The theme of the Celibate Object - that is, not reproducible because it cannot generate anything beyond itself - was launched as a provocation during FuoriSalone 2021, from HoperAperta to a group of artists and architects. The independent, shared and multidisciplinary cultural platform asked the participants to create a project that is unique in its artistic poetics - so much so as to make it a limited edition authorial piece - but capable of being at the same time plural in the interpretation of a theme from the impossible solution.
The results of this exercise were displayed during Design Week in an exhibition entitled The celibate object. For a bedroom art à réaction poétique , curated by Patrizia Catalano and Maurizio Barberis and created in collaboration with 5vie Art + Design, Casa D'aste Wannenes and Radisson Collection Hotel Palazzo Touring Club Milan, at Palazzo Racalcati in Milan.
"The concept of célibataire is 'absolutely and historically contemporary'", explains Patrizia Catalano. "It belongs to the artistic avant-gardes of the twentieth century, but it is little investigated because it is complex to define in a univocal way. The being 'celibate' of a work or an object can, on the contrary, have many meanings: it means having a clear idea of the identity of things , what they are, where they are and, above all, in what direction they can be oriented".
According to Catalano and Barberis, the celibate object seeks, through its uniqueness, a dialogue with others. "Not by virtue of similarity", they say, "but through a dynamic integration between differences". Not a fall into mannerism as an end in itself therefore - because it is fashionable - but the search for one's own shareable interpretative figure.
This can generate, as in the Milanese exhibition, a plural and diversified story. Like Slow Blur, by the sound artist Steve Piccolo, a video installation composed of a strange instrument created and played by Luca Formentini and Stefano Castagna and accompanied from his off-screen voice.
With his Invention Furniture Maurizio Barberis he merges his skills in an installation where five large artworks on the wall tell of imaginary furniture and interact with sculptures-centerpieces in terracotta. La Trama infinita by Alfonso Femia (with De Castelli) cites Constantin Brâncuși's infinite column and his concept of organic modularity. Dario Ghibaudo with "... If the Carpet hangs" simulates a typical oriental carpet combining it with the words that designate the deadly sins.
With its elements in metal (Cromonichel) and glazed terracotta (Fornace Brioni) Duccio Grassi proposes The Bremen Town Musicians, a composite game of self-supporting elements and investigates the meaning of matter perceived. The double tapestry by Tiziano Guardini and Luigi Ciuffreda How did lose ourself in the Forest, (in Econyl ® totally cut, sewn and embroidered by the authors) reflects on the concept of celibater unicum of self-affirmation but also of integration into the world.
The Balance coffee table by Davide Valoppi is a challenge to the laws of stability. For Valoppi the theme of the célibataire manifests itself as a perceptive disorientation that becomes the existential condition of a contemporary fragility. In the photograph, part of the Frammenti cycle Roberta Orio investigates the concept of identity by exploring the personality of the subjects, revealed by the clothes placed in the center of a neutral place.