An exhibition celebrates La Scala and his boxes

The new exhibition at Museo Teatrale della Scala focuses on the shining boxes, with archival material and an ad-hoc photographic survey.

After “La Magnifica Fabbrica”, which revolved around the architectural evolution from Piermarini’s project to Botta’s redevelopment, the celebrated Milanese teater rightly grandstands again with “Nei palchi della Scala”, an exhibition curated by Pier Luigi Pizzi focusing on its social history, that in many respects matches the one of the city itself.

It’s in the boxes that, in fact, an undercurrent narrative of La Scala unfolds, because it’s here that one came, and still come, not just to see but to be seen as well.

Thanks to the ad-hoc images that Fondazione La Scala asked him to take, Giovanni Hänninen shines a light on a no less secondary scene, letting the boxes become the stage of a rather unexpected representation.

The photographs on display could be described as empty, but are actually never hollow, since they depict a vivid presence both from a decorative and an evocative point of view. Solid spaces are reflected in this game of mirrors, where the activity is suggested by a rigorous vision that in turn becomes the scenery to a potential opera. The invisible protagonists of this stage play are some of the most renowed Milanese families, box owners or guests with high-flown or famous names as Trivulzio, Litta, Visconti, Porro Lambertenghi, Confalonieri, Pellico, Stendhal, Foscolo, Parini or Manzoni. 

Printed in large format — as to give the impression of actually being in the boxes — the images are the intimate yet grand culmination of a new investment, both economic and cultural, by La Scala: the exhibition is in fact another tile in a more complex and ever changing designed plan which, starting with the purchase of lot in via Verdi to build a new Tower by Mario Botta (that will accomodate offices, practice rooms and the historic archive, and will allow the stage to be even bigger), and passing by the upgrade of the boxes to the new standards of acoustic studies, will end with the moving/merging of the laboratories and the warehouses, now located in two different areas of the city.

It’s worth underlining that “Nei palchi della Scala” is part of a wider photographic documentation by Hänninen, that will enrich the historical memory of the teathre: in fact only by producing new and always contemporary images the archive is kept alive, thus becoming an ever updated working tool.

The icing on the cake will be a website, presented during the opening on November 7th at Museo Teatrale della Scala and online by the following day, where the results of a study entrusted to students and graduated from Giuseppe Verdi conservatory and that acts as the exhibition’s scientific basis, will be available in the form of an interactive map.

Nei palchi della Scala
Exhibition dates:
From November 8th, 2019 to May 30th, 2020
Curated by:
Pier Luigi Pizzi
Museo Teatrale della Scala
Largo Antonio Ghiringhelli, 1, Milano

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