Italian Travels: Discover 2018’s Coolest Art Space in Rome

11/16/2018

Rome it’s truly a hot mess. It’s such a spread out city with so many neighborhoods and scenes that it’s hard to figure out what are the cool places and events to go to.

If you are the artsy/socialite type you just can’t miss out on this venue. Contemporary Cluster is located in the City’s historic center, in a 1600′s 3-storey building with original frescos still intact, combined with modern architectural elements and design.

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This is not your average art gallery. It’s a multifunctional and multi-conceptual space that puts in place what regular art galleries continue to lack:  it’s an everyday hang out spot, where you can go have aperitivo with your friends, surrounded by a lot of beautiful arts and crafts.

The space develops on 3 levels and its large size allows the presentation of a wide variety of events. Whatever goes on, it’s usually so brilliantly curated that diverse happenings don’t meddle with one another. Rather, multiple showcases occur simultaneously, in harmonic juxtaposition, with different opening receptions. Hence the venue is always very much alive during the week.

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Visual art is a big part of the space’s program but it’s definitely not the only thing. Creativity at large is their concept. Along with painting, sculpture and installation art, you’ll find photography, furniture, fashion and jewelry design as well as art books. Plus: the bar is always open until late 😉

Recently I’ve become a regular and in the past week I’ve been to 2 pretty different events:

Saturday the 10th: a series of talks about the current exhibition dedicated to the Bauhaus School by the space’s Director Giacomo Guidi, by renowned architect Ruggero Lenci, and an interview with Roman contemporary artist Leonardo Crudi

Tuesday the 13th: The launch event by Drago Publisher (which also has a permanent stand over there) of This is Los Angeles, the photo book by Estevan Oriol, THE master of LA street photography, with annexed photo exhibition…

Wanna know more? Just read on and enjoy some pics by yours truly 🙂

Bauhaus Application is the title of the exhibition dedicated to the German School and installed throughout the space’s 3 floors. It includes b/w archive photos of the school’s different locations along with contemporary artworks inspired by the principles of form, light and color – applied to design, architecture and art – taught at the school by masters such as Kandinskij, Mies van der Rohe, and Moholy-Nagy, among many others.

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But why Bauhaus application?

Because at the Bauhaus creativity was applied to real life and, in turn, it had to serve an actual function. Thus, the architectural and design style named Functionalism or Rationalism, in which the form goes hand in hand with the function and every element has a precise objective.

Photography, fashion design, artifacts, light installation, site-specific and bi-dimentional works take over the whole space, seeking to represent a continuity with the Bauhaus’ theories, reinterpreted in a contemporary key.

The show aims at pointing out the immense legacy that the Bauhaus experience left to our contemporary visual artists, designers and architects.

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Drago Publisher’s book launches are always cool. And this one was awesome! Estevan Oriol was present and it was such an honor to shake his hand and realize that he’s the man you’d expect when looking at his photographs: super laid back, down-to-earth and pretty badass!

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His pics express the rugged poetry of the streets of LA that he’s been capturing for over 20 years. The catalogue includes many faces that tell many stories, together with portraits of celebrities such as Eminem and Adrian Brody that Oriol’s eye stripped of their status by catching their moments of truth.

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The atmosphere at the launch was super chilled and festive, with live DJ set and lots of beautiful art to check out.

A variegated crowd that is usually hard to mix – from art curators and critics to tattoo artists and Hells Angels crew members – was drinking and chatting while getting their catalogue copy signed by the photographer.

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It was a wild(ish) bunch and I had a real good time!

To get a copy of this amazing book just stop by Contemporary Cluster or, if you’re not in Rome, order your limited edition copy directly from Drago Publishers’ website.

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Both shows are gonna be on view for a while, and more events are coming up at Contemporary Cluster.

Whether you live in Rome or you’re traveling to the Italian capital for business or pleasure, be sure to make some space in your schedule to check-out this unique spot, have drink, relax and delight your eyes.

Contemporary Cluster
Via dei Barbieri, 7
00186, Rome.
https://www.contemporarycluster.com/

If you have any questions about what’s good in Rome please shoot them in the comment section! And don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter if you want more insider badass travel tips! 😉

Photographs: Virginia Villari © 2018 All Rights Reserved.

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