It was 2020 when Dior covered the facade of the Correr Museum with a cascade of gold created by Fabrizio Plessi. This year, the French house continues to invest in Venice with two initiatives
Dior charity gala, La Fenice
On April 23, 2022, the French house Dior held a gala dinner in Venice’s Teatro La Fenice in collaboration with Venetian Heritage. The purpose of this charity event, which took place in honor of the Biennale Arte 2022 in Venice, was to support the preservation and promotion of the Venetian cultural legacy.
In particular the restoration of the Ca’d’Oro Museum and to recognize the passion for conversations between artists that is at the Center of the House.
As a result of the current global upheavals, a portion of the money raised has been donated to Ukrainian refugees in Italy. In the name of creativity and solidarity, Dior and Venetian Heritage created a new link between France and Italy through their charity event.
However Dior’s devotion for the city of Venice is evidenced by the French fashion house’s numerous initiatives to protect and enhance the Italian city’s heritage. Two recent initiatives testify to this. Both inviting Fabrizio Plessi, a well-known Italian artist, to participate.
The first is the recent release of the Lady Dior Bag, precisely reinvented by Plessi. The second initiative, dating back to 2020, is the art installation in St. Mark’s Square that also bears the signature of the Italian artist.
The Lady Dior Bag reinvented by Fabrizio Plessi
For the Biennale Arte 2022, Fabrizio Plessi designed Mosaica, a reinterpretation of the Lady Dior’s bag. A celebration of Venice, for which the House is a donor. A prolific artist who is known for his installations and videos, the Italian contemporary artist has been guided by his fascination with gold, a symbol of La Serenissima exemplified by the dazzling mosaics of Saint Mark’s Basilica and one of Dior’s iconic absolutes.
The result is a refined bag adorned with mosaics made of 24K gold leaf, crafted by expert hands in the furnace of Orsoni Venezia 1888. An innovative screen displays the name ‘Dior’ in the middle of the bag. It undulates as if in rhythm with the rhythm of water, evoking the lagoon that simultaneously submerges and enlightens the city.
In Fabrizio Plessi’s philosophy, the ‘humanized technology’ given pride of place is this constantly changing visual experience enhanced by sound effects. The digital light of modernity – as the artist puts it. Lady Dior’s bag reveals the enigmatic nature of Venice.
Gold floods at St. Mark’s Square, Venice
In 2020 St. Mark’s Square, Venice, has been the site of the installation by Fabrizio Plessi titled ‘L’età dell’Oro’. A work that is at the same time intimate and monumental.
Plessi is one of a kind: a master of his art surrounded by classical echoes, and an explorer of other worlds, media and methodologies. Fifteen meter tall windows on a 58 meter long façade – the marble and pietra d’Istria façade of Museo Correr became a cascade of molten gold, embedded by symbolic, exoteric and spiritual meanings. Fluidity, reflection and regeneration – a hymn to the Byzantine glory of the Venetian Republic that combined technology, music and the essence of life and humanity. Gold as an alchemical element that recalled the byzantine mosaics and gilded gothic sculptures of the Basilica.
Afloat in this golden magma were the words ‘Pax Tibi‘. A message of universal peace drawn from the inscription ‘Pax Tibi Marce Evangelista Meus‘ that is etched on the gospel of Saint Mark held by the statues of Venetian lions surmounting the Basilica, which is connected directly to Palazzo Ducale through the ancient chapel of the Doge.
The installation was realized with the support of Dior, thus reconfirming the brand’s relationship with the cultural and artistic heritage of Venice. Dior’s CEO Pietro Beccari and wife Betta attended the inauguration on September 1st.
Fabrizio Plessi and his artistic background
Born in Reggio Emilia in 1940, Fabrizio Plessi started his prolific and innovative path in the late Sixties. For the second time after twenty years, Plessi, a young man in his eighties, establishes a dialogue with a square that symbolizes the ancient Serenissima, mixing emotion, poetry and future projections.
His goal has always been to fulfill the generative principle of life and nature, the legacy of History and expectations for the future, in the language of sculptural forms. Venice, the city that once welcomed Fabrizio as a fourteen-year-old student, is the choice of a whole life and the correspondent to his vocation.
Fire and water, primary sources of existence, and liquified gold represent the most persistent themes in his imagery since the beginning of his artistic itinerary. With his world-wide exhibitions and fourteen participations to the Venice Biennale, Plessi taught ‘Humanization of technology’ at the Köln Kunstschule, in Germany, for more than 10 years.
Dreams are paramount
Asked about his work, Fabrizio Plessi commented: «Dreams are paramount, and art is the only thing in the world that can still save us. Venice is the symphony of an orchestra – presenting an installation here is such a privilege for an artist. During the quarantine, in this concentrated isolation, my ideas shifted and changed form a lot.
Gold emerges from the ignorance and indifference people have regarding culture and ethics. Gold emerges trough water, glass, and light – it is as articulated and fluid as this city. I cannot imagine creating my installation without Dior. During our collaboration, we reached a kind of osmosis, where the line between Plessi and Dior is blurred».
Born in Reggio Emilia in 1940. He lives and works in Venice. Starting in the 1960s he began to investigate the artistic possibilities related to video and digital, applying them also to theatrical scenography and, at the same time, pursuing his activity as an academic. His career counts 540 exhibitions, including one hundred and thirty-eight in museums around the world.