Cannes Lions

ENEL CONTEMPORANEA 2012 - BIG BAMBÚ

ACCAPIU, Milan / ENEL / 2013

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Case Film

Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Italian energy company Enel has a long-term commitment to the art world: in 2007 the company created the public art program Enel Contemporanea. Huge installations are created every year, with the aim of representing through artists’ creativity, the concepts of energy and sustainability.

To establish its role as a cultural patron, Enel has formed a partnership with the MACRO Museum Testaccio in Rome. 2012 was the 50th Anniversary of Enel Energy. To celebrate this, Enel wanted to donate a permanent piece of art to the city of Rome. The challenge? Creating an installation capable of becoming a recognisable symbol in a city overflowing with art history.

The strategy was to create an installation that is sustainable, restore the MACRO Museum of Testaccio’s garden and trigger the cultural regeneration of the neighbourhood, showcasing Enel’s commitment to its hometown (Rome) and to contemporary art - generating wide coverage from both local and international media.

Artists Mike & Doug Starn were commissioned to build a version of their renowned Big Bambú. The exhibition opened to the public on December 11th, 2012. Thousands of bamboo rods are connected and interlocked with a traditional method, generating the chaotic network for the unpredictable intersection of bamboo, offering a playful element, as well as an expression of the diversity of life, imagination and human creativity.

Execution

We produced the installation with the Starn brothers: 30 international rock climbers constructed an elevated performance space and double helix stairs and various labyrinth paths leading the visitors up over two “living rooms”, allowing up to 80 visitors to wander freely. Made entirely by hand, taking 65 days of knotting and climbing to complete.

We produced a 30 minutes documentary, established a press office from the site, and created all corporate materials for the project . A reportage photographer followed the constuction and images were used for the catalogue, press materials and for social media. We produced the opening event, hosting a dinner and night of performance in the requalifed slaugherhouse spaces. An architect was commissioned to design two gardens next to the artwork. The choice of plants was made in order to adhere to the ecologic memory related to the Tiber River and Monte dei Cocci area.

Outcome

The construction of Big Bambú was a performance in itself - attracting passers-by and generating word of mouth and buzz around the project.

The documentary of Big Bambú was aired on SKY ARTE Italia as part of the launch of the new channel. National and international press followed the project with great attention with over 120 articles. The artwork is very popular - during the first three months more than 16,000 people have visited Big Bambú.

The installation and its garden contributed to the cultural requalification of the Testaccio neighbourhood.

The lighting of Big Bambú has transformed the artwork after sunset making it a contemporary symbol of Rome - a recognizable icon of the city.

This project has contributed greatly to the cultural regeneration for this historic neighbourhood and creates a dialogue with the nearby Monte dei Cocci, an ancient hillside waste ground for destroyed Roman anchors and vases.

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