Cultural Italy Blog: Art, Coffee & Love

Best of Expo 2015: Pavilion Zero

One of the most popular (between 15 and 20 thousands visitors per-day: and appreciated (at least according to the analysis conducted by VOICES from the Blogs pavilions of Expo 2015 is the so-called Pavilion Zero powered by the United Nations.

Pavilion Zero is the very first building visitors see passing through the main entrance gate. Its appealing conic shape that reproduces the outline of the land with mountains and hills and covered with bright wood without doubts attracts, while the unforeseen interior installations fascinates. So, no surprise here if the visitors keep posting, tweeting and sharing its suggestive (from both inside and outside) infrastructure designed by the famous Italian architect Michele de Lucchi.

The evocative installations inside of the pavilion was curated, instead, by Davide Rampello. Baptized with a Latin name “Divinus halitus terrae” (literally “The divine breath of the earth”) it is a multimedia journey that explores the relation between humankind and the natural landscape. It is an everlasting story that embraces such topics as culture and rituals, symbols and myths, food consciousness and consumption.

The first hall of the Pavilion Zero is not just a great surprise for anybody; it is also a good start for your personal Universal exhibition journey and, perhaps, the most touching sight of the whole Expo 2015. It is a huge, extremely tall and ancient looking Italian-style wooden archive. Elegant and full of drawers, it resembles an old library that preserves the memory of alimentary rites and practices collected within centuries of mankind history.

Continuing through the archive’s wall and its classic arches, one ends up in the second dim and mysterious hall. Here the real trip into the earth’s crust starts. In almost total darkness, breathtaking vast images and short movies are projected on the wall. Touching scenes of hunting, fishing, farming, ranching don’t leave anybody unmoved.

In the same room one finds the trunk of the large 23-meters-height tree, which crown breaks through the roof and sprout out toward the sun. This olive giant symbolizes the domination of Nature over the man, a lesson that we should never forget.

Beyond all that, a visitor will find more hints on the history of humankind and feeding issues including recent problems related to global market, consumerism and waste. All of them remain extremely evocative and artistic, as well as particularly responsive to the Expo’s “Feeding the Planet. Energy for life” theme. 

So, don’t miss such an incredible and instructive experience at the one of the Expo’s most loved and successful pavilions.

Maria Novozhilova

twitter: @NovozhilovaM