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Four contemporary artworks and new commissions celebrate the 30th anniversary of Fondazione CRC
Michelangelo Pistoletto, Terzo Paradiso, 2022, rendering of the new commissioned work
Courtesy the artist.

TURIN.- A CIELO APERTO 2022. Four contemporary artworks and new commissions to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Fondazione CRC is curated and supported by Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea.

The project presents four public artworks created by four international artists and located in four locations – the Piemontese towns of Alba, Bra, Cuneo and Mondovì – in the area of Cuneo where Fondazione CRC operates. The project is part of the program La generazione delle idee (The Generation of Ideas) by Fondazione CRC to celebrate its 30th anniversary, and it is designed to be enjoyed by the community in a spirit of renewed freedom in the open air, in contrast with the limitations that have characterized the last few years of cultural activities.

The initiative intends to establish a new balance between local communities, history, international artistic life and nature, with particular attention to the themes of ecology which today are articulated in an effort to slow down climate change, to seek a quality and sustainability in food production, as well as in the cultural memory that constitutes the identity of the places. The combination of art and land of the A CIELO APERTO 2022 project enhances the gastronomic and in particular enological culture, in relation to the experimental culture of contemporary art.

The project, which involves four internationally renowned artists, intends to place in dialogue different cultural and generational fields. The works of Olafur Eliasson (Copenhagen, 1967), Michelangelo Pistoletto (Biella, 1933), Otobong Nkanga (Kano, 1974) and Susan Philipsz (Glasgow, 1965) are acquired by Fondazione CRC and are presented respectively at Castello di Grinzane Cavour (Alba), Cuneo, Bra and Mondovì.

The President of Fondazione CRC, Ezio Raviola, states “A CIELO APERTO 2022, which renews the long and fruitful collaboration built over the years with Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, offers the opportunity to bring the works of four great international artists in the area of Cuneo. A unique cultural operation, promoted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our institution, which will leave a mark in four emblematic places in the history of Fondazione CRC.”

The Director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Carolyn Christov Bakargiev, states, “After two and a half years of pandemic, it’s time to go out into the open air. A project like this, strongly supported by Fondazione CRC, reminds us how art has healing and beneficial effects on the public and also calls us to our responsibility towards the environment, so rich in aesthetic stimuli and so open to welcoming the works of art.”

The artworks

Olafur Eliasson

A CIELO APERTO 2022 is developed in four phases, the first of which began on Saturday 25 June 2022 with the presentation of the work The presence of absence pavilion, 2019-2022, by Olafur Eliasson at Castello di Grinzane Cavour (Alba).

The presence of absence pavilion by Olafur Eliasson is a rectangular bronze sculpture, which contains a hollow organic form that represents the void produced by the melting of a glacier, in reference to the climate crisis and global warming. The work evokes an ice cube hollowed out from within and was created by melting a block of ice from the Nuup Kangerlua fjord, off the coast of Greenland, an area where the ice sheet formed over millions of years and today loses tens of thousands of similar blocks every minute. In The presence of absence pavilion the melted ice is present only as an absence or as a memory. The placement of the work on the lawn next to the Castello di Grinzane Cavour, not far from the vineyard belonging to the Fondazione CRC, also establishes a relationship with the erosion created by water on the surrounding hills and the melting of the ancient glaciers that once covered this region and created the valley.

The presence of absence pavilion recalls both the artist’s exhibition Your waste of time held in 2006 at neugerriemschneider, in which Icelandic ice blocks were exhibited in the cooled exhibition space, and the public art work Ice Watch, in which twelve immense blocks of ice collected from a fjord outside Nuuk, Greenland, were placed in the shape of a clock in public spaces in Copenhagen, Paris and London between 2014 and 2019, and remained for several days to slowly melt. Eliasson’s works are created to reproduce the power of natural elements, as well as produce perceptive and aesthetic phenomena of great quality.

Michelangelo Pistoletto

In September 2022, Michelangelo Pistoletto will present a new commissioned work in Cuneo. Open to exchange, Pistoletto’s art is the meeting and dialogue of multiple voices, an aesthetic founded on relationships and participation thanks to the ability to go beyond the confines of the work to bring art back to social life and life in art. The monumental work represents the infinity-like symbol of the Terzo Paradiso, a concept of Pistoletto that refers to a balanced connection between the man-made and natural realms. The piece promotes the idea of community participation, youth talent and collective work. It was created with the contribution of local communities and in particular through the combination of 122 drawings made by children and collected by the Education Department of the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in synergy with various people from the city of Cuneo.

Started in 2003, Terzo Paradiso is a set of works and actions, sometimes temporary and always shared, which express the further evolution of the artist’s responsibility towards society. Between the two contiguous circles of the mathematical sign of infinity, which indicate the two opposite poles of nature and artifice, the artist has inserted a third central circle that represents the generative womb of a new humanity, an ideal overcoming of the destructive conflict that causes characterizes the anti-ecological present.

In 2003, Pistoletto theorized in the manifesto of the same name: “Terzo Paradiso is the third phase of humanity, which takes place in the balanced connection between artifice and nature. Terzo Paradiso means the passage to an unprecedented stage of planetary civilization, indispensable for ensuring the survival of mankind. To this end, it is first of all necessary to reform the ethical principles and behaviors that guide common life. Terzo Paradiso is the great myth that leads everyone to assume a personal responsibility in the global vision.” Since 2004, Terzo Paradiso has been publicly announced by Pistoletto as the next phase of his work, becoming a great collective and participatory work. Between 2018 and 2020, thanks to the development of an international network of Embassies and Forums to spread these ideas, the activity of the Terzo Paradiso has further intensified.

Otobong Nkanga

Between September and October, the new work by Otobong Nkanga Of Sundials, Lines and Weights, 2022, will be presented in Bra. For the public art project, the artist drew a landscape in which curved lines in relation to a sundial connect sculptural elements with organic, almost anthropomorphic shapes, potential containers of food, agricultural materials and products of the earth. Nkanga’s artistic research deals with urgent issues related to the climate crisis and the exploitation of resources and sustainability, in line with the philosophy of Slow Food, the international non-profit association born in Bra in 1986. Founded by Bra resident Carlo Petrini, Slow Food’s aim is to restore the organic relationships between food, ecology, and cultures and to give food its correct value by respecting those who produce it, in harmony with the environment and ecosystems, preserving the knowledge of local territories and traditions. In this context, the relationship with the African continent and in particular the artist’s native country Nigeria, is key, as it enables the expansion of the imaginary of a sustainable future, where Piedmont relates happily with locations in the Global South. Nkanga’s empathic relationship with the earth and the environment produces an unprecedented cosmogony for the future in those who experience her works.

Susan Philipsz

In November, The Lost Partbook, 2022, a new site-specific sound installation specially created by Susan Philipsz, one of the most important international artists working in sound art, will be presented at the Former Collegio delle Orfane in Mondovì. Conceived for Fondazione CRC’s A CIELO APERTO 2022 public art project, the eight-channel sound installation is created through the use of the artist’s voice and will be placed at the entrance to the garden and the external areas of the Ex Collegio, facing the fascinating scenery of the Alps.

The Lost Partbook is inspired by one of the five-voice madrigals of Maddalena Casulana (1544-1590), the first female composer to have an entire book of her music printed and published in the history of music. Casulana’s first book of five-part madrigals appeared in 1583. In the 15th and 16th centuries, polyphonic music was handwritten or printed in notebooks, with each part appearing separately. One of these, the Alto or upper part of Casulana’s book of madrigals, had disappeared for years, leaving the composition fragmented and incomplete. This portion of the book has only recently been found in the State Library in Moscow, after being considered lost for years following a sacking of the Gdansk Library in Poland during World War II.

With this work, Philipsz recalls the history of the convent orphanage that now houses the Printing Museum and refers to the period of the birth of typographic printing - a technological revolution dating back to 1455 - and in particular to the figure of Antonio Mathias, a Flemish printer originally from Antwerp, who moved to Mondovì from Genoa to escape the plague. In 1472 he founded in Mondovì, in collaboration with Baldassarre Cordero, the first printing house in the Piemonte and one of the first in Italy.

Philipsz has recorded the upper parts separately and will install the recordings at different points along the path that leads to the Former Collegio delle Orfane. The ascending and descending voices express the heights and depths of human emotions by imitating the movement of the stairs which, descending and ascending, lead the visitor down or up, to also evoke the themes of movement, separation and displacement. Through her sound installation, Philipsz sadly alludes to the disappearance of traditional typography in favor of digital and also to the history of women who, like Maddalena Casulana, had to struggle to enter the world of art.

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