The 18th edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup officially started on 31st August across China. In the context of this international tournament, FIBA has joined forces with Cittadellarte to bring art to basketball. A collaboration taking shape also through a special work, Rebirth in Basketball, which will be unveiled in the course of a special ceremony during the final weekend of the World Cup in Beijing. The event will be attended by FIBA dignitaries as well as representatives of the Pistoletto Foundation (Alessandro Lacirasella, Pistoletto’s assistant, and Francesco Saverio Teruzzi, coordinator of the Rebirth/Third Paradise Ambassadors) and officials from the Local Organizing Committee. The work will carry the signatures of the biggest protagonists of the tournament: as mentioned in a previous article, players, coaches and coaches’ assistants from the 32 participating national teams are contributing to creating an innovative and unique Third Paradise (see cover and bottom pictures). “The worlds of sport and art are not all that different; – we read in a press release about the collaboration – each medium summons emotion, produces division and creates lasting memories. Both sport and art enable us to express ourselves physically, emotionally and even intellectually, allowing us to connect and communicate with each other around the world, crossing borders, cultures, languages and generations”. Art, like sport, is an example, a creative gesture, a message. With this in mind, Rebirth in Basketball represents and communicates peace, responsibility and sustainability through the passage from a work of art signed by an artist to a collective artwork signed by all.
Michelangelo Pistoletto himself has commented on the parallel between art and basketball: “The symbol of the Third Paradise is like a basketball court. – he said – The two external circles are the two basketball hoops, the central circle is the playing ground. The side circles of the symbol alternatively represent all the existing differences and contrasts. The central circle represents the creation that occurs in the interaction between opposites: the two teams create together by playing in the court that divides them. The basketball ball itself, as sphere, is a symbol of chance that a person or team tries to lead towards their goal, to achieve victory. This is the competition. The word ‘compete’ comes from Latin and means to go, to go towards. In sport, therefore, competing doesn’t mean waging war, but expressing the maximum capacity to achieve success. The victory of a basketball team is the success of basketball itself, just like any other sport. Every victory – concluded the Biellese artist – is a progress that is brought to sport and at the same time to the whole society”.