Erez Nevi Pana

Tropical Milan


Directed by: Erez Nevi Pana
Autor: Erez nevi Pana
Music: Gorovich
Filming and Editing: Ofer Kantor
Acting: Ohad Friedman Yeger, Nissim Ben Ezra

Following the exhibition Vegan Design – or the Art of Reduction (2018) curated by Maria Cristina Didero at Garage San Remo, the Israeli designer presents a new installation comprising a film that addresses the themes of veganism, self-sustainability, and global warming, and once again corners human beings to their responsibilities.

In 2018, after his return to his homeland, Nevi Pana reflected upon the exhibition pre-sented in Milan, which was realized with vegan materials he had found and collected over time. He confronted the limits of this practice for his future projects, and challenged the idea of using, not only vegan supplies, but also going one step further, growing his own ingredients, so that he could gain total control over them.

Tropical Milan is a visionary immersion in a jungle-like environment – which could stand as a symbol for the center of the city of Milan – in which human beings are forced to confront, among other symptoms, extreme humidity, a mosquito invasion, and the dramatic results of wrong monoculture (single crop production, like banana trees) which results in limited food supply, poverty and global mass migrations. As we see in Nevi Pana’s movie, humanity is forced to slow down, stay still, breathe differently, and protect itself by turning into cocoons – also made here with fully sustainable home grown fibres. The man in the film who serves as an icon (represents all of us) is surrounded by banana plants that recall the idea of multitude. He sleeps, tragically referring to the state we are living in today. Instead of waking up and doing something for all of us, for himself, for our planet, he is acting blindly and way too slowly; he awaits for something to happen, and that is how we will end up sooner than we think in such an inhospitable environment.

In reaction to this futuristic vision, Erez Nevi Pana imagines a series of pieces made of banana stems and leaves, luffa or bamboo, that he has grown himself not only to be 100% sustainable but also be fully responsible, projecting a new frontier of what it would mean to realize total creations in the XXI Century.

The film is slow and it seems that nothing is happening. Instead, a lot is happening there. We only perceive the result as we deal with an Ilja Ilič Oblomov-like character – coincidentally the landowner by Ivan Aleksandrovič Gončarov (1859). As in this Russian classic we see a man totally absorbed in his deep apathy, nothing can arouse him, even if he is a man of noble and virtuous instincts. His lack of will-power is his cage; a cage he has built himself.

The film soundtrack is also very meaningful. Nevi Pana chose contemporary trance music to counterpart the images in the film, as a declaration of imminence and urgency. As a reversal of the sights in the video, the sound simulates the cognitive trance in which the person lives and presents a total detachment from reality.

Through Tropical Milan the city becomes the symbol of global decadence, in contrast with its charming, glamorous, and hyperactive image, and by its cynical way of living that the designer totally refuses. This apocalyptic scenario exposes the viewer to an unspectacular reality, in which time appears to slow down, society is highly compromised or totally cancelled; slowness, loneliness, and silence overshadow any human beings’ possible activities. We don’t want to reach this point.


Erez Nevi Pana (1983 Bnei Brak, Israel), lives and works in Tel Aviv.