The Generali Historical Archive is marking the passing of time in the history of Italian businesses by participating in an initiative launched by the ADI (Association for Industrial Design), Museimpresa (the Italian association of corporate archives and museums, of which the Generali Archive is a member), and Assolombarda (the association of businesses in the Lombardy region of Italy).
A new multimedia installation has been inaugurated in the ADI Design Museum of Milan, one of the largest museums in Europe dedicated to design (it contains all the winning entries of the Compasso d’Oro, the oldest and most prestigious international award for industrial design). The new installation, a large and working digital clock located in a recess at the entrance to the museum, recognises and honours the members of Museimpresa and their varied activities.
Each company is represented by an image that alternates every minute on the face of the large clock, as part of a cycle through the different affiliated archives and museums.
The clock is connected to a software programme that synchronises between the alternating images that make up the face as the seconds tick past. Every time the second hand moves, the clock face changes. The graphic representation of each of the archives and museums is therefore gradually exposed, second by second, until it becomes fully visible at the end of each minute.
The Generali Archive is represented by an iconic image of a fine-art poster: La Veneziana by Marcello Dudovich, one of the most vibrant and prolific voices in the history of Italian public communication.
A powerful source of inspiration, these period posters bearing the signatures of the great graphic advertisers of their day told and continue to tell the tale of trends and tastes in society, its desires and aspirations. Throughout its history, Generali has collaborated with the most famous illustrators to interpret contemporary life and changes, as they innovated by employing figurative codes and images that have become a part of history.
Revealing the underlying truth of poster design, Dudovich once said, “at the end of the day, an advertising poster is not such a great undertaking. Yet how do you explain why a certain image can stay with you for years, often taking on a hugely important meaning? Even a drawing of a simple object can gradually take on a life of its own: a simple figure can speak, dance, smile, call out. Advertising posters have something of a delayed-action fuse. That’s what makes them art: they work over time.” In our case, you could say: they mark the time!
The initiative can be followed on Generali’s social media channels, using #GeneraliHeritage. You are also invited to learn more about the site, the Museimpresa social media presence and the contents of the individual affiliated museums and archives using the hashtag #unmuseoalminuto (“a museum a minute”) – a digital narration that calls back to the physical installation and vice versa.