Robert Wilson – multimedia genius: painter, sculptor, director, choreographer, described by the New York Times as the most visionary theatrical artist in the world – and Roberto Ziliani, CEO of Slamp – a company that has worked with designers like Doriana & Massimiliano Fuksas and the late Zaha Hadid – met less than one year ago.

They immediately realized they shared certain goals. Ziliani was impressed by the production of La Traviata directed by Wilson. After their encounter, the CEO of the company decided to send the artist a kit of samples of materials patented by Slamp. In reply, the creative division of Slamp received 14 drawings from Wilson, with concepts and renderings.

As chance would have it, the in-house team immediately focused on the same image Wilson had shown Ziliani in their first meeting: part of the set design of La Traviata. The result is a luminous sculpture named for the opera, defined as follows by Slamp: “If time, space and immobility were captured not individually, but in a single abstract manifestation, it would be called La Traviata.”

According to the Creative Director of Slamp, Luca Mazza (in the monograph published on the collection): “To interpret an abstract idea, to know how to imagine its transformation into a real object, expressing the identity of the designer and the style of the brand, are the challenges that face the R&D team when the creative process begins.

In the case of La Traviata, we immediately focused on the choice of the material and the technique of closure of the parts that go into the volume. Since the lamp reminds us of an ice crystal, and since Slamp works with patented technopolymers in two-dimensional sheets, the choice went to Lentiflex®, which stands out for its transparency and the capacity to make light ‘fluid.’

The study of the method of making the tapered pieces, requiring perfect shaping of the borders, was done parallel to the development of the lighting component, to ensure that the ‘crystals’ would have the quantity of color desired by Wilson.

For the light, we designed the LEDs from scratch; for the form, to guarantee solid interconnection of the parts and the main ‘arrow’ without altering the lightness and transparency of the lamp, we engineered totally invisible injection-molded connectors.”

The path of work leading to the creation of this work of light is summed up by Wilson: “The best part of working with Slamp was the real dialogue; not a one-way street, but a true exchange of ideas, saying ‘this works, this doesn’t’: this is fundamental for the work of an artist.”

Text by Andrea Pirruccio 

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In the foreground, La Traviata 220; in the background, La Traviata 180. The central body made in shaped methacrylate is lit by LEDs. The chromatic effects are generated by micro RGB LEDs. Both light sources can be used with dimmers.
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Portrait of the multimedia artist by Yiorgos Kaplanidis.
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An original sketch by Robert Wilson for La Traviata, the luminous sculpture he has designed for Slamp.
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Detail of the closure system of the tapered parts. The grooves in the material amplify the LED light and make every point of the lamp luminous. The system of connection of the parts, between them and with the ‘main arrow,’ is made with invisible injection-moulded pieces.