Fiera di Milano history, advertising and… stage

Milan, 23 October  – “Advertising posters have a very special purpose of their own: they need to have a vitality that can be on the verge of being over-the-top or absurd, while remaining a work of art. They are figurative outcries, their voice is made visible, they need to jump out and get the passer-by hooked, make him turn and stop, remain stuck in his mind. Whatever the topic, however they express it, whatever the freedom and imagination they can unleash, whatever the style, the background, their poetic or tragic, engaging or ironical, romantic or classic ambition, advertising posters must get the message across immediately, cater to tastes, not be confused with others, not be ambiguous, and moreover, always have a new idea”.

This is how the volume La Fiera di Milano, the advertising of Italian industry in 1920 – 1940” begins, a project coordinated by the Communication and Public Relations Dept. of Fondazione Fiera Milano and published by Silvana Editoriale, to be presented on Friday, 23 October at 6.00 pm in viale Boezio, 15 during BOOKCITYMILANO15. 

In its 240 pages the volume analyzes how language and advertising methods have evolved, comparing the many photographs from the Historical Archives of Fondazione Fiera Milano and the Achille Berterelli Civic Print Collection with Trade Fair posters and advertising campaigns over 1920 – 1940. 

“The large compendium of illustrations in this volume – explained Benito Benedini, Chairman and CEO of Fondazione Fiera Milano, is an opportunity first and foremost to reflect on the development of the Italian advertising industry, and the evolution of its languages and techniques which, in the very period between the two world wars seemed to be headed towards a path of strong modernization. Fiera di Milano thus became the translation of industry and trade in the many guises that advertising, graphics, posters, classified ads and communication in general were able to offer companies”. 

The description of the volume will be followed by the presentation of the performance “Bella e Fiera” – scriptwriter Laura Curino, director Emiliano Bronzino – slated to go on stage on 17-29 November at Piccolo Teatro Grassi. Created from material obtained from the Historical Archives of Fondazione Fiera MilanoBella e Fiera aims to “depict” the aspects of the relationship that connects the city to one of its most prestigious institutions, Fiera, once a general Trade Fair and now more specialist and specialized, and projected towards a future that is made of exchanges, not only economic and trade-related.