An active exhibition questioning the schemes of the present, in an “un-teaching” experience of installations and practices: this is Un-Learn / Re-Learn, part of BASE’s Design Week 2019. This year’s edition (running from 9th to 14th April) is centred on the two key words future and learning. The initiative has gathered designers, thinkers, artists and innovators differing from and complementing each other, who will bring their views on the key topics of the event. Cittadellarte participates with the installation Un-Learn / Re-learn / Re-act. Before illustrating its peculiarities it is important to take a step back and talk about its conception.
The behind the scenes of the installation
Its starting point were the Fridays for Future and the work of Greta Thunberg: as mentioned in one of our previous articles, on 15th March, millions of youths from all around the world demonstrated to draw attention to the environmental problems. In view of this, Cittadellarte has stressed how it is essential not to limit ourselves to protest, we need to take action. In order to apply virtuous and sustainable methods, specific workshops are necessary, which the Biellese institution has been imagining and experimenting with for twenty years, in collaboration with artists and social activators from all over the world.
On Friday 29th March, the activists of Fridays for Future will meet at Cittadellarte to discuss around work tables, to share ideas and good practices to fight climate change. This will be followed, in the same afternoon, by a workshop open to all Biellese students curated by Cittadellarte’s Art Office and dedicated to the realization of posters which will compose the installation on display at BASE. This activity, inspired by the UN’s 2030 Agenda and its SDGs, is organized in the context of the UNIDEE Academy, founded on the myth of the Third Paradise: “After having un-learnt and re-learnt new principles and methods at school, – claims Paolo Naldini, director of Cittadellarte – we have to practice them, to ‘perform the education’, to re-act, to provide innovative solutions to our urgent needs”.
The laboratories are the spaces where to experiment with the application of the new methods in real and daily life. The UNIDEE Academy’s programme develops on the basis of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which define mankind’s essential needs at a global level, setting as the objective the achievement of sustainability in every aspect of human life. “Art, – continues the director – with its ability to generate and elaborate radical solutions, is the driving force behind the educational programme of our Academy; design thinking and strategic and systemic design are its backbone. It is an immersive experience totally carried out at Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, with the collaboration of the network of Italian and international organizations and businesses operating in social innovation and social engagement”.
Back to the installation Cittadellarte will present at BASE: “It is a laboratory, – explains Paolo Naldini – a device to perform the three phases, Un-learn / Re-learn / Re-act. The installation is a classroom space where, symbolically and concretely, protests turn into an opportunity for spontaneous or organized work groups to propose concrete actions. Protest alone is not enough anymore. It is time to translate our protest, generated by our needs and awareness, into shared and concrete proposals to build the change”. Specifically, the installation is realized assembling placards to compose a table-like structure around which participants can debate.
In Cittadellarte’s installation, the placards created during the workshop with Biellese students become a work table around which BASE’s visitors are invited to sit and debate. The objective is to formulate concrete solutions to the issues of the protest. The next step will be the passage from ‘re-learning’ to ‘re-acting’, using the proposals of actions raised at the work tables in a responsible manner. Everybody will in fact go back to their own organizations (schools, businesses, associations, families, etc.), where they will have the opportunity to commit to putting the outcomes of the work tables into practice, translating them into action and conveying them to others. “This way – says Naldini – we start the change we would all like to see in the world, nobody is ever too small to make a difference”.
How is the installation going to involve BASE’s visitors? “The UNIDEE Academy is not only looking for students, – specifies Naldini – but also for teachers. A teacher is anybody who practices concrete actions to build change, who contributes to creating and spreading new models through their work. After the experience at the work tables at BASE, anybody could have the opportunity to share their action with Cittadellarte and become a teacher at the UNIDEE Academy, possibly to the extent of being invited to bring their experience into the classrooms”. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to share your proposals of good practices or to have more information.
The participation at BASE
The director of Cittadellarte will also be one of the speaker of the event’s public programme, a moment dedicated to dialogue and debate intending to investigate the themes of the exhibition Un-Learn / Re-Learn. Naldini’s intervention will be on Sunday 14th April from 12.00 to 13.00, in the contex to the talk Un-Learn / Re-Learn / Re-Act; the other two speakers will be the journalist Cristina Gabetti and Francesco Ferraris, president of the Young Entrepreneurs section of Biella’s Industrial Union. Participating in the talk will also be a few of the students who took part in the workshop of Friday 29th March at Cittadellarte.