Dror for Tumi | Passaggio
Creative Director of The Wapping Project stages a site specific installation for Tumi inspired by their new Dror for Tumi collection designed by Dror Benshetrit. Tumi, the leading international travel, business and lifestyle accessories brand has teamed up with Jules Wright, the founder and creative director of The Wapping Project and Dror Benshetrit, the New York based designer on a special commission called Passaggio to mark the launch of Dror for Tumi, a new collection of bags that will debut globally in Milan at Salone del Mobile 2012. The Wapping Project is a celebrated cultural space in London that is internationally recognised for its challenging contemporary art and performance; indeed the Wapping Project has achieved cult status for its fresh and frequently site specific installations.
Commenting on commissioning Jules Wright to create her site specific work for Milan, Dror says: “I have always been a fan of Jules Wright and her amazing Wapping Project. We both share a love for contemporary theatre, so when this opportunity arose I knew that she would be the perfect person to translate my collection of luggage into a spectacle for its Milan debut. I am thrilled that Jules agreed to work on with me and I know that Passaggio is going to be a must see space during the Salone.” Tumi has long positioned itself as a visionary, design driven company so it is fitting that the Dror and Wright collaboration will mark Tumi’s debut at the Salone del Mobile, the world’s most important design platform. With Passaggio, Wright has taken inspiration from the transformative qualities of the Dror for Tumi collection. She has created an immersive multimedia installation with newly commissioned film, images and music to tell a compelling story of intrigue and drama. The installation is hosted at MOST, a new design destination during the Salone del Mobile at the Museum of Science and Technology. Passaggio is staged within the exquisite Sala delle Colonne of the museum, the former library of an ancient Olivetan monastery.
Passaggio is a finely crafted thriller that begins in Cambridge, England, then races across Europe before culminating in a hotel room in Milan. Unfolding with a film, a series of large scale photographs and a live performance, the drama centres on the adventures of the beautiful, enigmatic Julia Harewood an Anglo-Italian Cambridge graduate, linguist and secret agent. On entering the installation, the visitor finds themselves in a carpeted hotel corridor. Demarcating the corridor is a series of surveillance monitors showing a sequence of images in which the Dror for Tumi bags are exchanged or left behind. At the end of the corridor, a simulacrum of a Milanese hotel room waits to be discovered. Julia lies motionless on the bed, the Dror for Tumi collection scattered around her. The entire space reverberates to a haunting musical score specially commissioned by Wright from Scottish composer Billy Cowie.
Projected onto one wall is the story of how Julia ended up frightened and alone in this Milanese hotel. The first film is a prelude to the complex series of events that follow. A car races through a haunting tunnel in Switzerland. It exits the tunnel and speeds past tall Alpine trees before its headlights pick up Julia in the middle of the road with an open suitcase. The car brakes and Julia recognises Karl, the passenger in the car and someone who has a central role in this developing drama. Julia picks up her bag and runs. Karl attempts to pursue, but falls. The story is then told through a series of beautifully staged photographs shot by fashion photographer Thomas Zanon-Larcher and directed by Jules Wright. All photography has been shot only in available light and the result is an engaging photographic odyssey that unfolds over 40 sumptuous images shot in the UK, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. Each image tells another part of the journey that Julia makes, both physical and emotional.
The pictures document Julia’s journey from Cambridge to London then on to Paris, Venice, Vienna and finally Milan. As the visitor watches the story unfold there is a gradual realisation that Julia is in possession of a secret and is being pursued. Julia transports her secrets with the Dror for Tumi collection, which become central protagonists in the tragic tale. A film – the Epilogue – picks up the story in Italy. Julia is running through the streets of Milan and across the Piazza San Vittore. Julia frantically clutches her Dror for Tumi bag as she runs up the steps of the Church of San Vittore al Corpo. Finding the door locked, she stands frozen staring straight into the camera. She is trapped. The visitor is left to make up their own mind about Julia’s fate; is she sleeping exhausted from her flight across Europe or has something more sinister occurred? And what of Karl and the other characters that have been introduced as the story has unfolded?