Subalterno1
via Conte Rosso, 22 Milano

10 – 22 May 2011
from 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm
by appointment only

Curated by
Stefano Maffei

Original research by
Antonio Cos

In collaboration with
Rua Confettora 17
Zona Ventura Lambrate

A research on glass, transformed by the design cut up is developed in two stages: the first, which includes all the pieces from the research Déjà Vu, at Subalterno1 in Milan from 10th May; the second that will follow immediately after, is enriched by some works, selected and self-produced by the designer himself, at the exhibit space Rua Confettora 17 (Brescia) from the 25th of May.

New incalmi for a contemporary Venini
Text by Stefano Maffei

Some symbolic landmarks exists.
They’re the symbol of an inherited way of doing, of a artifactual civilization evolved throughout dozen, hundreds of years.
And materials, as glass, which have been explicitly part of this history, and have become archetypes in our esthetical experience.
It’s an heritage made of shapes, transparent, tactility that the materials meltin pot has not been able to affect.
I don’t know why… perhaps only nomen omen, glass remained aside in this materials population swirling in front of the eyes and senses.
Pure, noble, incorruptible, unchanging.
And so the forms defining it remained unchanged.
Pervaded by this classical feeling that consumerism hasn’t changed.
And which brings back echos of a past-which-is-also-present.
Déjà vu.
Perhaps. O simply an image blurred among other memories to a point where it becomes indistinguishable from them.
Or maybe also because in the italian design tradition exist a place-companysensibility, that has interpreted, innovated, characterized the research on this
material: Venini.
What Cos does here is a kind of invention: a new-venini, contemporary, popular but very cultured, innovating the tradition-tecnique of glass pairing it to
a sensibility so contemporary and so classic at the same time. He invents the contemporary “incalmo”. Venini defines “incalmo” as a “complex technique consisting in pairing, while the glass is still hot, two blown shapes, along their circumference, in order to obtain in the same object different parts usually also of a different color…”
Wirkkala is hovering. Maybe Sottsass.
Artisan and grinder instead than a blower. Working with selected components, retrieved from a infinite and commercial panoply.
Cos cuts, measures, pairs, welds pieces, components, sections.
His project sets free again the shapes’ potential to combine, those neglected shapes that would be likely dismissed. And he brings them back to life.
They are new imaginative profiles.. Some of them are obscure. Without the function as a container itself.
It’s a cut-up. Burroughs-like multiform. Compositionally vibrant.
Cos thinks these are “…stories of bottles, now consumed, now without a label and carrying no marketing neither a brand. Selected containers: wine mixes with milk and chocolate, orange juice with water, syrup with oil. As our memories get mixed…like ghosts of consumed products, now changing life and disconnecting from their original task…”
It is true. He’s not drawing anything. He builds new forms starting from the infinite pool of possibilities.
No refined crystal. It’s rather supermarket, or dumpster.
A true less-is-more, not formalist, unremarkable.
An attempt to pause in the gigantic play of the mass production.
Antonio docet.