Michelangelo Pistoletto & Cittadellarte & (Europalia 2013)


MuHKA, Antwerpen

04 October 2003 - 30 November 2003

The Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto (°1933, Italy) locates art and the artist within social reality. In his oeuvre, the spectator and reality are at times literally incorporated in the work of art and, invariably, connections are being made between both of these ‘worlds’.

In 1994, Pistoletto wrote the manifesto Progetto Arte in which he mapped out an art project that could be described as an ongoing dialogue with the world (this text is incorporated within the catalogue which is published on the occasion of this exhibition and which can also be consulted at the website www.cittadellarte.it). From 1996 onwards, this project was materialised in Cittadellarte – a contraction of ‘cittadella’ (citadel) and ‘città dell’arte (city of the arts). ‘Citadel’ stands for an enclosed space protecting the arts, whereas ‘city’ is a metaphor of dynamism and of a complex of relations with the outside world.

Cittadellarte was concretised in an old mill in Pistoletto’s native city of Biella and, for the realisation of its aims, relies on the Fondazione Pistoletto which was created for this very purpose. It is more of a new way of interacting with culture, politics and economy than being merely a place. In the twelve ‘Uffizi’ (referring to the renaissance concept of that name), artists work with regard to several social fields such as politics, economics, work, production, religion, art, education and communication. Every summer, young artists are welcome to participate in UNIDEE (the university of ideas) in Biella, a summer university cum ‘artists-in-residence’ programme in which artists are being invited to start up new projects. 

M HKA will exhibit a comprehensive image of this initiative in close collaboration with the Fondazione Pistoletto. All eight ‘Uffizi’ which are operative at this moment will be presented in this exhibition by means of projects and interviews. Realisations by former UNIDEE-residents will be shown and the UNIDEE-group of 2003 has been invited to develop a project on the occasion of this exhibition. 

Additionally, Pistolletto’s ‘Oggetti in meno’ from 1965-1966 will be presented; a collection of early works which show that, from quite early in his career onwards, the artist dealt with ideas which are being developed at another level and at a much larger scale right now.

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