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In Venice, Homo Faber Celebrates Craftsmanship

The cultural exhibition, taking place in September at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, aims to shine a light on the rare skills of a selected group of master artisans

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Text by Rab Messina

At 4,000 square metres, Homo Faber will be the largest exhibition ever to take place at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini. The breadth, which will give visitors an opportunity to explore spaces that were previously closed to the public, is quite deserved: the foundation, housed in Venice’s San Giorgio Maggiore island, is honouring the work of a series of master artisans.

These men and women work from jewellery to bespoke bicycles, with techniques that range from the rare and on the brink of being lost to the iconic. They will be present throughout the exhibition, in custom-made ateliers, allowing visitors to observe their work first-hand. The artisans were selected by a team of designers, curators and architects, including Michele de Lucchi, Stefano Boeri, India Mahdavi, Judith Clark, Jean Blanchaert and Stefano Micelli.

Homo Faber is organised by the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship, a Geneva-based non-profit that aims to preserve master craftsmanship and strengthen its connection to design.

“The expression was first coined during the Renaissance, and it captures and celebrates the infinite creativity of human beings,” said Johann Rupert, the co-founder of the Michelangelo Foundation, about the event’s title. “This exhibition will provide a panoramic view of European fine craftsmanship, but it will nevertheless have a singular undercurrent: what human beings can do better than machines.”

Homo Faber will run from September 14-30

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François-Xavier Richard, master wallpaper artisan and winner of the Prix de l’intelligence de la main
Image by S. Zénon for the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller

Cover image:
Alessandro Rametta, a master metal sculptor from La Fucina di Efesto
Image by T. Bertelsen
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Highly specialised restauration technique carried out by Open Care
Image by Alice Turrina
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Mannequin for a finger purse, a concept by Judith Clark and crochet by Rosie Taylor Davies
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French designer Philippe Tabet and Sergio Boldrin, Venetian mask maker of La Bottega dei Mascareri
Image by Laila Pozzo
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Venetium, designed by Andrea Tran and realised by Giordano Viganò
Image by Creative Academy
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A venture into follies of freshness showing gorgeous, intricate artisanal techniques, materials and style, imagined by India Mahdavi
Image courtesy of India Mahdavi
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The Palladiano Cloister at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, one of the spaces that will host Homo Faber
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Another venue for the exhibition: the Longhena Library
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