PANE SEGNA POSTO (Placeholder Bread)

Villa Bertelli - Via Mazzini, 200 - Forte dei Marmi
28th june - 5th july 2015 (inauguration 28th june at 6.30pm)
from 29th june opened all days from 5pm to 11pm

Subtle interplay between the concepts of male and female, on a table that reassembles the spaces of expression, where all dialogue finds its private soul in the act of feasting. Suspended on two marble parentheses, loaves of bread hold the place intended for men and women, they qualify its space, in a suspended, silent time defined by a cypress branch. This becomes a support, a rough male skin burnt by time, yet at once a soft female calyx, a rosy womb from which to pluck and still one’s hunger with the bread so temptingly offered to the banqueters. Bread, which becomes tradition, which loses itself in the paths traced in the hands of Sardinian women, accomplice of a linguistic essence that finds in the gouges of Saba its diplomatic interpreter. A promise of marriage, an announcement of rebirth in Easter feasts, Pintau bread becomes an ambassador of simplicity on this table, the flavor of a knowledge made of essential matter, where an intimate dialogue loses itself in the paths left empty by Arachne’s webs.

© Concept Benvenuto Saba 2015 - Elisa Favilli


Water, air, earth and fire: the concept lab for Palazzo Cusani

Ortofabbrica Fuorisalone - 14/19 Aprile 2015
Palazzo Cusani - Via Brera - Milano

Dreaming of Water is an environmental installation, in which water sublimates its musical perception through the complicity of the material essence of Erratics. Dating back to the Quaternary Period, these massive prehistoric dropstones hold within them the primordial breath of the chemical creation of the uni- verse. Conceived by Benvenuto Saba as a sound box for an infinitesimally simple harmony, if compared to the complex concept of time and space brought into being by the dualism man/nature in the syncretism of history, Erratics offer their musical soul to the physical essence of water. In this carved space, water sheds its every philosophical connotation, diluting, indeed, its generating essence, its nature as prime concept and symbol, to emphasize, instead, its might as matter where a falling drop becomes a metaphor: a rhythmic cadence like the gesture of an orchestra conductor, whose rhythm spreads more intricate melodic sympho- nies into the ether. Hence, stone that reveals its uncorrupted essence, and water that recaptures its material meaning, while man exalts its elemental consciousness of being the actor of an instant reaching beyond the very limits of space and time.

Elisa Favilli

75 x 50 x 18 cm - 50 kg

130 x 80 x 35 cm - 150 kg

130 x 50 x 60 cm - 306 kg

150 x 130 x 70 cm - 1 ton.

NATURAL THRONE for Tabula Rasa

June 27 – September 12 2012

OTTO art venue of Olivia Toscani

Via Maggio 43 rosso, FLORENCE
tel. +39 055288977
Opening hours 10 AM - 1 PM / 4 PM - 7:30 PM - closed Sundays and Monday mornings

Tabula Rasa starts off empty, to be then slowly slowly filled with ornaments, embellishments, trimmings, complements and objects that allow us to lead a life rich in encounters and gatherings around a table that is no longer empty, but brimming with proposals and ideas for a daily life to be lived at its fullest. The table starts off bare, empty, to be then filled with new ideas, and not just for the table, but for the very life we lead around it. How much time do we spend around a table each day? A table set for meal, an office table around which we meet people for discussions or to work, a ‘public’ table in a restaurant or at a party where people gather to share a lunch or a banquet, a gaming table for entertainment, and so forth.
In the history of humanity, the table had always symbolized the gathering point for people to meet and exchange ideas and is often represented as a decorative element, rich in embellishments, trimmings and decorations that set it apart and make it unique.

Through this project, Otto and its artists and designers want to offer a variety of interpretations of the table, because, at this time in history, the art of design is searching for new paths, meanings and ways of expression that possess a strong identity and significance, constantly tackling everyday life. They are unique pieces or small series, conceptually dense works, rooted in the history and memory of humanity.
‘Otto perfectly embodies the path that can be taken in seeking to transform art into a way of life, bringing to objects of everyday life the Beauty that should characterize our life always. A beauty, an art, which should not be a mere accessory in our lives.’ – Matteo Renzi Mayor of Florence

OTTO Press of Olivia Toscani Rucellai


The “THRONE” of Benvenuto Saba is a natural seat that combines, while still acknowledging the particular essence of each, three “worlds”, plant, mineral and human, into a single element, full of energy, strength and vitality.
Tree and stone, plant kingdom and mineral world are fused.
The Tree, source of energy and essential part of nature and life, is joined with the strength and majesty of stone, giving life to a “throne” that, charged with high symbolism, welcomes into itself a human creature, giving it shelter and creating together a perfect symbiosis.
The “throne”, symbol of power, is also, in a figurative sense, a symbol for the pater or mater familias, who, seated at the head of the table, watches over the table, the family and protects the brood.
The “Throne” welcomes the guest, sustains and heartens humanity in the toils of life, becoming an essential and indispensable part of human life.
Tree, stone and human creature: three natural elements that meet in a single symbol of life, of strength, of power and of reflection.
The human being welcomed into the “natural womb” reflects on the past, analyzes the present and puts its hopes into the future; it feels protected, absorbing at the same time the energy of the stone and the life blood of the tree, symbol of life and growth.
The roots of the tree merge with the base of the throne, becoming a foundation for and the roots of life.
The tree, sacred symbol and home to humans over the course of history, is the expression of the union of earth and infinite sky, a silent companion, yet ever present in human life.
The trunk is the center, the enduring support that, joined to stone, gathers strength and bestows stability to the person who sits on it, allowing it to enter into synergy with nature.

Barbara Contini

Oh! Nirica,
when dreams meet matter

September 22 – November 12, 2011

OTTO art venue of Olivia Toscani

Via Maggio 43 rosso, FLORENCE
tel. +39 055288977
Hours 10 AM - 1 PM/4 PM - 7:30 PM closed Sundays and Monday mornings

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Marble never sleeps

Pietrasanta, July 23, 2011

When I received the proposal from Mario Lovi to contribute a project to “Oh Nirica”, the marvelous tomb of Ilaria del Carretto in the Cathedral of Lucca, executed by Jacopo della Quercia in 1406, suddenly leapt to my mind.
Feeling that a masterpiece of Tuscan art with such rich cultural stratifications could become a vital presence of our times, I extrapolated - using a typical operation of contemporary poetic arts - a seemingly marginal element of the famous funerary monument: the two heaped cushions on which the head of the lady of Lucca rests. The choice of such a “fragment” was dictated by several reasons. The cushion is an object so imbued with everyday ordinariness that, despite its pervasiveness, it hovers at the bounds of invisibility: to single it out, therefore, meant for me to focus the viewer’s gaze on it in a new manner, almost as if it were seen for the first time. Moreover, the object has - alongside its unquestionable functional value - a strong symbolic value, since it is a mute witness to the most fundamental moments of human existence: birth, death, love, dreams. Lastly, by cradling the imprint of our head, this simple object of our domestic universe becomes ennobled, turning into a treasured guardian of a vestige, albeit fleeting and changeable, of human life, linked in particular to our mysterious dream states.
The proposed work is therefore a cast of Ilaria’s cushions, which have been singled out to allow the enhancement of the pure plastic qualities. Thusly, by de-contextualizing the subject, the intervention will also activate its own process of formal abstraction, rejoining the memory of the past to the present and projecting it into the future. This unceasing work is why «Marble never sleeps».

Benvenuto Saba

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