Orticolario 2019 with Silvia Ghirelli

Orticolario 2019 with Silvia Ghirelli

Orticolario takes place every fall in October at Villa Erba in Cernobbio. During the past few years this event has represented one of the only two yearly occasions for our company to address private buyers. But Orticolario not only enables us to get in touch with the final users of our products, more than any other trade fair and event we participate in, it also gives us the opportunity to expose our non-commercial side. This year, together with a vast assortment of products we also presented two life-size installations: one designed internally by our art director Corina Jucan  (inside the basements of the “Villa Antica”) and one designed by our long time friend architect Silvia Ghirelli which is a site specific work titled “La stanza delle Meraviglie” meaning “cabinet of curiosities” or “Wunderkammer”.

Silvia Ghirelli envisioned a very peculiar Wunderkammer, one thought for a contemporary viewer. A place meant to re-teach marvel in a time in which the sight of amazing things has become so common that nothing seems to amaze us anymore. Meant to highlight that form of marvel that lies in intimate and deep moments of connection with nature and knowledge, this work tries to induce a state of silent contemplation rather than aiming at a wide mouthed WOW.
The walls of this room with no roof are made of books. Over 6000 if you are wondering. The marvels they contain are countless, but they can only be accessed little by little, reading the pages one after the other. Until they are reached by our curiosity and our patience all these books will remain silent.

The inside of the room may also appear as a merely ornamental texture, just like the books on the outside. But once again, upon closer inspection, we will find containers of different shapes and eras, each paired with one or more flowers of different varieties. We soon feel the desire to inspect the shelves more closely, to see how many different flowers there are and perhaps to try and guess the original function of the glass containers. We all end up looking at the sky inside a roofless room, possibly thinking about nature and its cycles or about the men and women that came before us, who wrote those old books and who used the glass containers, all belonging – famous authors and laypeople alike – to that same cycle. Just like us.

A curtain made from antique buttons divides the room from the outer world. It was imagined by Silvia, engineered and built by us using some of our very many antique buttons.

Silvia arranging her flowers the day before opening.

Art director Corina Jucan helping out with the final touches.

And a few shots of the Cinesalotto installation by Corina:

The third and final part of this very consistent project: our commercial display of off-the-shelf products:

Silvia’s La Stanza delle Meraviglie with the commercial part of our stand in the background.

A portrait of our logistics and warehouse manager Mario during the days of preparation.

All pictures above by our official photographer Simone Nocetti

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