Art

Biennale – International Architecture Exhibition, Venice 2016

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Nigerian Pavilion

International Architecture Exhibition, Venice 2016 – 15th

Spazio Punch, Fondamenta San Biagio 800/O, Giudecca

 

11800144_10206322584277211_4926908907700799399_nCurator: Mrs. Camilla Boemio (curator, writer, critic)

 

Camilla Boemio is a writer, curator and theorist whose practice deals with investigating the politics of participation in curatorial practices, the intersection of culture, the social architecture, politics and contemporary aesthetics. Boemio co-founded and directed the thematic AAC platform, she is member of AICA International and she is associate curator at APT – Artist Pension Trust. 

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Commissioner: Mr. Nkanta George Ufot (Director – International Cultural Relations, Ministry of Information and Culture). The Biennale di Venezia 2016 will be the first time that Nigeria will feature in this world renowned event, therefore, it is absolutely necessary for us to integrate and collaborate with consultants and partners with experience and previous involvement at the Biennale. Read more  => (…)

IMG_08-002-624x424Exhibitor:  Mr. Ola-Dele Kuku – (Architect – artist) – http://www.ola-delekuku.com/Bio: Ola-Dele Kuku (Lagos, Nigeria – 1963) studied at the Southern California Institute of Architecture – (SCI-Arc), in Los Angeles, California, and in Vico Morcote, Ticino, Switzerland. His private practise (Ola-Dele Kuku Projects), initiated in Milan, Italy in 1991, and focused primarily on conceptual interventions in architecture with special interest in philosophy, theory, and composition.   Read more  click here => (…)

Biennale Architettura

Paolo-Portoghesi-1020x1024About Biennale Venezia: Established in 1980 curated by Paolo Portoghesi, the Venice Architecture Biennale has developed into the world’s foremost architecture event. It’s the leading forum for the exploration of architectural ideas, the social architecture, the preeminent showcase for building design and the biggest and most publicised gathering of the international design and architecture community. What better place for the first Nigerian Pavilion’s architectural creativity and quality to take the world stage?

Schermata 2016-04-27 alle 18.38.42The Biennale promotes debate about the architectural and urban design issues confronting communities and societies around the world. It’s a highly stimulating event that brings together architects with famous careers, theorists, connections with contemporary art and young practitioners on the rise.
Some countries have permanent national pavilions in Venice; others stage their exhibitions in historic buildings. The Nigerian Pavilion have chosen an industrial building with a strong programming in the year: Punch Space where create a site-specific exhibition of architect and artist Ola-Dele Kuku.
Being at Venice feeds back into this country’s built-environment planning while also telling the world that what we do here has its own distinctive character.

conf venezia 22febThe Biennale kicks off with the two-day Vernissage – one of international architecture’s most prestigious occasions – which includes a host of opening parties and opportunities to tour the exhibitions and meet their curators.
Each Biennale has a theme set by the events director, to which the creators of the national exhibitions respond. The Biennale appeals to a large and highly focussed audience: architects and designers and urban planners, naturally, but also companies that support architecture, clients that commission it, institutions that teach it and the media that publish it.
In 2014, 66 countries staged exhibitions and the Biennale attracted 240,000 visitors. More than 3,300 media were accredited, and 120 universities took part in the Biennale’s educational programme. So also this year we will have an amazing audiences!
Visit the La Biennale website http://www.labiennale.org/it/architettura/mostra/

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‘Teatro Dell’archivio’ 1996 © Ola-Dele Kuku Projects / courtesy- Philippe Laeremans Tribal Art Gallery, Brussels

image‘Diminished Capacity‘ intends to analyze an historical transaction moment with the ambition to rewrite history, starting from Nigeria to provide unpublished interpretations.
In this condition rewrite history becomes a necessary evolution. The wrong reading of Africa transforms continent itself in a country poised in perpetual opposition to restlessness; what is its identity being a ghetto in forms and structures unsuitable? The Africa is not a country. In that conflict the first Nigerian Pavilion wants to prospect a new methodologies.

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‘Agenda Setting’ (neon series) Africa is not a country! © 2016 courtesy ola-dele kuku projects

Conflict is one of the recurrent themes in the work of Ola-Dele Kuku. The architect-artist sees that as one of the driving mechanisms in our world, and as a tool to set change in motion. ‘Conflict has played a crucial role since the dawn of creation, just think of the stories of the Big Bang and the paradise of Adam and Eve’. Throughout his practice, Ola-Dele Kuku has consistently re-shaped representation in a timely challenge. Working with both drawing, installation and sculpture, he has revisited the mainstays of architectural representational methods – plan, elevation, section – to inject unsettling slippages into their rigorous formalism. This new body of work fully embraces an analytic socio-philosophical visceral slant, confronted complex issues such as resource depletion and their manipulation, migration, micro and macro global changes, an alternative vision of west Africa, growing impoverishment and the diminished capacity of a country in a multiplication use of manipulation strategies .

Associate Curator: Mr. Koku konu (architect – critic) Lagos, Nigeria.

Project Manager: Mr. Fabrizio Orsini
Co-founder – AAC Platform, Italy.

Exhibition Promotion and Communication: Mrs. Kavita Chellaram
Director – Arthouse Contemporary Limited, Lagos, Nigeria
Collaborators – Sponsors:
Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Abuja, Nigeria.
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Rome, Italy.
Arthouse Contemporary Ltd, Lagos, Nigeria.
KU Leuven – St Lucas Architecture, (Int Masters Programme) Gent, Belgium.
LMS Gallery, Brussels, Belgium.
Philippe Laeremans Tribal Art Gallery Brussels, Belgium
Malloni
Orsogna Winery

Caption image:
Ola-Dele Kuku,
‘Agenda Setting’ (neon series) Africa is not a country!
2016 courtesy ola-dele kuku projects.

Website: http://www.nigerianpavilion.org/

 

Special Thanks To Alessandro Sicuro

Journalist / Editor  by Sure Com America

Alessandro Sicuro

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www.surecomamerica.com

 

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THERE ONCE WAS A NASTY PIECE OF MARBLE

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THE DAVID

Schermata 2016-04-01 alle 17.01.24There once was a nasty piece of marble, narrow and long, very fragile, unsuitable and insufficient to contain a figure anatomically perfect.

The Consuls of the Wool, in Florence, in 1460, gave it first to Agostino di Duccio and six years later to Bernardo Rossellino but this artist, after having sketched the outline of a figure and ascertained the fragility of some ribs, She abandoned him.

After thirty years the same block of marble was given to 25-year old111097 Michelangelo in 1501.

Michelangelo accepted the challenge of obtaining his David from that Bianco Carrara but not to be placed in the buttress of the dome by Brunelleschi but there in front of the Palazzo dei Priori (Palazzo Vecchio) and this was immediately supported by the bearer of Pier Soderini Justice.

scultorMichelangelo found the fragile veins and stucco with lime mortar and marble dust and brought it back to its natural sanding.

From that piece of white marble Michelangelo does derive its David, symbol of the freedom of a people against tyranny and unique portrayal of the hero before delivering the stoning that will hit the giant Goliath.

David is the personification of a city like Florence, is the symbol of the Renaissance, whichfirenze-trasporto-david-michelangelo-fa86dbc4-6887-4cf9-9eaa-a7ac902ae15d has its roots in the classical world, is the symbol of respect for the biblical tradition and the modern intellectual claims of new humanistic society.

Master creates his David already in its final position: there, on a pedestal above the last step, the left of the main door of the Palazzo Vecchio. David should be a warning to the rulers that inside that building will govern. That ‘s where Michelangelo gives the finishing touches on his marble to find the right light and proporzionarne vision direction to those who are about to enter the building. To a sculpture light is essential component.

It is for that place that designs its Author.

Source: Nella Pizzo, Past-Presidente Fidapa Firenze

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Event organization: Maria Grazia Papuccio – President Section Fidapa Florence
The invitation:

We are pleased to invite you to the conference on artistic and universal value of DAVID OF MICHELANGELO

that will be held by: Cristina Acidini

President of the Academy of the fine arts of Florence

Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 16:30

Oblate Library – Via dell’Oriuolo, 24

to get there: from the Central Station (via Panzani) Ataf line C1; Stazione Leopolda line Ataf C2

Information: segreteriafidapaficentro@hotmail.it, tel. 349 1968049

__________________________________________________________

Editing & Publishing by: Alessandro Sicuro

by: sure-com Web Agency – Italy

Our administrative offices are located at:

Sure-com Web Agency  Florence Italy

Phone: +39-3349415744

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THE CIVITAS AWARD

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THE CIVITAS AWARD

schermata-2015-10-02-alle-10-03-52I had often heard of this prestigious event. I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with the creator for an interview, Paul Lubrano.  While it may be difficult to define this character with a few lines of text: elegant man, in love with his land, with organizational skills and achievement, really special. “

On September 30, 2015 a press conference was held, where I participated, in the prestigious and oldest theater in Naples in front of a large group of journalists and representatives of private companies that were the sponsors. ”Last year, the city of Pozzuoli hosted the orchestra of the Teatro San Carlo, and this year will be the Teatro San Carlo, who will host Pozzuoli” – These are the words of Paul Lubrano, Producer of the Civitas Prize, who on the morning of Wednesday, September 30th outlined the details of the 19th edition of the prestigious award, aimed at enhancing and promoting the image of Pozzuoli in the world with the help of personality forming task of real testimonials Flegreo territory.

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                                                    Why did the choice fell to these three individuals?

Giuseppe Gaudino, Pozzuoli Doc, starring in recent weeks of the film “For Your Sake.” The theater director Franco Dragone, the genius of Cirque du Soleil, has exported abroad sophisticated talent from Campania with a cumulative audience of more than 85 million people. And finally, the astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, Neapolitan by adoption for fundamental formative years spent at the Academy Force Academy and Federico II; a woman who this past January moved us devoting time to the disappearance of Pino Daniele via a photograph of the Gulf of Pozzuoli, taken from the International Space Station. In short, a trio of excellent awards recipients who serve as ambassadors of the artistic heritage, landscape and culture of Pozzuoli in the world.  Names sure to be added to the long list of personalities transformed over time in the face of the Civitas Award, range from Sophia Loren to Tilda Swinton, from Sherman to Dante Ferretti.

PREVIOUS EVENTS

So begins the countdown to the Nineteenth Edition of the Civitas Award which points to the stars of space, film and theater. Namely: the astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, the director Giuseppe Gaudino and theater director Franco Dragone. The three will receive the award Sunday, October 4th at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples and not, as is customary, in the ancient Macellum (Temple of Serapis) Pozzuoli, due to bad weather.

franklinchristopher-150227-001The Civitas Award for 2015 consolidates the usual collaboration with the Teatro Santeatro-san-carlo-festa-della-musica Carlo Theater-St-Charles-party-of-the Greatest Neapolitan with music enriching the event by having a special replica of “Don Pasquale” by Gaetano Donizetti drama (1797-1848). On the podium, directing Orchestra and Chorus will be the American Orchestra Director Christopher Franklin, with the historic staging by Roberto De Simone.

schermata-2015-10-02-alle-09-51-24The Civitas Award was created by the artist Lello Lopez who created an original work, inspired by the unique charm of his art: a steel hand covered with a starfish. “I’ve been able to see and photograph, which I must say, is a beautiful work.”

There is a prize that the City of Pozzuoli hosts as well, thanks to Civitas, the fourth edition of Lermontov. Lermontov was established by the Foundation and the Institute of Russian Culture M. Lermontov with the aim of uniting, spiritually and artistically, Italy and Russia. For 2015 the Lermontov prize goes to the Teatro San Carlo. A well-deserved honor and recognition.

Although the event will not take place at Macellum, the Civitas Award is working to create an innovative lighting system installed in the historic site.

AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT – During the last year there were many who point out that, after theschermata-2015-10-02-alle-02-36-46 impressive rally of May 29, 2014, it was unacceptable that the area of ​​the Temple of Serapis continued to continue with conditions of neglect and decay. Today the Civitas Award is working to create an innovative lighting system installed in the Macellum to be donated to the city with the collaboration of the Campania Region, the City of Pozzuoli and Department of Antiquities. “The Civitas Award is aimed at promoting the area away from the tourists – reiterates Paul Lubrano – and this year we allocate a substantial investment in the exploitation of international cultural impact (the responsibility of the Superintendent and now dimly lit thanks to the synergy of the City – Ed.)” We have opened a discussion with the bodies involved in order to have all permits and conclude the process as soon as possible – continues Lubrano – The goal is to succeed in December this year. Through the lighting fixtures to LED source, ensuring sustainable lighting, we will redesign the character of the original archaeological site, highlighting the features and points currently in the shadow of the Macellum.” The installation is signed off by the lighting designer Filippo Cannata, who adds:” I expected a light that was not the evening dress of the monument but that could express a concept of beauty, capable of bringing out the hidden image from time to citizens and tourists, as strong flow of attraction. “

Kathy Kiefer

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Special thanks to the blogger Alessandro Sicuro, and Sara dal Monte

SCULPTURE AND PERFORMANCE ARTS

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SCULPTURE AND PERFORMANCE ARTS

 

Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes originally used carving (the removal of material) and modelling (the addition of material, as clay), in stone, metal, ceramics, wood and other materials but, since modernism, shifts in sculptural process led to an almost complete freedom of materials and process. A wide variety of materials may be worked by removal such as carving, assembled by welding or modelling, or molded, or cast.

Painting taken literally is the practice of applying pigment suspended in a vehicle (or medium) and a binding agent (a glue) to a surface (support) such as paper, canvas, wood panel or a wall. However, when used in an artistic sense it means the use of this activity in combination with drawing, composition and other aesthetic considerations in order to manifest the expressive and conceptual intention of the practitioner. Painting is also used to express spiritual motifs and ideas; sites of this kind of painting range from artwork depicting mythological figures on pottery to The Sistine Chapel to the human body itself.

Color is the essence of painting as sound is of music. Colour is highly subjective, but has observable psychological effects, although these can differ from one culture to the next. Black is associated with mourning in the West, but elsewhere white may be. Some painters, theoreticians, writers and scientists, including Goethe, Kandinsky, and Newton, have written their own color theory. Moreover, the use of language is only an abstraction for a colour equivalent. The word “red”, for example, can cover a wide range of variations on the pure red of the spectrum. There is not a formalized register of different colours in the way that there is agreement on different notes in music, such as C or C#, although the Pantone system is widely used in the printing and design industry for this purpose.

Modern artists have extended the practice of painting considerably to include, for example, collage. This began with Cubism and is not painting in strict sense. Some modern painters incorporate different materials such as sand, cement, straw or wood for their texture. Examples of this are the works of Jean Dubuffet or Anselm Kiefer. Modern and contemporary art has moved away from the historic value of craft in favor of concept; this has led some to say that painting, as a serious art form, is dead, although this has not deterred the majority of artists from continuing to practice it either as whole or part of their work.

Literature is literally described as an “acquaintance with letters”. The noun “literature” comes from the Latin word littera meaning “an individual written character (letter)”. The term has generally come to identify a collection of writings, which in Western culture are mainly prose, drama and poetry. In much, if not all of the world, the artistic linguistic expression can be oral as well, and include such genres as epic, legend, myth, ballad, other forms of oral poetry, and as folktale. Literary arts and creative writing are interchangeable terms.

Comics, the combination of drawings or other visual arts with narrating literature, are often called the “ninth art” (le neuvième art) in Francophone scholarship.

Performing arts comprise dance, music, theatre, opera, mime, and other art forms in which a human performance is the principal product. Performing arts are distinguished by this performance element, in contrast with disciplines such as visual and literary arts where the product is an object that does not require a performance to be observed and experienced.   Each discipline in the performing arts is temporal in nature, meaning the product is performed over a period of time.[7] Products are broadly categorized as being either repeatable (for example, by script or score) or improvised for each performance. Artists who participate in these arts in front of an audience are called performers, including actors, magicians, comedians, dancers, musicians and singers.   Performing arts are also supported by the services of other artists or essential workers, such as songwriting and stagecraft. Performers often adapt their appearance, with costumes and stage makeup, etc.

Performance art is a specialized form of fine art in which the artists perform their work live to an audience.

Music is an art form whose medium is sound. Common elements of music are pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of music vary according to culture and social context. Music ranges from strictly organized compositions (and their reproduction in performance), through improvisational music to aleatoric forms. Music can be divided into genres and subgenres, although the dividing lines and relationships between music genres are often subtle, sometimes open to individual interpretation, and occasionally controversial. Within “the arts”, music may be classified as a performance art, a fine art, and auditory art

Theatre or theater is the branch of the performing arts concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience using combinations of speech, gesture, music, dance, sound and spectacle – indeed any one or more elements of the other performing arts. In addition to the standard narrative dialogue style, theatre takes such forms as opera, ballet, mime, kabuki, classical Indian dance, Chinese and mummers’ plays.

Dance generally refers to human movement either used as a form of expression or presented in a social, spiritual or performance setting. Dance was often referred to as a “plastic art” during the modern dance era. Dance is also used to describe methods of non-verbal communication between humans or animals (bee dance, mating dance), motion in inanimate objects (the leaves danced in the wind), and certain musical forms or genres. Choreography is the art of making dances, and the person who does this is called a choreographer. People dance to relieve stress. Definitions of what constitutes dance are dependent on social, cultural, aesthetic, artistic and moral constraints and range from functional movement to codified, virtuoso techniques such as ballet. In sports, gymnastics, figure skating and synchronized swimming are dance disciplines while Martial arts ‘kata’ are often compared to dances.

Gastronomy is the study of the relationship between culture and food. It is often thought erroneously that the term gastronomy refers exclusively to the art of cooking, but this is only a small part of this discipline; it cannot always be said that a cook is also a gourmet. Gastronomy studies various cultural components with food as its central axis. Thus it is related to the Fine Arts and Social Sciences, and even to the Natural Sciences in terms of human nutritious activity and digestive function.

Kathy Kiefer

In Florence, from 26 September to 4 October, the Biennial Antiques

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In Florence, from 26 September to 4 October, the Biennial Antiques

Fabrizio Moretti, “will showcase the world of Italian art”

moretti_fabrizioSeptember 26 until October 4 at the Palazzo Corsini on the Arno will host the twenty-ninth edition of the International Biennial of Antiques in Florence (BIAF).

“Even more quality and more international in order to confirm the foremost qualified, extensive and fascinating of the great tradition of Italian art,” says the new general secretary of the Biennale

Fabrizio Moretti.

79 ancient and modern art dealers come from all over the world to exhibit works of high quality carefully selected: there will be big returns as Jean-Luc Baroni, London, but also prominent new features, including Otto Naumann Ltd., New York, and Dr. . Jorn Guenther Rare Books Ag, one of the leading merchants of books and prints with galleries in Stalden and Basel, as well as like confirmations Mullany, London, De Jonckheere, Paris and Geneva, Caesar Lampronti, London and Rome, Robilant + Voena, Milan and London.

More and more open to modern art with the new presence of the Galleria Tega Milan, the Galleria Farsetti Frediano of Florence and Tornabuoni Art, Florence, Milan, Paris, which will be added to Sperone Westwater, New York, already present some editions.

The director and set designer of international renown Pierluigi Pizzi propose some changes along the exhibition, inspired as always sumptuous architecture of Palazzo Corsini it will be highlighted the monumental staircase recently restored, the access from the Arno river will be made more functional and welcoming, but especially the Throne Room, a large room of 320 square meters made by Antonio Maria Ferri between 1684 and 1696, for the first time will not be an exhibition space but a place to meet, relax and entertainment and can be enjoyed by guests of all Biennale its splendor.

In the Throne Room Thursday, September 24 there will be a welcome dinner in honor of the guests with a menu created by chef Marco Stabile Florence or wine from Antinori Cellars, followed by a fireworks display on the terrace of Palazzo Corsini.

It will be a Biennale, as well as other international exhibitions such as the TEFAF Maastricht and the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, he lived at 360 ° from the city that hosts it, as advocated by the mayor of Florence Dario Nardella, chairman of the steering committee of BIAF. For this purpose we were involved numerous economic, accommodation, hotels, restaurants and boutiques of Florence historical center, that will welcome visitors to the Biennale.

Among the works on display: Giambattista Tiepolo (Venice 1696-1770 Madrid) with “Portrait of Flora”, a work of beauty and high quality made in the mid-eighteenth century and discovered a few years ago in a French aristocrat castle, where he had been hiding for two centuries because it was considered subject of “risque” (Jean-Luc Baroni); Luca Giordano (Naples 1634-1705) with “The Glory of St. Andrew Corsini,” a rare masterpiece never been on the market before, as commissioned and for the principles Corsini and since then more guarded in their collection (Antonacci -Lapiccirella Fine Art); Giorgio De Chirico (Volos 1888 – Rome 1978) with the oil on canvas “Horses and ruins on the seashore” (Art Gallery Frediano Doubleday). In addition to paintings also sculptures, drawings and engravings, furniture and manuscripts.

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BIAF Biennale 2015

NAPLES – ART, ARCHITECTURE IN ADDITION TO IT’S HISTORY

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NAPLES – ART, ARCHITECTURE IN ADDITION TO IT’S HISTORY

Naples has long been a centre of art and architecture, dotted with Medieval, Baroque and Renaissance-era churches, castles and palaces. In the 18th century, Naples went through a period of neoclassicism, following the discovery of the remarkably intact Roman ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii.

The Neapolitan Academy of Fine Arts, founded by Charles III of Bourbon in 1752 as the Real Accademia di Disegno (en: Royal Academy of Design), was the centre of the artistic School of Posillipo in the 19th century. Artists such as Domenico Morelli, Giacomo Di Chirico, Francesco Saverio Altamura, and Gioacchino Toma worked in Naples during this period, and many of their works are now exhibited in the Academy’s art collection. The modern Academy offers courses in painting, decorating, sculpture, design, restoration, and urban planning. Naples is also known for its theatres, which are among the oldest in Europe – the Teatro di San Carlo opera house dates back to the 18th century.

Naples is also the home of the artistic tradition of Capodimonte porcelain. In 1743, Charles of Bourbon founded the Royal Factory of Capodimonte, many of whose artworks are now on display in the Museum of Capodimonte. Several of Naples’ mid-19th-century porcelain factories remain active today.

Naples is internationally famous for its cuisine and wine; it draws culinary influences from the numerous cultures which have inhabited it over the course of its history, including the Greeks, Spanish and French. Neapolitan cuisine emerged as a distinct form in the 18th century. The ingredients are typically rich in taste, while remaining affordable to the general populace.[127]

Naples is traditionally credited as the home of pizza.[128] This originated as a meal of the poor, but under Ferdinand IV it became popular among the upper classes: famously, the Margherita pizza was named after Queen Margherita of Savoy after her visit to the city.[128] Cooked traditionally in a wood-burning oven, the ingredients of Neapolitan pizza have been strictly regulated by law since 2004, and must include wheat flour type “00” with the addition of flour type “0” yeast, natural mineral water, peeled tomatoes or fresh cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil.[129]

Spaghetti is also associated with the city and is commonly eaten with the sauce ragù: a popular Neapolitan folkloric symbol is the comic figure Pulcinella eating a plate of spaghetti.[130] Other dishes popular in Naples include Parmigiana di melanzane, spaghetti alle vongole and casatiello.[131] As a coastal city, Naples is furthermore known for numerous seafood dishes, including impepata di cozze (peppered mussels), purpetiello affogato (octopus poached in broth), alici marinate (marinated anchovies), baccalà alla napoletana (salt cod) and baccalà fritto (fried cod), a dish commonly eaten during the Christmas period.

Naples is well known for its sweet dishes, including colourful gelato, which is similar to ice cream, though more fruit-based. Popular Neapolitan pastry dishes include zeppole (more commonly called “‘a Pasta Cresciuta” and “‘e fFritt’ ‘e Viento”) babà, sfogliatelle and pastiera, the latter of which is prepared specially for Easter celebrations.[132] Another seasonal sweet is struffoli, a sweet-tasting honey dough decorated and eaten around Christmas.[133] Neapolitan coffee is also widely acclaimed. The traditional Neapolitan flip coffee pot, known as the cuccuma or cuccumella, was the basis for the invention of the espresso machine, and also inspired the Moka pot.

Wineries in the Vesuvius area produce wines such as the Lacryma Christi (“tears of Christ”) and Terzigno. Naples is also the home of limoncello, a popular lemon liqueur.

Naples has had an enormous influence on Italian cinema since its beginning, because many literary stories, dramas and comedies spotting the city of Naples as background had been ported into corresponding movie version. For example, Naples was the location for some of the first Italian cinema masterpieces, like Assunta Spina, adapted from a theatrical drama by a novel of the writer Salvatore Di Giacomo. It was directed both by neapolitan director Gustavo Serena one of first directors of movies in Italy, and by Francesca Bertini (born in Florence, who spent her childhood in Naples), one of the first stars of cinema worldwide.

Naples and its surroundings also gave birth to many of Italians directors and actors such as Vittorio De Sica (born in Sora, Academy Award winner), Sophia Loren (born in Pozzuoli, Academy Award winner), Gabriele Salvatores (Academy Award winner), Massimo Troisi (born in San Giorgio a Cremano), Totò (stage name of Antonio de Curtis ), Eduardo De Filippo, Peppino De Filippo, Titina De Filippo, Nino Taranto, Tina Pica, Bud Spencer (stage name of Carlo Pedersoli), Aldo and Carlo Giuffré, Lina Sastri, Mario Merola, Nino D’Angelo, Mario Martone, Paolo Sorrentino, Toni Servillo (born in Afragola) and Pappi Corsicato.

Naples is also the leading location of the first Italian color movie, Carosello Napoletano, despite the fact that oleographic slices of the city were entirely reconstructed in studios and not in live locations.

Some notable comedies set in Naples include “Ieri, Oggi e Domani” (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow), by Vittorio De Sica, starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, Episode “Adelina of Naples” (Academy Award winning movie), It Started in Naples, L’oro di Napoli again by Vittorio De Sica, dramatic movies like Dino Risi‘s Scent of a Woman, war movies like “The four days of Naples” by Sardinian director Nanni Loy, music and Sceneggiata movies like Zappatore, from the eponymous song by Libero Bovio, starring singer and actor Mario Merola, crime movies like Il Camorrista with Ben Gazzara playing the part of infamous camorra boss Raffaele Cutolo, and historical or costume movies like That Hamilton Woman starring Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier.

More modern Neapolitan films include Ricomincio da tre, which depicts the misadventures of a young emigrant in the late 20th century. The 2008 film Gomorrah, based on the book by Roberto Saviano, explores the dark underbelly of the city of Naples through five intertwining stories about the powerful Neapolitan crime syndicate, the Camorra.

Naples has appeared in episodes of TV serials like The Sopranos and miniseries like the 1998 version of The Count of Monte Cristo, starring Gérard Depardieu.

The Naples dialect, a distinct language which is mainly spoken in the city, is also found in the region of Campania, and has been diffused to other areas of Southern Italy by Neapolitan migrants. On 14 October 2008, a law was passed by the Region of Campania, stating that the Neapolitan language was to be legally protected.[136]

The term “Neapolitan language” is often used to describe the language of all of Campania, and is sometimes applied to the entire South Italian language; Ethnologue refers to the latter as Napoletano-Calabrese.[137] This linguistic group is spoken throughout most of southern continental Italy, including the Gaeta and Sora district of southern Lazio, the southern part of Marche and Abruzzo, Molise, Basilicata, northern Calabria, and northern and central Puglia. In 1976, there were theorised to be 7,047,399 native speakers of this group of dialects.

Naples is one of the main centres of Italian literature. The history of the Neapolitan language was deeply entwined with that of the Tuscan dialect which then became the current Italian language. The first written testimonies of the Italian language are the Placiti Cassinensi legal documents, dated 960 A.D., preserved in the Monte Cassino Abbey, which are in fact evidence of a language spoken in a southern dialect. The Tuscan poet Boccaccio lived for many years at the court of King Robert the Wise and used Naples as a setting for The Decameron and a number of his later novels. His works contain some words that are taken from Neapolitan instead of the corresponding Italian, e.g. “testo” (neap.: “testa”) which in Naples indicates a large terracotta jar used to cultivate shrubs and little trees. King Alfonso V of Aragon stated in 1442 that the Neapolitan language was to be used instead of latin in official documents.

Later Neapolitan was replaced by Spanish during Spanish domination, and then by Italian. In 1458 the Accademia Pontaniana, one of the first academies in Italy, was established in Naples as a free initiative by men of letters, science and literature. In 1480 the writer and poet Jacopo Sannazzaro wrote the first pastoral romance, Arcadia, which influenced Italian literature. In 1634 Giambattista Basile collected Lo Cunto de li Cunti, five books of ancient tales written in the Neapolitan dialect rather than Italian. Philosopher Giordano Bruno, who theorized the existence of infinite solar systems and the infinity of the entire universe, completed his studies at University of Naples. Due to philosophers such as Giambattista Vico, Naples became one of the centres of the Italian peninsula for historic and philosophy of history studies.

Jurisprudence studies were enhanced in Naples thanks to eminent personalities of jurists ike Bernardo Tanucci, Gaetano Filangieri and Antonio Genovesi. In the 18th century Naples, together with Milan, became one of the most important sites from which the Enlightenment penetrated into Italy. Poet and philosopher Giacomo Leopardi visited the city in 1837 and then died there. His works influenced Francesco de Sanctis who made his studies in Naples, and then eventually became Minister of Instruction during the Italian kingdom. De Sanctis was one of the first literary critics to discover, study and diffusing the poems and literary works of the great poet from Recanati.

Writer and journalist Matilde Serao co-founded the newspaper Il Mattino with her husband Edoardo Scarfoglio in 1892. Serao was an acclaimed novelist and writer during her day. Poet Salvatore Di Giacomo was one of the most famous writers in the Neapolitan dialect, and many of his poems were adapted to music, becoming famous Neapolitan songs. In the 20th century, philosophers like Benedetto Croce pursued the long tradition of philosophy studies in Naples, and personalities like jurist and lawyer Enrico De Nicola pursued legal and constitutional studies. De Nicola later helped to draft the modern Constitution of the Italian Republic, and was eventually elected to the office of President of the Italian Republic. Other noted Neapolitan writers and journalists include Antonio De Curtis, Curzio Malaparte, Giancarlo Siani and Roberto Saviano. Naples was one of the centers of the peninsula from which originated the modern theatre genre as nowadays intended, evolving from 16th century “comedy of art“. The masked character of Pulcinella is worldwide famous figure either as theatrical character or puppetry character.

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The music Opera genre of opera buffa was born in Naples in the 18th century and then spread to Rome and then in northern Italy. In the period of Belle Époque Naples rivaled with Paris for its Café-chantants, and many famous neapolitan songs were originally born to entertain the public of cafès of Naples. The most famous known is “Ninì Tirabusciò”. The history of how this song was birth was dramatized in the eponymous comedy movie “Ninì Tirabusciò: la donna che inventò la mossa” starring Monica Vitti. The Neapolitan popular genre of “Sceneggiata” is one of the most important genres of modern folk theatre worldwide, dramatizing common canon themes of thwarted love stories, comedies, tearjerker sob stories, commonly about honest people becoming camorra outlaws due to unfortunate events. Born in little folk theatres in the period between the end of the 19th century and the World War I, as evolution and crystallization of the neapolitan comedy of art, the Sceneggiata collected an immense success amongst the neapolitan people, and then became one of the most famous and worldwide known genres of Italian cinema thanks to actors and singers like Mario Merola and Nino D’Angelo. Many writers and playwrights such as Raffaele Viviani wrote comedies and dramas for this genre. Actors and comedians like Eduardo Scarpetta and then his sons Eduardo De Filippo, Peppino De Filippo and Titina De Filippo, during a two generations long effort, contributed to make worldwide known the neapolitan theatre and its comedies and tragedy plays, such as “Filumena Marturano” and “Napoli Milionaria“. Actors like prince Antonio de Curtis, Peppino De Filippo, Nino Taranto and many others begun their fame as comedians of Variety show (in Italian called “Varietà”) touring in theatres along all Italy, then became famous as cinema actors and, in the end of their career, pioneered the TV in Italy. Eduardo De Filippo ported his theatrical plays as cinema movies and then recording for TV his masterpieces and live theatrical performances. Nowadays comedians like Massimo Troisi started their career in small theatres and cabarets or even discoteques and then emerged in TV entertainment and comedy shows.

Naples has played an important role in the history of Western European art music for more than four centuries.[138] The first music conservatories were established in the city under Spanish rule in the 16th century. The San Pietro a Majella music conservatory, founded in 1826 by Francesco I of Bourbon, continues to operate today as both a prestigious centre of musical education and a musical museum.

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During the late Baroque period, Alessandro Scarlatti, the father of Domenico Scarlatti, established the Neapolitan school of opera; this was in the form of opera seria, which was a new development for its time.[139] Another form of opera originating in Naples is opera buffa, a style of comic opera strongly linked to Battista Pergolesi and Piccinni; later contributors to the genre included Rossini and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.[140] The Teatro di San Carlo, built in 1737, is the oldest working theatre in Europe, and remains the operatic centre of Naples.[141]

The earliest six-string guitar was created by the Neapolitan Gaetano Vinaccia in 1779; the instrument is now referred to as the romantic guitar. The Vinaccia family also developed the mandolin.[142][143] Influenced by the Spanish, Neapolitans became pioneers of classical guitar music, with Ferdinando Carulli and Mauro Giuliani being prominent exponents.[144] Giuliani, who was actually from Apulia but lived and worked in Naples, is widely considered to be one of the greatest guitar players and composers of the 19th century, along with his Catalan contemporary Fernando Sor.[145][146] Another Neapolitan musician of note was opera singer Enrico Caruso, one of the most prominent opera tenors of all time:[147] he was considered a man of the people in Naples, hailing from a working-class background.[148]

A popoluar traditional dance in Southern Italy and Naples is the Tarantella, originated in the Apulia region and spread next to all part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. The Neapolitan tarantella is a courtship dance performed by couples whose “rhythms, melodies, gestures, and accompanying songs are quite distinct” featuring faster more cheerful music.

A notable element of popular Neapolitan music is the Canzone Napoletana style, essentially the traditional music of the city, with a repertoire of hundreds of folk songs, some of which can be traced back to the 13th century.[149] The genre became a formal institution in 1835, after the introduction of the annual Festival of Piedigrotta songwriting competition.[149] Some of the best-known recording artists in this field include Roberto Murolo, Sergio Bruni and Renato Carosone.[150] There are furthermore various forms of music popular in Naples but not well known outside it, such as cantautore (“singer-songwriter”) and sceneggiata, which has been described as a musical soap opera; the most well-known exponent of this style is Mario Merola.

Football is by far the most popular sport in Naples. Brought to the city by the British during the early 20th century,[152] the sport is deeply embedded in local culture: it is popular at every level of society, from the scugnizzi (street children) to wealthy professionals. The city’s best known football club is SSC Napoli, which plays its home games at the Stadio San Paolo in Fuorigrotta. The team plays in the Serie A league and has won the Scudetto twice, the Coppa Italia five times and the Supercoppa Italiana twice. The team has also won the UEFA Cup,[153] and once named FIFA Player of the Century Diego Maradona among its players. Naples has itself produced numerous prominent professional footballers, including Ciro Ferrara and Fabio Cannavaro. Cannavaro was captain of Italy’s national team until 2010, and led the team to victory in the 2006 World Cup. He was consequently named World Player of the Year.

Some of the city’s smaller clubs include Sporting Neapolis and Internapoli, which play at the Stadio Arturo Collana. The city also has teams in a variety of other sports: Eldo Napoli represents the city in basketball’s Serie A and plays in the city of Bagnoli. Partenope Rugby are the city’s best-known rugby union side: the team has won the rugby union Serie A twice. Other popular local sports include water polo, horse racing, sailing, fencing, boxing, taekwondo and martial arts. The Accademia Nazionale di Scherma (National Academy and Fencing School of Naples) is the only place in Italy where the titles “Master of Sword” and “Master of Kendo” can be obtained.[154

 Kathy Kiefer

TOPIARIES WHAT MAKES THEM SPECIAL AND UNIQUE?

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TOPIARIES 

WHAT MAKES THEM SPECIAL AND UNIQUE?

Why do people enjoy topiaries?   What makes them so unique?   How are they created?

Topiary is the horticultural practice of training live perennial plants by clipping the foliage and twigs of trees, shrubs and subshrubs to develop and maintain clearly defined shapes, perhaps geometric or fanciful. The term also refers to plants which have been shaped in this way. As an art form it is a type of living sculpture. The word derives from the Latin word for an ornamental landscape gardener, topiarius, a creator of topia or “places”, a Greek word that Romans also applied to fictive indoor landscapes executed in fresco.

The plants used in topiary are evergreen, mostly woody, have small leaves or needles, produce dense foliage, and have compact and/or columnar (e.g., fastigiate) growth habits. Common species chosen for topiary include cultivars of European box, arborvitae (Thuja species), bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), holly (Ilex species), myrtle (Eugenia or Myrtus species), yew (Taxus species), and privet (Ligustrum species). Shaped wire cages are sometimes employed in modern topiary to guide untutored shears, but traditional topiary depends on patience and a steady hand; small-leaved ivy can be used to cover a cage and give the look of topiary in a few months. The hedge is a simple form of topiary used to create boundaries, walls or screens.

European topiary dates from Roman times. Pliny’s Natural History and the epigram writer Martial both credit Cnaeus Matius Calvinus, in the circle of Julius Caesar, with introducing the first topiary to Roman gardens, and Pliny the Younger describes in a letter the elaborate figures of animals, inscriptions, cyphers and obelisks in clipped greens at his Tuscan villa (Epistle vi, to Apollinaris). Within the atrium of a Roman house or villa, a place that had formerly been quite plain, the art of the topiaries produced a miniature landscape (topos) which might employ the art of stunting trees, also mentioned, disapprovingly, by Pliny.

The clipping and shaping of shrubs and trees in China and Japan have been practiced with equal rigor, but for different reasons. The goal is to achieve an artful expression of the “natural” form of venerably aged pines, given character by the forces of wind and weather. Their most concentrated expressions are in the related arts of Chinese penjing and Japanese bonsai.

Japanese cloud-pruning is closest to the European art: the cloud-like forms of clipped growth are designed to be best appreciated after a fall of snow.  Japanese Zen gardens (karesansui, dry rock gardens) make extensive use of Karikomi (a topiary technique of clipping shrubs and trees into large curved shapes or sculptures) and Hako-zukuri (shrubs clipped into boxes and straight lines).

Since its European revival in the 16th century, topiary has been seen on the parterres and terraces of gardens of the European elite, as well as in simple cottage gardens. Traditional topiary forms use foliage pruned and/or trained into geometric shapes such as balls or cubes, obelisks, pyramids, cones, or tapering spirals. Representational forms depicting people, animals, and man-made objects have also been popular.

Topiary at Versailles and its imitators was never complicated: low hedges punctuated by potted trees trimmed as balls on standards, interrupted by obelisks at corners, provided the vertical features of flat-patterned parterre gardens. Sculptural forms were provided by stone and lead sculptures. In Holland, however, the fashion was established for more complicated topiary designs; this Franco-Dutch garden style spread to England after 1660.

In the 1720s and 1730s, the generation of Charles Bridgeman and William Kent swept the English garden clean of its hedges, mazes, and topiary. Although topiary fell from grace in aristocratic gardens, it continued to be featured in cottagers’ gardens, where a single example of traditional forms, a ball, a tree trimmed to a cone in several cleanly separated tiers, meticulously clipped and perhaps topped with a topiary peacock, might be passed on as an heirloom.

The revival of topiary in English gardening parallels the revived “Jacobethan” taste in architecture. The art of topiary, with enclosed garden “rooms”, burst upon the English gardening public with the mature examples at Elvaston Castle, Derbyshire, which opened to public viewing in the 1850s and created a sensation: “within a few years architectural topiary was springing up all over the country (it took another 25 years before sculptural topiary began to become popular as well)”. The following generation rediscovered the charm of topiary specimens as part of the mystique of the “English cottage garden”, which was as much invented as revived from the 1870s.

It may be true that the natural form of a tree is the most beautiful possible for that tree, but it may happen that we do not want the most beautiful form, but one of our own designing, and expressive of our ingenuity.   The new gardening vocabulary incorporating topiary required little expensive restructuring.   At Lyme Park, Cheshire, the garden went from being an Italian garden to being a Dutch garden without any change actually taking place on the ground. “

Americans in England were sensitive to the renewed charms of topiary. When William Waldorf Astor bought Hever Castle, Kent, around 1906, the moat surrounding the house precluded the addition of wings for servants, guests and the servants of guests that the Astor manner required.  He accordingly built an authentically styled Tudor village to accommodate the overflow, with an “Old English Garden” including buttressed hedges and free-standing topiary. In the preceding decade, expatriate Americans led by Edwin Austin Abbey created an Anglo-American society at Broadway, Worcestershire, where topiary was one of the elements of a “Cotswold” house-and-garden style soon naturalized among upper-class Americans at home. Topiary, which had featured in very few 18th-century American gardens, came into favor with the Colonial Revival gardens and the grand manner of the American Renaissance, 1880–1920. Interest in the revival and maintenance of historic gardens in the 20th century led to the replanting of the topiary maze at the Governor’s Palace, Colonial Williamsburg, in the 1930s.

American portable style topiary was introduced to Disneyland around 1962. Walt Disney helped bring this new medium into being – wishing to recreate his cartoon characters throughout his theme park in the form of landscape shrubbery. This style of topiary is based on a suitably shaped steel wire frame through which the plants eventually extend as they grow. The frame, which remains as a permanent trimming guide, may be either stuffed with sphagnum moss and then planted, or placed around shrubbery. The sculpture slowly transforms into a permanent topiary as the plants fill in the frame. This style has led to imaginative displays and festivals throughout the Disney resorts and parks, and mosaiculture (multiple types and styles of plants creating a mosaic, living sculpture) worldwide includes the impressive display at the 2008 Summer Olympics in China. Living corporate logos along roadsides, green roof softscapes and living walls that bio-filter air are offshoots of this technology.

Artificial topiary is another offshoot similar to the concept of artificial Christmas trees. This topiary mimics the style of living versions and is often used to supply indoor greenery for home or office decoration. Patents are issued for the style, design, and construction methodology of different types of topiary trees.

Kathy Kiefer