Velasco Vitali’s “Sbarco a Milano” – Exhibition

Light Designer: Alexander Bellman Service: New Light - Luca Broggi Website: Website: Coemar Throws Light on the Art Of Velasco Vitali The SBARCO A MILANO exhibition at the Royal Palace, from 13 November until 3 December, is lit up by Coemar's groundbreaking LED Reflection projectors. After winning the prestigious award for innovation at the Plasa trade fair in London last September, and the award for creativity in Las Vegas at the end of October, Coemar's LED Reflection projectors have been chosen to light up Velasco Vitali's exhibition at the Royal Palace of Milan from 13 November to 3 December. This exhibition is marked by a detailed study of the lights, and a subsequent technological project by the architect Alexander Bellman. The route of the exhibition, culminating in Vitali's dog sculptures, is ideal for really showing off the revolutionary characteristics that Coemar has applied to a projector based on LED technology: an extraordinary softness, the entire range of whites, and the total absence of pixels and multiple shadows. Coemar has managed to achieve these results by focusing the light from the LEDs onto a reflective surface that then sends out an even beam. What's more, Reflection only consumes 190W at its maximum light output, thereby guaranteeing energy savings that are good news for the environment. The “reflection” - an idea borrowed from one of the most classic Coemar products of the 1970s - has become a turning point in lighting, not only for the entertainment field (Coemar's tradition since 1933) but also in the world of art and architecture, where the concepts of light, creativity and innovation are essential. Light in the installation project for Velasco Vitali's “Sbarco a Milano” exhibition. Alexander Bellman - light designer for the exhibition at the Royal Palace from 13 November to 3 December - explains his project. Lighting design is often spoken of as a discipline that has to start from a search for the non-physicalness, the immaterial. Reference is consequently made to concepts of virtuality (with varying degrees of precision); people speak of ethereal, intangible splashes of light, and the importance of the roles played by light and substance in our visual perception is consciously annulled. Now, if it's true that light reveals and discloses the substance, the opposite is also true; in other words, it's the substance itself that provides a form for the light. So why not renew the classic method, at least from a design viewpoint, pretending that light beams can be sculpted, moulded and treated like tangible forms, almost as if they were a "substance" to be compared with the works of Velasco? This is, in fact, the concept underlying the project: light as a "physical" part of the installation. As a result, it has to be evident, present and dense. We need to stop thinking that a shadow isn't something physical, or that its non-physicalness - an interpretation that's perhaps correct from a scientific viewpoint - is a project feature. It's necessary to start realising that inadequate lighting can destroy an artistic work, just like a cutter on the canvas or a hammer blow on a sculpture. That's why Coemar's collaboration is so very important. They've provided Reflection, a series of avant-garde LED projectors which, thanks to a system of internal reflection, create a highly refined lighting control from the viewpoints of both the white colour temperature and the degree of intensity. The "street of light" that Velasco's dogs follow around the various rooms of the Royal Palace contrasts with the deliberately "industrial" lighting flooding out of the 8m x 4m paintings. Every time the visitor stops, or looks in another direction, unexpected effects of pure backlighting are created; these are intensified in an almost imperceptible manner by the hidden Reflection projectors, so the dogs that aren't part of the official route - but that occupy and practically invade the rooms - emerge later. In the most richly furnished rooms, I made use of the mirrors, gold, marble and fabrics to create reflections and different images, playing on the contrast with the simplicity of the materials used for Velasco's dogs - unprocessed iron, sheet metal, cement and tar.
  • Alexander Bellman
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