Ron Arad Associates

MoMA New York, Singapore Freeport, 2009-2010

Mirror-finish stainless steel, Cor-ten, Barrisol

Commissioned by the collector and impresario Yves Bouvier for his Singapore FreePort (a high-security art storage facility and “free trade zone”), the large sculpture by Ron Arad made by Marzorati Ronchetti was shown for the first time in the retrospective “No Discipline” held at the MoMA in New York in 2009 on the work of the Israeli designer based in London. Cages Sans Frontières is a sort of “exhibition ark,” a large self-supporting display fixture capable of containing objects, furnishings and sculptures, designed by Arad as part of his intense research, inside a sinuous, dilated orthogonal metal grid that forms the entire structure. In the show in New York the spaces of the system of reference, with two sides thanks to a Corian panel in the middle, housed the sequence of articles selected by Ron Arad as direct evidence of the “No Discipline” and creativity that set him apart. Like a sheet to twist in different directions on its horizontal axis, the metal structure formed a long variably shaped surface of great sculptural impact, making the rigid properties of steel become fluid and supple. Freed of the Corian panels that were needed for the installation of the exhibition at MoMA, Cages Sans Frontières is now located inside the inner full-height courtyard, open to the sky thanks to a glass ceiling, of the Singapore FreePort. Here the “ark,” instead of being an exceptional display fixtures, takes on the value of an environmental design work in its own right, a complete, dynamic installation that reminds us of a caged animal ready to escape from its gilded enclosure. The elimination of the panels brings out the reflections of the lining of the compartments in mirror-finish stainless steel, emphasizing the sculptural shape of the whole and the amazing workmanship provided by Marzorati Ronchetti. A series of lamps designed by Johanna Grawunder and made by Marzorati Ronchetti descend from the luminous screened glass roof, essential parallelepipeds, in an orthogonal arrangement, of steel and glass, with Leds of different colors, adding lightness and sensitivity to the overall installation.

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