The treatments of the Terme Culturali
If Cittadellarte is Terme Culturali, what treatments does it offer?
We will not take you to Finnish saunas, nor to Turkish hammams, even if we do appreciate these practices too! The treatments of the Terme Culturali are like massages operated on our ability to see, feel, understand. On our intellectual and emotional faculties.
Neurology teaches what common sense has always known: keeping our spirit inquisitive, ready to get interested, open to amazement and experimentation to know and to know in order to judge, maintains and develops the spirit itself and our intelligence.
Exercising the mind develops it.
Training the sensibility strengthens it.
Taking care of the spirit expands it.
“Art is the most sensitive and complete expression of human thought, and the time has come for artists to take on the responsibility of establishing ties among all other human activities, from economics to politics, from science to religion, from education to behaviour – in a word, among the threads that make up the fabric of society.” (M. Pistoletto, Progetto Arte manifesto, 1994).
Exercising the artistic faculty (which each of us is endowed with) is therefore in itself a way of operating the properties of thought.
The treatments of the Terme Culturali consist therefore of both creative workshops and opportunities to “get to know” works and thoughts, projects and practices, as presented in person by the mediators with the help of installations, documentation and, of course, the works themselves.
You can choose from our website, before visiting us, what treatments to follow. Some are always available, some only by booking in advance or on specific dates. They can be followed in a group or, in some cases, even on your own: to know more, please browse through our site or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at +39.015.28400.
Throughout the centuries, different cultures have developed the awareness that a good life is also the result of taking care of one’s own body, exercising and relaxing. In order for people to be easily able to dedicate themselves to these practices, many civilizations have conceived and built suitable architectural and urban structures. Water has always represented an essential vital element, but also a source of therapy and pleasure, an opportunity to get back in touch with nature, with ourselves and, in many cases, with other people. Paradigm of this vocation are the terme, building complexes, dedicated establishments, natural-artificial ecosystems where water (often of a special nature in respect to running streams) flows according to courses planned through human knowledge and mastery.
It is a need which has constantly emerged in very different habitats and historical times: from the monumental complexes of Imperial Rome to the Japanese tradition, from Classical Greece to the Scandinavian culture, in the Indias as well as in the Near East, and so on.
When we say that we have built the Terme Culturali in Cittadellarte, we mean to define a precise and meaningful analogy between the care of the body and the care of mind and spirit and, even more specifically, between water and the spiritual fluidity of art.
The analogy expressed by the definition of Terme Culturali implies this comparison: water treats the body in the (traditional) Terme the way art treats mind and spirit in the Terme Culturali.
Why should art treat?
As a first consideration we can say that art exercises the atrophied muscle of culture (to adapt art critic Achille Bonito Oliva’s definition “Art is a massage to a muscle of the collective sensibility”); intellectual faculties, as much as physical ones, are determined by the combination of a genetic endowment and the results of education and exercise. Exercise and care of the mind, through culture, carry the same consequences on the mind itself that exercise and care of the body carry on the muscles; and this applies to the Terme as much as to the Terme Culturali.
The primary essence of art is creation. Art creates. For this reason art is at the basis of culture, of its birth and its endless renewal. Without (contemporary) art any society is destined to age prematurely, like a body without care, without exercise.
Pistoletto says that Creating is human. Art is a universal faculty. It is the result of a combination of congenital and acquired elements too. And, of course, the more time a society dedicates to art as a form of care, the more cultural and spiritual well-being it will enjoy.
“A sound body in a sound mind”
The benefit deriving from the care and exercise of the muscle – physical as much as intellectual – improves the quality of personal and even collective life, as proven by many recent scientific studies.
Art is like an energetic fluid which allows the different parts of the organism to communicate: spirit and intellect, emotions and reason, sensory perceptions and intelligent intuitions, conscious and subconscious.
As a fluid which connects dissolving the encrustations that separate, art operates both on the level of the body of the individual and on the level of the social body, according to the vision expressed by Michelangelo Pistoletto in his Progetto Arte manifesto (1994): “art is the most sensitive and complete expression of human thought, and the time has come for artists to take on the responsibility of establishing ties among all other human activities, from economics to politics, from science to religion, from education to behaviour – in a word, among the threads that make up the fabric of society”.
Cittadellarte is therefore the place dedicated to the care and exercise of primary human faculties, which art and culture reactivate, massage, exercise, fluidify, sensitise and re-energize.
Whoever visits this place can stay for an hour or a day, a weekend or a week: depending on his disposition or availability. For each of these periods, the guest can follow sessions, choosing from a wide range of treatment opportunities: laboratories on the themes of the relationship between art and the different fields of human activity (from architecture to fashion, from production to politics), journeys dedicated to spirituality, to the individual and social self, but also to a global network of thousands of organizations federated in the name of the vision that Cittadellarte has identified as its own mission: the Third Paradise, an earthly place where to fully live our own humanity continuing along the path of a still incomplete humanization, which can only be achieved through centres like the Terme Culturali, where to acquire awareness and practice omnitheism and demopraxy, developing the trinamic method and the sharing sense. About these (and other) themes see the Omnitheism and Democracy manifesto published on Cittadellarte’s website.
Background and catching up for those who missed the previous episodes
In a 19th and 20th century industrial complex, at the centre of the Biellese wool district, still globally relevant for quality and excellence, Michelangelo Pistoletto (the major living Italian artist according to the publication L’arte contemporanea italiana nel mondo: analisi e strumenti / Pier Luigi Sacco, Walter Santagata, Michele Trimarchi, Milano: Skira, 2005 promoted by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage, Leone d’oro to the career at the 2003 Venice Biennale and awarded Japan’s Praemium Imperiale “Nobels for Arts” in 2013) has realized, starting in the ’90s and with the help of a group of researchers and experts, a collective laboratory: an organization which gathers not only artists, but also promoters of sustainability in the fashion world, social entrepreneurs who develop supply chains of ethical economy starting from the earth and agriculture, architects engaged in planning and building sustainable housing modules, and other brilliant operators engaged in every field in which human intelligence is called to interact with nature’s wisdom.
In Cittadellarte the different fields of knowledge and activity connect to face jointly the great challenges of contemporaneity: the relationship between individual and society, between freedom and responsibility, between autonomy and belonging, between appropriation and sharing, the sustainability of the economical systems, the ethics of the ways of coexisting, the education and motivation to contribute to generate a change in every sector of life both in its individual and in its organized and collective dimension, from the deepest spheres like spirituality and politics to the most practical ones like economics, fashion, architecture, food.
Visiting the Terme Culturali means immersing oneself as a participant guest in the live spirit of this centre for contemporary artistic production which, throughout the years, has become a globally recognized model of cultural practice engaged in epochal urgencies and in the social and economic development of the territory: the meeting and clash of civilizations, as well as alternative models of social-economic development, are investigated, presented and practiced in this eutopic, open and practical laboratory.
The Third Paradise, whose forge are the Terme Culturali, is in fact the symbol and concrete project of a new phase in the human evolution based on the vital and dynamic balance between nature and any form of artifice.
The primary relevance of the project is not only acknowledged within the art world (in 2013 the Louvre in Paris dedicated a five-month exhibition and the Glass Pyramid itself to it), but also in other sectors: from the United Nations to the European Commission, in universities, in companies, in schools, in administration departments of local associations and in the numerous jointures of the social body with which Cittadellarte has built operative connections.
The proposal of the Terme Culturali means therefore an immersion in the heart of the source of this project: an alternating of laboratories and guided presentations of the different specific activities, moments of meditation and visiting experiences on the industrial territory of the Alpine foothills and a few extraordinary uniquenesses: from the Oasi Zegna to the mountain sanctuaries, from 19th century gardens to textile factories which have contributed to making Italian fashion one of the apexes of creativity and skilfulness.