Cultured Magazine

Winter 2012

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GinevraCullturedMiamiDec_Layout 1 11/19/12 5:09 PM Page 64 CULTURAL QUOTIENT From the helm of her family's influential art and design foundation, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Ginevra Elkann is a force among Italy's creative cognoscenti. BY RAUL BARRENECHE PORTRAIT BY DANILO SCARPATI Ginevra Elkann is a modern-day Renaissance woman. Filmmaker, museum head, book editor, art collector, fashion figure and mother, Elkann, 32, wears her many creative hats with equal aplomb. As president of the Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, founded in Torino, Italy, in 2002 with the donation of part of her famous grandparents' art collection, she puts on provocative art and design exhibitions such as "Freedom not Genius," a rare showing of objects from Damien Hirst's own Murderme Collection, on view through March 10. Earlier this year, Elkann released the second edition of May I Introduce You?: A Guide to Creative Talents, a compendium of innovators around the world that she edited. How did growing up in such a visually and culturally literate family influence your creative work and your collecting? I have been very lucky to grow up in a family so involved and interested in culture in all its facets: art, literature, film. Having seen my family make very individual choices as collectors has been an inspiration for me. In my film work, my parents' love of storytelling has shaped the way I see the world. I think that what links both areas is the idea of a story: why collectors collect what they do, what pushes them, and the story that comes across in their collection. How involved are you in the Pinacoteca's mission and curatorial focus? I have been very involved in the process, starting with the first big decision: to concentrate on collecting. In 2006, we started working on a new mission, which was the study and exhibition of other private collections. I choose the exhibits, decide on the curators and installations and select the graphic designer for the catalogue. So I give a strong imprint to all the shows. How did you decide to do a show about Damien Hirst's personal collection? I've always loved Hirst's work and find it very inspiring. When I first met him, I told him about the Pinacoteca, and he said, jokingly, 'Why don't you show my collection?' That's how it started. And then in April you'll be showing Patrick and Laurence Seguin's personal collection of art and design. It's an incredible collection—very meticulous. The focus will be on Jean Prouvé, so it will be a show of great interest to students of design. Are those the kinds of people you featured in your books? The idea behind May I Introduce You? was to introduce creative people from around the world—people who have developed new ways of doing things. For instance, Federico Grom, who changed the world of ice cream by making it with locally grown ingredients, and Olympia Le-Tan, who designs bags that look like books. They have a vision. What is it like working in the Lingotto factory? I love, love the Pinacoteca. I think it's such a special place, otherworldly in some ways—a building perched on top of a building on top of a test track. It's also significant because it is an old Fiat factory, so it's full of the history of my family. Renzo Piano did an incredible intervention; it fits perfectly with the artwork shown there. The light and the silence help you enjoy the art in an almost meditative way. 64 CULTURED Ginevra Elkann

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