The Other City of Light
Craig Kellogg -- Interior Design, 6/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
Milan's historic center is ringed by gigantic stone gates marking the onetime entry points to the medieval city. For seven days in April, however, these stone monuments symbolically marked designers' arrival at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile. Organized by Interni magazine and sponsored by European manufacturers, the series of 10 installations was named HeavyLight.
Lighting and furnishings maker Kundalini and bottled-water company S.Pellegrino enlisted Paul Friedlander to transform the Porta Ticinese, a magnificent 1814 neoclassical structure on the Piazza XXIV Maggio. Friedlander, who describes himself as a "scientific" light sculptor and computer artist, called his installation The Gate of Time. He might just as aptly have named it The Spawn of an Eggbeater and a Drive-In Movie.
Workmen used a chain to suspend a tall, slender tube of translucent plastic from the gate's top. As the sculpture was rotated by an electric motor in the base, segments of the plastic ballooned out like a series of sausage links, and a video projector aimed rippling motion graphics at the form. At next year's Salone, maybe Kundalini will show a version for over the dining table—at a fraction of the size, of course.