Gharfa Pavilion Installation, Riyadh Temporary Building Design, Diriyah Oasis Architecture Images
Gharfa Pavilion Installation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Modern Temporary Art in Saudi Arabia design by Studio Studio Studio
10 Dec 2019
Design: Studio Studio Studio
Location: Diriyah Oasis, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (KSA)
Photos by Roberto Conte
Gharfa at Diriyah Oasis
Studio Studio Studio, the new interdisciplinary lab founded by Edoardo Tresoldi, presents Gharfa: an experiential pavilion installation within the temporary creative project “Diriyah Oasis”, designed and curated by Dubai-based studio Designlab Experience, and located in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh.
This project, commissioned by the Diriyah Season Committee, is situated in close proximity to the At-Turaif District; a UNESCO World Heritage Site about to undergo a major developmental upgrade that includes the opening of a plethora of museums and cultural institutions. Furthermore, this entire initiative is taking place in a period of major changes for the country, which has only just opened its doors to international tourists for the first time last September.
As the artistic director of Studio Studio Studio, Edoardo Tresoldi worked on Gharfa in collaboration with designer Alberonero, musician Max Magaldi, and garden designer Matteo Foschi, the founder of Odd Garden Studio. Their site-specific installations use different mediums to create distinctive spaces in which visitors can meet, rest, and meditate.
Gharfa stages the intimate relationship between man, landscape and architecture through the reinterpretation of the human relationship with cultural archetypes. Visitors experience a theatrical world where technique, reality, and illusion are all intertwined.
Inspired by the local ruins, the installation presents itself as a large, complex sculpture peaking at 26 meters at its highest point. Within Gharfa, Edoardo Tresoldi’s Absent Matter makes use of his signature wire mesh, though this time combined with cork to outline and carve out intimate spaces and narrow paths, inviting the visitor to come in and discover it all. For the first time in his career, Tresoldi creates a work of ephemeral architecture that is not reliant on melding visually with its surrounding. Rather, he creates a structure that is an architectural fortress, offering mere glimpses of what is happening within it.
Duna, the semi-transparent fabric-based installation by Alberonero, dialogues in a complementary way with Gharfa, symbolizing a white horizon, a journey into the void. Right on the threshold of the visible and the invisible, this work explores space as a place in which one can disappear – stepping away from sight and its tangible perception, creating a subtle limbo that isolates the visitor from the outside world.
Inside the space, a video installation created by Tresoldi virtually recreates fire and its inherently human aggregation force. Adding a touch of traditional Arabian cultural heritage, the use of a carpet acts as a counterpart to a sky made of artificial clouds, suggesting a metaphorical connection between traditional and contemporary worlds.
The complexity brought by the involvement of Arabian style decor, often characterized by symmetrical yet delicate features, gets sublimated by Edoardo Tresoldi and Matteo Foschi’s green installation, in which the greenery is made to intertwine with industrial materials. In Max Magaldi’s sound narration, each musical segment is simultaneously independent yet interconnected. The composition can only be heard in its entirety from the center of the structure. This way, the particular spatial arrangement of the installation allows visitors to experience their own personal audio “mix”.
By creating a multi-disciplinary environment through the interplay of digital and analog, anthropic and natural, geometric and organic, Gharfa shapes an expressive experience that first shatters and then restores the thin line between collective imagination, individual imagery, and narrative fiction.
The theatrical artifices and scenic materials are not hidden, but proudly exhibited. Projectors and scaffolding become an integral part of the installation. The result is a narrative of different surfaces, which in turn become a stage for personal perceptions, while highlighting the structure’s backstage anatomy.
Each element of Gharfa has a life of its own but was thought and conceived as part of an orchestral composition that interprets cultural contaminations as a reference point for future artistic languages.
According to a specific choice of the artist, Gharfa’s visual storytelling has been divided into two chapters: “Chapter 1_Light up”, that shows nighttime images and accompanies this press release, and “Chapter 2_ Shine through”, that includes daytimes pictures and will be available soon.
Studio Studio Studio
Studio Studio Studio is the new interdisciplinary collaboration project founded by Edoardo Tresoldi. It involves constantly rotating musicians, artists, designers, architects, and filmmakers to conceive hybrid cultural projects imagined for unconventional environments. Studio Studio Studio is on a mission to explore the blending between social, cultural, and aesthetic suggestions as a starting point to define an ultracontemporary dimension.
Edoardo Tresoldi plays with both the transparency of mesh materials, as well as industrial materials, to transcend time/space and narrate a dialogue between art and its surroundings. His art is a visual synthesis that lies upon dissolving physical limitations. His works are featured worldwide in public spaces, archaeological sites, and contemporary festivals. In 2016, he carried out the restoration of the Basilica di Siponto, a unique convergence between contemporary art and archaeology, and was awarded the Gold Medal for Italian Architecture 2018 – Special Prize to Commission. In 2017, he was honored by Forbes as one of the 30 most influential European artists under 30. In 2018, he created “Etherea” for the Coachella Festival, one of the world’s most anticipated and important music events.
The Dubai-based studio Designlab Experience produces bespoke immersive environments that are boldly envisioned and precisely architected. Each design journey leads to artistically impacting and captivating experiences. From its beginning in 2006, the studio has continued to evolve through the years, constantly seeking new horizons. As a company impassioned by design without limits, Designlab Experience is now at the cutting edge, leading the way in event design. Working closely with many world-renowned artists and designers, the team creates a collaborative approach to the projects and creations it takes on.
At the age of 15, Italian designer Alberonero began to experiment with graffiti, developing a personal, savage-like, and childlike style of painting. Since 2012, he has been studying the perception of color, whilst getting increasingly interested in the emotional possibilities given off by tonal combinations.
Additionally, he is also developing an artistic research on the synthesis of form, based on the concept of minimizing the visual language. He has realized a number of public artworks and painting installations, all while working in natural environments with different forms of media. Alberonero participated in artistic events including the XXI Triennale of Milano, Art Basel Miami, Farm Cultural Park, Altrove Fest, and Big City Life. He has showcased his works worldwide, while also organizing participatory art projects and color workshops.
As a drummer, Italian musician Max Magaldi has played with Dean Bowman, Hartmut Saam, and Guido Maria Grillo. In the last few years he has begun working with the Urban Art scene, crossing his drums with Ableton and electronics to develop the concept of “acoustic murals”, which can be described as site-specific soundscapes for public spaces. In June 2019, he played one of his sound performances during the opening of “Merci”, the last installation by Spanish artist Gonzalo Borondo at Temple des Chartrons in Bordeaux, France. In 2019, he also began working with Edoardo Tresoldi by creating the music for the teaser of “Simbiosi”, Tresoldi’s installation for the Arte Sella sculpture park in Italy.
Matteo Foschi / Odd Garden
The Milanese garden designer Matteo Foschi founded the green design studio Odd Garden in 2014. Always passionate about botany and landscaping, he brought the two passions together with his artistic and cultural background, strongly influenced by Urban Art, architecture, and photography. He finally found the right combination: a vision that moves away from the classical concept of gardening, characterized by a specific choice of artistic green elements and their inclusion in installations. In addition to several gardens and terraces in Milan, Matteo designed and realized installations for brands linked to Fashion, Art and Design, including Uniqlo, Jill Sander, Adidas, N21, Macsiotti, and the New York Times. He also collaborated with internationally renowned artists such as Linda Tegg.
Photography: Roberto Conte
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