Espace Louis Vuitton Venice presents a new exhibition, curated by film critic and collector Carlo Montanaro: Mondo Novo: le vedute d’ottica & Olafur Eliasson.
The show returns the enlightened invention of the “mondo novo”, a device considered the ancestor of cinema, to the general public, created to turn the “vue d’optique” into a show; etchings in numerous copies taken from important works by Marieschi, Canaletto and other famous engravers have been restored by Louis Vuitton in partnership with the MUVE, Musei Civici di Venezia.
The machine, nicknamed “mondo novo” by Carlo Goldoni, is an XVIII Century creation also known as phantoscope, an ancestor of the projector used as spectacular entertainment during traditional and religious holidays. Unlike the magic lantern, which – when used in the dark, thanks to the play of lights – gave life to stained glass, the Mondo Novo also worked outdoors, in daylight. The projector was a real peculiarity of the time, portrayed by countless artists. Famous is the “Mondo Novo” fresco by Giandomenico Tiepolo, today at Ca ‘Rezzonico, which perfectly evidences eighteenth century’s popular amusements.
The very rare and delicate views – made by Remondini typography – and the vision box, part of the Museo Correr collection, will dialogue with the kaleidoscope imagined by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson: Your Star House, 2011; a fascinating contemporary reinterpretation of the optical treasures of the XVIII Century.
The work consists of three large and irregular glass panels, leaning one against the other and supported by a structure, recreating a kaleidoscope effect. The mirrors infinitesimally multiply a triangular opening at the end of the work, adding the design of a star in the centre of the installation to the kaleidoscopic reflection. The observer cannot immediately guess which parts of the surrounding environment are visible. Only the star, located in the heart of the installation, remains still, increasing and decreasing in scale depending on the person’s approach or move away from the installation itself.
“When looking through a kaleidoscope, it is as if the view opens and goes in all directions. What I find fascinating in kaleidoscopes is that they are composed. I called the first kaleidoscope I built “Your compound eye” (1996). The idea took cue from fly’s eyes, they have the ability of a 360° view. A set of composed images and not just one clear image” said Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967, Copenhagen).