Studio Azzurro “ENLIGHTENED” Memphis Milano

April 14, 2023

Memphis Milano presents “ENLIGHTENED”, a video installation conceived by Studio Azzurro, which will be showcased at Galleria Memphis in Largo Treves 5, Milan, during Milan Art Week and Design Week, from 13 to 23 April 2023.

Memphis Milano and Studio Azzurro both started in the 80’ in the subversive creative soul of Milan and represent two of the most radical experimental laboratories of that time. While Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis group were creating timeless pieces, Fabio Cirifino, Paolo Rosa and Leonardo Sangiorgi founded Studio Azzurro in 1982, an experimental experience and artistic research laboratory, exploring the different poetic and expressive possibilities of new technological languages.

The first video installation of Studio Azzurro, called Luci di Inganni (Lights of Deceptions), was created with the aim of presenting the collection of objects made by Memphis, at the ARC-74 showroom in Milan in 1982. Studio Azzurro conceived a work based on the relationship of continuity and reciprocity between the space of the image and the physical space, between the reality of the object on display and its electronic reflection. The eleven televisions of Luci di Inganni are inserted in a space immersed in semi-darkness, which transforms the objects on display into images.

Forty years later, on occasion of this year’s Art Week and Milan Design Week, Memphis Milano and Studio Azzurro renewed their collaboration to give life to a new exhibition staged by Fabio Cherstich and called “ENLIGHTENED”.

The exhibition is conceived as a path of visual deceptions through the rooms of the Milanese Gallery, where the Memphis’ lights are the protagonist of a play of shadows and reflections interlaced with surreal video sequences in a contemporary and surreal journey. The objects will be juxtaposed with screens, treated as the space of a small theater in which the real object is reflected and comes to life, creating a continuous dialogue between inside and outside the screen, between the static nature of the object and the mobility of the image.

The exhibition consists of seven installations through the Gallery rooms, each one dedicated to an iconic light from the Memphis collection. Plus, an installation located at the end of the exhibition path, called Luci di Inganni, that pays homage to the original video, featuring the Murmansk silver bowl by Ettore Sottsass, reflected in the lightnings of an old monitor.

Starting with Lucciole, a spectacular play of fireflies that takes shape from the Ashoka lamp to create ever-changing images, the exhibition continues with two Treetops floor lamps, positioned facing each other busily arguing in an incomprehensible language. In the same room Martine Bedin’s Super lamp speeds across the monitor and its light bulbs turn into flames in La Ruota.

The colored disks of the Bay lamp enter the screen and take flight in Il Volo, while the iconic Tahiti lamp seems to dance with its own shadows in Le ombre. The path continues with Fotoromanzo where Peter Shire’s Laurel lamp tells the story of two characters, through a photographic storytelling of negative and positive frames.

Finally, Il Viaggio develops the theme of traveling thanks to the Oceanic lamp designed by Michele de Lucchi which, like a metal detector, reveals the contents of mysterious passengers’ suitcases.

“ENLIGHTENED” is a path made up of small visual deceptions, which, as in 1982, aims to show the possibility of an expressive use of video.

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