Intervista ad Antonella Pescetto di Orlando

If we were to make a game and describe Orlando magazine with just one adjective, surely this would be beauty. The pages of this multidisciplinary magazine with an Italian soul exude all the beauty that can be found in a work of art as well as in a good glass of wine, in an unusual reading or in a design suite.
And it could not be otherwise considering that Antonella Pescetto, Founder and Creative Director of Orlando, is literally an omnivore of beauty: graduated in Modern Literature, a master in contemporary art, violin studies at the Conservatory, Sommelier. In short, a pout pourri of interests that are reflected in the pages of the magazine he has created. But Antonella is not alone, with her a proudly all-female team completes the editorial.

We interviewed Antonella to let us better tell her creature.

How would you describe Orlando to those who don't know you?
Orlando is the first magazine in the world conceived to be “inhabited”: a Magazine / hotel that offers a cultural break to its guests / readers, to break the frenzy of every day. An imaginary hotel: within its rooms and corridors, Orlando and its lobby boy Mr. O are ready to welcome sensitive and curious travelers, explorers of the contemporary, constantly listening to the evolution of styles, languages and trends . Our readers are constantly looking for stimuli and wonder and we hope to please them, welcoming them between the lines of our hotel.

“Reading is going to meet
to something that is going to be
and still no one knows what it will be ”.
Italo Calvino

 

I know Orlando is a particularly important name to you. Why did you decide to call the publication that?
Literature is at the origin of our publishing project and for this Orlando owes its name to two literary heroes: the heroic "Furioso" knight of Ariosto and the champion of eternal youth by Virginia Woolf. The "fury" of the magazine is represented by the incessant expressive research and by the multiple sectors of interest: It is labyrinthine like the Furioso and dichotomous like Woolf's Orlando.
I also called my first baby Orlando, born a week ago and already shows his most furious aspect;)

What is Orlando's goal?
Stimulate, show beauty, excite through stories of authentic people, fished, with infinite research, from the magical world of creativity.

As you mentioned, Orlando's editorial structure is truly unique. To overcome the “banal” division of articles by topic, you have invented a magazine-hotel that celebrates, on every floor, the beauty of art, design, music, food, literature. How did you come up with this idea? Can you explain it better?
This idea grew out of an endless series of conversations with my husband Alex, my favorite brainstorming victim. After sifting through many options of Boccaccio frames to host the various contents of the magazine, we finally arrived at the hotel, the perfect physical and imaginary setting. I thought of Perec's novel La Vita, instructions for use, one of the greatest representations of OuLiPo, a literary movement that I deeply love, which also included my tutelary deity Calvino. Hyper-novel, metal-literature are irresistible challenges and divertissements for me that I want to bring back to the Orlando facility. In the next issues you will discover games of internal references, between one article and another, games of mirrors and joints.
The structure of an imaginary hotel allows the reader to go up and down between the different thematic floors, entertaining himself with his guests: contemporary artists, designers, musicians, actors, winemakers, artisans.
On the ground floor there is the hotel restaurant and garden: here the reader can linger on readings about the world of food & beverage and the charm of gardens and labyrinths.
On the 1st floor the library and the exhibition hall: a floor highly recommended for those who want to have unusual reading tips and discover amazing contemporary artists.
On the 2nd floor the reader will finally be able to rest in the suites, with a design studied in detail, where he can browse in-depth information on architects, interior designers and the world of materials and fabrics. We'll make sure someone brings them room service!

What can we find in this second issue?
This second issue of Orlando, like every one of its releases, is guided by a main theme, which is developed in the editorial photo shoot; the first issue followed in the footsteps of Orlando Furioso, while this was dedicated to the eternal young man, Virginia Woolf's Orlando: an adventure that bravely crossed the centuries from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. Passing from the male to the female gender, Orlando tries to achieve, over the centuries, the knowledge of himself and of his deepest nature. This is a lifelong mission, an eternal life, in which completeness is the result of having lived lives in both sexes. Heroism, for Woolf, is the acceptance of this third gender, created by the union of Masculine and Feminine.
Poetry is the trusted companion of all time, helping our hero to keep himself young and to mark the history of literature with his pen print.
Orlando makes us feel the thrill of freedom and the feeling that immortality is within the reach of sensitive souls, who are open to welcoming the unexpected and the different.
Among the personalities interviewed in the second issue, the international designer Patricia Urquiola, the visual artist Nadia Kaabi Linke, the famous graphics Louise Fili, the Italian tenor Francesco Meli, the plant artist Satoshi Kawamoto, the New York artist Richard Saja, told through the unusual and passionate gaze of our editorial staff and proposed in a prestigious edition.

You have just launched the second edition of Orlando, but you have already told me that the third issue will be beautiful. Any anticipation?
Top secret, but I can only say that the editorial theme will be disturbing and gothic, we will explore the fabulous world of cards and we will have, as guests, great names in contemporary culture and creativity, as well as curious meta-literary games.

Ritual question: why a print magazine in an era dominated by digital?
Because I am a bibliophile, literary woman, who loves to stick my nose into old and new books, be influenced by the scent of paper and chase the heroes who populate it.
I have never thought of making a product online, we certainly intend to create specific content for the online audience, but paper is my bulwark, my safe haven. 

Your publishing house, Tessiore, is born with Orlando. This too might seem an anachronistic choice (which we obviously love!) Or at least anti-economic. Why did you launch yourself into the world of publishing and what publishing projects do you have in store for the future?
I entered the publishing world because it is the only way to express my most pressing needs. I need to communicate my point of view through all-round culture: I can't think of limiting myself to one area of culture, that's why Orlando was born too. I have evaluated many other roads, but this is the only one that makes me feel in the right place at the right time. My intent, once I have made Orlando autonomous, is to produce large illustrated volumes on all my passions.

 

June 23, 2021 — Anna Frabotta

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