“Now we know. By edict felicitously emanated by Michelangelo Pistoletto, the Third Paradise exists. After the mythical first paradise inhabited by Adam and Eve, the Eden host to the felicitous
“Now we know. By edict felicitously emanated by Michelangelo Pistoletto, the
Third Paradise exists. After the mythical first paradise inhabited by Adam and
Eve, the Eden host to the felicitous cohabitation of male and female, after
the second, determined by the acceleration of technology and its transformation
into prosthesis, now we finally have the sign of the Third Paradise.”
Achille Bonito Oliva, The invention of the Third Paradise in “La Repubblica”, 19th November 2007.
What is the relationship between the grand sign of the Third Paradise
and turning point architecture at the Art at the Center exhibition 2008?
Answering the question, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Artistic Director of Cittadellarte
M.P.: The myth of the Third Paradise, symbolized by the grand sign
of the exhibition, poses living as the primary articulation in the organic
relationship between people and the environment. The house
is the third skin for all of us: the first is the epidermis, the second,
clothing and the third skin we constructed around ourselves is the
house, which is protection per excellence, but also the connection
between individual and society. The house establishes the relation-
ships between individuals and the complexities of communal living.
Society forms and organizes itself in all inhabited nuclei. At Cittadellarte
we have called houses Living Structures, because we see the
habitation as a living thing, part of nature. We create this skin that we
want to be organic, just as we ourselves and the world that surrounds
us are organic.
The word Paradise comes from the ancient Persia, and means protected
In the exhibition, the three circles signify the protection of the Third Paradise,
intended within the dimensions of communal life on the planet. The
dimensions of the outer circles remain fixed representing the past, while the
dimension of the central circle is destined for growth. The first of the outer
circles signifies a natural Paradise in which man was totally integrated into
nature, the second, the artificial Paradise created by man. The union of the
two generates the Third Paradise.
Between the artistic symbol and the architectural practice there develops
a perspective and the solidarity to resolve and surpass the epochal
conflict created by the separation of the two worlds, the natural
and the artificial.
This exhibition is a declaration of the commitment that art and architecture
take on in the global process of responsible social transformation.
The UN has proclaimed 2008 the international year of the Planet
Earth, with the goal of involving every State in providing scientifi-
cally valid answers and instruments capable of reducing the vulnerability
of our Planet. What can Cittadellarte, and more generally,
what can culture and art do for our Planet?
To answer this, Paolo Naldini, managing director of Cittadellarte
P.N.: We know that the building industry on the whole is one of the sectors
most responsible for the negative effects on the Planet, in terms of greenhouse
effect, pollution and a great deal of waste that cannot be adequately
degraded and reintegrated into the natural cycle.
There is a concept of civitas in art, intended as a position of responsibility
and activity in the world, that operates not only at local level, but that
considers the entire planet as its home. In the cosmopolitical vision of the
civitas of art, the local becomes the global.
Creative responsibility, the vocation of Cittadellarte, can be one of
the tools contributing to the diffusion of the awareness of the need
for an epochal turning point. Cittadellarte itself, a former wool mill,
demonstrates how reutilization rather than new building, can in some
cases build a sustainable strategy. But it is not just the building in itself
that implements the practice of responsible transformation: education
activities, exhibitions and information, relations with the world of enterprise
and the start of new productive initiatives, up to arriving at the
spirituality inherent in the relationship between man and the world, are
all concrete elements in the strategy that models the activities of Cittadellarte
each and every day. In this way the relationship between art
and sustainability surpasses the dimension of simple proclamation to
enter into the sphere of projectuality, the world of doing.
What is Cittadellarte doing in terms of sustainability?
P.N.: Last year we inaugurated an exhibition on the theme of Turning Point
Products that we used as the vehicle to spread and promote the culture of
environmental sustainability and responsible building. We met and began
an intense collaboration with the ANAB – the National Association of Bioarchitecture,
with which we have launched two new activities, naturally
interconnected, on this theme: the realization of an Italian observatory of
turning point architectural projects and N.O.V.A.CIVITAS (Nuovi Living
Structures), an enterprise for architectural design and the marketing of turning
point building products.
But we have to find some way to involve more people in this doing. For
this we realized the first edition of a post-graduate training course, in collaboration
with Città Studi in Biella and the Turin Academy of Fine Arts,
called Master in cultural and sustainable enterprise, the cultural mission of
the Italian product. Graduates taking the course studied models of interaction
between creativity and art, the territory, enterprise and the public administration