In the year UNESCO has decided to devote to light, Clay Paky has inaugurated MoMS – the Museum of Modern Show Lighting. MoMS is housed on the company’s premises in Seriate, Italy, and is the first Museum in Europe specifically devoted to light, not regarded merely as a useful natural phenomenon, but seen as a means to arouse emotions. The exhibition aims to reveal and let visitors discover the playful, theatrical and evocative nature of this important aspect of the physical world.
MoMS officially opened its doors on Friday 15 May, as part of the ARTDATE artistic and cultural season, in the presence of industry professionals and dignitaries, including the Mayor of Seriate Cristian Vezzoli. The Museum is open to the public every Tuesday and Thursday (except bank holidays) between 3 pm and 5 pm from 19 May. Admission is free.
“We are very proud to be able to allow industry professionals, enthusiasts and anyone else interested to discover the emotional and cultural value of light,” explained Pio Nahum, Clay Paky CEO. “For us, light also means research and innovation. For this reason, we would also like to stress its value in terms of employment. Despite a climate of general crisis, the lighting industry today is an area full of professional outlets for people with a hi-tech background.”
MoMS visitors discover so-called “lighting effects”, which are the technological tools lighting designers use to work with light. The experience is not just passive, but also interactive and multimedia. Light is the star of the show and the spectator is immersed in spectacular attractive effects with a strong emotional impact.
All the areas in which show lighting is a key element are represented in the museum: concerts, theatrical musicals, TV shows, discos, theme park attractions, exhibitions, inaugural events, installations and urban embellishment. Light is increasingly used in these applications as a tool to arouse emotions, thanks to its ability to bring out the theatrical nature of music, the artists’ personalities, the meaning of lyrics, the plasticity of scenic elements and the outlines of shapes.
The progress in technology over time is shown in parallel to its socio-cultural context. The museum starts with a short historical excursus on stage lighting in ancient history, and then focuses on the 1970s, when the lighting effects that are etched in the collective memory were first seen. Those were the years of great musical and dance films like “Saturday night fever”. After that, we are brought up to the present day and the complex moving heads currently on the market.
Its inauguration was also an opportunity to illustrate the museum’s cultural mission. MoMS was the brainchild of Pasquale Quadri (1947-2014), the founder of Clay Paky. It also has an archive and website and is available as a venue for conferences, seminars and training courses for show lighting professionals, students of vocational schools and universities, and enthusiasts of this constantly evolving industry, which combines music, emotion and fashion with the most advanced technology.