AVEAMEN – Design for the Spirit
THE ROSARY IN XXI CENTURY BETWEEN SYMBOLISM AND EXPERIMENTATION
25 designers reinterpret the sacred object, each in its own way and world
An exhibition curated by Labìt Architects Associated with the contribution of Larca Srl
VENICE – What if the Rosary today could be seen and used like that? A Card among the cards, an ear plugs set for I-phone, a kit for orthopedic sticks, a mechanic machine, a custom meter, a candle, a little box fixed on your belt or even a music composition, a movie.
This is the Rosary reinterpreted by the most dynamic designers and artists of the latest years, in occasion of a mere cultural challenge which became an exhibition, curated by Labìt Architects Associated with the contribution of Larca Srl.
After all the rosary is a usable object, an ergonomically designed well made prayer meter.
At times during certain formal rituals, it’s with intrinsic value can install a sort of reverential repeat, even in non-believers.
This originates for the sensation of having in front of you, a perfect and complete object, it pushes you to create a disscusion, a need to ret-think a new way to say your prayers in the same old way.
If we only had to use this tool to count, our ten fingers would be quite sufficient.
How fascinating it would be to have such purity, but faith requires symbols, objects, and tangibility, to lead us to a dimension that renders us towards our highest spiritual state.
And as human beings, we need to measure ourselves with that sense of childish enjoyment. For he who wants to fly with their mind, does not wish to stop, even in the face of perfection.
Below you can find a selection of the experimental objects exposed:
ANIMA E CORPO _ Massimo Barbierato
Anima e Corpo is a set of edible rosaries, made of flour,water, baking powder and a pinch of salt.
The ritual act that binds Man with God or better it relates the human being to God usually takes place by means of
food or, more precisely, through a sacrifice wherein food is significant.
It’s during the mass that mankind sacrifices its most important goods – bread and wine – physical and spiritual supports which have a great symbolic value in the Holy Writ along with water and oil.
Bread is an alimentary “concept” that contains an extraordinary richness being often forgotten. A concept where memory,culture and religion converge in it.
Jesus wanted Christians to celebrate the Eucharistic sacraments by identifying his body with bread, intended both as everyday food and spiritual food for the soul.
“I am the bread of life; the one who comes to Me will not be hungry for sure”.
Religion as food, food as religion: this was the starting point of this project, which developed, keeping the same
ingredients though, in two different forms: breadstick and bread.
The mixture was forced to rise in molds that impressed on it a series of plenums and voids thus to beat the sequence of prayers. These molds being designed with food–grade silicon will allow the believer to generate his own edible rosary.
CORPO LUOGO PREGHIERA _ Blumer and Friends + Matteo Borghi
If your hand, a tool of touch, is the part of your body which traditionally tells the breads, all of your body, in its independent movement and consequently shift of weight, will make the prayer a phenomenon of time–space.
This condition, which leads us to imagine and build an object which contains the body of it which can consequently move forward according to the liturgical rhythm, leads to another immediate condition of speed intended the latter as a ratio between a time and a space thus to compose a path.
The traceability of the rosary, though identical in time, becomes a path in a, predictable, audible, mobile site.
This quality, highly distinctive in some existing rites (such as The Via Crucis), has necessarily a linear haracteristic
in this specific case. It’s impossible to start, to say and to end the rosary in the same place, but it’s easy to identify and predict the path track. In the classic crown rosary, the count of the prayers is obtained by the five decades of grains; in this rosary, instead, the litany is marked by the rhythmic sound of a ball which changes its position everytime you recite Hail Mary, while running along a spiral channel.
HANDLE WITH CARE _ Massimo Brignoni
The relationship between the human being and deity is explained through signs, images, tools and places, which characterize it. This relationship goes beyond time and, while it designs outlines and boundaries, we are pushed towards clashing and heterogeneus emotions.
In this way, the project of a rosary immediately appears as a sublime occasion of enclosing it in an object of cult so full of symbolic values and deep physicalness, the meaning of the emotional exchange between human beings and deity.
A thin, fragile, light glass stele, a slight vibrant ice crystal, solid and compact, a smooth and transparent surface from which the ten knots of the Hail Mary decade emerge. Forged by fire, it’s a “decima” of living matter that reaches its height with the holy cross of the Pater Noster.
That’s why, along with the urgent need of experiencing the divine, an instinctive desire of a physical relation with this intermediary emerges, your fingers cautiously caress and savour the touch physicalness while its roughness turns into soft and pure drops of light during every following prayer. Glass is a compact substance, but it allows our eyes to see beyond itself. Wouldn’t we like to experience deity through our own eyes
THREAD _ Todd Bracher
We have wanted to create the most humble rosary that we could. Modest and discreet, totally fixing our minds on the ritual of the prayer and not on the object itself.
ROSARY BRACELET ON–THE–GO _ Ginette Caron
Tribes and their codes. Sharing, being present, being part of the same tribe…this is not a matter of standing out
but of being part of a clan composed of interchangeable individuals apparently.
Everything is codified: clothing, colors,accessories and attitudes. You can say no longer “I’m the one who owns is as a unique, precious object” but to “I’ve got it too and it costs little or nothing”. Rosary bracelet supports this tendency.
It’s an emergency–rosary, easy to distribute during the big religious meetings.
But above all, it’s a code of membership. A souvenir of our participation to an important event, an emotion to recall:“I was there, too, among all the others”.
ROSARY CARD _ Ginette Caron
At sight but unknown to all. To review the rosary in contemporary terms. Traditional rosary is so perfect:
easy to tell your beads, lightweight, compressible, pleasant at use… it would seem impossible to be able change its look. Yet. And what about if the rosary could turn into a mysterious, indecipherable object at first sight? Something with a completely different shape and consequently an expressiveness, totally different?
The Rosary card is a simple, two–dimensional die-cut rectangle.
Thanks to its gaps and plate-marks you may identify its essence and use.
The act of praying is preserved, the gesture reinvented. The rosary card doesn’t take up space, apart from a space for spirituality. It lives with papers, cards or between the book pages, always with me.
ROSARIO MAGIQUE _ Marco Ferreri
It talks about faith and the very different way we all of us, especially in Italy, know it, interpret it, live it, and express it…
Rosario Magique finally puts in order around the driving mirrors combining two functions into a single object.
iROSARIO ¬_ Marco Ferreri
A small set of headphones that turns the iPhone earphones into a rosary.
In order to let us miss right nothing with the letter “i” first of all. Ora pro nobis.
AVE–MATER _ Giulio Iacchetti + Leonardo Sonnoli
The rosary wreath is used to count the number of the said prayers.
It is made with fifty beads in groups of ten (tens), with a larger grain inbetween each and every decade.
There is also a mini-rosary consisting of a small wreath of ten grains: the latter was the inspiration for our project.
In fact, in the rosary Ave–Mater, the eight letters contained in the angel’s greeting to Mary (incipit of the Marian prayer par excellence) combined with the separator elements, placed at the end of each of the two words, sum up to 10, thus to reproduce a crown /decade rosary.
In this way you obtain the idea whereby the word – the Word – and the letters that compose it are themselves synonymous with prayer. The classic rosary beads, replaced by the alphabetic characters,
give a more original character to the object of devotion, making every recited prayer truly “unique”.
CERO _ Labìt Architetti
As children we used to be accompanied by the sacred respect of the rite with our usual gestures in that smell
of incense, under the light of candles, carried during the slow processions, saying our beads with the same slow rhythm, maybe with the same thoughts.
Lighted candles, a trembling light mingles with the telling of prayers, driving our renewed and relieved spirit
to the joy of the games, which followed.
It’s not easy to enclose so many symbols, sensations and incorporeal elements in an object. They belong to an experience being linked both to the sacred and to the tradition.
We’ve tried to unify two main aspects: light, being the symbol of knowledge, hope and of sacred icon; time, as expression of the becoming, as well as the impermanence and repetitiveness of the rite.
Our rosary becomes a candle on whose surface the traces of the five Tens are impressed. A body, which dissolves in the light, beating the rhythm of the litany.
In this way the sacred rite of the rosary joins the deep human and sensorial feelings: the deep attraction to the fire which consumes the candle, the enchantment of the flame that dances on the top, the pleasure of touching the melting wax wearing out the carved surface.
BASTONE ROSARIO _ Paolo Orlandini
The Rosary stick concept is to combine two functions into a single object. The rosary isn’t “hidden” anymore in a pocket or purse, but it is joined to the stick to be always available and to make the stick itself a richer
object, more aesthetic and decorative.
From a marketing point of view the concept can develop in two different modes:
• Rosario kit to be added to an existing stick. Usually sticks on the market have a diameter of about 22 mm, but having been fashioned with a spiral spring, this rosary can be adapted to different diameters. This spiral is construed with a strip of brass (copper, aluminum, silver or any other metal), which imprints of the parts of the rosary. It could be attached to the stick with two nails.
• A stick that already comes with an inlay that can be made with various materials (wood on wood, ivory,
wood, silver on wood, etc.)
METRO _ Marco Zito + Francesco Vasselli
The rosary Metro, where “metro” is a multivalent word – in view of the similarity to the tape measure,
to test our belief and as a hint at the new possible way of conceiving the object in a contemporary metropolis – is a perforated tape, of modest size, made with recycled paper which is soaked to be scented, colored and personalized. The result is a fair product, poor by touch, easy to view, pleasant but not pretentious.
Just like in contemporary centers of “shopping cult”, the meter is totally sunk in the holy building.
Hung up in discrete containers in a full load, thus to provide a cultural diffusion method for different ways of the use of this product: it may be a mere tourist souvenir, a method to discover lost traditions again or a useful
tool for firmer believers.
The shape, unlike the original one, suggests a different use: the small roll slips out of your pocket, you hold it
having the flap with the symbol of the cross between thumb and forefinger and begin to pray while unrolling.
Once unrolled two small cuts allow the assembly, thus to obtain a circular shape similar to the characteristic crown. In this way it lets you start the rite again or be worn.