Tag Archives: Italy

la pigna mon amour…

the church top centre denotes the highest point of La Pigna…

So like i was saying, i was in Sanremo for a quick location scout. Why? Because the art residence i currently wor for, UNIDEE has been invited by the local residents association La Pigna Mon Amour for the 3rd year running to come and stay with them for a week and do some art/interventions/interactions regarding this problematic and compelling area. Here is a glimpse of our first 2 day stopover:

La Pigna by night

So La Pigna is the somewhat forgotten medieval centre of the glitzy seaside resort of Sanremo. Down in the modern quarter it’s all tacky seaside Italian style with beach umbrellas, fun fairs and one of only 4 casinos that exist in Italy. Here, the bourgeoisie and über kitsch live side by side. While only a few minutes away in a parallel universe up a hill we have La Pigna. It is achingly beautiful with narrow winding streets designed specifically to lose the invading hordes over the centuries. It is built on  steep inclined steps (no cars can fit there) with ancient medieval gates, the smell of urine, drug dealers, normal folks, a few yuppies…all going about their business…It has a bad reputation and the Sanremese population don’t tend to go there, they say its dangerous, dark, smelly..inconvenient. The big question is  what to do here for a week that engages, does not exclude, is not patronising, has some kind of resonance…it’s not easy…we will be back in August and i will keep you posted…

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embrace your enemy…

This year the UNIDEE main office was moved to a less convenient part of the building with a loud not always fragrant bathroom adjacent. It’s not nice at all. Then last night i was listening to Jello Biafra who always says don’t fight your enemy (in his case the media), BECOME (infiltrate and supersede) your enemy.  So in the spirit of the aforementioned Jello, am embracing my enemy…and also loosely inspired by all those mirrored surfaces at the Anish Kapoor show,  here is Self portrait in said evil bathroom:

…on another matter

Elmas, one of the artists in residence made the bag above, it is definitely my quote of the week…

blockbuster art and absolutely no photographs please…

It’s blockbuster-grand-spectacle art time, as split over 2 venues, Anish Kapoor has a show in Milan. Now am all for a bit of spectacle and am definitely up for a bit of Anish Kapoor, but was really irritated by the 2 exhibition sites covered in “photography strictly forbidden” notices. This is at the behest of the artist, but really, in this day of instant mass communication where we seem to live and die by the instantaneous sharing of photo images…well really all this photography verboten seems a bit old fashioned and really kind of hard to implement…needless to say, at the Fabrica del Vapore, the Italians were all snapping away, as was i goddamnit…

At the Fabrica del Vapore site (see above and below), a work called “Dirty Corners“,  kind of a leap of faith. You walk into a giant steel tunnel structure and wait /hope for your eyes to adjust to the darkness…actually its a very gratifying, sensorial experience. For full “sanctioned” coverage and some great images see here

Meanwhile at the other site at the Rotonda de via Besana you can see 6 other works…

C-Curve 2007

This room is heavily invigilated, hence clandestine style (not so great photos)…strange that such a public artist should be so persnickety about the public actually photographing his work. Lighten up Anish!!

S-Curve 2008

Anywhere else this would be a blockbuster show with huge crowds, yet this Saturday i enjoyed the luxury of both locations with only 4 or 5 other people around.

…and regardless of my earlier moaning, if you are in Milan, the show is hugely enjoyable and definitely worth a visit…hours of fun…

selection processes…

So am here at the Fondazione Pistoletto again for a number of different reasons,

one of them being that i am helping to select artists for this year’s UNIDEE in residence. Not an easy job going through all those applications trying to make a decision, especially when you know an acceptance can really change the path of someone’s life like it did with mine…or not of course! And then the other thing is that no matter how good an application is on paper, you have no idea what is going to happen until people actually arrive and start to interact with each other…It can be great, it can be terrible, it can be indifferent…we will just have to wait and see…

the loneliness of the long distance application reader

venice biennale of architecture…

There will now follow a whole bunch of posts from Venice…

I came here specifically for the Architecture Biennale, which takes place every 2 years in between the art Biennale. Anyway it is my first time at the architecture version…

So the setup is the same as the art version with the main venues being the pavilions in the Giardini and the vast internal space of the Arsenale. My entry ticket costs €20…Venice ain’t cheap…There will be quite a lot of posts on this subject as i saw a lot of things that are worth a mention…

THE GIARDINI – INTERNATIONAL PAVILIONS

The Belgian pavilion was dedicated to flooring, they prised worn and much used various materials away from their original contexts and displayed them like works of art on the walls complete with a small potted history of their original use and location…

“Acrylic fibre carpet from a living room adjacent to a bedroom and a hallway. Both rooms had chimneys and gas convectors”.

“Work table next to a photocopier in a copy shop. Plywood panel later covered with a protective layer of laminated low-density fibreboard (LDF)”.

Vacant NL – where architecture meets ideas, installation in Dutch Pavilion. Ahhh the Dutch pavilion, it has been empty for the past 39 years. I already liked it when i entered and saw what i perceived to still be an empty space, with a false ceiling of suspended turquoise forms which filled the otherwise empty space with reflected colour…

but there was more…up the stairs and those forms turned into a vast Dutch cityscape

more architecture biennale 2010 on this blog:

plenty of money and full colour brochures

society of the spectacle

arsenale

other pavilions

rural urbanism and rethinking happiness

more giardini