The Seduction Pavilion exhibition was born as a response to a competition promoted by YAC (Young Architects Competitions) in 2018. The contest involved the creation of a one-year installation of 30 Hollywood starlets photographs. The exhibition, promoted by the Fashion Research Italy Foundation and the Cineteca di Bologna, aims to show the close relationship between cinema and fashion, which for years has celebrated women in a continuous tale of seduction and elegance.
The designed exhibition proposes a story of the celebrity dream of many young women attracted by the lights of the Hollywood star system. Remembered as starlets, they are actresses, made famous by the pin-up model, between the Thirties and the Sixties. However, they never gained fame. The exhibition is themed according to the path followed by every woman, who tried to reach their own time of fame. The aim of the installation is to make these starlets famous, making them walk along the famous red carpet, thus redeeming their dream of celebrity. In this way, the multimedia exhibition panels show the five steps faced by each starlet:
1. “Posing”: each woman has supported several auditions, posing elegantly for directors and
photographers, with the dream of being accepted in the glossy Hollywood world;
2. “In bathing suit”: these women were often portrayed in a bathing suit, thus embodying the model of the pin-up, a pioneer of a new style;
3. “On stage”: after the audition phase, the actresses are finally ready to show their charm on the big screen;
4. “In the spotlight”: even if only for a moment, these women, so refined, have hoped to finally reach their dream of celebrity;
5. “In the dressing room”: after the show, the lights go out: the woman reveals herself in the dressing room, a ritual place full of mystery and seduction.
Each of these phases corresponds to a different use of materials and geometries, to thematize the exhibition space and the photographs, retracing these five moments with the visitor. In addition to taking advantage of the sidewalls of the exhibition space (a wing of the headquarters of the Fashion Research Italy Foundation), the project profits by of the central part of the space by a play of curved and convex walls which, forming a spiral, invite the user to follow the visit route. The initial Barrisol wall offers a summary of the exhibition purpose. Shortly afterward, the photographs of the "posing" starlets are displayed. The photos are in glass niches embedded in a golden metal display wall, which curves following a broken line. Opposite, there are the divas' photos "in a bathing suit", reproduced on prints slightly projecting from the black exhibition wall. Following, we find the reproductions of the starlets "on stage". In this case, it was decided to create a small immersive area with seats similar to those of the cinema, from which the visitor can observe a film with the photos showed, and some starlets clips. Part of this photographic body, it was also exhibited on the next red wall. The beginning of this wall coincides with the beginning of the red floor, which simulates the famous red carpet, on which these actresses would have longed to walk. In this part of the exhibition, we also find photographs of the divas portrayed "in the spotlight", which are located in mirror niches that reflect the lights of the exhibition like photographic flashes. Finally, we arrive in the last area of the dressing room, following a Parisian chiffon curtain, which through a play of transparencies, allows us to glimpse the reproductions of the divas that reveal themselves. In this hidden heart of the exhibition, there is also a mirror that reflects a life-size photo. The visitor, looking towards the mirror, can see his reflected image together with that of the diva portray, identifying himself with these starlets. Going out there are backlit methacrylate panels, on which all the 30 photos are projected in sequence so that the visitor can have a unitary perception.
Contact Studio was born in 2018 from the desire of some young architects to establish a connection between them. The concept of the studio is to create contact between people and space, both conceived as subjects of the design action. This awareness determines a collaborative approach for a sustainable project, in which the individual becomes part of a network. Contact Studio, therefore, means getting in touch, exploring the relational dimension of the project.
The founding members are Elita D’Onghia (14/07/1990), architect, who collaborated with public and private multi-scale projects, including museum exhibitions in Italy and China and international competitions on the theme of urban renewal; Giorgia Di Cintio (14/11/1989), architect and Ph.D. Europaeus whose main interest is the urban regeneration, with a particular attention to public and social housing; dr. Annarita Tartaglia (10/09/1989), who combines the knowledge acquired in the field of restoration with various graphic works.