How do we shape the reality of our living and acting together? Since 2014 Cittadellarte coordinates the International Rebirth Forums connecting different civil organizations with the aim of promoting social change. Each Forum gathers together a diverse range of formal and informal groups (such as associations, foundations, enterprises, governmental organizations, non profit spaces, committees, etc) to implement a collective one-year concrete plan discussing the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are in an urgent call for action by all countries.
In a global partnership with different participants, Cittadellarte has promoted more than 235 meetings worldwide and coined a new word defining its method: demopraxy. Mutuated by the word democracy, the neologism replaces the term cratòs (power) with the word practice (in Greek praxis), converging its meaning on collective agency and co-operation.
Starting from these premises, the 2019 UNIDEE Spring Term invites artists of different generations to map out the issues surrounding collaborative art from a practitioner's perspective. Exploring the potential of collective action as art work, the invited artists develop working relations with other producers, extensively collaborating with groups and communities to facilitate the creation of different infrastructural conditions and assist them in taking control of their futures. Advocating solidarity and peer-to-peer relationships to develop new ways of regulating everyday life, the artists initiate community-embedded projects combining together discussions, performances, pedagogy and forms of self–organization. In response to the political, social and economical conditions of post-capitalism, the invited artists experiment with community forms of resistance and participation to organize alternative ways of living.
SELF-ORGANISATION AS METHOD - the case of platform Chto Delat
We are living in a time in which the human impact on our planet is having irreversible dramatic consequences on the decline of the natural world. Rather than the soft definition of climate change we should refer to the current situation as a climate breakdown, as artist Brett Bloom deliberately points out. In fact, the living conditions of modern Western society are based on forms of ferocious land and people exploitation that penetrates our bodies, minds and ways of being in the world to remain dependent on oil-based infrastructures without considering the effects. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of teenagers are demonstrating all around the world in an unprecedented protest against global warming and pollution, vowing to miss school until the governments of their countries take action.
Since 2003 Michelangelo Pistoletto and Cittadellarte have had on their agenda an ongoing discussion on environment sustainability, also promoting the Rebith Day since 2012: an annual international event dedicated to rebirth, change and the responsibility that each one of us should take in order to build a balanced relationship between nature and artifice. The Rebirth-day represents the celebration of the Third Paradise, a concept developed by Pistoletto to describe the start of a new phase for humanity (in the first paradise humans were fully integrated into nature, while the second is the artificial paradise), promoting a balanced connection between artifice and nature and the potential for social change.
Starting from these premises, the 2019 UNIDEE Summer Term is organized around the summer camp Climate Action, led by three different artists, to respond to the global warming and consider possible actions. During the camp the participants will discuss their relation to fossil sources, experiment in agroecology techniques and discuss climate agency to formulate alternative ways of living in relation with our landscape and the other organisms. Artists Brett Bloom, Fernando Garcia–Dory and Luigi Coppola are all committed on various levels to promoting different practices that re-examine our dependencies from energy exploitation and how we might begin to de-industralise our individual and collective sense of self. Through the recovery of old rural traditions, participatory processes, collective control of the means of production and art, their practices propose alternatives to address how humans relate to nature.
8 – 12 July
PETRO-SUBJECTIVITY AND SOCIAL ECOLOGY
8 – 12 July
EVOLUTIONARY POPULATIONS: THE SEEDS OF THE WORLD WAITING TO GERMINATE
8 – 12 July
TOWARDS AN EXPANDED LANDSCAPE
Fernando Garcia Dory
MODES OF INSTITUTING
When Michelangelo Pistoletto founded Cittadellarte in 1998, he questioned the social and political role of artists and the function of art organizations in society, with the aim of conceiving an institution fully dedicated to promoting sustainable social changes. How can we inspire the raising of a self-critical art institution that intervenes in the current political debate? And how can we create organizations where people of different class, gender and race interact to find possible solutions to improve civic society? These were some of the main questions that animated the founding of Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto. Today, the foundation coordinates eleven International Rebirth Forums where a network of civil organizations implements the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in several local-scale community projects.
After twenty-one years from the establishment of Cittadellarte, the political, economic and social conditions that motivate artists constituting art organizations have changed drastically. We are experiencing times of profound and rapid transformations, whose impacts cannot be in any way addressed on a one-person scale. Particularly, a sense of anxious urgency pervades our lives when confronting two of our major (and interrelated) current concerns: the apparently unrestrainable phenomenon of global warming and the increase of uncontrolled migration flows towards the West.
Perhaps the art field, in spite of all its contradictions, still represents today one of the agoras where to actively promote collective debates on current political disputes.
The Fall Term titled Modes of Instituting aims to investigate how artists are currently engaged in stretching the very notion of artistic practice beyond the dominant model of art making (Jason E. Bowman, 2016), to invent new organizations that expand art’s intervention into society. We refer to this methodology as instituting - i.e the process of building institutions as a cultural and critical act. At Cittadellarte, the act of instituting responds to four principles: engaging in long term projects, promoting social critique, favouring collective participation on local scale and endorsing multidisciplinary discussion.
Bringing together a plethora of international experts, the Fall Term will be dedicated to discussing how we can establish ethical principles to shape art organizations not only as centres of power, hierarchy, control and discipline. Specifically, on the traces of Michelangelo Pistoletto’s methodology, we will be discussing what are the ways in which art institutions can (un)learn from artistic practices that engage and create communities around issues of concern. And how to shape organizations where audiences are not considered as passive receivers of predefined contents, but as active members of a constituent body, from which to be provoked, getting inspired and learning, in order to bring those same issues of concern to public attention.
The Fall Term is dedicated to imagining the role of art organizations in times of perennial crisis, and to discussing what their future(s) in the next twenty years would be. A group of eight international applicants will be selected to follow a two-month programme of workshops and conferences. Artists and curators that have given life to emergent institutional models and art organizations will be invited as Visiting Professors to share their experiences and concerns.
The final aim of the term will be to write, all together, an ethical charter on how contemporary art organizations should work as places for political agency, community building and social change.
(Names to be announced in July)
MENTORS AND GUESTS IN 2018
(in order of appearance):
Andrea Caretto and Raffaella Spagna with José D. Edelstein and Marco Giardino;
Amy Franceschini and Lode Vranken (Futurefarmers) with Livia Cahn;
Alessandra Saviotti and Gemma Medina Estupiñan (Arte Útil).
Read the 2017 statement (pdf)
Key words: Revolution, Desire, Mediation.
Mentors and Guests in 2017 (in order of appearance):
Etcetera (Loreto Soledad Garìn Guzmàn and Federico Zukerfeld) with Franco “Bifo” Berardi;
Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri with Carla Bottiglieri;
Riccardo Fassone and Juan Esteban Sandoval (el puente_lab) with Gabriele Ferri;
Diego del Pozo Barriuso with Julia Morandeira Arrizabalaga;
Andrea Caretto and Raffaella Spagna with Ernst Zürcher;
Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio with Luigi Fassi;
Attila Faravelli and Enrico Malatesta with Adam Asnan;
Aria Spinelli for the EU project "Trauma & Revival";
Petra Köhle and Federica Martini;
Adrian Paci with Leonardo Caffo and Zef Paci;
Assemble (Amica Dall) and John Bingham-Hall with Efrosini Protopapa;
Rick Lowe with Elpida Rikou.
Read the 2016 statement (pdf)
Key words: Research, Gift, Alteration.
Mentors and Guests in 2016 (in order of appearance):
Expodium (Nikos Doulos and Bart Witte);
Jason Waite with Adelita Husny-Bey;
Lara Almarcegui with Marco Giardino;
Cesare Pietroiusti with Aldo Spinelli;
Martino Gamper with Matteo Lucchetti and Judith Wielander (Visible project);
Giusy Checola with ‘L’Italia che Cambia’ and ‘Transition Town Biella’;
Maddalena Marciano with Claudia Losi and in collaboration with the Fashion Office of Cittadellarte/ B.E.S.T;
Attila Faravelli and Enrico Malatesta with Nicola Ratti;
Luigi Coppola with Daniel Blanga Gubbay;
Antoni Muntadas with Alessandra Messali;
Daria Filardo with Fatma Bucak;
Adrian Paci with Edi Muka;
Aria Spinelli with Núria Güell;
STEALTH.unlimited (Ana Džokić and Marc Neelen) with Erik Jutten and Piet Vollaard.
Read the 2015 statement
Key words: Temporality, Responsibility, Participation.
Mentors and Guests in 2015 (in order of appearance):
Salvatore Iaconesi and Oriana Persico;
Silvia Franceschini with Stefano Rabolli Pansera (Beyond Entropy);
Aria Spinelli with Tullio Brunone (Laboratorio di Comunicazione Militante);
Emilia Telese with Richard Shields;
Giulia Grechi with Fiamma Montezemolo;
Saioa Olmo Alonso with Sabel Gavaldón;
Giusy Checola with Thomas Gilardi;
Alessandra Donati with SMart Belgio/Italia;
STEALTH.unlimited (Ana Džokić and Marc Neelen);
Santiago Reyes Villaveces with Manuel Ángel Macia;
Andrea Caretto and Raffaella Spagna with Attila Faravelli;
Federica Martini with Anne-Julie Raccousier;
Monica Narula (Raqs Media Collective) with Rasmus Nielsen (Superflex).