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Colors: extra/ordinary objects.

An exhibition of objects, in collaboration with Pitti Immagine, to tell the story of our (extra) ordinary world. From 22 June to 16 July at the Leopolda Station in Florence

Ponzano, 22 June 2000. To celebrate its first ten years, Colors has put together around a thousand objects, eccentric and banal, in daily use and obsolete, useful and useless, which it has collected and published in the pages of the magazine, illustrating different cultures around the world. Objects range from the boot-shaped funeral urn for fetishists to the doll dressed in a Ku Klux Klan tunic for racists, from a Lego reproduction of the camp at Auschwitz to multiethnic plasters for various skin colours, from bottles of mineral water for upper-class dogs to underwear – hovering between the holy and the profane – for priests and nuns. The result is an exhibition, entitled “Colors: Extra/ordinary Objects”, that will open on 22nd of June in Florence, at the Leopolda Station, to coincide with the 58th edition of Pitti Immagine Uomo.

In the vast space of the Leopolda Station, the Colors exhibition, introduced by music, sounds, plays of lights and an audacious sculpture made of toilet paper, appears a collection of archaeological finds from the 20th century. It is an anthropological report on our world, which goes beyond the boundaries between ordinary and extraordinary, designer objects and those in everyday use, reality and representation, and between haute couture and the commonplace. Attention to the aesthetics of everyday things is the source of affinity between Colors, one of the strengths of Benetton’s communication programme, and co-organiser of the exhibition, Pitti Immagine, who demonstrates a marked interest in the multidimensional nature of fashion, which, from clothing to decoration, from objects to artistic representations, is one of the most sensitive indicators of the tastes and contradictions of an era.

The exhibition is further enriched by a book-catalogue, “1000 Extra/ordinary Objects”, published by Taschen and available worldwide in four bilingual editions from mid-July. It is a sample of the 20thcentury’s strange follies, illustrating what we are and what we would like to be: a kitsch legacy for future generations, a cross-section of banality and bad taste. As the songwriter, Peter Gabriel underlines in his introduction: “We have made pictures of our ancestors from the things they have left behind. So it will be for the archaeologists of the future—by our objects you will know us.”

In occasion of the exhibition and men’s fashion week, Colors will publish a special double-issue dedicated to fashion. In newsstands from 28th of June 2000, it takes a look at the different worlds of fashion and the different fashions in the world. A remarkable journey through 233 styles for the new season, worn by 5,508 models exclusively for Colors: Wodaabe warriors in Nigeria, boy scouts in Oman, Colombian soldiers, bowls players in Johannesburg, astronauts at Cape Canaveral, bullfighters in Arles, ravers in Tokyo, Father Christmases in London, orthodox Jews in Jerusalem, bikers in Daytona, Vladivostok housewives, the inmates of a prison in Phoenix, nudists in Puget-Theniers and Chicago stockbrokers. More than 200 pages to reaffirm that every fashion and every culture have the same dignity and the same right to citizenship in the world.

 

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