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Funktion-One features at the 55th Venice Biennale

Funktion-One features in art installations and an opening event at one of the biggest art festivals in the world.

Funktion-One’s Italian partner, Sound Division, has taken the British loudspeaker manufacturer to the centre of the art world - to the 55th Venice Biennale. The festival is one of the oldest, largest and most prestigious contemporary art exhibitions in the world, showcasing thought-provoking and engaging artists from all over the globe. Appreciating audiences flock to the show during its six-month stint to see artistic reflections of the world’s condition.

Funktion-One speakers feature in ‘Time Lapse’ - an exhibit that combines architecture, vintage products and photography with a sound installation - and in an exhibit by artist Francesca Grilli. Funktion-One and Sound Division also supplied technical infrastructure for the Italian Pavilion’s launch party.

Time Lapse can be found in the Olivetti Showroom, situated in Venice’s famous Piazza San Marco. The historic building, which was once the flagship of the great Italian family business, is an architectural gem. It was created by Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa in 1958 but fell into misuse following the company’s sale in the 1980s, most recently housing a souvenir shop. In 2012, having been taken over by FAI - the Italian National Trust - the showroom was restored, and fitted out with vintage Olivetti products for cultural visitors to enjoy.

The project encompasses an audio installation by DJs Donato Dozzy and Rabih Beaini, together with a display of photographs by Armin Linke, which together present a re-reading through sound and photography of the architecture of the Olivetti Showroom. The installation by Dozzy and Beaini offers up an electronic soundscape that feeds off the space’s architecture and mixes it with the sounds of the vintage Olivetti typewriters.

The Funktion-One loudspeakers are displayed, not hidden; their visual identities, as well as their sonic qualities, are very much part of the installation. Four models have been used - F101, F1201 and Resolution 2 speakers, along with an F121 bass enclosure. Two violet F101s are nestled between the typewriters on the upper balcony, along with an F1201 facing across the room. On the mezzanine level a white F101 rests on a plinth and the ground floor uses a Resolution 2, two F101s (one violet, one white) and the F121 bass enclosure.

Francesca Grilli is one of 14 artists who have contributed to the Italian Pavilion, which is themed with the title ‘Vice Versa’. Her exhibit uses the effects of dripping water on metal - the repetitive sound and the corrosive effect it has on a metal canvas - and the power of her own voice to produce a compelling spectacle. Funktion-One Resolution 1 loudspeakers have been used to bring sonic impact to the performance.

Vice Versa was officially opened on Thursday 30th May by the curator of the Italian Pavilion, Bartolomeo Pietromarchi. The invitation-only event saw DJs and live acts combine to launch the Italian nation’s representation at the festival. Sound Division supplied two Funktion-One Resolution 2 loudspeakers and two F221 bass enclosures.

Sound Division’s Flavio Manieri said: “The Venice Biennale is such an important event, not only for Italy but for the world. It’s a platform for people to share radical ideas and creativity - it means a lot to be involved on the scale we are.

“Of course, Funktion-One speakers are an excellent fit for an environment that is focused on pioneering design and creative spirit. We’re very proud of everything we’ve helped to achieve with Funktion-One and the Venice Biennale.”





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