Swatch at the Venice Biennale: when art brings people together

Swatch at the Venice Biennale: when art brings people together

Giulia Guido · 2 years ago · Art

Born during the beginning of the pandemic, designed through hundreds of calls on Zoom and daughter of the changes we are experiencing, the 59. International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia finally opened its doors last April 23.
For the sixth time in a row, Swatch returned to the lagoon city not only to support the most important artistic event of the year, but also to be present, not with one, but with two works within the two locations of La Biennale. 

The Milk of Dreams“, the dream of Cecilia Alemani

The curator Cecilia Alemani has chosen as the title of the exhibition “The Milk of Dreams“, directly taken from the book of the same name by Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), British writer and surrealist artist. In the book, Carrington describes a world in which life is constantly reinvented, a place where it is possible to change and transform oneself. These are topics that coincide with our contemporary world in which the theme of identity is at the center of social debate. 

Precisely for this reason Cecilia Alemani offers us a path in which the works of international artists tell the metamorphosis of the body and analyze the definition of human by taking the discourse to the extreme, not only to the lack of gender definition, but also to the creation of a robotic and cybernetic life. 

Leading the way on this journey is Simone Leigh’s monumental work, winner of the Golden Lion “for the monumental sculpture rigorously researched, virtuosically crafted and powerfully persuasive that opens the path to the Arsenale.” 

Swatch X La Biennale

Swatch, which has been working closely with international museums and artists for over thirty years, is present in two different ways, but which underline the importance that art has for the Swiss watchmaker. For the occasion, two new watch models have also been launched, dedicated to this year’s theme and available in White Dream and Black Milk. 

Swatch Faces 2022

Inside the Arsenal is the crowning achievement of the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai, the artistic residency project launched in 2011 and aimed at all creative souls. Swatch Faces 2022 brings to the Biennale the works of 5 artists who have lived in the residence over the last three years. A dedicated pavilion hosts the paper sculptures by the Korean Hoyoon Shin, the imaginary characters by the Chinese Xue Fei, the three giant paintings by Tang Shu that deal with the concept of isolation, the abstract collages by Landi and the paper statues by Marcelot, present during the opening days. 

Marcelot, a Swiss artist based in Paris, has created a work that is a true homage to the city of Venice: an enormous winged lion, symbol of the city, reigns at the center of the pavilion. The artist’s technique involves the use of carefully selected sheets of local newspapers, alternating with Venetian fabrics. The final result is monumental, but the paper also gives a feeling of lightness. 

THE DESCRIPTION OF THE WORLD di Navin Rawanchaikul

Moving from the Arsenale to the Giardini, one is greeted by THE DESCRIPTION OF THE WORLD by Thai artist Navin Rawanchaikul, a work that perfectly represents the meeting of different people, countries and cultures.
The artist was lucky enough to live for some time in the lagoon city just after the lockdown, when the city was still semi-empty and had the opportunity to meet the people who live there and animate it every day, discovering stories that began in distant countries and all converged between the streets and bridges of Venice. 

Present during the days of the inauguration, Navin together with Carlo Giordanetti, creative director of Swatch, has placed the last piece of his installation that offers a journey through the faces that the artist has crossed and the places he has lived. Inspired by Marco Polo’s voyage and succeeding in uniting East and West, the work of 15 meters by 4 meters is truly a description of the world, a world that like Venice and La Biennale hides its richness in the encounter and exchange between peoples and people. 

Swatch
Swatch
Swatch at the Venice Biennale: when art brings people together
Art
Swatch at the Venice Biennale: when art brings people together
Swatch at the Venice Biennale: when art brings people together
1 · 14
2 · 14
3 · 14
4 · 14
5 · 14
6 · 14
7 · 14
8 · 14
9 · 14
10 · 14
11 · 14
12 · 14
13 · 14
14 · 14
Has food truly conquered us?

Has food truly conquered us?

Anna Frattini · 2 months ago · Photography

Over the past year, the internet seems to be obsessed with food culture, fueling a trend that is now evident even in the world of visual culture. From the Tomato Girl Summer, which many mock retrospectively, to the foodie fashion girlies, Balenciaga’s collaboration with Erewhon, and the massive success of The Bear. Food appears to be experiencing a rebirth, but in the worlds of art, photography, and design, it has always been present. Is this just a passing trend, or is it the glorification of an element that has always been part of our lives?

Un’illustrazione di Maisy Summer

From Tomato Girl Summer to the pomegranate

It was only in 2020, with lockdown recipes—does anyone remember Dalgona Coffe?—that so much talk about food emerged. On TikTok, @wishbonekitchen made us dream by showing us her life as a private chef in the Hamptons this summer. Unforgettable were her Heirloom Tomato Gallette and the garden where she harvested fruits, vegetables, and herbs. In 2023, it seems to have been the summer of food not only with the release of the second season of The Bear but also with Tomato Girl Summer. On the other hand, according to Danielle Cohen on The Cut, it now seems to be the time of the pomegranate.

 
 
 
 
 
Visualizza questo post su Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Un post condiviso da Cansu Porsuk Rossi (@cansupo)

Thanks to its shape and the vivid red that characterizes it, this fruit is widely recognized as a symbol of fertility in many parts of the world. But not only that, we find the pomegranate in mythology, art history, and, according to Cohen, even in the Torah. In short, fruits and vegetables seem to be largely protagonists of this rebirth, so we have collected some works and photographs by artists and photographers we have talked about in the past and more.

Browsing through our archives, we remembered Michael Crichton‘s photos and his photographic series, Conceptual Food, as well as Dan Bannino, who many years ago narrated the eating habits of the powerful. But there is also Stephanie Sarley, an artist who, with fruit fingering, challenged the way the art world has represented the female reproductive organ throughout its history.

 
 
 
 
 
Visualizza questo post su Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Un post condiviso da Stephanie Sarley (@stephanie_sarley)

Why it seems not to be just a passing trend

The success of food in visual culture can be attributed to its tangible communicative power. We see and experience the colors and textures of food daily, all evocative elements of memories that we have been collecting forever. In conclusion, we can only wonder which will be the next fruit to receive all this attention, already dedicated to tomatoes and pomegranates, even before avocados and bananas.

Has food truly conquered us?
Photography
Has food truly conquered us?
Has food truly conquered us?
1 · 4
2 · 4
3 · 4
4 · 4
Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots

Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots

Anna Frattini · 2 months ago · Photography

29 ARTS IN PROGRESS recently showcased Michel Haddi: Beyond Fashion, a photographic exhibition dedicated to the Franco-Algerian photographer, marking his first solo exhibition in Milan. Starting from January 16, the second chapter of this exhibition opens, featuring unconventional shots infused with a street and urban soul. Additionally, there are elements of irony and sensuality that highlight Haddi’s complex personality.

michel haddi
© Michel Haddi – Debbie Harry, British Vogue, London, 1994 | Courtesy of 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery

In this second chapter, nude shots and unpublished works by Michel Haddi are presented, stemming from advertising campaigns he personally captured. The displayed photographs capture the spirit of their time, thanks to influential figures such as John Galliano or Patsy Kensit, who have played pivotal roles in the realms of fashion, cinema, and music.

Michel Haddi has the ability to portray his subjects with both irony and depth, and each of his shots tells a unique story. His life, marked by a turbulent start, has nevertheless propelled him to become one of the leading fashion photographers from the 1990s to the present day.

Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
Photography
Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
1 · 6
2 · 6
3 · 6
4 · 6
5 · 6
6 · 6
Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography

Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography

Collater.al Contributors · 1 month ago · Photography

A few weeks ago, the Huxley-Parlour gallery in London announced the new exhibition by Joel Meyerowitz, which opened on January 17th. We couldn’t help but talk about him, the American photographer born in New York in 1938, famous for his street photography, and recognized as one of the pioneers of color photography. The London exhibition, titled “Dialogues,” highlights this aspect effectively. Pairs of photographs engage in a dialogue concerning light, color, and composition. The pairings are chosen to investigate the development of color in the artist’s work, set within non-hierarchical and unresolved compositions.

The exhibition in London

Meyerowitz’s imagery blends a distinctly American aesthetic with a meditative approach to color. Spanning from 1964 to 2011, the exhibition at Huxley-Parlour reveals Meyerowitz’s enduring interest in the sensory and evocative experiences of his surroundings. Paired with lesser-known images from the artist’s extensive archive, the exhibition features some of Meyerowitz’s most famous works, including his early street photography and images from his seminal series, Cape Light.

Joel Meyerowitz and the Color Revolution

Joel Meyerowitz is widely acknowledged as one of the first photographers, along with William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, to bring color photography from the periphery to the center of fine art photography. Historically, where black and white photography was considered a serious medium, color was widely viewed as technically inferior and aesthetically limited, relegated to advertising campaigns, television, and personal holiday photographs. In the London exhibition, it’s interesting to trace Meyerowitz’s shift from black and white to color. On display are works from “A Question of Color,” where Meyerowitz, carrying two cameras, paired black-and-white and color prints of nearly identical scenes.

Courtesy Joel Meyerowitz

Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography
Photography
Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography
Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography
1 · 10
2 · 10
3 · 10
4 · 10
5 · 10
6 · 10
7 · 10
8 · 10
9 · 10
10 · 10
A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi

A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi

Giulia Guido · 1 month ago · Photography

Not even a week ago, Alessia Glaviano – Head of Global PhotoVogue – a guest on our Spigola podcast, reminded us that it no longer matters whether you shoot with a camera or a smartphone. What matters is the intention behind the shot, not the means. We pondered deeply on this statement, and although there was initially some skepticism, we concluded that to take a true stance on the matter, we had to try it ourselves: capturing moments solely with a smartphone, but with the same attitude we would have had with a professional camera. Xiaomi provided us with the opportunity and the means.

Almost by chance, Xiaomi presented us with a challenge: to visit a distant place and attempt to capture its uniqueness using the brand-new Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G. And so began our journey, short but very intense, in Bangkok.

All the promises of this new device – which, along with four others, forms the new Redmi Note 13 Series, further enriching the brand’s Redmi Note lineup – were substantial. Starting from the battery, rechargeable to 100% in just 19 minutes with a lasting capacity of days (not hours), and of course, the camera system consisting of 3 cameras, including a main 200 MP camera, an ultra-wide-angle camera, and a macro camera.

We decided to put Xiaomi to the test in every moment spent in the Thai capital. The first stop was at the Royal Palace and the Wat Pho temple, where the goal was to capture the colors of the mosaics and decorations.

Xiaomi

Being one of the most touristy places in the city, we encountered many people who, like us, were fascinated by the architecture of these sacred places. The Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G came to our aid in this moment as well. The smartphone is equipped with AI-based editing tools that, among other things, allow us to remove people who accidentally end up in our shots. You know those photos you see on Instagram of tourist spots always empty? Now you can have them too, effortlessly!

But a city is not only visited during the day; often, it comes to life at night, illuminated by a myriad of different lights. In our case, the lights were those of the legendary tuk-tuks, indispensable in a trip to Bangkok. In this case, the challenge was formidable: darkness, colored lights, movement. All the ingredients for a challenging shot were present.

Xiaomi

Not content with just the shot, we continued to play with AI tools and added a bit more movement, some stars, many stars.

When traveling, we know very well that we are not only captivated by architecture, landscape, and glimpses, but we also focus on the faces we encounter on the streets. However, we often don’t have much time to photograph them, sometimes because they move, other times because we are the ones on the move. That’s exactly what happened to us in the characteristic Thai markets, first and foremost the Floating Market.

Reviewing the photos on the return flight and at home with friends was like reliving the journey once again, leaving no detail behind.

Xiaomi

In Bangkok, on the occasion of the launch of the new Redmi Note 13 Series, the brand also introduced the brand-new Redmi Watch 4 and Redmi Buds 5 Pro. Visit Xiaomi’s website to discover all the features of these devices.

Xiaomi

Photos shot on Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G

A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
Photography
A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
1 · 16
2 · 16
3 · 16
4 · 16
5 · 16
6 · 16
7 · 16
8 · 16
9 · 16
10 · 16
11 · 16
12 · 16
13 · 16
14 · 16
15 · 16
16 · 16