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While deep in sleep, we inhabit spaces where sounds, images and people around us appear vivid and tangible. But once we open our eyes, the spell lifts and these folly- and wonder-tainted visions turn out to be no more than a dream. Something similar also occurs during virtual reality simulations, those multisensorial experiences in which the course of events can be simply interrupted by removing the headset from one’s eyes, just like suddenly waking up. The world of dream and of virtual reality have far more in common than one would think: both revolve around a subjective point of view, and above all both engage an aesthetic relation with images, a dimension that begins to be investigated in the 1800s – a time that more than others focused on revealing the workings of our dreams – and that in the advent of digital technology has found its fullest and most complete realization. At the centre of this framework is cinema, the art that in the 20th century expressed and gave form to human fantasies and nightmares, channelling the immersive experience out of the rigid bidimensional quality of the screen, “piercing” its surface like Buster Keaton in one of his most famous films. This book sheds light on what the early sensational landscapes and cycloramas have in common with the new media art of Zoe Beloff and Char Davies, on how Mickey Mouse goes hand in hand with Cocteau and Kurosawa, and on how modern VR devices can be considered an evolution of sleep masks: the author presents us with an archaeological approach to the history of media and to the concept of immersivity inviting us to recognise a new type of artistic horizon, projected beyond mere visual data.
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La notte dei simulacri

Sogno, cinema, realtà virtuale

Giancarlo Grossi

publisher: Johan & Levi

pages: 197 pagine

While deep in sleep, we inhabit spaces where sounds, images and people around us appear vivid and tangible. But once we open our eyes, the spell lifts and these folly- and wonder-tainted visions turn out to be no more than a dream. Something similar also occurs during virtual reality simulations, those multisensorial experiences in which the course
One of the most famous American petrol industrialists and “richest man of America” from 1950 to 1970, J. Paul Getty was above everything else an insatiable art and antiques collector. Getty started collecting in the 1930s and continued compulsively throughout his entire life, despite having many times tried to stop, as he recounts in his autobiography As I See It. The Joys of Collecting by Getty is a short book in which the author recalls a number of personal anecdotes – revolving around a series of highly representative pieces of antiques, furniture and paintings –, explains his art-collecting philosophy, offers advice, and recalls his greatest successes, encouraging novice collectors to face the perils and hazards of art collecting and, regardless of budget limitations, enjoy the thrill, the drive and sense of adventure he himself enjoyed so much.  If the personal pleasure of laying hands on an artwork is a major component of Getty’s narrative, this book is also about his genuine faith in the civilising influence exerted by great artworks and the importance of sharing them with the public: “Banal as it may sound in this glib and brittle age, the beauty that one finds in fine art is one of the pitifully few real and lasting products of all human endeavour. That beauty endures even though nations and civilizations crumble; the work of art can be passed on from generation to generation and century to century, providing a historical continuity of true value.” It was his wish that his private collection would become the J. Paul Getty Museum of Malibu.   Translated by Elena Balzano.
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Le gioie di collezionare

J. Paul Getty

publisher: Johan & Levi

pages: 93 pagine

One of the most famous American petrol industrialists and “richest man of America” from 1950 to 1970, J. Paul Getty was above everything else an insatiable art and antiques collector. Getty started collecting in the 1930s and continued compulsively throughout his entire life, despite having many times tried to stop, as he recounts in his autobi

Autobiografia di un impostore

narrata da Laura Leonelli

Paolo Ventura

publisher: Johan & Levi

pages: 152 pagine

There was once an impostor. There was once Paolo Ventura, photographer, painter, and set and costume designer. There was once because this autobiography is actually a fairy tale in which every reader will find something of their own story, their childhood and their city, if they were born in Milan, and Milan equals one hundred years of Italian life
The whale is an animal that appears only to those who wait: a colossal, glistening creature that, like Moby Dick, hides from sight, “avoiding both hunters and philosophers.” Sudden, fateful encounters with the whale can occur at sea, or in craggy Apennine ravines, or in a museum, or while gazing at stars. Over the centuries, the whale has been both a mythological monster and an inspiration for tales, both a foodstuff and an object of worship. In short, an image that obsessively swallows things into its belly. Whales first fascinated artist Claudia Losi in 2004, setting in motion efforts that were focussed, through various forms and initiatives, on a life-size travelling whale made of grey wool fabric. This living event, Balena Project, toured different parts of the world, attracting stories, absorbing suggestions, constantly changing its appearance. The Whale Theory, the final leg of the journey, is its literary manifestation. An artist’s book, it contains strange and secret marvels, also serving as a compass for the lengthy poetic experience, which it retraces with illustrations, photographs and texts. Inside are various expert contributions and perspectives, plus a chorus of voices that harmoniously blend in the whale’s song. Having taken her deep dive, Claudia Losi allows herself to be gracefully swallowed up, returning with a marine geography of words and visions that have nourished the archetype of the whale, both in her private imagery and in the mind of the general public. The result is a hymn to the mystery of this massive inhabitant of the depths, and to the stories of whales that have accompanied our history as human beings.   Texts by: Christopher Collins, Matteo Meschiari, Vinicio Capossela, Jean Rezzonico, Jean D’Yvoire, Gianni Pavan, Silvia Bottani, Tore Teglbjaerg, Mauro Sargiani, Petra Aprile, Sunaura Taylor, Gioia Laura Iannilli, Jurg Slabbert, Kate Pocklington, Philip Hoare.   Translated by William Lee.
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The Whale Theory

An Animal Imagery

Claudia Losi

publisher: Johan & Levi

pages: 256

The whale is an animal that appears only to those who wait: a colossal, glistening creature that, like Moby Dick, hides from sight, “avoiding both hunters and philosophers.” Sudden, fateful encounters with the whale can occur at sea, or in craggy Apennine ravines, or in a museum, or while gazing at stars. Over the centuries, the whale has been
The heirs to a textile dynasty whose social rise is the stuff of legend, the Morozov brothers certainly did not go unnoticed. Cultured, sophisticated and unconventional at the same time, they enchanted the Muscovite intelligentsia with their eccentricities. Fashionably dressed and surrounded by femmes fatales, gambling and living in mansions whose architectural styles were eclectic to say the least, they were art lovers and above all collectors. Mikhail was the first to take an interest in the new school of French painting. After his premature death, Ivan followed in his footsteps and developed what was soon to be an overriding passion. From 1904 on, he left his factories whenever possible to visit the most fashionable Parisian art dealers but seldom allowed them to dazzle him with their offers. He had a very clear idea of the works he was wanted and of how to display them in the rooms of his stately home. He displayed matchless patience in the obsessive hunt for the finest works of his favourite masters and – according to Vollard, who called him “the Russian who doesn’t bargain” – never counted the pennies. In the space of a few years, he built up a superb collection including works by the Impressionists, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso and the finest Russian painters of the period, every bit as good as that of his compatriot Sergei Shchukin, whose sad fate it was to share after the Russian Revolution. The masterpieces that adorned the walls of the mansion at 21 Prechistenka were confiscated by the state, divided like playing cards between Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and left to gather dust in the storerooms of museums for decades before coming to constitute the core of the modern art departments of the Hermitage and the Pushkin. The collection is now restored to its original splendour by Natalya Semyonova, who rescues the extraordinary figure of Ivan Morozov from the oblivion into which he was plunged by this twist of fate with all the verve of a novelist.
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Morozov e i suoi fratelli

Storia di una dinastia russa e di una collezione ritrovata

Natalia Semënova

publisher: Johan & Levi

pages: 240 pagine + 16 (inserto)

The heirs to a textile dynasty whose social rise is the stuff of legend, the Morozov brothers certainly did not go unnoticed. Cultured, sophisticated and unconventional at the same time, they enchanted the Muscovite intelligentsia with their eccentricities. Fashionably dressed and surrounded by femmes fatales, gambling and living in mansions whose

Come diventare un artista

Jerry Saltz

publisher: Johan & Levi

pages: 176 pagine

You’ve always dreamed of being an artist and are almost convinced that you’ve got what it takes but when it comes to the point, you are too petrified to take the plunge. A little jeering voice tells you that you’re not really all that good, your CV isn’t up to it, you’re too stupid or in any case not very original, you won’t fool anyone
An insatiable reader, Vincent van Gogh found a source of inspiration as well as a safe haven from storms in books and devoured hundreds during his short life. The authors that captivated him include Dickens, Zola, Maupassant and the Goncourt brothers, whose pages he reread with passionate intensity, meditating on every line to the point of establishing a constant mental dialogue with the writer. Part of the energy and the creative drive that animate his painting drew vital sustenance precisely from thus irresistible passion. In any case, painting with the brush or with words was the same thing for Van Gogh, who shared with the great family of his favourites the precise ideal of art as something for everyone and that everyone must be able to understand. Driven by the intuitive insight that Van Gogh’s life can be explored through the books he loved, Mariella Guzzoni displays great narrative flair in revealing previously unknown details concealed in the nooks and crannies of his art. From Still Life with a Bible to Woman Reading a Novel, the many works by the Dutch genius connected with books and reading are examined in a new light. In employing his letters, presented here in a new Italian translation, as the primary tool of investigation, the author paints a full picture of an artist fascinated not only by a number of recurrent themes but also and above all by the moral and intellectual stature of the writers he loved most. Translated into five languages and richly illustrated, the essay encompasses both the great masterpieces and the minor works of Van Gogh, showing how the man, his work and his books are interwoven in an indivisible whole. As the artist himself said, “Books, reality and art are one thing for me.”
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I libri di Vincent

Van Gogh e gli scrittori che lo hanno ispirato

Mariella Guzzoni

publisher: Johan & Levi

pages: 232 pagine

An insatiable reader, Vincent van Gogh found a source of inspiration as well as a safe haven from storms in books and devoured hundreds during his short life. The authors that captivated him include Dickens, Zola, Maupassant and the Goncourt brothers, whose pages he reread with passionate intensity, meditating on every line to the point of establis
The conference “Immaginare l’Unità d’Italia. Gli Etruschi a Milano tra collezionismo e tutela” was organized by the Superintendency of Archaeological, Artistic and Environmental Heritage for the Metropolitan City of Milan, the Municipal Council of Milan (Civico Museo Archeologico), the University of Milan (Department of Cultural and Environmental Heritage) and the Fondazione Luigi Rovati in connection with the exhibition Il Viaggio della Chimera. Gli Etruschi a Milano tra archeologia e collezionismo. The proceedings of the conference, the second stage of an in-depth research project on the Etruscans, address subjects regarding the history and specificity of Etruscan archaeological collecting as a phenomenon connected from the mid-19th to the early 20th century with nationalistic aspirations that saw the history of this people as the first experience of territorial unification under a common identity. The authors focus primarily on the major collectors who contributed to the development of archaeology in Italy, especially in connection with the city of Milan, interweaving the histories of the collections and of the institutions – universities, museums and institutes of research – that have taken up their physical and spiritual legacy of preservation and study. Attention then shifts to the close connection between collecting and preservation, addressing the evolution of activities and measures for the protection of antiquities all the way from the period prior to Italian unification up to the present national legislation with reference also to particular cases in the modern era.
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Immaginare l'Unità d'Italia. Gli Etruschi a Milano tra collezionismo e tutela

Atti del convegno internazionale, 30-31 maggio 2019, Palazzo Litta, Milano

Various authors

publisher: Johan & Levi

pages: 304 pagine

The conference “Immaginare l’Unità d’Italia. Gli Etruschi a Milano tra collezionismo e tutela” was organized by the Superintendency of Archaeological, Artistic and Environmental Heritage for the Metropolitan City of Milan, the Municipal Council of Milan (Civico Museo Archeologico), the University of Milan (Department of Cultural and Enviro
An artist undertaking a portrait cannot but consider the pose to be given to the subject. Standing, sitting or reclining? What feelings will the expression convey? Will the arms be folded or busy performing some apotropaic rite? While a portrait unquestionably strikes us first and foremost for the quality of the painting and the sitter’s identity, every gesture, expression and posture of the body actually constitutes a key to a casket in which we can discover traces of the lifestyle of a particular historical period and legacies of cultures distant in time and space. And who could be better able than Desmond Morris to take up the challenge of recounting the history of body language in such a way as to delight the reader? Combining his two personae, the ethologist and Surrealist painter, he guides us on an extraordinary exploration of the postures that have attracted the attention of art lovers for centuries, from Roman statuary all the way to Pop Art. We thus discover why Napoleon was always portrayed hand-in-waistcoat and sovereigns often with one foot towards the viewer. And while it is true that gestures like shaking the fist are universal, sticking out the tongue out can be interpreted as a manifestation of demonic nature or simple childish impertinence depending on the period involved. With brilliant insight, Morris tells us how artists have given shape in their works to the changes involving social habits and conventions over the centuries. In doing so, he encounters surprising similarities and eternal recurrences, rediscovering long-forgotten gestures and shedding new light on masterpieces regarded as more familiar.
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In posa

L'arte e il linguaggio del corpo

Desmond Morris

publisher: Johan & Levi

pages: 320 pagine

An artist undertaking a portrait cannot but consider the pose to be given to the subject. Standing, sitting or reclining? What feelings will the expression convey? Will the arms be folded or busy performing some apotropaic rite? While a portrait unquestionably strikes us first and foremost for the quality of the painting and the sitter’s identity
Known by the ancient Romans as Caere, Cerveteri was a one of the most important Etruscan cities. With its port of Pyrgi and a necropolis renowned for the magnificence and evocative quality of its tombs, it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2004. A stage of the 19th-century Grand Tour mentioned in countless travellers’ accounts, it was the object of minute drawings and written descriptions by authors like George Dennis and Elizabeth Hamilton Gray as well as numerous historical and archaeologic studies in the 19th and 20th century. The names established in the academic sphere do not, however, include the priest Sabino De Nisco. Educated in Naples, probably under the guidance of the Latin scholar and philologist Enrico Cocchia, this self-proclaimed “doctor of letters” is the author of acute and precious contributions to our knowledge of Caere and Pyrgi that are not mentioned, however, despite their quality, in the post-1950s scholarly literature on Cerveteri. This volume presents two short studies on the origins of the city and the divinity of the temple of Pyrgi published in Naples by De Nisco in 1909. Clearly evident in both are the author’s first-hand archaeological knowledge of the site and absolute mastery of the literary sources combined with the solidity and authority of his reasoning, acute critical intelligence and keen sense of historical research in attributing the city’s origins to the Terramare culture rather than the Pelasgians and identifying the divinity of the temple of Pyrgi as the exquisitely Greek figure of Leukothea. This new edition seeks to set the writings of De Nisco, after a century of oblivion, in their rightful place alongside the principal works of historical and archaeologic research on Cerveteri.
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Cerveteri, Pyrgi e le origini degli Etruschi

Sabino De Nisco

publisher: Johan & Levi

pages: 128 pagine

Known by the ancient Romans as Caere, Cerveteri was a one of the most important Etruscan cities. With its port of Pyrgi and a necropolis renowned for the magnificence and evocative quality of its tombs, it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2004. A stage of the 19th-century Grand Tour mentioned in countless travellers’ accou

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