An interview with Giovanni Francesco Frascino, the OpenHeArt curator

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An interview with Giovanni Francesco Frascino, the OpenHeArt curator

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Minimalist corridor, hallway & stairs by giovanni francesco frascino architetto Minimalist
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Today we indulge in a chat with the experienced architect Giovanni Francesco Frascino (gff studio), the curator in charge of the final exhibition entitled OpenHeArt—four laboratories for an exhibition. This project was created by the Archaeological Museum of Naples in collaboration with, among others, the Campania museum complex and Villa Pignatelli—House of photography. 

The aim of this project was to promote the cultural inclusion of young people in areas that are at risk of economic and social marginality. In our interview, architect Frascino will detail his approach to the exhibition created inside Villa Pignatelli, which houses eight portfolios created by other aspiring artists of OpenHeArt, as well as a hundred images designed during the workshop and exhibited at LAB \ for an irregular laboratory curated by Antonio Biasiucci.  

1. The relationship with the exhibition environment

Question: What was the relationship with this environment? 

Architect Giovanni Francesco Frascino: This room of Villa Pignatelli is characterised by a marble banister which was obtained from the vault. The entire space rises naturally upwards towards the skylight at the top.

2. The role of iron

Question: What was your approach to this material? 

Architect Giovanni Francesco Frascino: I wanted to include the hardness of iron to emphasise the lightness of the elements on display. And so, the exhibition shows eight iron lecterns, mimicking open books or paper sheets, designed from raw iron plates on which various photographic works are placed with strong dramatic character. 


2.1 The role of iron

Architect Giovanni Francesco Frascino: I wanted the photographic portfolios to be opened on top of the iron lecterns, effectively covering the hard material while it appears to be floating in mid air. 

3. The display element

Question: What is the role of the display element?

Architect Giovanni Francesco Frascino: The exhibition space is especially defined by the presence of the lecterns, which initially do not grab attention. These have a double function: they are physically supporting the work and emphasising the space. The lecterns are mounted to the walls as if looking at the centre of the room, where the empty vault, thanks to the light coming from above, gives a sort of sacred sense to the entire space.


3. 1 The display element

Architect Giovanni Francesco Frascino: The presence of the lecterns, and the way in which they are placed in close proximity to one another, transforms the space into a real place, the place of brotherhood. 

4. The floor plan

This image allows us to appreciate a top view / floor plan of the exhibition space. 

The article is based on the interview edited by Andrea Pasella.

Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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