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Durban – An exhibition on Italian industry arrives in South Africa

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(14 August, 2017) ​The traveling exhibition “50+! Il Grande gioco dell’industria. Oggetti che hanno fatto la storia dell’impresa italiana” (“50+! The Great Industrial Game. Objects that have made the History of Italian Industry”), illustrating the history of Italian business through 50 objects, will soon be displayed in Durban, in South Africa. The exhibition will be opened at 5:30 p.m. on 17 August at the Art Gallery of the University of Technology of Durban. The exhibition was organised in South Africa by the Italian Cultural Institute in Pretoria and, after it was first set up in the Gauteng Province in April 2017, it is now being presented in Durban in association with the Dante Alighieri Society in Durban and the Durban University of Technology, where it will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., until 8 September 2017. The admission is free. The exhibition, which was designed by Museimpresa and curated by Francesca Molteni, tells the story of 50+ objects that have made the history of Italian industry through a display of panels showing the ideas, the designs and the stories of objects that have turned into the icons of our collective imagination (for example the Vespa, the Campari Soda bottle, the pasta Barilla box or Olivetti’s Valentine typewriter). The objects were selected from the collections of the museums that are members of Museimpresa with the assistance of their curators. The exhibition, which consists of 54 stories on 24 panels, a game of Snakes and Ladders and a quiz, is a time machine retracing the history of objects timed at the pace of inventions, intuitions and breakthroughs born from the ingenuity of enterprising business leaders and industrial poets, of visionaries in laboratories, the enthusiasm of workers and the silence hanging around the drawing-boards. “The Great Industrial Game” tells the story of the  “Made in Italy” products that changed the lifestyle, history, economy and way of life of Italian society. They are historic industrial objects with an extraordinary symbolic meaning: sacred and domestic, designed for both museums and the household, both by great designers and small craftsmen, that have shaped the collective imagination of a nation with a knack for quick, proud and unexpected technological innovation. The historic memory unfolds along an imaginary line marked by the cross-fertilisation between communication, design and innovation that has turned these items into icons: from turbines to sample books, makeshift stills and musical instruments, bottles, furnishings and logos, bright patterns and gasometers, engines, pottery and moviolas, calculators and pharmaceutical packaging machines, toys and little helmets. 

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