Perchance to Dream

Continuing with the pre-festivities of the commemoration of Salone Del Mobile’s 50th Anniversary next year in April 2011, I went to the exhibition of Perchance to Dream, a video portrait featuring famed dancer, Roberto Bolle, by Robert Wilson at Center 548, an art gallery in the Chelsea area. The exhibition is located on the third floor.

Acclaimed playwright, director and artist Robert Wilson will create a special installation that combines the beauty of the human body with that of functional design. A series of video portraits featuring famed Italian ballet dancer Roberto Bolle in a visual landscape of actual and iconic works of design from the last 50 years. This heightened emotional and strikingly contemporary video-art installation will serve as a spur for the viewer to reflect on the history and beauty of Italian design.

quoted from Center 548 website

The installation was mostly video photography and some still art installations with audio playing in the background that ranged from whimsical to jarring. There were moments where I was spooked by some of the sudden sounds, which included gunfire and sirens. The installation is a walk through dark maze-like spaces that at times were only lit by the video screens or dim spotlights of specific moments of the still installation.

The video screens displayed what appeared to be still images but when you spend a little bit of time analyzing it, you will realize that these are live figures holding their positions.The still figures are of the dancer, Roberto Bolle. You will see his profile, his hands, and his toes it’s tip. I don’t know how long he is holding this position before it loops but rest assured anybody reading this will be able to do the same unless you are a professional ballet dancer.

The still-life installation was interesting; there were wolves and expensive Italian furniture. The wolves were not real, of course. And most of them were poised in fierce positions so even though they were not real, i could not help but feel like prey in the dark spaces. The wolves were placed in these environments secured off with a black scrim. The environments were creates using products featured in the various showrooms participating in Italian Design Street Walking. I recognized the Hope ceiling fixture in one of the installations.

Snarling wolf

The exhibit ended with a very surreal installation. A black room was illuminated by a wall of lights and roses. Center of the wall but below average human height was a hole. Through the hole you see a young man’s smiling face. The face you recognize belongs to Roberto Bolle against a blue backdrop. He looks almost like a character from the Brady Bunch. I looked into the hole and he smiles, as if responding to the fact that I peeked in to look. I looked again, and he winked at me. Okay, there’s got to be a camera here spying on me, I thought to myself. I looked around before looking through the hole a third time and he just smiled through me.

I walked back through the spaces again to exit, and stopped to review again some of the installation that I had missed. At the same time, I was eager to exit as being alone in the dark with sounds of gunfire and ferocious looking wolves left me a bit unnerved. You can view some of the images I was able to take here (best viewed against black).

I then proceeded downtown near TriBeCa to a tasting of wines and truffles from Marche, Italy at Pedini showroom. Pedini is a company that produces kitchen products. However their market is that “the kitchen is part of the living space”.

There was a single chef that was catering the event, and a good-looking one at that! Upon arrival, there was a platter of slices of baguette with a dollop of sour cream or most likely creme fraiche and shavings of truffles. The cheese was being cut up while the sliced sausages was laid out. Other anti-pasti like olives and artichokes were ready to be picked at in their bowls. When I inquired about the truffles, the chef explained to me they were aromatic and best served shaved over a dish. He did not recommend cooking them even if somebody else says it’s okay. He even showed me a bag full of truffles and I could almost smell their earthy aroma. I inquired how to clean them because he had noted some were dirty or had mold on it. He explained water and and a vegetable scrub brush will suffice. He added that truffles are hearty and could take a beating.

I tried the wines they had offered; both red and white and it went well with the cheese, sausage, and truffles. The wines are from Garofoli. 

As for the kitchen; I thought they offered an alternative to the italian kitchen designs that are in the current market. The designs I saw in their showroom appeared to be more streamlined compared to Scavolini. However, I think unlike Scavolini, Pedini caters to the aesthetic where the kitchen is incorporated with living space and perhaps a center of entertainment.

Here are some photos of the Pedini showroom and the foods that were served.


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