Art · October 27, 2021 0

Sottovoce by Huub Ubbens

Dutch designer Huub Ubbens has created the Sottovoce installation at the Indro Montanelli Public Gardens in Milan, Italy.

Sottovoce by Huub Ubbens


Milan (Italy), December 1st, 2010_ Huub Ubbens, Dutch designer based in Milan and Montpellier, has conceived the poetic installation sottovoce inside the Public Gardens Indro Montanelli during the LED Light Exhibition 2010 in Milan. In front of the seventeenth century Palazzo Dugnani, surrounded by the silent and evocative green of the park and framed by Antonio Rosmini’s statue and a fountain, the project approaches light in a conceptual way expressing its beauty, its role in everyday life and its importance as an inspiration for visual and literary arts through some magic, suggestive and analytical essays written by five illustrious authors, whose words can be listened to while hiding in the dark from the feverish life of the city.

sottovoce is realized with four big, matt-black cones that offer protection to one person. Every cone spreads a loop of a 20 minutes text, recited by Italian actors. The five authors represented in sottovoce propose a reflection – anthropological, poetical, metaphysical and historical – on the culture of light in men’s life: its variety and beauty, the importance of the dark, the symbolism of light and its relationship with the human being.

The five essays – “In Praise of Shadows” by Junichiro Tanazaki, “De Umbris Idearum” by Giordano Bruno, “Light” by Ettore Sottsass and an interaction of two voices reading fragments from “Light in its artistic manifestations” by Hans Sedlmayr and “Light of Things” by Antonella Anedda – approach the thread in different ways, concentrating on the dark that generates light or starting with reflections on light to end with the dark. The intimate darkness inside the cones where the texts are diffused emphasizes the meaning of the words and creates the ideal atmosphere to concentrate on the authors’ monologues and let imagination run free.

About sottovoce, conceived for the LED Light Exhibition Design 2010 in Milan, Huub Ubbens says: “Sometimes these stories about light are so delightful to exceed in beauty the original source of inspiration” and then adds “Maybe, reading or listening to these stories on light we are able to imagine silent places and magic atmospheres and really see and perceive what we normally take for granted in our everyday life”.