From Chaos to Improvisation: The World of Talking Objects by Vito Salamone
The young designer talks about himself in the days of the lockdown in an engaging and sensory interview
Sicilian by birth, but Milanese by adoption, Vito Salomone opens the doors to his rich and stimulating creative universe. Leading us almost by the hand, you can feel the influences of the island from which it comes, precious and contaminated, mixed with those of the consolidated capital of design, the cradle of the great Masters, and an open field of experimentation.
The lockdown becomes an opportunity to transform the home into a happy and fulfilling oasis, the scene of new projects such as # 40artserie, the result of a personal reinterpretation of well-known works of art. The explanation of the poetics of his projects takes place in a clear and fluid story, which attests to the consolidated studies and research in the field.
1. Imagine spending a day together, where would you like to take us?
Palermo and Sicily. City rich in traditions and folklore where you can visit beautiful places such as Palazzo Steri or Palazzo Abatellis and eat an excellent sandwich with panelle. In short, there are a lot to visit, so comfortable shoes, I don’t like going around with people who get tired quickly. My absolute favorite place is the Chinese building which completely kidnapped me on a summer afternoon.
2. How strong is the representation of a decontextualized object?
Isolating an element can make the references of scale that our eye is accustomed to searching to answer questions such as: how big is that object? What is the use of it? Wiping out these types of references brings with it a whole series of preconceptions. In this way, those who stop to observe a decontextualized object can have their dose of free travel with the imagination. An invitation to break everyday scenarios.
3. You work a lot with the juxtaposition of different elements combined. What is the intent of this poetics?
I am a person who tends to get bored easily. The automatic response that my brain has found is the continuous search for stimuli from different, almost opposite realities to engage the mind in the decoding of a non-linear message. All this derives from a study I made on visual communication and how the overlapping of information makes any content that has the purpose of soliciting the eyes more stimulating.
4. How was your latest # 40artseries project born?
The lockdown has deprived us of everyday life that goes beyond the threshold of our home. I am always looking for stimuli that I find in my daily tours. One of the places I particularly missed is the museum. Just the desire for a stroll in the museum has prompted me to recreate works of art at home. Week after week I decided to cut out some of my time for the research, production, and post-production of photos that immortalize my reinterpretation of some famous works of art with the means available to me at home. So I got to keep being surrounded by beauty.
5. What impact has the Covid-19 quarantine had on your productivity?
In my pre-Covid-19 life, I didn’t have so much time to give to my personal growth, research, and production of projects. I can say that within my daily oasis I experienced one of the happiest and most satisfying periods of my life.
6. Could you explain how much visual poetry there is in your projects?
The idea that drives me to produce content is always the same. Elevate reality by positioning it as on a pedestal with the aim of ennobling simple elements that are part of everyday life.
7. How crucial is improvisation in your projects?
Chaos, improvisation are factors that give birth, guide, and direct my production. Whether it is a design project or a still life photo, the concept creation and formulation process is the same. Initial research that tends to put as much meat on the fire as possible, to have many stimuli and food for thought. I draw from everything and everyone to produce content. I never exclude anything from my research, any area can be a source of inspiration.
8. Could you summarize your creative process?
Inanimate objects are my main source of interest and I look for suggestions in them to trigger my creative process. Very often before designing I happen to play with objects, this allows me to explore and open the mind.
9. How much of your past and context of origin is there in your works?
I can’t say exactly how the context in which I was born influences me when I produce something. What I know for sure is that the humble reality in which I grew up always makes me pay attention to low-value scenarios with the desire to draw from them to raise them with my intervention.
10. What did it mean for you to work in the Milanese context?
I grew up in the last 5 years in contact with Milan. I love to define the city as a creative oasis, where everything is characterized by a veil of ‘Milanese’, full of inspiration and tangible evidence left to the city by the masters of design.
11. What are your sources of inspiration?
I love looking around me while I’m walking. I stop often and go back when I intercept something interesting in my path. I have a passion for listening to objects. They always manage to whisper something unexpected to me.
12. Having to select three artists and three designers who influenced your path, which would you choose? Because?
My background is certainly more oriented towards the world of design given my university studies. Ettore Sottsass and Ugo La Pietra play a fundamental role in my path, the amount of experiments that range between design and art without too many limits has made me grow and expand horizons. As far as visual communication is concerned, I found in Bruno Munari an absolute cornerstone with his projects aimed at the world of children. In the most architectural situation, Carlo Scarpa certainly has a privileged place in my path of growth. I find his museum layout projects very rich in food for thought and inspiration.
13. What would you recommend to a student who wants to do this job?
I consider myself too young to recommend anything to anyone younger than me. I think I am the first to need advice, in fact, I often ask for or extrapolate the lessons from interviews or from people I think are interesting.
“I have a passion for listening to objects. They always manage to whisper something unexpected to me”