SALONE DEL MOBILE 2018
They were cute or terrifying, large or small, had strange shapes and they only had one thing in common: their glass. During Salone del Mobile Lasvit invited all manner of monsters to the Teatro Gerolamo for a high-energy celebration. The location could not have been better chosen: The neoclassic building was once designed specifically for puppet theatre performances. Small, lovingly decorated boxes, low ceilings and walls clad with green fabric conjured up a magic world for visitors. Towering up like a totem in the main auditorium was an audio-visual installation by Maxim Velcovský, Art Director of Lasvit. “The Independant” consisted of over 100 TV screens which alternately whispered or shouted out purported horrific news that resembled the “fake news”, those virtual monsters regularly brought to us via digital channels.
The small stage was lit by over 100 small chandeliers from the “Neverending Glory” collection, providing effective illumination for the hourly burlesque dance show. Installed in the boxes as viewers were not only selected works from Lasvit’s glass- and luminaire collections; the monsters also formed a guard of honor. The Czech glass manufacturer has asked 16 creative professionals to shape their own personal monsters of Bohemian glass. The horrifying fragile figures could not have been more different: With “Rombo” Alessandro Mendini created a vase-like creature with eyes and appendages resembling wings, René Roubicek came up with “The Martian” – a playful green monster sporting one bubble after another. And while Nendo’s “Something Underneath” was still invisible, it was no less suspicious, a bulge in a flat glass panel, sometimes jagged, sometimes something round that would appear to observers quite suddenly and unexpectedly. The manufacturing methods selected also visualized the entire range of glass-making techniques from mouth-blown via cast, molten through to polished glass. The installation received the Milano Design Award. Whether that calmed the monsters remains to be seen.