The palazzo fills me with reverence and respect, because it is a historical place full of references. It has a certain austerity, but at the same time there are more decorative parts. It is an exceptional enclosure to be able to interpret a dance between history and the contemporary.
Working in a place called Palazzo Luce, the palace of light, is interesting because photograph creates an image through light. For Palazzo Luce I have made a specific work on the relationship between temporary botanical architecture and eternal architecture, where the centuries of history of Palazzo Luce converge with a garden full of ancient plants.
Palazzo Luce is about light, it’s about color, it’s about a sort of freshness, it’s about history again, and it’s about the present and then the future. How can this type of architecture be used in an interesting way in the future? Of course the architecture is splendid, and I think what’s been going on inside looks very interesting.
You have to move through Palazzo Luce – a place that shines with its own light, not reflected light – because it is a place that speaks to you, full of history, emotions, love and passion. It’s like entering the world of Alice in Wonderland. You enter and you ask yourself, “where am I?”. Actually it is all rather composed, linear, clean, but with the intrusion of certain extraordinary things that break up the silence and harmony here and there, creating a new reality, making this place truly unique in the world.
It’s all there. First of all, outside there is the city of Lecce, with its solemn embrace. Inside, the view of an amphitheater that can be observed only from this point. There’s contemporary art, which opens the palazzo to the world. There is design of exceptional quality. The respect for the place itself. Plants and gardens. There are terraces brought back to life, from which to admire the cathedral. Colors. A place that aptly represents the city in this moment. You could not be anywhere but here.
If the space of Palazzo Luce was mine, I would immediately make a studio, I’d live there, and it would be a dream. Above all because of the light, as well as the large spaces, this light you find in the South, which we don’t have in the North. Perhaps only in Venice…
This building encompasses, it has no fear of contaminations. It ranges through different disciplines that are normally interrupted just an instant before they can come into connection. I like the interdisciplinary approach that makes designers and artists meet, this coming together to find something never previously expressed.
Palazzo Luce is a place of vivid presences. Every room has a voice, voices, extraordinary works, and each one has the right space, room to breathe, to coexist in harmony with its surroundings. It’s like a big party with many exceptional artists, because the lines of research and the themes intertwine, enlivening every room with important new life.
The palazzo is fundamentally a house-museum. The notes of the old majolica tiles and the antiques have been perfectly incorporated in the project. The whole house has a thread, a connection: Gio Ponti and the great Italian design of the postwar era. It is like being in a palace that was reoccupied after the 1950s.
Works of art have to speak. And to be able to speak, they have to be properly installed, to have their own space. The need to have their stories, and to be enabled to tell those stories.
The aesthetic factor is continuously rebalanced with the emotions. Choosing to come to a place like this one is like a voyage in a cultural dimension that becomes thrilling, even if you may not know exactly who made that artwork, or that chair. It is something you choose, something your feel, a destination. And – I am convinced that this will happen – a destination connected to an experience.
It is called Palazzo Luce not only because it is full of light, but also because it vibrates with the light of all the people who have come here and left traces of their passage. I don’t think you have to be an expert on design or art to appreciate this place. We all understand when we are seeing “light,” or as in this case “light with culture.”
I believe the history of art is made of encounters. At times they are encounters of human beings, other times with works, which can be equally magnetic. I have shown my works a number of times alongside those of the artists inside Palazzo Luce. And each time a particular combination has been created, as if the works were seeking one another, questioning each other, giving rise to a choral outcome.