Expo Milano 2015 offers an interesting preview of the Universal Exposition with a scale model of Padiglione Zero. Padiglione Zero, like its number, represents the start of all stories: the first (and most important) is the one that narrates the path of humanity on the earth in relation to nutrition and therefore to nature. An exchange that has generated, over the centuries, knowledge and evolution. Placed at the entrance to the Expo site, Padiglione Zero has the job of condensing the philosophy of the Universal Exposition through a narrative itinerary of great theatrical impact. Furthermore, it is the only pavilion at the site featuring the participation of the United Nations Organization, through information and data on the theme of nutrition in the world. The invention and curating of the twelve room/settings has been done by Davide Rampello. Michele De Lucchi has contributed the architectural design, imagining a structure that reproduces a segment of the earth’s crust.
The inspiration is that of the Euganean Hills and the idea is to open the Expo with a view of a hilly profile of volcanic cones structured to create the skeleton of a formidable work of wooden architecture. The theater of the building has a double interpretation: while it is harmonious on the outside, under each concave form caverns and dark crevices open, true stages on which the narration unfolds. The internal sets have been done by Giancarlo Basili, a film set designer, translating the visions and suggestions of the curator into theatrical language while involving craftsmen from all over the national territory. The best carpenters, cabinetmakers, smiths, sculptors and painters have worked for months on the theatrical structures, making Padiglione Zero the “biggest workshop in Italy”: a true distributed laboratory that has permitted the finest crafts studios of our country to finally display their excellent methods and skills.
During this voyage through the history of humanity and food, in twelve chapters, it will also be possible to follow an alternative itinerary to the code of the installations, taking a more silent path composed of words. The visual and sound messages are conveyed by assigning each space of representation a specific term that condenses its ultimate meaning and allows visitors to assemble, at the end of the visit, a minimum dictionary on the history of human nutrition.
The twelve chapters of the installation, with the associated key words, are: 1. The archive of the world / Memory; 2. The arts of man / Knowledge; 3. The realm of nature / Origins; 4. The taming of plants / Home; 5. The taming of animals / community; 6. The table, theater of the world / convivium; 7. Breeding, cultivating, hunting, fishing / Ingenuity; 8. Gathering, transporting, conserving, transforming / Economy; 9. From rural to industrial / Revolution; 10. The virtual square of food / speculation; 11. The paradox of waste / catastrophe; 12. The pursuit of balance / Harmony.
Ideas and curating: Davide Rampello
Architectural design: Michele De Lucchi
Set design and installations: Giancarlo Basili
Director of photography: Aldo Solbiati
Total area: about 10,000 m2