Introduction and exploration 2019

di Alfred de Locatelli
Docente di Modellistica all’Accademia di Brera a Milano

Series of 42 drawings from 1993
Hb pencil and pastels with lacquer rubber stain on 70 gram paper
Alfred de Locatelli

The contribution I want to make to the Wunder Wood competition is an educational one. I intend to provide some suggestions, some veils of meaning, some “receptacles” from research worlds that may guide the students taking part in this project. I like to start, as Munari often did, with a recipe, something that’s apparently simple but effective and perhaps a little less rational.


  • Find the creative perspective that can act as a springboard to give the theme meanings. Create surprise, a coup de théâtre in your observers. Whoever ventures forth into wonderland opens his eyes to the lucid dream. Discovering an object or giving it shape, even if only in your imagination, means creating a present that in the future will be a memory, perhaps. An artwork is a magician’s trick that uses art as a system. An example today might be the shark by Damien Hirst, who uses an object taken from a natural history museum and puts it in an art museum.
  • Find two or more elements that contrast in terms of both form and content.
  • Give a sideways glance. Look at your object as if it were someone else’s, someone profoundly different from yourself.
  • The solution is a problem (problema [pro-blè-ma] in Italian) and a game. Pro indicates movement towards the positive, blè is a shade of blue and ma is inevitably the doubt that it is completely wrong. This enables us to open the door to what is possible. 



Wunder Wood leads us to ask ourselves what a Wunderkammer (Cabinet of Wonder) is; for me it is setting the thought process in motion; it’s also a form of collecting that involves a wide variety of objects. Wunder Wood seeks out the same wonder in an object but is specialised in the use of wood.

1. Private collections, unusual collections and new collectors all over the world;
2. Science. In the Wunderkammer this usually was expressed through sumptuous jewellery, machines and stills;
3. Naturaliaand everything that was discovered about nature. Corals, coconuts, stones, fossils and minerals for cutting. Eccentricity and bizarreness are defined by rare, unknown materials;
4. The cross-eyed view, in other words, objects produced by other cultures. Masks, jewels and implements;
5. Magic and its follow-on effects.

Every word becomes a possible path to pursue