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Meda: the Tresoldi Academy’s bell tower for the Port of Ancona

Meda is a new large-scale installation created for the Port of Ancona as part of Sea, the Tresoldi Academy’s second workshop, involving 15 students led by artistic director Edoardo Tresoldi together with Marche artist Oliviero Fiorenzi.

The choice of Ancona is no coincidence, with it being one of the best cities in Italy for symbolising the ancient relationship of man with the sea.

The focus of the workshop was to work on the relationship between the creative process and cultural phenomena linked to the sea. It takes inspiration from the archetypes relating to the concept of landscape and explores its meaning through an architectural language with dreamlike and surreal connotations, as can be seen from Tresoldi’s explanation.

"The landscape is defined by elements that belong to specific contexts and which generate archetypal forms linked to our imagination: the house in the countryside, the tree on the hill, the boat in the harbour, the buoy in the open sea. - says Tresoldi. "Translating these compositions is a poetic act and positions us before an incoherent landscape that seeks out new sensations and new meanings that are often dreamlike and surreal: the boat in the countryside, the buoy on the hill, the tree in the harbour, the house in the open sea".

The sculpture designed by Oliviero Fiorenzi

Starting from these suggestions, the students participated in the design and construction of a 12-metre high majestic bell tower, made in Cavatorta wire. The work is completed by Campana (Bell), the kinetic sculpture designed by Oliviero Fiorenzi. Initially  Campana was installed in the Tempietto di San Rocco inside the Mole Vanvitelliana before becoming part of the Tresoldi bell tower.

According to Fiorenzi, “Ancona is a city of difficult interpretation where it is easy to get lost. During the Workshop the lack of reference points was a topic of discussion with the students. One evening, in a restaurant, there was a little girl next to me learning the points of the compass and her drawings were a revelation for me. What could be more powerful than the image of a little girl learning to orient herself in the world and in her own city? I transformed her drawings into pictorial signs and adorned my sculpture. The work consists of 12 blades, on which I have applied the cardinal points; a kinetic sculpture that, moving with the wind, makes them rotate and causes them to get confused with one another. The only part that stands still is the bell: a new point of reference”.

The further element of surprise is that the bell announces its presence visually and not acoustically through an unexpected interplay of light. Fiorenzi continues: “I decided to hybridise the concept of the lighthouse. A kinetic sculpture which becomes a signal installed within the sea, in mimesis with atmospheric phenomena. Moved by the wind and illuminated by the sun, the bell creates a shimmer that is in full mimesis with its surroundings. The light that it emits is emitted because the bell is chromed. The sunlight creates a reflection on the chrome blades resulting in this flicker, this shimmer on the sea”.

Currently waiting to be “launched”, the bell tower of Tresoldi is currently located in the Cantiere delle Marche (where it was built), enhanced by an evocative light installation starting in October 2022 on the occasion of Tresoldi’s presence at the KUM! Festival. It will soon conquer the waves together with Campana in an area in front of the beautiful beach at Passetto.  

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