Brazilian Baroque Collection
Campana Brothers

May 25 - June 24, 2011

Brazilian Embassy, Galleria Cortona, Palazzo Pamphili, Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy

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Pamphilij chandelier, 2011
 

The Brazilian Embassy in Rome is honoured to present Fernando and Humberto
Campanaʼs exhibition, Brazilian Baroque Collection, especially designed for the Galleria Cortona of Palazzo Pamphili, which will be hosting its first exhibition.

This is the first appointment of Privato Romano Interno (Private Roman Interior), a project by Emanuela Nobile Mino and Galleria O. in Rome, which aims to promote international designer furnishings, produced in limited edition, with materials and techniques of the noblest tradition of Italian craftsmanship.

The exhibitions will be hosted in different architectural spaces of various nature, representing different ages and characters, selected on the basis of their harmony with the technical and aesthetic research of each artist.

The neo-baroque nature of the Campana Brothers, created a perfect blend with the opulence of the 17th Century interiors of the Cortona Gallery in Palazzo Pamphili.

 

The Gallery, designed by Borromini and with the great fresco by Pietro da Cortona (The story of Aeneas) adorning its vault, is one of the most significant examples of Roman baroque.

For this particular interior, the Brazilian designers – who are known for their typical use of modest and often recycled materials – have diparte from their usual style and, chosen to work on luxurious furnishings, using noble materials such as bronze, brass and the white Carrara statuary marble.

The union between the Campanas and the iconographic heritage of historic Rome came very naturally. “This project”, they say, “was a gift, everything happened spontaneously: Rome is a lot like us (is very similar to us) and helped us refocus the figurative culture of our background, comprised both of images of the local historical tradition, - above all baroque - and images and influences from everyday culture”.

The Campanaʼs Brazilian Baroque can in fact be defined as a “transgenic” phenomenon: it combines the exuberance and expression, at times disturbing of the provincial and more popular baroque, to the rules and rigorous structure of the Roman artistic culture.

The result of this fusion is brought to life in lamps (floor lamps, table lamps, wall lamp and ceiling lamps) whose name is meaningfully taken from the Brazilian Baroque city of Ouro Preto, and in a candelabra, that in turn bears the name of the 18th century sculptor Aleijadinho, by means of assembling decorative elements in gold-plated bronze taken from the iconographic repertoire of the 17th-19th century.

“Imperfection is the distinctive feature of our baroque. Our intention is to disrupt the harmony, distort it and mix it with the typical elements of our work”.

Another concept dear to the Campanas, and present in this collection, is the concept of "reconstructed archaeology": "We took some details of the city, its architectural extravagance and aesthetics and created a record of its different historical eras. We then rearranged them creating our own personal collage, a layering of elements reassembled into a new, prejudice-free form."

This layering process, characterises the Basoli table for example, whose top, created by overlapping and combining irregular fragments of Carrara statuary marble slabs, "intuitively" replicates the basalt of the ancient Roman roads. "We had already worked with marble before, but in this project we made a completely new use of it: to be able to use slabs so thin allowed us to treat the marble as if it were paper (...) we are very intrigued by revolutionising the typical use of a given material, creating a new and exciting challenge each time (...). The nine tables on show, installed one after the other create an interesting continuity and evoke the image of a road that crosses the Cortona Gallery from side to side, ideally connecting the square (Piazza Navona Ed.) and the parallel street (Via dellʼAnima Ed.)".

Another fundamental element in the creative method of the Campana Brothers is intuition: in fact, the first step of their design process is to give heed to the fascination and charm of a particular place, and to take into consideration the intentions of the project. Only afterwards do they commence the exploration and documentation phase. "The procedure was to maximize and subconsciously reinterpret the objective element; the spiral pattern that characterises the base of the candelabra, for example, not only constitutes a recurring element in our work, but it also seems to imitate the upward twist of the Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona. This wasnʼt a deliberate choice or something planned, but rather a
subsequent realisation of this similarity and these affinities. Rome redefines the oneiric dimension. Itʼs like putting yeast in something to enhance what is already there. "

Previewed at the exhibition for which they were expressly produced, the furnishings of the Brazilian Baroque collection have been created by the Campana Brothers in Roman workshops specialised in the manufacturing of bronze and marble, an osmotic collaboration between the artists and the workshop.

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