Book tells the story of Donato Zangrossi and of a special house
Venice – The pinwheels used to make people slow their pace, tempting them to look up and admire the beauty of a house decorated with strange objects made of wood. In Venice, Donato Zangrossi built this universe of wooden flowers, stars, moons and suns to make people happy.
Students entrusted their hopes of passing exams to the colored blades of the pinwheels, and tourists left little notes of thanks to the mysterious creator of so much beauty. It has been more than 20 years since the house of pinwheels, custodian of so many Venetians’ and tourists’ memories, has lost those unique expressions of creativity.Since the death of Zangrossi in 1990, the pinwheels have succumbed to the indifference of the city that loved them so much. Some ended up in pieces in the lagoon, destroyed by a storm. Others were saved in the rooms of an elementary school and subsequently lost.
And yet, the pinwheels still exist, in the memory of those who passed through the Campo Castelforte from 1960 to 1990.
Who was the “grandfather” who made them and stood behind them on the balconies, proud of his world? Who was the mysterious creator who wanted to express his love for the mystery of existence? Giada Carraro, an Italian researcher, answers these questions in a book, La casa delle girandole. L’arte cinetica di un poeta astronomo veneziano. The book is a tiny treasure of original images and writings by Zangrossi and reveals the reason for his priceless gift to Venice. In love with the galaxies and a creative force called “God,” the poet-astronomer began to make pinwheels when he retired from his life as a workman and custodian of the Venezuelan Pavilion during one edition of the Venice Biennale D’Arte. Seemingly, some “kinetic” works exhibited in the Pavilion inspired Zangrossi to make the pinwheels.
Behind each one of these there was a message for those who live in that “speck of land they think they own.” There also was an invitation to live according to the rhythms of the sun, the moon and the wide, starry sky, which overflows with goodness and repels evil and the horror of war.
While Zangrossi was alive, his wooden universe, which he transformed into a unique work of art made of color and astronomy on the second floor of his house, was not accessible to anyone, not even his wife.