Bulgari returns to Milan with Tomás Saraceno showcase
‘In the Planetarium of Milan, the geometry of the constellations meets that of the spider web and the cosmic web,’ artist Tomás Saraceno explains. True to his signature, the Argentine-born, Berlin-based artist is weaving science, technology, design and philosophy into his work. His latest commission, The Cosmic Web, is part of a double display put on by Bulgari, which is back at Milan Design Week following a successful debut last year. A second installation also celebrates the evolution of Bulgari’s renowned B.zero1 ring.
Saraceno’s intricate web draws long queues from the word go, with Fuorisalone-goers lining up outside the Ulrico Hoepli Municipal Planetarium. Once within the dark space, the suspended spiderwebs come into sharp focus. The golden webs – built by two different species of arachnids; Nephila Senegalensis and Cyrtophora Citricola – seem perfectly at home with the systems of galaxies projected onto the walls.
If that weren’t enough, the sound effects are equally mesmerising. Devices developed by Saraceno’s studio translate the activity on the web into sounds audible to the human ear, reverberating in the air like gravitational waves. Beyond becoming a soundtrack, it is an invitation says the 2018 Wallpaper* Guest Editor, ‘to rethink the system of reciprocity that binds us and overcome the boundaries of our perceptive universes.’
Back in the gardens surrounding the Planetarium, Bulgari has set up a second installation, exploring the duality of the materials and techniques the Roman maison has become synonymous with. Curated by Silvia Schwarzer, Bulgari interior design director and her team, the space is a journey through a series of rooms. Each is brighter than the last, and all reference different stages in the evolution of the B.zero1 ring, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
As informative as it is immersive, the installation closes with an intimate theatre space, created to host a series of lectures and performances on subjects as diverse as music and science, design and sustainability throughout the week. §