After a life spent in the world of creativity, rewarded by success and international awards, Alda Fendi, in complete autonomy from both the family company and her sisters, is finally making her dream come true: to create a foundation entirely supported and promoted on her own.
Thanks to the attribution of resources made available by Alda Fendi and, above all, to the active participation of her daughters Giovanna Caruso Fendi – in charge of relations with the artists – and Alessia Caruso Fendi – director of the gallery, the Foundation will be able to operate autonomously for over a hundred years.
The Gallery was not conceived as objective, neutral territory, or simply as a container, but as an experience in and of itself.
Space is always interconnected to the outdoor space, based on the principle that inspires the Philosophy of the Rhinoceros and the Fondazione Alda Fendi – Esperimenti: the perpetual juxtaposition between ancient and modern, between art indoors and outdoors, the spaces where it operates in a fruitful synergy of contaminations and interferences.
The project by Jean Nouvel follows this central theme making it visible and perceivable. The exhibition space on the ground floor barely has any seamless interconnection between the building and the city, so much so that the walls are interrupted by broad glass walls, while the street paving of Roman Sampietrini stones flows inside the gallery.
The gallery is not confined to a traditional space, but it unravels through the six floors of the building, blending in with the flow of visitors through its terraces and cavaediums that shall also be dedicated to visual and sound installations. Jean Nouvel created a white space where daylight freely pierces through and a black space where a nocturnal atmosphere always stagnates; an open-sky space and a closed, collected space; one space is the beating heart of the building with its “engine room” in full view and the ancient basin, the other space is a lunar terrain inspired to the Imaginary Prisons (Carceri d’invenzione) by Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
The display cases, devised by Jean Nouvel, are located on each floor, from the ground floor to the fourth floor. They are black iron “boxes” integrated with the room paneling, with a showcase for the exhibition of products and a touch-screen with a selection keyboard. This idea fulfills the wish to always make available, day and night, to the guests living in the building and to visitors, a refreshments area offering products ranging from champagne to rare mineral water, from selected brands of salmon to special edition books.
The Gallery, therefore, crosses through the entire building: all spaces therein are a stage for art exhibitions and impromptu performances.
The Fondazione Fendi – Esperimenti has always been in search and in pursuit of the artist creative freedom, proposing his/her artwork and guiding the mean of artistic dissemination along the artist’s intended direction. It is not a program, but an ever-evolving work of art to the eye of the attentive and ever-changing public. No to coercive and rigid patterns of representation, yes to the unpredictable freedom of expression. The Foundation follows the lead of the mind of the artist, countermanding traditional patterns that would favor a systematic and scheduled programming based on a given target (goal/audience).