Civico Planetario “Ulrico Hoepli”, Milan
28 – 30 March 2014
The Fondazione Nicola Trussardi and miart present Cine Dreams, a special contemporary art project with installations, multimedia projections, and sound and video works conceived especially for planetariums. Cine Dreams is a miniature art festival that weaves tales of constellations and parallel universes, turning the planetarium into a place of discovery where different disciplines—optics, theater, computer science, literature, and more—flow together in a journey to find new possible worlds.
The program opens with the work that lends its title to the entire series, Cine Dreams: Future Cinema of The Mind, by American artist Stan VanDerBeek (New York 1927 – Baltimore 1984). Famous from the early days of his career for his pioneering work in experimental film and animation, VanDerBeek was one of the first artists invited by MIT to teach in its renowned program integrating art and technology. A groundbreaking example of how art can be wedded to science, Cine Dreams: Future Cinema of The Mind was shown in 1972 at the Strasenburgh Planetarium in Rochester, New York, and is presented here for the very first time in its original version. The piece consists in the simultaneous projection of twenty films on the planetarium dome, with images of the night sky also moving across its surface. An explosion of shapes, sounds and colors that blends science with psychedelia, pure spectacle with a critique of the society of images, Cine Dreams: Future Cinema of The Mind—like many other works by VanDerBeek—has often been seen as a premonition of the Internet and of contemporary digital culture. In Milan, as in the original presentation, the projections last eight hours, from the evening to the morning, and viewers are invited to bring pillows and blankets and spend the night under the planetarium dome: in this cinema of the mind, as the artist called it, viewers are invited to doze off, to watch the films while half-asleep or with their eyes closed, experiencing the private, unconscious dream state in a collective, group setting. And also, as in 1972, people can record descriptions of their dreams in a voicemail box.
New stories of constellations and parallel universes arise from Jeronimo Voss (Hamm, Germany, 1981) installations, a German artist whose works reshape historical and scientific materials. His work Eternity through the Stars—whose title is borrowed from an 1872 essay by French theorist Louis-Auguste Blanqui about the potential existence of infinite parallel worlds—consists in the projection of images from old astronomical slides onto the planetarium dome, showing the revolutions of planets and the paths of comets through the solar system. Conceived for the Kassel Planetarium and presented at Documenta 13, and more recently at MMK in Frankfurt am Main and at the Berlin Planetarium, Eternity through the Stars is shown here in its Italian premiere.
Taking a multimedia, multidisciplinary approach, Katie Paterson (Glasgow, 1981), explores the great themes of science that have fascinated art over the centuries, ranging between ecology, geology, and cosmology in a startling, poetic way. Her installations probe the vast reaches of the Earth and universe, bringing viewers face-to-face with sublime distances and faraway horizons. For Cine Dreams Paterson creates a new performance and installation conceived specifically for the Milan’s Planetarium, combining astronomical distances with the sounds and lights of all the dead stars.
In Earth-Moon-Earth, the notes of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata are bounced off the moon’s surface and back to earth as radio waves, becoming a new score where the gaps and delays from the journey are translated into sounds and intervals. In Milan, this new moon-altered version of the Sonata is performed live, accompanying the projection of the light from 27,000 dead stars.
Civico Planetario “Ulrico Hoeppli”, the Civic Planetarium of Milan, was designed by architect Piero Portaluppi in the late 1920s for Ulrico Hoepli, who donated it to the city in 1929. Oened in 1930, it was the second planetarium to be constructed in Italy, after Rome’s, and employed state-of-the-art technology to project an image of the starry sky onto the entire dome, measuring almost twenty meters across. Over its eighty years of history, the Milan Planetarium, the largest and most active in Italy, has welcomed a total of some five million visitors. With Cine Dreams it is the first time that the space is used for a contemporary art exhibition.
Cine Dreams is a project conceived and produced by the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi and miart in collaboration with Comune di Milano. The project carries on the collaboration between the Foundation and the art fair that began in 2013 with the special program Liberi Tutti.