clouds to the sky like marble sculptures.

Kento IIDA (who is based in Tokyo) incorporates elements of Japanese tradition in his illustrations, thus traditional buildings and views of snow-capped peaks that hint at Mount Fuji appear in these ambiguous scenes, as well as baseball players, a national sport in Japan and probably the artist’s favorite.
There are not only clear skies in the views, however; poetry is also provided by clouds, often single and isolated, or by gloomy skies that sound like an omen, in an increasingly suspended and uncertain time.

Kento IIDA | Collater.al
Kento IIDA | Collater.al
Kento IIDA | Collater.al
Kento IIDA | Collater.al
Kento IIDA | Collater.al
Kento IIDA | Collater.al
Kento IIDA | Collater.al
The illusion of calm in the illustrations of Kento IIDA
Art
The illusion of calm in the illustrations of Kento IIDA
The illusion of calm in the illustrations of Kento IIDA
1 · 9
2 · 9
3 · 9
4 · 9
5 · 9
6 · 9
7 · 9
8 · 9
9 · 9
Vickie Vainionpää’s code-generated works

Vickie Vainionpää’s code-generated works

Tommaso Berra · 2 weeks ago · Art

Artistic expression is now no longer bound only to manual gesture, and in some cases not even to the artist’s choice. Vickie Vainionpää‘s works in fact follow that artistic strand in which works are the result of codes, of an algorithm that creates unpredictable solutions by reworking basic information. The Montreal-based artist creates his works through a generative code, which traces a certain number of points placed in a Cartesian plane.
The result is that of twisted shapes like guts or extraterrestrial organic creatures, in which even the color and shades are dictated by the generative code.

The forms are then the basis for oil paintings on canvas, in which the digital forms acquire a presence and matter through the texture of the support, the shadows and the layering of color. Some of these canvases are recently on display in New York at The Hole NYC gallery for the artist’s solo exhibition entitled “Software.”
In Vickie Vainionpää’s works, the relationship between man and machine merges, the physical and virtual experience become interconnected to the point of blurring the genesis of everything. Who creates? Who is created by whom? A series of questions that help read and complicate the present.

Vickie Vainionpää | Collater.al
Vickie Vainionpää | Collater.al
Vickie Vainionpää | Collater.al
Vickie Vainionpää | Collater.al
Vickie Vainionpää | Collater.al

Vickie Vainionpää’s code-generated works
Art
Vickie Vainionpää’s code-generated works
Vickie Vainionpää’s code-generated works
1 · 5
2 · 5
3 · 5
4 · 5
5 · 5
Stefano Vitale trusted folk art

Stefano Vitale trusted folk art

Tommaso Berra · 1 week ago · Art

Arriving in the United States, in Los Angeles, to study at the University of Southern California, Stefano Vitale sought a way to express his hitherto unexpressed ideas using the skills he had at his disposal. Art began to figure as the most precise and sincere tool through which to do so, so he began a path that led him to a career as an established artist, thanks to his colorful and metaphysical illustrations, evocative of magical worlds in which nature dialogues with man, in which figures are suspended in mid-air in starry skies and under the hot Sicilian sun.

In the early years of his career, Stefano Vitale insists on a recurring subject, a one-eyed Madonna, a subject certainly influenced by the sacred iconography he studied and explored throughout his travels in Mexico and Central America. “I have always trusted popular art more than official art,” Vitale explains.
His look toward an elemental art is reflected in the style that uses simple lines, leaving the decorative component to color. The subjects are celebrations of joy or primal bonds such as that between mother and child or man and nature. Plants and leaves are superimposed on faces, while the sky is always a central subject of the compositions, signaled by the presence of bright stars or moons that make magical nights and sunsets.
Stefano Vitale’s work has then been linked for more than two decades by his collaboration with Donnafugata. For the Sicilian winery, the artist illustrates bottle labels, visually representing an imagery of flavors and smells that originates in Sicily, finds its inspiration from music and the Leopard, and seeps into sensory memory. Below are some of the labels created by Vitale for Donnafugata.

Stefano Vitale | Collater.al
Stefano Vitale | Collater.al
Stefano Vitale | Collater.al
Stefano Vitale trusted folk art
Art
Stefano Vitale trusted folk art
Stefano Vitale trusted folk art
1 · 8
2 · 8
3 · 8
4 · 8
5 · 8
6 · 8
7 · 8
8 · 8