Fairs: Big event for local stone

(July 2011) International marketing starts at home from whence the conquest of foreign markets can best be led. The „Carrara Marble Week“ gives insight into the campaign under leadership of CEO Giorgio Bianchini.

The event was conceived to counter Carrara Marmotec trade fair’s loss of importance. It was, after all, formerly the most important branch event until the Veronese competitor Marmomacc took over the lead. The former first address as a global producer of natural stone at the foot of the Apulian Alps has suffered painful losses which were competitor’s gain in Asia.

Moreover the fair now takes place on a bi-annual basis – so it is wise to draw attention to the region by alternate means in the interim.

Giorgio Bianchini is a man with unusual ideas and the gift to instil enthusiasm. The concept behind the cultural event boils down to one simple goal: reviving „Carrara“ brand’s leadership position globally by first sowing the seed of inspiration among insiders.

Bringing design, art and architecture to the historic centre, performances and light-shows were staged from June 8th to 12th whereby neither locals nor visitors could help but see that marble is the pivotal point around which the region revolves. Many of the spectacular objects like the 14t Cadillac made of Arabescato White completed in 1986 by SGF Workshop, the 0-cube by Norwegian architects Snøhetta or the over-sized reproduction of Michelangelo’s David in resin by Studi D’arte Michelangelo, Prof. Luciano Massari, were nothing short of spectacular.

The realization, too, is worth mentioning. Like a red herring drawn along four paths through the historic centre of Carrara, each informed visitors in one of four „languages“.

One of the „languages“ is „matter“ where 11 blocks were a total of 11 stone blocks were strewn about enhanced e.g. by pictures of quarry workers. The example is meant to demonstrate the implementation of natural stone for various applications.

Another „tongue“ was „architecture/design“ distinguished by a documentation of the One World Trade Centre currently under construction and the 0-cube, which we introduced in a former issue. It was lit up after dark to symbolizing the path of humanity through architecture and light.

The „art-language“ showed marble sculptures by 6 studios, among them works by Fancesco Cremoni. Elle Arte Company, specialising in co-operations with sculptors, presented two right-angled marble sculptures by Jean Gabriel Coignet and a so-called „Mask“ in red travertine by Robert Courtright.

Last but not least the „language“: „communication“ also revolved around design i.e. how a voice is lent to the material is brought into scene.

Beyond these main pieces many smaller presentations and installations were shown wetting visitor’s appetite for more. The organizers even set up a theatre especially for the bambini in which the interaction of man, nature and cities was the theme. A group of 40 architects from around the world was invited to visit firms and quarries.

Of course such an event would not be complete without a cultural component. This was the round-table-discussion where invited experts expressed their infectious enthusiasm for Carrara marble, as expected.

All events were free of charge for visitors.

The event was a resounding success – so much so, that it was extended by two weeks to the June 26th.

The Event took place under the joint auspices of the province of Toscana, the Carrara-Massa region and the city of Carrara itself and was sponsored by the Carrara Savings Bank which also assists the region with endowments though the Carrara Savings Bank Foundation, and the lighting company Martinelli Luce. The local Fine Arts Academy provided the enclosed setting.

Last but by no means least, we mention the co-operating stone firms: Franchi Umberto Marmi, GEMEG, Il Fiorino, MT&S, Italmarble Pocai, Savema, Società Apuana Marmi, Up Group.

Carrara Marble Week

Photos: CarraraFiere