Monday, June 28, 2010

VENICE: Harry's Dolci - Club Sandwich

Venice: Harry’s Dolci.  In the summer time it’s such a treat to go to Harry’s Dolci for lunch or dinner on the Fondamenta San Biaggio on the Island of Giudecca.   It’s fun to be deliciously spoiled by the waiters as you watch the yachts, boats and barges pass by on the Giudecca Canal. Open during the hottest months of the year this offspring of the renowned Harry’s Bar is secluded from the crowds of tourists in town.  The palest green Frette tablecloths convey a sign of tranquility and their starchiness a sense of luxury. Over the water the Church of the Gesuati or Church of Santa Maria del Rosario as it is also known, shares centre stage on the wide waterfront promenade of the Zattere.
PS. Inside the seventeenth century church, beside the third altar you can view Tintoretto's Crocifissione, and in the first altar Tiepolo's Tre Sante. The ceiling is divided into three parts and decorated with paintings by Tiepolo.  
Note: The church is open daily from 8-12 am and from 5-7pm.

Cipriani Club Sandwich.   Like a volcano busting with an overflow of mayonnaise the Cipriani Club Sandwich, a Harry’s Bar classic, was served by Giuseppe Cipiani, founder of the Harry’s Bar in Venice for the first time in 1948.  The ”lava” of overpowering mayonnaise was too much for the delicate leaves and ingredients to be distinguishable also, the toasted white bread didn’t give you the satisfaction of crunching your way through a regular Club sandwich and overall it left me with a weight on my tummy all afternoon.  However, the French-fries were above average.
Rating: 5/10 for the Cipriani Club Sandwich and 8/10 the French-fries.


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Thursday, June 17, 2010

ASOLO: The Asolo Antique Market book launch

The Asolo Antique Market, Vendors and Dealers, History by Giorgio Zanesco book Launch – The Venue:  Casa di Eleonora Duse.  Northwest of Venice in an enchanting hilly landscape, Asolo is one of the best-known and loveliest villages in Italy.  The fascination of the art, the magic of the landscape, the ideal of a perfect refuge for the body and the soul have attracted many famous personalities to Asolo; people who have loved the city and lived there, down the ages. First and foremost three women; the former queen of Cyrus, Caterina Cornaro, Eleonora Duse, star of the international theatre world came to rest in Asolo after the demands of the stage and chose to be buried there too and Freya Stark, explorer, author and photographer kept Asolo as her favorite destination when she came back from her journeys.  The ranks of artists and intellectuals who lived and were seduced by Asolo were also numerous, like; Robert Browning Gian Francesco Malipiero, Eugene Benson, Henry James, Carlo Scarpa, Marius Pictor, Filippo De Pisis, Igor Strawinsky, Ernest Hemingway...  Now privately owned, the former Casa di Eleonora Duse was the venue for the book launch of Giorgio Zanesco’s book, The Asolo Antique Market, Vendors and Dealers, History, published by Steepridge Publishing.

The Author.  Giorgio Zanesco is a well-known architect who dedicates his intellect and energy in protecting and conserving the environmental integrity of Asolo and in 1976 was one of the founders of its Antique Market.  This booklet, The Asolo Antique Market, Vendors and Dealers, History, which he has put together tells the story, in English and in Italian, about the main artisans or stall vendors of the manifestation, individuals from all classes, economic means and cultural backgrounds that put together the stalls painstakingly, on a monthly basis, with great care.

The Book.   The Asolo Antique Market, Vendors and Dealers, History, written by Giorgio Zanesco and published by Steepridge Publishing tells the story about the Asolo Antiques Market, held every second Sunday of the month, in and around the main square. For over twenty years, this has been a ritual event for all antiques lovers. More than one hundred exhibitors from all over Italy present some of the most interesting offerings from the antiques world: furniture, jewels, silverware, prints and books, modern antiques and collectable items in general. The book can be purchased at the Edicola di Via Regina Cornaro in Asolo or ordered from Steepridge Publishing:

The Catering. At the abundant buffet, catered by Santi Events, after the book launch I was rather amused by these ‘60s looking bubbles filled with a delicious exotic rice salad.
Note the ecological bamboo forks and the bamboo boat plates above, filled with mini Prosciutto and melone.
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

MILANO: Rotonda di Via Besana - YOU-WE + ABLO

MILANO VIDEO ART: Rotonda di Via Besana – YOU-WE + ABLO. In the fantastic public venue of the Rotonda di Via Besana the Milan Council Responsible for Culture presents the exhibition, You-We + Ablo. 25 Videos from the Collection of Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, curated by Francesco Bonami, until July 8th. Fifteen large video installations make up a nomadic, political and cultural exhibition route, almost comparable to an imaginary world tour of the social transformation of reality.   The featured artists come from different parts of the world and the project highlights how, following the global phase, an era of neo-diversity is approaching, in which the once seen obstacles that arose from the differences between diverse cultures are fast being turned into new resources.  Also, ten young Italian artists have been invited to create videos on one subject. The artists have each filmed a three-minute video whose main character is Abdullay Kadal Traore, Ablo, as he likes to be called.

Above: Catherine Sullivan - Ice Floes of Franz Joseph Land, 2003.  The video draws from a tragic event of recent past, the attack of a Chechen suicide commando at Moscow’s Dubroka Theater in October 2002.  On that occasion seven hundred people, including spectators and actors, were kidnapped.  With a blood raid, the Russian special police forces killed the Chechen terrorists and most hostages.  In the video installation, Sullivan stages sections from Nord Ost musical, which was running on the evening of the attack.

The Official portrait.   Milan’s local minister for culture, Massimiliano Finazzer Flory explains “It is evident that in times like ours where we find ourselves living in a multiethnic city, contemporary art offers us a creative space for this cohabitation. It is for this reason that we must re-integrate You in the plural sense, that of others, into We, meaning all of us.  “This exhibition,” states Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, president of the Turin based Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, “is a concrete result of the synergy between a public body and a private non-profit institution; additionally, it offers further confirmation of the ability to build a system between the two and to create a great cultural pole between the cities of Milan and Turin.”  The curator of the exhibition, Francesco Bonami adds “ You-We aims to update the public regarding the role that video art has adopted in recent years, through a collection that is ever-developing.” 

Marine Hugonnier – Ariana, 2003. The Pandjsher valley in Afghanistan was not invaded neither by Communism nor by Fundamentalism and is the symbol of independence and resistance.  Ariana documents the artist’s trip with her crew as they head for this pure, uncontaminated place, to find out how the landscape determined its history.  Access to the area, however, is denied by the Afghan authorities due to strategic value the place acquired. Being able to shoot or film this panorama would be almost equivalent to controlling it.

Bani Abidi – The News, 2000.  In The News two charming female journalists played by the artist herself, report the same event on two different channels, one Indian and the other Pakistani, and they both tell a well- known joke about historical conflict between India and Pakistan.  Despite its documentary purpose, the work plays on the dichotomy between reality and fiction.   The work’s subject is a real, burning issue, yet the correspondent is not a real journalist, but an artist who aims at involving and informing people about a thorny question.

Fiona Tan – Saint Sebastian, 2002. 
Saint Sebastian is a recto-verso projection that shows the traditional Toshiya ceremony.  Each year, for 400 years, this ceremony has brought 20 year old girls from all over Japan to Kyoto, to perform the rite of archery, which marks the passage from adolescence to adulthood.  In a series of close-ups, the film shows the girls’ profiles while they pull the bowstring close to their faces immediately before darting the arrow.

Dafne Boggeri, Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, Riccardo Giacconi, Sabina Grasso, Antonio Guiotto, Domenico Mangano, Patrizia Monzani Maria Domenica Rapicavoli, Patrizio Di Massimo, Diego Marcon – ABLO, 2010.  Ten young Italian artists were invited to shoot a “subject” video.  Each artist realized a three-minute video portrait whose protagonist is Abdoul Kader Traore. Ablo as he likes to be called, is a griot musician from Burkina Faso who has been living in Milan for seven years and playing in several bands such as the Milanese and multiethnic “Orchestra di via Padova”. The ten videos are displayed and projected all together, thus forming a unique work as a sort of cultural and visual kaleidoscope, in which the same person is seen from different points of view and with different sensibilities.

One of the ten artists of the Ablo video project.  Antonio Guiotto.

One of the ten artists of the Ablo video project.    Patrizia Monzani.

Lina Bertucci – Vandana, 2004.   In the video Vandana we see a woman who is completely alone in an austere, apparently hostile place. The woman undergoes a personal metamorphosis, cutting her hair with a pair of long scissors.  The violent gesture, reiterated obsessively at an increasing faster pace, reflects the woman’s restlessness, she seems to be afflicted by a deep, inner pain, which can only be eased by dispensing of her long black hair.

Seen at the Rotonda di Via Besana – YOU-WE + ABLO exhibition. Nina Yashar and Margherita Sigillo'.

Seen at the Rotonda di Via Besana – YOU-WE + ABLO exhibition.  Orio Vergani.

Seen at the Rotonda di Via Besana – YOU-WE + ABLO exhibition. Pas Leccese and Cosima Parodi.

Seen at the Rotonda di Via Besana – YOU-WE + ABLO exhibition.   Paola Manfrin, Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Cesare Cunaccia and Martina Mondadori.
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Friday, June 11, 2010

Milano - Seen at Biffi

Seen at the Pasticceria Biffi.  How very smart and Italian to have a business meeting in one of the city’s most elegant caffe’s, the Pasticceria Biffi. Architect, Pierluigi Cerri who is designing the new Triennale Design Museum in New York with Michele de Lucchi met up with the Triennale’s president, Davide Rampello.  The New York Triennale is schedule to open in September just in front of MoMA.
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MILANO: Mattia Bonetti at Cardi Black Box


Mattia Bonetti at Cardi Black Box.  Until July 31st, Cardi Black Box gallery presents an exceptional exhibition project: a show entirely dedicated to design, born from the growing contamination between contemporary art and other creative disciplines. The international project stages, for the first time in Italy, a solo show of the Swiss artist-designer Mattia Bonetti; a selection of works, which are all limited editions realized exclusively for Cardi Black Box. Mattia Bonetti is a versatile figure, a creative artist who demonstrates in his works a great draughtmanship in drawing and a remarkable skill in the passage from the model to its three-dimensional realization.
Above: Puddle Armchair, 2010, white and yellow gilded wood, silk velvet upholstery.


Mattia Bonetti at Cardi Black Box.  Artist and designer, Mattia Bonetti and gallery owner, Nicolo Cardi.


Seen at Cardi Black Box. Bonetti’s Parisian dealer, Alessandro Pron, who owns the Galerie Italienne with another of the artists he represents, Giorgio Vigna.

Seen at Cardi Black Box.  After Central Saint Martins Lucilla Bonaccorsi designs with her mother Luisa Beccaria.

Seen at Cardi Black Box.  Swiss photographer and director, Edo Bertoglio and his wife Viviana.  Edo is currently working on a photographic project called Ladies, which is a virtual continuation of his cult series Figurines.

Seen at Cardi Black Box. Obliviously not in South Africa, footballer, Billy Costacurta.

Seen at Cardi Black Box. Jewelry designer, Isabella del Bono and graphologer, Simonetta Pandozy de Gresy.

Seen at Cardi Black Box.  Paola Manfredi is the top Italian art worlds P.R.

Seen at Cardi Black Box.  Art critic, Michela Moro whose popular art blog you can read on Io Donna’s website.

Seen at Cardi Black Box.  Design curator and representative in Italy of the Vitra Design Museum, Maria Cristina Didero.  Didero also wrote the introduction to Mattia Bonetti’s Notebox, which accompanies the exhibition.

Seen at Cardi Black Box.  Tower Cabinet, 2010, polished stainless steel, clear acrylic.

Seen at Cardi Black Box.  The original drawing for Tower Cabinet produced by Galleria N. Cardi, Milano.
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