Monday, 10 May 2010

An OCD post

I started writing this post with the best intention: I wanted to write about the Diecicento photowalk at Lingotto I took part to on Saturday. Just like a school assignment, I planned it to be a descriptive, straight-to-the-point, no-frills facts-only post.

Again silly me and my plans.
The idea was to start talking about Lingotto. It went slightly out of hand, but the main concept is still there. Kind of...

Lingotto is the Italian word for "ingot", but it's not related to the building shape:it was the name of the main farm of the area, way before Fiat chose the place to build its factory. And quite an unique factory it was: there is a ramp connecting the 5 floors of the building and originally the finished cars would arrive on the rooftop to be tested... on the track.
More than Fiat, to me Lingotto means "The Italian Job". I love the film, the original one, not that crappy disgrace that will hopefully get forgotten soon (even though not soon enough): Michael Caine, Benny Hill, Raf Vallone... Mini Cooper and car chases all around Torino. I was fascinated by it as a kid, and keep enjoying it.

The Lingotto rooftop is in the car chase scene: you see the 3 mini coming up on the track and doing almost a entire lap around it.
I wanted to watch the scene again, so I searched for it on youtube (easier than searching for the DVD, that I know being somewhere in the flat...). On the related video list, there was a Lego video. I love Lego and in that moment I knew I was going to loose track of Lingotto, Michael Caine & Co. in favour of the colored bricks. That's how I ended up on this:

Before getting to it, however, I spent around one hour looking at several scenes from different movies and TV shows done with Legos: The Simpsons intro, James Bond, Matrix, Batman, 300 (and a yellow brick uttering "this. is. SPARTA!" is quite hilarious!), The A-Team and the list goes on and on.
By the time I got to the Monty Python and the Holy Grail, I had completely forgotten the reason why I was on youtube.

So where was I? Oh yes, Lingotto! Lingotto has changed a lot since then: it's not a factory anymore: no more cars coming out on the rooftop, instead there is a mall, a cinema, a supermarket, a convention centre, offices, some department of the University, an art gallery...
One of the helical stairs leads straight into the shopping mall:


From there, a lift takes you to the rooftop, at the entrance of the Pinacoteca Agnelli: the ticket for the gallery gives you the rigth to go on the rooftop track as well.
A chance we couldn't possibly miss: despite having lived in this city for most of my life, that was the first time I set foot there.

cartolina dal lingotto
On the rooftop, there is a restaurant and the conference centre that looks like a bubble with the helicopter port right next to it.

It was fun, really fun! Perhaps it would have been ever better if we had a mini to race with, but for this time walking the whole track was enough.

The bends on the track are quite steep, to get on the top one really needs to climb: I was standing on one of the bend, and when I looked down at my legs I noticed I was leaning a lot. To have a better idea, have a look at this picture, taken by Diego (and while you're at it, have a look at his photostream too: he's really good!). It was very hard to understand how to keep the camera straight and not bending, because all the parameters were off.

As we were there already we decided to stop at the art gallery, where there was...


Well, not exactly everything, there is more or less the budget for running Italy for 2 years in a collection of paintings and sculptures and the first exhibition of the Museum of Everything.

I'm not entirely sure whether I understood the museum of everything. I enjoyed it because it was puzzling, slightly mad, no completely mad. I left with the impression that some time in a mental institution, spanning from few months up to a lifetime, is a mandatory step for the career of a modern artist.

The one that impressed me the most is Alexander Lobanov: a whole room of self portaits with guns, pistols and rifles all around. This evening I watched the documentary about him shot by French director Bruno Decharme. 

I wanted to finish it this afternoon, but between Michael Caine and everything I still haven't written about going out for a photowalk again, how much I enjoyed it and the idea it gave me. And guess what? I'm not going to, at least for now, because it's way beyond midnight and even Cinderella is fast asleep by now.

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