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Grafica e comunicazione

The past is hypothesis

During the final months of 2013, we were busy with a wide variety of projects. We curated the new image of Adagio, a quality chocolate maker; restyled the image of Opi Group, a company specializing in services and products for safety at the workplace; and came up with the image for the Gruppo Zecchetto, makers of sports equipment. The diversity of our clients helps to make our job more interesting, offering the opportunity to explore new areas and making repetition and boredom impossible. (In the meantime, our work has also been awarded a major prize from Gourmand Cookbook Awards: Best Cookbook In Italy 2013). 

The end of last year also marked the beginning of a collaboration with Anna Fendi for the global launch of her new home and the hotel line. In addition to giving us the opportunity to make regular visits to Rome (both the most eternal and beautiful city in the world), the collaboration has allowed us to work with a person who beautifully manages to combine charisma, strength, elegance, luxury and modesty; an entirely unexpected mix, since she is one of the biggest names in the fashion world (an environment notorious for ego and arrogance). But what is most striking about Anna Fendi is her particular vision of time: she is able combine the past, lived as if it were still alive and active, with the future, not ideal or hypothetical, but practical, precise and concrete. Almost as if the two entities (past and future) were always a whole for her; something to hold together to ensure that this does indeed make sense. It’s amazing to take in such continuity, which becomes strength and confidence in a person who could easily live off of past glories. But the secret that I think I've learned is this: for her, glories are truly in the past, what remains alive, and therefore active, it is only the work that led to glory. Therefore what is active is not the glory, but the process that generated it. There is only the cause: the work, work made based on confidence, courage, duty, perseverance, brotherhood and creativity. I think she gets her unusual modesty, friendliness, serenity of her gaze, and faith in her work and in the future.

Meeting Anna reminds me of something I read by Ermanno Bencivenga. In a recent article on the statue of the emperor Tiberius on view at the Getty Museum in Malibu, he discussed the past in surprising terms, at least in what seemed to be surprising terms. Starting from the structure of time, which provides an open future and a fixed and immutable past, he comes to demonstrate the contrary: the only past that really matters to us, is our own experience, which changes constantly. Rather than fixed and immutable, lived once and for all! Every human being is the author not only of their present and future but also their past, because we are able to "interpret" it; the past can therefore be re-built day after day. It's a dizzying point of view, but I think it's also the only way to experience the past as active experience without being overwhelmed, i.e. without the failures have to bring us down, or achievements that exalt beyond measure. This way we are able to remember daily the causes of a success or a failure, disabling adverse effects: the memory of past glory (which would only lead to futile pride) or the memory of defeats (which only lead to resentment).

In a world that worships the "cult of oblivion" with arrogance and stupidity, the lessons of Anna Fendi and Ermanno Bencivenga seem beautiful (and full of style).

22/01/2014 Filippo Maglione