Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- You can’t get into Anish Kapoor’s exhibition at La Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan without signing a legal waiver.
The artist’s site-specific installation, “Dirty Corner,” consists of an unlit 187-foot-long tunnel with a diameter just under 10 feet. It’s not for the claustrophobic or those inclined to panic attacks.
Made from rust-colored Cor-Ten steel, the structure reminded me of an elephant’s trunk. It’s conceived so that the eye cannot capture its entirety and the explorer cannot gauge its duration.
As I was about to enter the 23-foot-high mouth, I thought the outside light would illuminate my way from behind. It took only a moment before total darkness set in, with a sense of imbalance and disorientation triggered by the tunnel’s close rounded walls.
The only sound was the hissing of sand slowly falling onto the monumental sculpture from a conveyor belt above it, creating a growing mountain of dust.
Finally I was out -- and relieved. It was a powerful, unexpectedly disquieting experience.
“Dirty Corner” is at La Fabbrica del Vapore, Via Procaccini 4, Milan, through Jan. 8, 2012.
Rome’s 16th-century Palazzo Ruspoli is playing host to Mario Testino’s ode to beauty, “Todo o Nada.”
The Peruvian photographer’s show captures some of the world’s most beautiful women at two extremes -- elaborately dressed and getting undressed.
“Undressing and dressing are the processes that dictate the before and after of the exhibition of a garment in society,” Guillermo Solana, chief curator of Madrid’s Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, where the show first opened, writes in the catalog.
In one of the 54 photographs on view, taken in Lisbon in 2005, Gemma Ward wears an all-black outfit and almost floats in front of a gothic cathedral. Sienna Miller, in an haute couture black-and-white dress, blends with the white statues that surround her.
In two lavish settings, a golden ballroom is filled with debutantes, and a languid Nicole Kidman reclines on one of the chairs around a well-appointed banquet table.
These carefully arranged photographs, with theatrical backgrounds and eccentric dresses, jewelry and accessories, gradually give way to images of increasingly uncovered models.
“When I go toward nudity in the photographs I tend to go also to the blank page as an environment, away from architecture with references and history,” Testino says in an interview published in the catalog.
Cameron Diaz lies on the ground wearing white trousers and holding her top, the background blurry. Natalia Vodianova, on a rattan chair, is adorned only by a diamond bracelet and dark nail polish.
Demi Moore, Gisele Bundchen, Gwyneth Paltrow and Claudia Schiffer also undress in the show.
“Todo o Nada” is at Fondazione Memmo in the Palazzo Ruspoli, Via del Corso 418, Rome, through Nov. 23, 2011.
(Lili Rosboch writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
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