MILAN DESIGN WEEK
17 – 22 April
Biblioteca Pinacoteca Accademia Ambrosiana
Entrance from Piazza San Sepolcro, Milano
Opening hour: 7.45pm – 11.00pm
The city of Milan historically has two hearts, two sites that have contributed equally to establish its unique identity. The first, the ancient Celtic forest, was re-evoked in Piazza San Fedele during the 2011 Saloni, with the event “The Arbour”.
The second heart, dating back to the Romans, will receive its homage at the 2012 Saloni with “skybook” (librocielo), a multimedia installation designed, like the first, by Attilio Stocchi and dedicated to the origins of Milan.
The vibrant center of all Roman cities was the forum, at the intersection of the cardo and decuman, the commercial, administrative and judiciary heart of the city. In 1609, in the area of Milan’s ancient forum, between Piazza Santo Sepolcro and Piazza Pio XI, Cardinal Federico Borromeo built the Ambrosiana with the aim of conserving the ancient past and “protecting the pictorial and literary vestiges of the Classical world”.
“skybook” is an homage to Roman Milan, to the Mediolanum that was the capital of the Empire from 286 to 402 AD but above all to the literary paternity/patrimony that has come down to us from antiquity. Why not, therefore, “illuminate and give voice” to the extraordinary quantity of texts conserved in the Ambrosiana that have contributed so much to our evolution and knowledge?
Books illustrate the origins of the distinctive conformation of the city of Milan – the Ambrosiana hosts, among other things, the first planimetric representation of Milan (in a codex by Galvano Fiamma) and the famous sketch by Leonardo da Vinci of the concentric city.
“skybook” is an event that unfolds inside and around the Ambrosiana, a unique journey of light and sound whose fulcra are the Sala Federiciana and the Cortile degli Spiriti Magni, where visitors will be able to see and hear “books dialoguing with one another”.
The entrance court on Piazza San Sepolcro – the original entrance of the library’s first nucleus – will initiate the journey, with the statue of Federico Borromeo acting as host.
During the journey, visitors will enter a new and visionary world, beholding imaginary dialogues between talking books. Swaths of light, like guiding voices, will help them understand the relationships between the ancient volumes.