METAPAPER
by
Maddalena Ghini

Paper has become part of his body and comes out of his hands as a thread.
I met Ivano in 1978 and soon my house was full of newspaper stripes. He wanted to see the graphic sign of the paper in the air.
When he was asked for a performance in 1996, he recurred to newspapers to visualize water,air, earth and fire. And after that he celebrated American Indians: in their honour he wore paper, he danced with paper, he sang paper by pronouncing vowels in a kind of Indian song.
In the same years 1997-1999 he discovered the magic of sacks, of course newspaper sacks: they contained air, wind, spirit, "ruah"...then they contained people, men, women, children, who in various squares in Italy and Europe have taken part in Ivano's game. Smaller sacks contained one person only, bigger sacks contained a lot of people, at night they contained light. They have become bigger and bigger and Ivano helped the wind to inflate them, without getting tired, even when they had become giant sacks. "Lavoro un sacco" (I work a lot) he said and it was true.
The new stage which followed started at his mother again, in order to learn from her how to knit first, and then how to crochet. Paper is a "different" material and Ivano has refined his techniques so that newpaper thread balls become perfect garments. And since he has ecological beliefs, he doesn't want to use colours, but just recycle, he patiently divides the normal colours of the dailies: white, black , pink, and the ones used in advertisements: blue, red, green, yellow. The garments he creates are unique. He has also learned to use the loom and so skirts, dresses, kimonos are woven: warp in cotton and weft in ...paper.
More and more often, Ivano goes to meetings and exhibitions wearing paper and people don't notice that the jacket or the kimono or the waistcoat are paper. And they are surprised when he says it. His performance has become life, daily life.
And here is a new stage: Ivano's garments on the stage and... in a theatre, a double presence at La Pergola of Florence. The teacher Ivano is involved in the theatrical performance of his students of the School Guicciardini Poliziano and with them he has created the newspaper costumes for the play "Bambiniuccellini - La cantata di Peter Pan" by Bruno de Franceschi.
The second way of being present at La Pergola, theatre of great tradition, is the possibility given to Ivano Vitali to exhibit his artistic garments in the magic space of the Sala Oro. In order to wear his garments he has built 10 mannequins, made of paper too, METAPAPER. Ivano has taken the occasion to pay homage to Giorgio de Chirico by making out of bamboo and paper the mannequins which remind us the works of art made by the great artist in Ferrara nearly one century ago.

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