With an idea that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, Gaetano Pesce and Cassina join together once again in developing a new project. Rather than resulting in a simple a piece of furniture, this represents a way of conceiving and producing design. It is an artistic concept, produced with genuine artisanal mastery, that takes form with its presentation at the Milano Design Village in April 2010.
SESSANTUNA: a unique and singular work. Sixty-one icons that only resemble each other and remain, in essence, totally different. Sixty-one tables representing the year 1861 in which the Italian Unification was completed. One day, if we could place these together, side by side, they would perfectly recreate the shape of the Italian peninsula, 25 by 20 metres, with its irregular land and sea borders, its numerous islands and its inimitable profile: a poetic homage to the native land of creativity and art.
The creation is a huge work, unlike any other in the world, the result of the union of the designer’s idea and savoir-faire.
SESSANTUNA goes beyond the concept of design as the replication of magnificent equals. It surprises because it is manufactured in infinite variations, some by design, some left to chance; the result is the creation of authentic objects that are similar yet different, just as every person is similar and yet different to each other. SESSANTUNA is a celebration of the femininity of Italy, but also of the creative process. “I see the future as feminine – explains Pesce; the masculine has made history and created many beautiful and important things, but now it risks repetition. To embark on a new chapter, history must become feminine…”.
The SESSANTUNA project revisits the famous red, white and green Sansone table (no longer in production) unveiled by Gaetano Pesce and Cassina in 1980. Every SESSANTUNA table is produced with innovative resins, cast in the three colours of the Italian flag using a truly cutting-edge production process. This allows for the optimisation of the end result, reducing the overall weight and obtaining the random and intriguing blends that make each table an original work. Also of note are the table legs; these are independent and can be affixed to the grooves under the surface and positioned according to taste.
SESSANTUNA is a work that is designed to tell the story of the Unification of Italy. All of the tables, signed by Gaetano Pesce, are numbered. according to the sequence of events in which each single territory became part of the new state. Each table has its own historical relevance, including its islands, out of scale, which underline each as an equally important contribution to the concept of unification.
A special edition of five tables, chosen from those that represent the most relevant places in Risorgimento history (Turin, the first capital of the Kingdom of Italy – Milan, the Five Days, a major event in which the population rebelled against forces – Genoa, Mameli composes the Italian National anthem - Marsala, the Expedition of the Thousand military campaign - Teano, the meeting between Garibaldi and Vittorio Emanuele II), will be personalised by Maestro Pesce with famous phrases and historical quotes. The first will go under the hammer at the Phillips de Pury auction house in London at its Italian themed auction in June. The others will be offered in subsequent auctions in New York and London through to June 2011.
The other tables customised with a phrase chosen by the purchaser silk screen printed in the handwriting of Maestro Pesce on one of the legs, will be available from Cassina dealers across the world. Through these dealers it will be possible to either directly purchase a table, or make an undersigned and authenticated offer, which is placed online and made visible to other buyers. The online system will inform both the dealer and the buyer if their offer has been topped, thus giving the buyer the chance to raise their bid. This “silent auction” will end on the 2nd of June 2011 at 8pm when it will no longer be possible to make new bids on the system, and the tables will be assigned to their new owners.
The sixty-one tables will be distributed across the world but will, conceptually, always remain close to each other, celebrating the unity and the unification of Italy.
SESSANTUNA: a work that is not only an artistic homage to our past, but one that builds a bridge towards the future that will remain wonderfully unique, forever.
Designer: Gaetano Pesce