When and how your project was born?
May 18, 2016 is the date of the birthday of the Giardino dei Visionari.
We have always been night people, and a bit for fun a bit for work we have always organized more parties with friends than events. It was by chance that we were playing at an aperitivo at Le Biciclette, a milanese historical place, and collaborating with Ugo Fava, a well-known Milan businessman, to whom we will be always thankful. He was the one who trusted in us and to pushed us to improve. Suddenly, one day in the afternoon, he called us to tell us in the Triennale Museum was looking for someone who invented a weekly format for the cocktail bar in the museum garden, which he had thought of us. We had absolutely no idea what it was or how to handle a format, but we took the risk. That same night, between a glass of wine, a cigarette and a few friends at home, the idea of the Giardino dei Visionari was born. We wanted to take away the tables, we wanted a picnic where people could take off their shoes and lay down on the lawn. We wanted videomapping on the artworks and sculptures, games, frisbee and a playstation. We wanted a yoga lesson open to everyone before the concert, so to melt the muscles and mind to be able to get full in the DJ set at sunset. We wanted selected music and circus performances. Each of us would have a specific task. So, we made a small slide show of the idea and sent it by mail. And that’s how our adventure began.
Why did you choose Apollo for the events?
This also happened by chance. We believe that if you are in constant movement you make things happen. It’s like magnetism. In August we were in Puglia, we had just finished the summer season in Triennale, and we were down for the last date as musicians at Il Vecchio e il Mare, a splendid place at the port managed by Francesco Mazzilli, a brother for us. We stayed in a wonderful B&B, with lots of vine, vegetable garden and pool. We asked the homeowner, Massimo, if we could invite some friends. So we met Tiberio and Marcellina; they arrived with Francesco, and were just taking over the Apollo. We suddenly matched, we have the same interests and the same taste. They asked if we were going to try the winter season for them. The Apollo is an immense club, it was scary at the beginning, but once again we took the risk and it was an amazing choice.
What are the characteristics of your event?
The Giardino dei Visionari was born by the will to create a place where we would like to be when we go out, an idea that we always keep in mind. A place that unites our interests, art and music, where you can feel comfortable as in your living room, but also to feel free to dance. A place where you can drink well and dance quality records, bringing your dearest friend or finding new ones. Let’s create a warm atmosphere, and keep in touch with who’s coming.
The idea of having things for the guests as games, sheets to draw, books and comfortable sofas in the bar was born to try to get in touch with someone you do not know. Many people that knows the Giardino, maybe by accident but now they work together or are very close to each other. I think the most obvious feature of our evenings is the variety of entertainment, a serene atmosphere despite the power of the clubbing culture that we carry on. Every week, you can also find live paintings or exhibitions of artists, photographers, painters and digital designers who carefully select to create an ever-changing stimulus. An itinerant museum, to to follow by the rhythm in your head.
What do you look for in the every artist?
In general, something uncommon that can impress you, someone that can make you explore the unknown. To judge is always difficult, but the first impression is the important. Even when an artwork may look pure instinctive there is always a message the artist wants to give you, even unconsciously – everyone has something to say if you know how to listen. For many of the artists we hosted, it was the very first exhibition for them, while others are well-established professionals. We do not have any prejudices, is enough to be in line with our mood.
What is your mission?
Absolutely to have fun, handling everything with precision, serious work needs long and meticulous preparation, but that let us to enjoy the evening as if we were the guests. With the time, we also set another goal: to give space and visibility to those who deserve it. We all work professionally in other things; we are musicians and producers, photographers, designers, etc., and we know how hard it is to have a space in this work field. We take advantage of Giardino dei Visionari as an opportunity to take risks and to have an excuse to keep up with the times. First of all, artists must change attitudes and be respected. We live in a country where this type of person tends to have attitudes of victimism, perhaps even having talent. As long as he is sneaky, he goes on. Stop of that, we all have to put our feet on the ground.
Who are the members of your team?
As mentioned before, we all have other professions, organizing events is something that just happened to us, and that we have learned to love. Behind it there is much study, a lot of things you do not expect if you are not in the industry. We are lucky to have the chance to pour our passions into the Giardino dei Visionari, and the members of the team are:
– ETNA: djs and producers, or better said the brothers Gianmarco and Luca Caruso who together with Francesco Coco (Parallel Release) founded their Techno & Ambient project, opening a studio here in Milan, working with the first pop English artist of Universal Italia: Joan Thiele, as a producer and live band. They deal with music selection, social media and alternate their dj set with guests.
– Dafne Maio: artist and designer of the brand DADA, curator of the look of the members, the graphics and the concept of the Giardino dei Visionari. She was so good at it that in few months she was promoted as art director of the Apollo.
– Luca Condorelli: known as Wario, is one of the youngest and most talented photographers we know. He have worked in prestigious theaters, from Scala to Piccolo and his photos are a delicate exploration of different techniques, always telling the story of the subject. At Giardino is concerned with the visual aspect, everything that is to do with videomapping: from video editing to installation.
– Jon Bronxl: Known in the beginning as a guest at ETNA House. His work cannot be unnoticed at all, his pictures are incredible. After few words he decided to move to Milan and is now our official photographer. He works mainly in fashion, as well as in the largest clubs in Italy. It has the peculiarity of being an invisible ninja, to capture the right time. He has the perfect touch.
– Samantha Gandin: she joined the team right after a season as a live painter, she does marvelous painting by the light of the candles. We trusted in her and she didn’t think twices to join the team. She now deals with all the press communication, promotion and talent scouting with Dafne as well as live painting.
– Paco Tieri: a.k.a Diggler Smith (Groove Squared) in the art industry, dj and producer who has traveled the world with his records. A person who has music in the veins, someone who touches vinyls as if they were parts of his body. He manage the selection of djs, the contacts outside Italy and alternates his set with djs guests.
Even if they have now another work commitments we still consider them as part of the team: – Alessandro Rocco, graphic designer and first official dj resident of our project – as well as Giulio Giacconi, who made us fall in love with his photos of people who come to our evenings, Save Done from the Caduti Lab, for all visuals and installations and Claudio Cappellini, designer and illustrator in digital live painting. Thank you 🙂 We love you
How the name “Giardino dei visionari” was born?
The name is probably the most important thing. That’s what you have to remember, and it must represent the project. In the early days with the proposal to create a format we asked ourselves: What is it? Where we are? Who will come? And we said: well, “giardino” because is the garden of a museum, so artists, visionary artists. “Visionari” because visionary is our project and visionary will be our the audience.
Maybe we had drank a few glasses too. Even though we go to others clubs as well, we like to think that people say, do we go to the Giardino? And we like that any place can turn into a garden, as they were their own flowers. We like it. After all, simple things are always the best
Any projects for the future?
Expand and grow as a team, giving visibility to all those who work or have worked with us. We would like to increase and bring our format around the world. I am currently writing this interview from London, the morning after we set as the Giardino dei Visionari here at the Shelter. We are all very happy.
Within a year, the name has begun to make its way, and from Milan we went to Florence, Rome, Naples, Trani, Catania to then cross the borders in Europe, landing in Berlin, Amsterdam and London. Next place: Saturn. You’re all invited 😉
Hugs and thank you so much for this interview.
– Luca Caruso * ETNA *