Nine Journeys Through Time. Alcantara and Art in the Apartment of the Prince is an exhibition promoted and produced by the Municipality of Milan – Culture, Palazzo Reale and Alcantara, conceived for the rooms of the Apartment of the Prince, and open to the public free of charge.
Curated by Davide Quadrio and Massimo Torrigiani, the exhibition is the third in a cycle of shows, which since 2016 explore the surprising qualities of Alcantara® as a material for artistic creation, transforming the spaces of the Apartment of the Prince into gateways onto the “elsewhere” realms of art.
In Nine Journeys Through Time, ten artists are brought together through nine projects (Esther Stocker and Iris van Herpen have come up with a joint artwork) in a range of media. From the transfiguration of painting to fashion, from digital design to music, they all draw inspiration from the specifics of a unique material, analysing all its various declinations and potential, exploring its invention and production processes, working with technicians and experts, be it along independent paths or through innovative collaboration projects.
The ten artists are: aaajiao, Andrea Anastasio, Caterina Barbieri, Krijn de Konig, Li Shurui, Chiharu Shiota. Esther Stocker and Iris Van Herpen, Zeitguised, Zimoun. Each of them—including the unprecedented coupling of Stocker and van Herpen—has come up with a site-specific work, dialoguing with the Apartment of the Prince: a launch pad for journeys ranging from anomalous science laboratories, anacondas, mutations, sinusoids, oracular apparitions, quirky metronomes, twisting from the natural to the artificial and back again.
A succession of fantastical scenarios ranging from ephemeral architecture to interactive sound devices. Just like in the two previous shows in the series, Fantasy Access Code and The King and I, here too one of the main threads—”time”—is the result of a conversation among the artists, who had the chance to meet together both at Palazzo Reale and in the Alcantara production plant in Central Italy at the start of the project and, on some occasions, during its staging.
But “time” is also the result of the dialogue between artists and the material, artists and places, artists and curators. In this case, the Apartment of the Prince led to a reflection on the various dimensions of time: on “our time”, the everyday, practical and fleeting, opposed (or complementary) to “scientific time”, dilated and imperceptible.
The microscopic reality placed before us by Aaajiao, the wall of percussive micro-variations offered by Zimoun, the zoomorphic geometries of Esther Stocker and Iris van Herpen. The world altered by the mysterious chimera of Andrea Anastasio and the thick spider webs of Chiharu Shiota.
Zeitguised’s digital anamorphosis, the electronic universe of Caterina Barbieri and her interactive synthesizer. The time in the fourth dimension, one beyond our experience and comprehension, as evoked by Li Shurui. The spatial and temporal references of the architecture enveloping the exhibition and which vanish in the room of Krijn de Koning.
Each setting turns out to be a surprise that projects us into a sequence of diverse and enthralling dimensions. A journey, at times abstract yet never out of reach, which buffers us between changing worlds and startling aesthetic experiences. Alcantara is a covering material, the result of a unique and patented technology, manufactured and marketed by Alcantara Ltd.
Totally Made in Italy and Carbon Neutral certified, Alcantara is mostly applied in the fields of design, fashion, accessories, consumer electronics, automotive and in the marine industry. With this new project, the Company continues its original research and development activities, opening up to both established and emerging artists, inviting them to get to grips with original, complex and unique works of art.