Discover Lapo Binazzi’s documenta 8 performance


“The Umbrella is a symbol found throughout the work of Lapo Binazzi. Signifying unity, community, and hope.” says R & Company co-founder and partner Evan Snyderman referencing the Italian conceptual artist and radical designer’s illuminated umbrella sculpture that will grace the entryway of “Radical Living” opening next Tuesday, 21 May on the upper level of the 64 White Street gallery.

“Binazzi was the founding member of the Florentine Radical design group UFO.” continues Snyderman, “Starting in the second half of the 1960s he and his group created a series of performative design projects that challenged the current state of their environment. The Umbrella Light was one of his later performance pieces done in 1987 for documenta 8 in Kassel, Germany.”

“documenta 8 was a dynamic exhibition curated by Manfred Schneckenburger with a focus on the postmodern approach to showing works that engaged with the sociopolitical potential of art.” explains our Director of Archives & Publications, Michelle Jackson-Beckett. “The exhibition emphasized the dissolution of a hierarchical canon of style and form in art, architecture, and design. Naturally, Lapo Binazzi’s commitment to design and activism furthered this curatorial vision of disrupting the status quo in the art world of the 1980s. His umbrella sculpture stages a formal critique of mass culture in the form of the ubiquitous umbrella, while also questioning the established sculptural canon.”

“Posting himself outside the entrance to the Art pavilion in the rain holding his electrified Umbrella Lamp was a protest to the distinction between art and design.” Snyderman agrees, “At the time his fellow designers were being shown in a separate pavilion nearby.” Snyderman notes nodding to the lasting influence of the Italian Radical Design movement.