Genius is back to Milan from Osaka. Mistero Buffo with Elisa Pistis for Urban Theatre

By Kevin Carrara

On 5th of May at 9 pm Elisa Pistis will bring at Corte dei Miracoli in Milan her re-interpretation of Dario Fo’s play Mistero Buffo. The performance is offered by Paolo Cacciato, director of ASG-Produzioni. Milano Genius 2019 is produced and organized by the Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka thanks to a collaboration with ASG-produzioni. Furthermore, the initiative is patronized by both the Municipalities of Milan and Osaka. In order to present to our readers the point of view of Mistero Buffo’s director, we interviewed Elisa Pistis.

What is Elisa Pistis’ Mistero Buffo and how does it relate to Dario Fo’s play?

My Mistero Buffo is of course no copy of Dario Fo’s work, rather it develops from a very simple starting point: a woman who alone stages Mistero Buffo. My re-worked version starts therefore from a feminine sensibility, that doesn’t exclude the master’s point of view, but which necessarily has a different expressive outcome.

I keep Dario Fo’s vision as a starting point when I begin to approach his texts. However, my goal is to re-elaborate the material at my best in order to perform it according to the needs of our times, which are completely different from the ones when the play was written.

How the Japanese public reacted to the show?

Japanese viewers were very focused and intrigued by the play. The public was large, very silent and respectful. One of the strengths of Mistero Buffo is its physical and gestural language, that allows the comprehension of the play even for people coming from a cultural background very different from the Italian. The work of instant translation made by the interpreter has permitted to everyone in the public to dunk themselves into the world of Mistero Buffo and enjoy it at its fullest.

What is the major insight you gained with this experience in Japan?

Surely, this experience in Japan developed my desire to expand my theatre work to all over the world. It was an opportunity of both artistic and human growth. I could see numerous performances and learn the expressive modalities of this thousand-year old nation. I was fascinated by one of Team Kabuki’s play, five hours of pure show with an active participation from the public. I was intrigued by the fact that at the end of the performance, after the drop of the curtain, the actors didn’t come out to take the well-deserved applause. The exchanges during the play between them and us, the viewers, were enough. Unlike in Italy, it is not common to thank the public and bow while waiting for the applause. So the five hours flew like in a moment and at the end of the show the exchange of emotions and regards was not needed. I dunk myself into the Japanese culture visiting less touristic places and trying to grasp some aspects of the local way of life. During my visit, I realized that few days aren’t enough to fully understand a population and its history. Instead, one should live there in order to do so. Since my work is focused on words, it was beautiful to listen their language. I took home the memory of many acoustics typical of Japanese alongside their way of greetings and playing music.

What should we expect on 5th of May in Corte dei Miracoli?

I hope to find a moment of sharing, since Mistero Buffo is a performance focused on the direct relation with the public. I like the idea to talk straight to each person attending my plays. I believe that a space like Corte dei Miracoli will be perfect in order to create the atmosphere that I seek. I hope to make people laugh lots and maybe make them shed some tears, too. I wish to transmit a part of myself in the play and leave an emotional message with the intent of making the public think while enjoying a beautiful evening together. For me it is very important that performances become a way to get in touch with people.

Cool Japan at Corte dei Miracoli: Unusual Everyday Objects

Milano Genius 2019 continues to propose high-quality artistic content and Milan Design Week 2019 happens to be the next scheduled event.

Our project, produced by the “Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka” and coordinated by “Asian  Studies Group” as far as Milan is concerned, will significantly take part during the “Design Week” from April 9th to April 14th thanks to the participation of a specially selected group of Japanese designers.

Milano Genius works with “Corte dei Miracoli” within the “Design made in Osaka” project, for one of the three themes of the event, the one named “Cool Japan”.

Differing from “Take a seat” and “Design and Planet” (respectively presented at Superstudio and ASG headquarters in Milan in the same period), “Cool Japan” deals with many artifacts created by talented Japanese artists, whose works have been selected by the organizers of the event. Afterwords the designers will have the possibility to exhibit their projects within such a prestigious event as the “Design Week”.

“Cool Japan” will allow you to appreciate contemporary works in a typically Japanese style with reference to cultural pop dimension.

The artists we are going to present now, together with Mayumi Kuwayama and her work “Molecules“, will participate on April 8th 2019 at 7.00 pm, at the “Milano Meets Osaka through Designers“, an event organized at “Corte dei Miracoli” (Via Mortara 4, Milan).

estratto milano meets osaka

It will be a special preview where you can find an official presentation and interesting themed networking.

MASAKI MURATA: TERRACE FAMILY

Product designer, he graduated from the “Sogo College of Design in Osaka”, Japan, and worked at the experimental design laboratory HERS. He then worked as a freelance product designer based in Osaka since 2010. He currently designs appliances, furniture, lighting, toys and many other products; his aim is to inspire the public through his creations.

Terrace family is the collectino that you will find at Corte dei Miracoli

MATSUMOTO ATSUSHI: BUSH

The design succeeds in combining relaxation, culture and natural elements. In his work we find an important presence of wood that forms the basis of the structure and great care in combinig materials with praticality,in order to offer a moment of relax and calm.you can also place books and magazines in the inside of the work in the name of multifunctionality so that art is not an end in itself but useful and valuable.

RYUICHI MATSUOKA: “TAKATORAYA SHIRT”

This is a piece of art drawn on paper called foil with watercolor technique; once the foil is cut (strip shape), a weaving machine creates a fabric whose pattern “rebuilds” the painting using silk thread and a piece of cloth. This Nishijin manufactured fabric is then transformed in clothes.

The top of the foil is also coated with gold leaf since the aim of the artist is to express the color and the gloss of Japan’s original painting materials.

As a result, we can appreciate the work from all perspectives: clothing brands, contemporary art, traditional crafts, Japanese culture, aesthetic and functionality.

SEISYU KAMATA: “BRUSH ART JAPAN”

Brush art uses a writing shodo brush. The “Japanese shodo” was popular long time ago and it was used to add color to a protected calligraphy. Now the aim of the artist is to establish a new culture extending the application of this technique to all the words. Beautiful kanji fonts are used to add color and the artist expresses herself with calligraphy skills. Brush art expresses softness, kindness and sometimes powerfulness. It adds an artistic point of view, gradation and multicolor use.

SHINICHI TANAKA: “THE PLAYING CARD”

These texture cards feature the embossing technique. Users can perceive information by only using the sense of touch. All information has been converted. For example black means concavity and red means convexity. The cards are double layered avoiding signs to be exposed at the back side. These features allow users to play equally, without support, even though people are not able to read braille.

Given such premises, Milano Genius 2019 continues its successful journey among culture, creativity and innovation. Now all that we have to do is wait and discover what is going to happen

The making of Milano Genius logo and direct call with its creator

Milano Genius 2019 is finally ready to present its official logo and to reveal the creative process behind its creation through the words of Arianna Galuppo, designer of the logo.

As an important cultural project, Milano Genius wants not only to enhance and reinforce the artistic cooperation between Italy and Japan, but also to create opportunities and international visibility for many young artists involved in the artistic development of the event.

This is surely the case of young and talented Italian designer Arianna Galuppo, graduated with honour in Design at Libera Academy of Fine Arts and specially chosen for the creation of the official logo for Milano Genius, who now presents her work by explaining what led her to its creation.

When asked about the reasons for her participation to the project, Arianna claims that “Milan and Osaka are united by what would seem to differentiate them the most: the world of art, design and music. This is what, initially, intrigued me most about the possibility to participate, as creator of the logo, to the project.

The collaboration with Milano Genius surely represents a great opportunity for her to  “to get involved in a real work project to practice what I have studied at university. I am honoured to contribute with my logo to this collaboration, which will certainly be positive and valuable for both the cities and for anyone who will take part in it.”

As a result, Milano Genius 2019 and Switch On Your Creativity 6th Edition, the creative accelerator of which it is part, encourage  youthful creativity by involving young designers, like Arianna, to develop cultural projects and to give them the experience necessary to enter into the world of work.

Talking about the concrete inspiration for the design of the logo, she explains that “The project has three main characteristics on which I had to focus my attention while developing the logo. The first is the ambition of Milan Genius 2019 to act as an international representative of contemporary art and culture that makes Italy great all over the world and recognizes it as a driving force of creativity. The second is the need to enhance, in particular, the metropolitan city of Milan as a privileged symbol of design, art, and of course Italian music. Finally, the need to highlight the modernity and dynamism that the project needs to test itself in a foreign cultural environment.”   

In the creation of the logo Arianna felt necessary to include traditional elements of our identity such as the Italian flag and the Milan Cathedral, as “symbols that brings together people and nations in a united cultural community”.  

As for the general style adopted for the logo, she concludes by explaining that “ to express the effort of Milano Genius 2019 to project itself in a modern and dynamic way in cultural contemporaneity of various and numerous foreign environments, I thought to use a minimalist and essential style in order to make the logo adaptable to all the cultural environments in which it will be presented.”

The logo is therefore not only the official symbol of Milano Genius, but also a tangible reminder of what the project stands for: cultural exchange beyond geographic barriers and the celebration of cultural expressions of any kind.