Michelangelo Pistoletto


Poster, 8 x (60 x 42 cm).
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. UFO2003_022).

Eight Antwerp street-scenes adorn the posters made by Michelangelo Pistolleto together with c a l c (Casqueiro Atlántico Laboratorio Cultural) for his 2003 MuHKA exhibition. An erotic shop-window in the Nationalestraat, a pair of garden gnomes behind a window or the Ferris wheel at the city’s annual fair (the Sinksenfoor); one by one they are paired with a slogan and a theme. They are invitations for thinking about the issues raised here. For example, the poster of two men in traditional Jewish garb has the slogan ‘Skip distances, keep differences’ – it gets us thinking about religion, difference and tolerance. Politics, economics, work, production, religion, art, education and communication are themes that confront us on a daily basis. They are not just randomly chosen, but refer in each case to one of the ‘uffizi’ (offices) of Pistoletto’s grandiose art project: Cittadellarte. This great project was born in 1996, two years after Pistoletto published his manifesto Progetto Arte. Here he argues for art that addresses its social function, with artists thinking about the role they play in society and taking responsibility for helping achieve these social aims. With Cittadellarte, Pistoletto strives to concretize his ideas in collaboration with other artists. To work effectively, it was necessary to ‘share’ Cittadellarte over a number of cells, each dealing with a particular activity or sector. These cells function independently, while together they go to form a single body. The organic logo of Cittadellarte, also present on the posters, finely evokes this idea. The cells are called ‘uffizzi’, a term that harks back to renaissance offices like those of the De Medici bank, where economics, art, philosophy, politics and other aspects of society melded together.

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