This is a splendid venture which has been organized and sponsored by the department of culture, a high-level cultural event that Paliano needs as we want our town to be characterized also and above all by culture.
The Zerynthia Association is among the principle linchpins of this organization. The Fine Art students of Rome, Frosinone, Urbino and L’Aquila are present here to show their work. It is also our intention that this be only the beginning of a common trajectory that will continue in the coming years.
The best thing about this experience is having met the guys and having accompanied them step by step. It is looking beyond, seeing culture also through an experience on the territory. I saw in the eyes of the guys an energy which I then saw in their artistic proposals. There was vivacity and interest also from the town of Paliano, many questions, and that is the positive answer to art and to culture in general. We wanted to include another itinerary that would see the Jail as a protagonist with a sound installation for the inmates and for the visitors, a playlist specifically selected for the prisoners. These are integrated itineraries with culture at the centre.
My gratitude goes to Don Prospero Colonna who is generously hosting us, as he once did back in 1994 when this was the place for the conferment of honorary citizenship to the great American artist Sol Lewitt who had lived here for a while with us in Paliano and had created a great piece in the Forest of Paliano. Past and future fuse together thanks to the participation and collaboration of the Academies of Frosinone, of L’Aquila,of Rome and of Urbino. Their contribution was extraordinary. Some tutors, who are also very well-known artists, suggested a few students for interventions in various places in this town. I was struck by the quality of their work.
It’s important to create greater spirituality in the soul of each person because everything that we do and that we become passionate about is part of the grammar of emotions that each person has. Everyone has passions, and art is one of these. We must create curious citizens. We must modulate the sensibilities of children and let them become, yes, curious citizens with many aspirations. For this reason, the Academies play a fundamental role, in that they host great potential which must be channelled.
Working in a context like that of Paliano means creating a relationship with the territory and with the structures working within the territory. I like this situation, it is born with the aim not of moulding the students by proposing a declination of the work of their tutor, but rather of tending towards the idea of forcing them to subvert their classic idea – especially when they beginat the academy – of what art is, of what artists are. This means offering myself as a subverting element within an academic context.
Art transforms the territory, mediated through a creative eye, into landscape. Reading a book by Giacomo Casanova on a trip of his to Switzerland, it’s incredible that this man never said a word about our beautiful Alps, about the lakes, about the rivers. 25 years after him Johann Wolfgang Goethe was born. It was he who created the landscape which afterwards all romanticism would invest in. Know’st thou the land where lemon-trees do bloom? That is how a poem of his begins, the most famous in German poetry, that made generations and generations of Germans dream about Italy. They love Italy even through these lemons that bloom.
The Academy of Fine Arts of L’Aquila makes the relationship with the territory one of its fundamental elements of education. We are in a moment in which it is necessary to recreate a cultural heritage. EREMI ARTE, a show that began this summer, sets off from the premise that art determines the undetermined and undetermines the determined, constructed. It is a project that tends to involve the path leading to the hermitage. These are long paths that take time. Time leads to reflection and that is what art consists of, it is thought and pathways. In a society which ZygmuntBauman has defined as liquid, there is the need to find a point of reference. Art adds value to the territory, outlining the space and then stepping out of it.
It is important to create this type of synergy on the territory. From dialogue among all sectors comes value, for the world of culture and for the world of business. The new patronage of today is met with plaudits and with suspicion, but it has brought about results. This is an impoverished territory. The businessman must be convinced that investing in culture means creating a value for the territory itself in order to recoup the investment in terms of internal market, a cultural value in order to be attractive to the external market.
As an artist, I try to interpret my practice. I operate forms of subtraction. I appropriate materials that are available in the world and I take them with me. I make some transformations that are reciprocal, the material acts upon me and I act upon it by moulding it. When I think that the process is finished I give it back to the world. As a teacher I am in favour of ventures in which students, still carrying out their studies, have the chance of doing what is central in the work of an artist: a familiarity with the idea that what one does is then used by others; getting used to exchanging, to making their work available to others. Referring back to Goethe, an object exists in the moment that it is looked upon. What we teachers can do is accustom our students to these forms of attention.