Bruno Munari

Bruno Munari, a slide for direct projection, 1950

Direct Projections

Italy 1950


Polarized Projections

Italy 1953


“As Munari was more and more fascinated by the play of light and shadow, his logical step to the following research culminated just in 1950 with the slides for Direct Projections. They are realized with various techniques, collage and painting above all. The materials are different, colored cellophanes, leaves, burnt plastic, onion peels, woolen thread, nets, etc. The originals remain hidden in the projector so we can only see the enlarged image, which becomes a huge fresco painted with light.” (Hajek 2008: 1) In 1953, he inserted the slides between two Polaroid Filters, resulting in his Polarized Projections. “Rotating the filter fixed before the projector, the polarized light goes through the materials in the frame and decomposes into the colours of the spectrum changing continuously the work. [...] Consequently the filter rotation creates an illusory movement and Munari, aware of being the first in art history to carry out this research, tries to improve it at its best. ” (Hajek 2008: 2)


“In his essay Fantasia (1977), Munari insists on the importance of explaining the mechanism of the device and all its possible techniques before executing the experiment. Thus, for the direct projection experiment, educators should first demonstrate the multiple operations of the slide projector: projecting, focusing, changing slides, etc. But Munari also encourages teachers to open up the device as far as possible [...]. In other words, children are challenged to think beyond the ‘proper’ use of the device; or , rather, to consider the most dominant use as only one of the possibilities.” (Strauven 2014: 34)

Bruno Munari, born Milan in 1907, died in Milan in 1998.


Miroslava Hajek, Exact Fantasy, 2008,

Wanda Strauven, “The (Noisy) Praxis of Media Archaeology,” in At the Borders of (Film) History. Temporality, Archaeology, Theories, eds. Alberto Beltrame, Giuseppe Fidotta, Andrea Mariani (Udine: FilmForum 2014, XXI International Film Studies Conference, University of Udine, 2014), pp. 33–41.

Aldo Tanchis, Bruno Munari: From Futurism to Post-industrial Design (Milan: Idea Books Edizioni, 1986).

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