Colorful smoke bombs in Italian 13th century castle

Filippo Minelli - Shape CF

Filippo Minelli – Shape CF, 2012, 80x120cm, fine-art print on dibond

Filippo Minelli shows 12 photos of his iconic on-going smoke bomb series Silence/Shapes in his next solo exhibition Le Forme del Silenzio (the Shapes of Silence). It is held at Castello di Bornato, an Italian castle about 80km from Milan. Some of the works were created in the land visible from the castle hill.

The exhibition opens on September 20, 2013 at 19h (opening times) and is curated by art-historian, critic and university professor Paolo Bolpagni.


Minelli’s research on silence started in late 2009 when, inspired by video footage of poligtical demonstrations, he decided to decontextualize smoke bombs and to photograph them in unusual locations such as natural landscapes and abandoned places to isolate their pure beauty in a research of sublime similar to the one developed by romanticism in 19th century. The choice of this medium leaves the discussion open to both political and religious interpretations, showing that beauty can be found in extremely striking contrasts.

It’s something that manifest itself, something that you can’t explain, the author says, silence and light are always there, expecially in the natural or abandoned enviroinments I look for. If you visit them by yourself you realize there is something that contains the landscape, and that thing is silence. Silence in the desert is different from silence in the mountains, and different again from the silence you experience while stopping at a red light in the city. I wanted to give that element a physical shape.

The series attracted a lot of interest in Italy and abroad as was shown at the 2011 Venice Biennale, featured in the promotion of 2013 Ruhr Triennale and Harper’s and ended up on the cover of Elephant Magazine. Four images of the series commissioned by Norway’s biggest movie firm Storyline Studios received Gold at Norwegian Design Awards 2013 and silver at European Design Awards 2013. Recently, LVMH commissioned Minelli the realization of 15 new artworks for two solo exhibitions, opening in Madrid and Barcelona in early 2014.


Filippo Minelli is a 30 year old Italian artist who started early to create art in public space and using photography as a tool to document his interventions and performances. His research focuses on the use of words and silence as substitute to figurative representation.

Filippo Minelli - Shape BF
Filippo Minelli – Shape BF, 2013, 110x165cm, fine-art print on dibond

Filippo Minelli - Shape 1
Filippo Minelli – Shape 1, 2009, 80x120cm, fine-art print on dibond

Filippo Minelli - Shape CA
Filippo Minelli – Shape CA, 2012, 80x120cm, fine-art print on dibond

All images by Filippo Minelli/ unless otherwise noted.

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