Michelangelo Pistoletto One and One makes Three Collateral Event of the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia Exhibition curated by Lorenzo Fiaschi Promoted by Associazione
The exhibition he has conceived for the basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore and for the adjoining spaces, the Sala del Capitolo and the Officina dell’Arte Spirituale, is a reflection that directly addresses the destiny of humankind and the urgent need for radical social change. In Love Difference, the manifesto drawn up by the artist in 2002, we read: “Love Difference encapsulates a concept which goes beyond a rational notion of ‘tolerance’ for what is diverse and penetrates directly into the sphere of feelings […]. The first thing to accept, in an open, sensitive and warm fashion, are the differences between people and social groups, in order to finally give meaning to the word ‘humanity’ […].”
In the centre of the basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore, Pistoletto presents Suspended Perimeter – Love Difference, an installation comprising a series of “suspended” mirrors that form a circular space. The work stands as a kind of opposite altar, with the mirrors mediating between the visible and the nonvisible, extending vision beyond its normal faculties, expanding the features of the eye and the capacity of the mind, to the point of offering us a view of totality. Installed in a consecrated space devoted to prayer and worship, it acquires a renewed force, opening up reflection on the most delicate issues facing humankind in the contemporary world, such as the conflict between religions, the acceptance of differences, multiculturality, but also the role art can still play in creating common ground for mutual engagement.
Each of the works in the complex exhibition project has its own story, its own memory, in a spatiotemporal continuum that does not allow for sudden rifts or fractures. In this sense, the previously unshown DNA spirituale dell’arte (Spiritual DNA of Art) seems to be the genetic transcription of the Third Paradise, one of Pistoletto’s best-known signs, where the natural world coexists with the artificial and technological world, creating a renewed harmony. In the Palladian basilica, the symbol of the Third Paradise ideally connects a mirror with a handprint on the wall of a cave. In his last manifesto, Ominiteismo e Demopraxia (‘Omnitheism and Democracy’), Pistoletto identifies the handprint in the cave as the first work of art: the handprint is not the hand, but its representation, and hence the concept; with the birth of the concept came the origin of human thought. “The mark of the hand is the crossing point between the unconscious animal and the conscious animal, the non-human and the human. Since then, every initiatory act reconfirms and celebrates this primordial passage… We need to find an ethics beyond religions, because we have reached the point where a genuine anthropological mutation has become a necessity. Though the achievements of science and technology are extraordinary, moral and social awareness remains largely extraneous to them. It needs to progress, and to inspire a new responsibility in science”, the artist concludes.
One and One makes Three
Curated by: Lorenzo Fiaschi
Promoted by: Associazione Arte Continua in collaboration with Abbazia di San Giorgio Maggiore – Benedicti Claustra Onlus
with the support of GALLERIA CONTINUA San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana
Press preview: Tuesday 9 May, 5.00 pm – 8.00 pm
Basilica di San Giorgio e Officina dell’Arte Spirituale, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice;
Tuesday-Saturday: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm | Sunday: 2.00 pm – 6.00 pm