February 20 - May 19, 2019
The National Museum of Science and Technology - with a main sponsorship by Audemars Piguet, the contribution of KLM and IBSA Foundation, the support of the Embassy and General Consulate of the Netherlands and Mondriaan Fund - presents for the first time in Italy the works of the Dutch artist Theo Jansen, known all over the world for his gigantic kinetic installations.
Jensen’s Strandbeest ("beach beasts") are hybrid zoomorphic creatures that move using the force of the wind.
Defined by the international critic as “a modern Leonardo da Vinci”, Theo Jansen loves to combine scientific knowledge with humanistic culture, ranging from experiments on kinetics and mechanics to the celebration of nature and beauty.
These are the roots from which the poetics of the Dutch artist develop, which ideally bring him closer to the spirit of Leonardo da Vinci, symbol of the unity of knowledge and of the dialogue between humanistic culture and technical-scientific culture. This perspective – which combines art, science and technology – has inspired the Museum to present for the first time in Italy Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest, in the year of the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of Da Vinci’s death.
Since 1990, Jansen has worked on the creation of a new form of life called Strandbeest (beach creature), kinetic sculptures similar in form to large insects or prehistoric skeletons made of PVC pipes, bands and plastic.
Each Strandbeest bears a Latin name that indicates its main characteristic and the period it belongs to.
Theo’s creatures are designed to live on beaches. They feed on the power of the wind and do not rely on engines or advanced technology to move.
A Strandbeest can modify its behaviour on a perceptive basis, responding autonomously to its environment through simple sensors. Some can detect the movement of the tide and change the direction of their stroll. Others can channel air into bottles as if they were internal organs that can power their movement even when the wind drops.
As in true Darwinian evolution, Theo’s creatures have become more complex over time, maintaining the successful anatomical characteristics of their predecessors and mutating them to accomplish the fundamental objective of every living species: survival.
Admission to the exhibition is included in the entry ticket for the museum.
Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology
Via San Vittore 21, Milan - Italy
Plan your visit:
Is possible to book a guided tour to the exhibition, for touristic groups or schools.