The Seven Heavenly Palaces // Anselm Kiefer // 2015
On permanent display at the Pirelli Hangar Bicocca are Anslem Kiefer’s The Seven Heavenly Palaces. Each tower was constructed with shipping crates and weighs approximately 90 tons and ranges from 14-18 meters tall. The seven towers were inspired by the Hebrew Treatise “The Book of Palaces / Sanctuaries” which was written in the 4 or 5th century. Despite being completely safe, these towers appear as though they could topple by even the slightest wind or shake. Visitors are invited to walk around and through these colossal structures, staring up in awe of the tower that stretches above them.
Y // Carsten Höller // 2003
Walking into Carsten Höller’s exhibition Doubt at the Pirelli Hangar Bicocca you are immediately confronted with a decision. Should you take the green path that goes left or the yellow path to the right? Once you enter the door you walk up a ramp, turn the corner and hit complete darkness. You can’t help but think if you chose the right path. You begin to doubt yourself but continue on using your hands to feel your way through. After what seems an eternity you walk into what seems to be an indoor carnival. There is a carousel and a flying machine. At the end of the room is a white strobe light corridor that leads you to another room. As if it couldn’t get any more intriguing you see two empty beds moving around the space. If you are feeling adventurous you can spend the night in the bed and have the carnival all to yourself for the evening. Then, instead of leaving, you take the path back and enter through the other door, allowing you to experience both tunnels. Without a doubt this was one of my favorite exhibitions.
Double Carousel // Carsten Höller // 2011
Two Roaming Beds (Grey) // Carsten Höller // 2015
Located in a former train carriage factory in Milan is the Pirelli Hangar Bicocca. However, you would never guess the building’s former life from its current exterior. The brick façade states the name of the gallery in bold white letters, ushering you inside. If you walk to the back gallery spaces the brick is gone. In its place is a brightly colored mural. Pirelli Hangar Bicocca commissioned Gustavo and Octávio Pandolfo to create a work of art directly on the gallery’s walls or “Outside the Cube.” This is the first piece “Outside the Cube.” The idea is to hire new artists to design a work on the outside walls of the building. The old work will be replaced by something new, echoing back to the history of the gallery replacing the factory.