Arte al Centro 2022
of a responsible social transformation
opening: Friday 1 July at 6 pm
Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, via Serralunga 27, 13900 Biella
The 24th edition of Arte al Centro opens on 1 July: a series of exhibitions, conferences and seminars that tell about artistic practices of transformation of the social contexts in which they develop, carried out by Cittadellarte and its international network.
In what ways can art place itself at the centre of processes of social change based on responsibility?
To explore the possible answers to this question, since 1998 Cittadellarte has organised the event Arte al Centro, a series of exhibitions, conferences and seminars that tell about artistic practices of transformation towards responsibility of the social contexts in which they develop.
This 24th edition of the event includes a two-day conference dedicated to the theme of the Public intended in all its meanings, from “everyone’s thing” to the public sphere to the audience that takes part in the work; a series of works on the theme of water by two artists in residency as part of the project S+T+ARTS4Water and by “Spazio Hydro”, engaged with the stream and its communities with the project FLUVIAL.
An exhibition curated by Giorgio Verzotti of the works of four artists selected and invited by Michelangelo Pistoletto for their ability to conduct the activity of intervention on reality intrinsic to art at an essential state, in reference to the concept of radicality of Arte Povera underlying Fondazione Pistoletto; an updated and expanded “BIELLA CITTÀ ARCIPELAGO – Sustainability and creativity at work in the Biellese area”, the workshop-exhibition based on the concept of the Archipelago City, elaborated by Cittadellarte with research conducted by Accademia Unidee in the years 2019-2021.
“Between Turin and Milan, a median territory opens up where we are experimenting with how to make a vision of a regenerative Anthropocene work, that is, of a way for us to inhabit the world which is no longer extraction and contamination, but regeneration and care instead. If the Biellese succeeds, it will be a model for the rest of the world, and a beautiful place to live”(Paolo Naldini, Director of Cittadellarte).
Opening on Friday 1 July at 6 pm are:
“FOUR (NOT SO) EASY PIECES”
group exhibition curated by Giorgio Verzotti
in collaboration with Woolbridge Gallery
artists: Filippo Berta, Massimo De Caria, Carlo and Fabio Ingrassia, Daniele Innamorato
Cittadellarte launches an unprecedented collaboration between Fondazione Pistoletto and other Biella centres dedicated to art. Four artists from the youngest generations, Filippo Berta, Massimo De Caria, Carlo and Fabio Ingrassia, and Daniele Innamorato, will open a dialogue among different artistic processes. From 1 July, video, sculpture, drawing and painting will coexist in a shared space, curated by Giorgio Verzotti. The exhibition is entitled “Four (not so) easy pieces”, to stress the complexity of thought that the artists infuse into their very different works.
The artists have been selected by Michelangelo Pistoletto among the participants in the group exhibition Zona Bianca Zero, which opened in November 2021 at the Woolbridge Gallery, a large former industrial space turned art gallery. Michelangelo has decided to showcase the works of four of the artists taking part in the exhibition and has offered this further exhibition opportunity at his Foundation as a way of structurally connecting its activity to the artistic context in which it operates, while taking a wide-ranging look at the most interesting artistic researches with a specific focus on Italian artists.
Massimo De Caria proposes sculptures reduced to a minimal plastic relief, almost vibrating sensors, or works slightly more structured playing on the combination of materials (glass, water, metals), which create chemical reactions capable of changing the appearance of the whole.
Daniele Innamorato, who is also a photographer and a graphic designer, adopts an impetuous way of painting, best expressed on large dimensions, with which he gives life to spectacular body-to-body effects with matter (oil or acrylic or other) and with the vitality of colour.
Filippo Berta presents us with the divisions and inequalities of a despotic and oppressive globalised world through his video “Ordinary People” and related photos, drawings and sculptures. He does so, however, with such an intense poetic charge that it becomes liberating.
Carlo and Fabio Ingrassia are able to combine incredible technical skills in producing the tiny fragments of reality represented in their minute drawings with great inventiveness in attributing metaphorical values and profound meanings to the plastic materials with which they make their sculptures and installations.
Exhibition: “Rebuilding relationships with river systems”.
Artists: Theresa Schubert and Joshua G. Stein
curated by UNIDEE Residency Programs and Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto’s Art Office
Rebuilding relationships with river systems presents the final works of artists Theresa Schubert and Joshua G. Stein, the result of their residencies within the project S+T+ARTS4Water (2021-2022), part of S+T+ARTS (Science, Technology and the Arts), an initiative of the European Commission promoted within the framework of the research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, supporting collaborations between artists, scientists, engineers and researchers.
The project saw the two artists engage with two regional water-related challenges, with the involvement of a network of experts and a focus on the relationship with river systems, namely Exploring people’s relationships with rivers and streams and River systems as indicators of climate change and its impact.
Thanks to the contributions of and discussions with many professionals, researchers and local experts, the two artists worked on artworks that intersect artistic research with scientific and technological research in order to critically explore the main issues relating to the management of river systems. The aim of the project S+T+ARTS4Water is to raise awareness of a sustainable use of water resources with reference to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.
Glacier trilogy (in progress) by Theresa Schubert presents three works inspired by glaciers as points of origin of river systems, as water reservoirs, ‘memory’ of the Earth’s past and indicators of climate change. Their ice provides information about climate from thousands of years ago, radiation, pollution, organic materials, information that is bound to be dispersed due to the ongoing climate change. The three works explore the topic of glaciers through different media and technologies to stimulate an emotional involvement of the public on these issues.
Joshua G. Stein‘s project, entitled Sediment as Cultural Heritage, reimagines the western Po Valley as an area whose hydrology is both directed by and composed of anthropogenic activities, saturated with the positive and negative aspects of human culture and development. Sediments mobilised by the area’s waterways become the common medium for conceptualising a vast system that operates on a territorial scale both spatially and temporally.
S+T+ARTS4Water collaborates with wider communities and proposes new narratives to inform and communicate on the theme of a common mission through a series of S+T+ARTS Academy workshops, cross-sectoral and transversal networking activities, field expeditions and discussions involving citizens. Among the events and collaborations promoted by the programme were: the talk for a Biellese Observatory of Water within Biella Città Arcipelago; Water as infrastructure, an award for the production of an artwork dedicated to students of academies and universities, curated by Accademia Unidee in collaboration with UNIDEE Residency Programs; educational activities for children organised by the Learning Environments Office and the Open School of the Third Paradise; FLUVIALE. Art, environment and social research, a programme of public events along the river Cervo curated by Spazio HYDRO / Better Places APS.
The S+T+ARTS4Water consortium of partners includes LUCA School of Arts (Belgium) in collaboration with Gluon (Belgium), Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary – TBA-21 (Austria), Universal Research Institute (Croatia), V2_Lab for the Unstable Media (Netherlands), Ohi Pezoume / UrbanDig Project (Greece) and Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto (Italy), and in cooperation with the Palais des Beaux-Arts BOZAR (Belgium).
WATER AS INFRASTRUCTURE
Award for the production of an artwork
Within the framework of the S+T+ARTS Academy programme, the educational section of the S+T+ARTS4Water project, Accademia Unidee launched a call open to students from academies and universities awarding a contribution towards the production of a work of art which would be displayed at Arte al Centro. The selected proposals were created during an intensive residency at Cittadellarte, with the tutorship of artists and scholars. Water as infrastructure, the theme of the call, looks at river systems as a stratification of social, historical, industrial, mining, colonial, environmental and geological issues. In the works on show, the body of water is conceived as an infrastructure capable of supporting a different way of inhabiting the tensions of contemporaneity and the frictions of the future.
Unidee Academy and UNIDEE Residency Programs for S+T+ARTS4Water (2021-2022), as part of S+T+ARTS (Science, Technology and the Arts), an initiative of the European Commission promoted within the research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.
BIELLA CITTA’ ARCIPELAGO – Sustainability and creativity at work in the Biella area (updated and expanded)
Exhibition and research project curated by Cittadellarte, Art and Politics Office.
Coordinated by Paolo Naldini with the collaboration of Elisa Gilardino, Andrea Trivero, Tancredi Pino.
With the support of Fondazione BIellezza and Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Biella, in synergy with Biella Città Creativa Unesco
For this 24th edition of Arte al Centro, the exhibition has acquired a few new installations, such as the interactive model of Biella Città Arcipelago, which not only features new maps and is updated with new content, but now includes a display panel that narrates through images the historical evolution of an archipelago territory. The famous aerial photographs taken by the photographer and journalist Pietro Minoli between the 1950s and 1990s (from the Minoli Archive, courtesy of Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Biella) are shown alongside pictures of the same places taken in 2022 by Fabrizio Lava, to highlight the changes that have affected the urban fabric over the years. There is also a video installation that recounts the experiences of some of the 120 mapped organisations through a series of interviews entitled “Racconti dall’Arcipelago” (Tales from the Archipelago). New is also the display of photographs of events and working groups that have animated and made the space participatory over the last eight months.
In the central room of the exhibition, a screen introduces the organisations recently included in the mapping; a new addition are also the panels presenting the work initiated by the thematic working tables or ‘action groups’ that have shared ideas and projects in the course of the past few months around the Tables of the Third Paradise.
Biella Città Arcipelago is therefore not only an exhibition space, but also, and more importantly, a device for practical intervention in a demopratic sense in the Biella area by its inhabitants. It is a design workshop initiated during the pandemic and constantly updated which features a work by Pistoletto as a tool for citizens to be able to directly participate in shaping their own future. The Tables of the Third Paradise are an installation consisting of twelve tables that can be moved around the exhibition space to accommodate each discussion of a thematic working group. The exhibition includes several installations dedicated to the Biella area as a pilot territory for transformation processes aiming at sustainable prosperity: Biella Città Arcipelago is the storytelling of a territory that reveals its wonders through vocation and concrete sustainable activities, an “archipelago territory of good practices and vitality” that communicates a ferment directed toward sustainable prosperity.
The exhibition is designed to last and grow over time: it is a laboratory in progress, a device continually updated to include other sustainability stakeholders, which will allow the visitor to discover always new data and stories. This exhibition is not the ending point, but the basis for a coordinated activity and a genuinely participatory and shared planning involving mapped and non-mapped organisations.
The following thematic working tables on emerging priorities have already been activated in recent months: energy, water, food, education and hospitality.
Biella Città Arcipelago is a laboratory of participatory territorial planning, oriented to prosperity and
sustainable creativity. It invites all organisations in the area to actively participate in the drafting of a programme of concrete actions aimed at the rebirth of the Biellese territory.
PUBLIC! [substantive use of the adj.; see the Latin Publĭcum “public domain” and the phrase in publĭco “in public”]
Research conference, curated by Accademia Unidee – School of Visual Arts.
30 June – 1 July.
What about the public? Who can define what is public? How is the idea of the public constructed? Can the public represent a form of resistance and survival to the environmental and biopolitical crises of contemporaneity? Based on a call for papers that selected around thirty contributions from the disciplines of art, sociology, economics, philosophy, architecture and literature, Public! is an academic research conference that questions how the public dimension acts in the contemporary socio-political complexity.
CONFERENCE SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE
- Pier Luigi Sacco, scientific expert responsible for the paper selection
- Laura Barreca, Palermo’s Academy of Fine Arts;
- Daniela Ciaffi, Turin’s Polytechnic;
- Priscila Fernandes, ArtEZ Academy of Art (NL)
- Alessandra Pioselli, Bergamo’s Academy of Fine Arts G. Carrara
- Antonio Vercellone, University of Turin
For further information, images and press material:
Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto’s Press and Communication Office
+39 349 6031888
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