Dior’s Autumn – Winter 2021-2022 Ready-to-Wear Collection, designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, brought culture to the stage. History, art, beauty, elegance and myth uniquely characterised the event. More than a mere fashion show, it was a vision.
It considered and reinterpreted history and life in a contemporary context, reflecting upon the times we are currently living in. Through an admirable combination of elements, it brought its audience, and indeed, the entire world, to go beyond appearances. Behind the fashion show lies a meticulous research around historical and narrative elements which have always characterized our culture and our collective imagination. What if our collective imagination changed, and with it our interpretation of the elements at its heart?
The choice of an exceptional location, the Hall of Mirrors, commissioned by Louis XIV for the Palace of Versailles near Paris, was the perfect setting to develop the theme of the entire event. The element at the heart of the entire show was the symbol of the mirror, reinterpreted by Italian artist Silvia Giambrone. Her work “The Hall of shadow” contributed to render the entire event unique: projected mirrors hid those of the historical gallery. Metal frames enclosed sheets of wax from which thorned branches emerged. Through her art, Giambrone has been able both to cover up and to discover, bringing the audience to reflect without being reflected.
It was my great pleasure to ask her about her work. Upon this occasion, I was able to meet minds with a great artist and a great woman. Allow me to present her.
– When and How did you start being an artist?
– I can’t precisely say, I think it’s some kind of calling or at least that’s how it felt for me when I was a child. At some point I realized that looking at art and make art was the only thing that gave me feelings of peace and excitement at the same time. I understood soon it was something I needed to dedicate my life to and it grew.
– You are an sculptor, performer, video artist, you make installations and you are involved in sound. In which of these languages do you feel most comfortable and why?
– Sculpture is the language I am most comfortable with but that doesn’t mean it is my favorite, actually I am very drawn by those languages I am not very comfortable with, it makes everything more challenging. Performance, for example, is every time very challenging and that’s why I am so fascinated by it. I guess I can say I am very comfortable in trying always something new, in not being too familiar to a specific language.
– What is the focus of your artistic research?
– I am interested in questioning using aesthetical tools that reality you are the most familiar with. I am interested in question the power of images.
– How did the project for Dior’s latest fashion show at the Chateau de Versailles in Paris, come
about? How did your work integrate with the one of Maria Grazia Chiuri? What was the
– It was such great experience collaborating with Maria Grazia because she is very passionate about feminist art and contemporary art in general. When I met her for the first time immediately had the feeling she is really aware of the power images have and their political
strength and we both are very of what important role women play.
– Mirrors covered with wax and bristling thorns, why?
– I think there is something ‘sacred’ in those thorns and the way they gracefully drown in the wax. It is of main importance to me showing conflict as something belonging to a sacred realm of signs.
– What is the beauty for you? And style?
– Beauty is warfare, style is the battleground.
– Who are the women who have inspired you the most?
– Carla Lonzi, Gina Pane, Judith Butler, just to name some who have been very important to my work but also my mother, my friends and so many others women i share my life with. Women inspire me everyday. I work with many women artists, gallerists, curators and I am so happy with it, I always learn something new and I am always stunned by how inspiring is to be surrounded by women. I don’t even have to get along with them or agreeing with them, the very fact to work together make everything richer.
– Future projects?
– A new body of work about Monuments I am very excited about, a new project about eroticism, and others.
– A message that would you like to send?
– After so much time it finally feels like spring, let’s blossom with it.
Photo credits ©Adrien Dirand
Video credits ©Fabien_Baron
Work “The wall of shadow” by Silvia Giambrone, Palace of Versailles