Words and Stars

“Before my birth there was infinite time, and after my death, inexhaustible time. I never thought of it before: I’d been living luminously between two eternities of darkness.” (Orhan Pamuk)

Pamuk & Toderi Installation in Turin
Pamuk & Toderi Installation in Turin

For literature fans and visual arts amateurs alike, Turin’s very own Palazzo Madama houses one of the most innovative events of the fall. The exhibition is a poetic collaboration between the Italian visual artist Grazia Toderi and the world-renown, Nobel prize winner Orhan Pamuk. Entitled “Words and Stars”, the finite product of their artistic endeavor wishes to “explore the affinities between naive metaphysical questions and the joy of gazing at the stars” by relating a carved ivory inlaid orrery (i.e. a clockwork model of the solar system) built by Italian artist Peter Piffetti around the middle of the 18th century to one of Toderi’s works specially designed on the occasion. The aim of the event, that of answering questions such as: “Can our thoughts be compared to distant stars on the move? Is there a visual link between the landscapes of our minds and the sky above?”

The project started in 2013 when Orhan Pamuk invites Toderi to design together a work of art for the Museum of Innocence he created in Istanbul. The following three years, full of work, conversations, meetings and exchanges of correspondence, finally concluded into the “Words and Stars” magic, a trilogy consisting of eight video projections that will be premiered in Rovereto, Italy in April 2017.

The happening will be accompanied by some exquisite displays dedicated to the Torinese public, too: one at the Infini.to – Torino Planetarium  (where will be put on display a piece especially created for the planetarium dome, which will be presented on November 5th and 6th, 2016) and one at Palazzo Madama (where the small designed installation will be exhibited from November 4th, 2016 to March 29th, 2017).

I, for one, am quite curious to see if Pamuk’s love for words matches Grazia Toderi’s intuition when it comes to digital projections, light manipulation, and the elusiveness of the lines delineating the sky from the earth.

Grazia Toderi

Grazia Toderi posing before her "Red Orbits" (2013, photo by Toni Wilkinson)
Grazia Toderi posing before her “Red Orbits” (2013, photo by Toni Wilkinson)

Born in Padua in 1963, accomplished Italian visual artist, studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, dividing her time between Milan and Turin since 2005. Active participant to group exhibitions and major events such as the Venice Biennale, in 1993, 1999 (when she was among the winners of the Golden Lion) and 2009, the Biennials of Istanbul (1997), Sydney (1998), Pusan (2000 and 2002) , Pontevedra (2004) and New Orleans (2011). Among her solo exhibitions, the most important include Castello di Rivoli (1998), Museum Serralves, Oporto (2010), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (2011), Maxxi, Rome (2012), John Curtin University Gallery, Perth (2013), and MIT Museum, Boston (2016).

Orhan Pamuk:

Orhan Pamuk's working space
Orhan Pamuk’s working space

Born in 1952 in Istanbul, won the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature. Famous for “My Name is Red” (2001), “Snow” (2004), “Istanbul” (2006), “The Museum of Innocence” (2009), “Cevdet Bey and His Sons” (2011 ), “The Innocence of Objects” (2012), and “A Strangeness in My Mind” (2015). He actually founded, in Istanbul, a real museum that houses the objects accumulated by Kemal, protagonist of “The Museum of Innocence”, in loving memory of young Füsun, his long-lasting obsession.

WHERE: Palazzo Madama, Piazza Castello, Turin

WHEN: from November 4th, 2016 to March 29th, 2017; inaugurated on November 4th, from 5 to 7 pm; the museum is closed on Tuesdays

HOW MUCH: visit included in the ticket to the entire museum: full €10,00, reduced fee €8,00; free entry for minors under 18 years old and for holders of Abbonamento MuseiTorino Card, free entrance the first Wednesday of the month

When In Turin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *