Studio Azzurro. Sensible Images


Videos, theatrical performances and cinema come together to new technologies in a collective dimension where listening, interaction and participation become lifeblood. A continuous experimentation where the viewer is personally involved, as if he was an integral part of impermanent works and, above all, is constantly surprised by the unexpected. Art that is born with the will to fight the risk of folding in on itself, avoiding the excess of individualism and watching with empathy to the social difficulties.

This is Studio Azzurro’s project, Milanese collective founded in 1982 by Fabio Cirifino, Paolo Rosa and Leonardo Sangiorgi, in which Stefano Roveda was included in 1995: 35 years of relentless research now on show in Milan, at Palazzo Reale. Immagini sensibili, on display until September 4, is a retroprospective: the entire history of this “contemporary art workshop”, is told with their most significant installations made since the eighties, plus the unreleased “Miracle in Milan” inspired by the famous film by Vittorio De Sica and paying tribute to the city of Milan. The exhibition stages the artistic research of this pioneers of video art in Italy, and is divided in four parts. The 80’s where the focus is on the relationship between the audience and the space; the 90’s, where the focus is instead directed to interaction, to the public in connection with the works. The 2000s in which Studio Azzurro begins to work on the territory, in particular the Mediterranean. Finally, in the Caryatids room, the virtual fresco Miracolo a Milano (Miracle in Milan) that is part of the cycle Portatori di Storie (Berarers of Stories), format of anthropological and technological survey, born with the idea of ​​narrating a territory and the people who inhabit it.

The first video-setting Il nuotatore (va troppo spesso ad Heidelberg) (The swimmer – goes to Heidelberg too often) is a 1984 piece: the space of an event, the pool, where twelve cameras follow the swimmer’s path. To his strokes, on 24 monitors alternate hundred small micro-unforeseen events, like a naked woman or a ball, on the tunes of Peter Gordon’s suite. An original continuity between theatrical and virtual reality is instead created in La camera astratta (The Abstract Room), one of the first performances made in collaboration with Giorgio Barberio Corsetti: “The abstract room is a mental space, the interior of a subject that, in a moment of suspension, is overwhelmed by feelings, obsessions, memories and images. In this timeless room, the actors represent the reflection in the consciousness of lived or imagined relationships that exacerbate and deform. While the actors act on the scene, monitors constantly create a space beyond, where everything is amplified, sizes and characters are multiplying. “

The 90s are those of “sensitive areas”: a new relationship with the viewer completes the work through interaction, as in Tavoli (perché queste mani mi toccano?) (Tables – Why Are These Hands Touching Me, 1995) and La pozzanghera (The Puddle, 2006). With a light tap on the wooden surface of one of the “tables”, the fire flares up. The tread on the “puddle”, conceived as interactive work for children, gives rise to images and sounds, in a collective performance never equal to itself. In the 2000s the collective shifts the focus towards a social and political reflection. The tales of geographic territories and especially the stories and the experiences of those who live those places, including ethnic, religious and cultural contradiction. The stories of the first migrants in Italy from Albania introduce the cycle of the Portatori di Storie (Berarers of Stories).

An approach defined “antropoetico (combining a poetic and anthropological look) oriented to overturn a superficial relational mode, fleeting and lacking in intimacy that too often characterizes our way of living. It tries to create a sensitive attitude, simply through a direct exchange with the other. This also happens in the new installation, Miracolo a Milano: in the four big sensitive mirrors the viewer can see his own reflection, which almost immediately is replaced by that of another person who shares with him a short confidence. A little story of hardship, marginalization, poverty. Then soars into the virtual sky, in the middle of the room. Advanced technologies used to create artistic connections between real and virtual world, but also with the intention of opening a window to deeper, more humane, relational experiences.

Studio Azzurro
Immagini sensibili
9 aprile – 4 settembre 2016
Palazzo Reale – Milano


Studio Azzurro, Il nuotatore (va troppo spesso ad Heidelberg), videoambiente, 1984. Venezia, Palazzo Fortuny


Studio Azzurro, Camera Astratta, Opera video teatrale in collaborazione con G. Barberio Corsetti, 1987. Documenta 8, Kassel (Premio UBU 1988 per il teatro di ricerca)


Studio Azzurro, Prologo a Diario Segreto Contraffatto, Opera video teatrale, 1985. Roma La Piramdie


Studio Azzurro, Orchestra Celeste, Roma, Auditorium Parco della Musica, 2008

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