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SHISH MAHAL / AYNÉ KARI"
COLORS, LIGHTS, AND REFLECTIONS OF MIRROR MOSAICS IN ORIENTAL ARCHITECTURE
Edited by Sergio Jaretti
Quaderno del Pensatoio n° 35, May 2003


texts by Ezio Albrile, Homa Alemi, Mohammad Reza Haeri, Sergio Jaretti, Graziella Luzi,
Fabrizio A. Pennacchietti, Attilio Petruccioli, Habiballah Purabdollah, Franco Ricca.


Edizioni Il Pensatoio s.a.s. e Celid, Torino 2003 (€ 70)


The use of mirror mosaics on large indoor and outdoor surface areas is an original type of historical architecture in Persia, Rajastan and Pakistan. Mirror mosaics began to be used in the Seventeenth Century, then spread through very many other countries (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, etc.) and are still being made currently. Mirror mosaic architecture can be considered the expressive high point in oriental architecture of a special sensitivity towards color, light and reflection as well as towards a material and geometrical mirror quality. This developed in the pre-Islamic and Islamic epochs in the geographical and cultural area that roughly corresponds to the perimeters of the world known at the time of Herodotus. This partial collection of materials has shaped up as a work in progress and a chance for us to discuss and broaden our consciousness. This is absolutely the first publication dedicated to mirror mosaics, which will be issued in one hundred numbered copies. An excerpt from the notebook will appear on the web sites of Archnet, Celid and Pensatoio. A photographic exhibit will be dedicated to mirror mosaics in Turin on May 17-24.

The notebook publication, the web sites and the exhibit – all happening at the same time – have some common aims:
• To make a phenomenon known through texts, visual documentation and a general chronology made up of images, a phenomenon that is unique in the history of world architecture, extraordinarily evocative and refined, and surpassingly modern in its implications.
• To focus people’s attention on this widespread, precious and fragile piece of our artistic and historical heritage, people including architects, artists, and European and Eastern scholars as well as public and private officials and owners.
• To extend the knowledge of mirror mosaics and so to foster their conservation and restoration through news exchanges, testing and reparation – actions necessary for a material that is so seldom and so superficially studied.
• To make the transition from this first collection of materials to a more organic publication, to gather statements of interest from institutions and scholars (museums, libraries, foundations, exhibition centers, universities, publishers and potential sponsors), and to promote more organic types of exhibits.
• To open up a forum (see Internet sites) for anyone in any walk in life interested in these topics.


You can visit our pages on ARCHNET and CELID web site.


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