Friday, February 23, 2007

African pavilion in Expo Zaragoza 2008

This 7 metres high façade will be the entrance of the Sub-Saharan Africa pavilion at night. It plans to show beautiful, evocative images of "steppes, grasslands and savannas", the theme of the pavilion.

A company called Nussli, is in charge of the pavilion and his Director Daniel Cordey, thinks that this façade will " really create the impression of being in Africa”...and once inside? Each country zone is divided into three areas: city, countryside and water. The urban area, themed around cities and culture, is always on the outside edge of the pavilion and provides an enclosed area for individual events. The countryside area focuses on the themes of agriculture, food and natural resources. And the water….

...the water falls from the sky...well not really…from the ceiling of the pavilion. Once there, look up and you will see several screens in the shape of clouds. According to Daniel, by the time the show starts, the clouds have already begun to perform and they will act as a kind of guide to help gathering people!

If you want to know more about those countries & other African countries, I recommend you to go to the previous Aichi Expo in 2005 under the them of ”Nature’s wisdom”. You just need to click on the African pavilion website and will see on the right hand side a handful of African flags. Click any of them to find the expectations of the Presidents of those countries, photos of their breathtaking landscapes and much much more….

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Outdoor contemporary museum at Expo Zaragoza 2008

Millennium Park fountain author Jaume Plensa will sign an outdoor project in the Expo Zaragoza 2008 area near river Ebro. From Plensa's numerous outdoor projects for public spaces I would to highlight the Millennium Park fountain in Chicago. Jaume´s fountain got my imagination…let's see whether I can catch yours…
…imagine a XXI century gargoyle and put it in the middle of a park where kids go to play. Contrary to the old gargoyles, this one should not be frightening, but what to do. You can put someone face….or a 1000. Impossible? Jaume took 1,000 faces from Chicago’s citizens and projected them on LED screens. Outcome: 1 fountain, 1000 faces. Of course, as the old gargoyles this one also throws water down from the mouth…but in a different way…

I will continue to post on different artistic projects in and around the Expo 2008 because, for what I have seen, this could easily become a mayor attraction of the Expo in Zaragoza and one of the main legacies after Expo closes in September 2008.

For now, I leave you with Jaume Plensa evocative ideas of what a fountain is. He says: “A fountain is the memory of nature, this marvelous sound of a little river in the mountains translated to the city. For me, a fountain doesn't mean a big jet of water. It means humidity, the origin of life.”

Friday, February 09, 2007

World Expo mascots family photo

Well, by know everyone should know Fluvi, the ET looking drop of water promoting the Zaragoza Expo in 2008 under the theme: “Water and Sustainable Development”. You might like it or not, but it is clear that you cannot miss this mascot…yes…looks a little bit drank in the video...but funny…).

In Zaragoza Fluvi was polemic from the start because of….her name. When several names were proposed and citizens made their choice through SMS the transparency of the process was questioned. During the competition, names rating best included Gotika (diminutive of “drop” in Spanish) and Chisla (“drop” in Fabla, the Aragon’s dialect). However, in the final lap of the election process, Fluvi rallied big support and got selected. Fluvi was then presented in 2006 at Fitur Expo, the tourism most important Expo of Spain. I present to you now with her friends from Sevilla (Expo 92), Lisbon (expo 98), Hannover (Expo 00), Haichi (expo 2005) and…

Yes, what about the mascot for the Shanghai Expo after Zaragoza? In China things are moving fast. The organisers of Expo 2010 Shanghai have issued a worldwide invitation to artists to submit -till May 31, 2007- their designs for the official World Expo mascot. Mascots should manifest the theme of the Expo "Better City, Better Life" and Chinese culture. $25,000 will go to the winning entry. If tempted to participate, you get all info here. Curiously enough online applications are not permitted. So start buying your stamps…