In the Beginning
In 2013 the Holy See participated in the 55th International Art Exhibition at the Biennale di Venezia as a way of encouraging dialogue with contemporary culture. “In principio” or 'In the Beginning' was the title selected for the Vatican's entry by commissioner Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi (President of the Pontifical Council for Culture). The theme of the pavilion, curated by Prof. Antonio Paolucci (Director of the Vatican Museums), is the Bible story of Genesis, identifying three key themes, entrusted to three different artists: Creation (Studio Azzurro), De-Creation (Josef Koudelka), and Re-Creation (Lawrence Carroll).
Studio Azzurro, a collective of new media artists, reflected at length and studied numerous iconographic sources before interpreting the theme of “Creation” in the four-part video installation In Principio (e poi). What they created in Venice is a sensitive environment designed specifically for the occasion, made up of interactive projections on four MaxFine high-tech ceramic slabs, in the colour dark Depth and the size 320x160 cm.
Thus big Max Fine slabs become part of a work of art , offering further confirmation of the versatility, expressive potential and numerous applications of FMG Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti materials.
On September 28 the Vatican Museums inaugurated Sala Studio Azzurro, the new name given to a Renaissance room in the part of the museum housing its contemporary art collection, in which an installation by architect Roberto Pulitani will host Studio Azzurro's artwork In Principio (e poi) for the next hundred years. This is an important milestone for the famous artists' collective, even more significant if we consider that their work, evoking the divine touch, is so close to Michelangelo's Creation of Adam, the famous fresco in the Sistine Chapel, and is included in one of the world's biggest and most important art collections.
Sala Studio Azzurro recreates the sensitive environment containing four of FMG Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti's MaxFine slabs. The first slab, “in principio”, is positioned horizontally on the floor, with the other slabs “... and then” installed vertically on the walls. As in Venice, visitors are not just spectators, but are asked to interact with the images, subverting the classic rules for relating to works of art. The visitor's touch starts a story on each of the slabs, in words and in figures, activating the visitors' own stories through resonance and immersing them in the concept of origin“, helping create an artwork which is all about experience rather than representation”.