Italianality, New Australian Pavilion Installation
from the July 2014 issue
In celebration of Italian Masterpieces, renowned Melbourne restaurateur and patron of the arts, Ronnie Di Stasio, has installed a larger than life representation of an artwork being featured at this exhibition in one of his iconic venues, Bar Di Stasio.
Ronnie has chosen to display a print of an artwork titled Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence by Spanish artist Jusepe de Ribera, who had spent time living and working in Italy. Owned by NGV, the original oil on canvas was completed between 1620 and 1624, and measures over 2 metres wide.
by Brooke Turner
Bar Di Stasio is Ronnie’s attempt to return to his earlier, racier St Kilda self, to be both Ronnie and Rinaldo, the Italian principe, the name he has come to prefer. The need was vital, as he saw it. “What worried me wasn’t doing it; it was not doing it,” he says. “This place needs an injection.”
“Next door is going to be the hub for artists getting together, architects, creative people. It’ll be a $1.50 espresso standing up, a martini for 18 bucks, or the most exquisite little bowl of al dente pasta, roast duck at the bar or a spiced pigeon cherry pie.
“We had to do it. These days the new generation don’t want a la carte three courses. They don’t want the marriage commitment, they want casual sex; they want to drop in, have a Tom Collins, study the form, decide if they’re going to stay the night, or go back out into the meat market.”
Di Stasio Celebrating Italian Renaissance Art
Cafe Di Stasio is 25 years old this year and is renowned for celebrating cultural and artistic causes.
Owner Rinaldo di Stasio has for years been a patron, supporter and promoter of art and architecture, most recently with his successful campaign to find a replacement building for the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The Australia Council has followed his lead and is in the process of appointing an architect with a design for the new pavilion, which will be built soon.
Opened in 1988, Australia’s Philip Cox designed pavilion in Venice was always intended as a temporary building, lacking permanence and a gravitas.
Not for the first time, attention was drawn to the need for a new building when restaurateur Rinaldo di Stasio mounted an unofficial design competition for a new pavilion in 2008 (coinciding with the 20th anniversary of his eponymous café). Of 450 designers who registered interest in the idea, 168 actually submitted a developed design – half of them were architects operating outside Australia.
A massive object that becomes ‘corroded’ little by little, obtaining a complex and articulated shape.
The original instrument comes from the detailed image of a Venetian gothic marble decoration: its composition and pattern generate a geometrical solution for the design.
The grid moves back and forth, disappears and enlarges. Its volume starts to be gently lightened and shaded following a quite elegant rhythm. Also the surrounding trees almost lie on the facades by molding their shadow upon the corners and the nooks of the facade.
People’s Choice (Professional)
Dappled shadows on the landscape. Light, trees, our neighbours and you are reflected to create a sense of wonder and exploration. The subtle shifting of the elements fracture the initial perception to reveal an artist on show at the Venice Biennale in the Australian Pavilion.
Based on Issey Miyake’s sculptural fabric forms, highlighting folds and pleats, the Pavilion investigates a series of architectural forms from a single skin, which folds to create spaces and moments. The skin influenced the form and programming for the Pavilion, as well as the surrounding landscaping.
This Pavilion contains many pavilions. It remembers the history of pavilions as an avenue for the new and grand. It celebrates humble structures that can house the beginnings of incredible ideas. It appreciates its role as a facilitator of all things creative, provocative and bravura.
001 Denton Corker Marshall, Australia
008 Davide Marchetti, Italy
029 O’Connor + Houle Architecture, Australia
033 McBride Charles Ryan, Australia
048 Ashton Raggatt McDougall, Australia
061 Carr Architecture, Australia
1013 Daniel Gibbs, Australia
1014 Loïc Fumeaux & Amélie Poncety, Australia
1043 Nicholas Braun, Australia
1046 Heeyoung Lee & Sukho Jang, USA
1047 SPF15+, Australia
A 256 page, full colour catalogue featuring all 56 shortlisted entries and finalists.
To place an order click the link below to download the order form and either fax/post the form to Cafe Di Stasio:
New Australian Pavilion
Di Stasio Ideas Competition
28 June – 3 August 2008
Heide Museum of Modern Art
7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen
For more information visit: