And With These Hands, We Speak.
Has there ever been a more pertinent time in history than the past two years for the art of speaking with our hands? With voices muffled by face masks, getting one’s point across is made a whole lot easier with the help of an index finger here and a little nudge with the thumb there.
By DEBRINA ALIYAH
Gesticulation is a communication form that commands its own linguistic sphere, a concept so much ingrained within Italian culture that cult twentieth-century designer Bruno Munari published a collection of hand gestures which he called an addendum to the dictionary in 1958. Drawing from Munari’s work, photographer Lev Fazio presents the 21st Century Gesture Manual, a series of images capturing gestures of contemporary times where hands were photographed carrying out ordinary tasks of modern living. Trained at Fondazione Studio Marangoni in Florence and the International Center of Photography in New York, Favio began collaborating with 1+1 Design Gallery in 2018. His select works from this series fill the walls of Palinurobar – Milan city’s nascent but already legendary bar, the host-curator space of the exhibition Gesti, to celebrate this year’s edition of Milan Design Week affectionately known as Supersalone in the spirit of bouncing back after the pandemic and the concurrent Milan Art Week.
The space, conceived as a natty bar with more than 500 carefully sourced labels, is a concept establishment that converges the culture of design, music, magazine, and literature.
Gesti the exhibition is a visceral, literal, and conceptual mean of presenting gesticulation; gestures for different purposes, gestures to create, gestures to consume, gestures to delight, gestures to while time, photographed gestures, and gestures that have accomplished tasks.
Along with the works of Fazio, the exhibition sees glacettes and oyster trays by ceramic artisan Roberto Aponte, objects that represent gestures of creation. Aponte began working with ceramic in 2019 and has recently launched Spazio Martin, a studio in Milan, together with other creatives. Hands, clay, shapes, and flames give life to these unique plates crafted with Palinurobar in mind to celebrate the space’s Mediterranean soul. The sum of all gestures is cleverly captured in a video produced by Palinurobar showcasing the hand movements connected to the use of ceramic objects, which are intrinsically linked to the world of dining. Palinurobar curates Gesti along with 1+1 design gallery and Spazio META – a new initiative dedicated to collecting and reusing exhibition materials.