The mayor of Palermo has conferred honorary citizenship upon Michelangelo Pistoletto
The artist from Biella has been granted honorary citizenship by the mayor of the capital of Sicily Leoluca Orlando. Here is the speech given by Michelangelo Pistoletto – moved by the acknowledgement – during the ceremony in the “Salone delle Danze” in Palazzo Sant'Elia.

Since last Saturday, Michelangelo Pistoletto has been a citizen of Palermo: in the context of “Palermo Italian Capital of Culture”, the mayor of the Sicilian capital Leoluca Orlando granted the artist from Biella with this honour in the course of a ceremony held around the “Love Difference” table, currently housed in the “Salone delle danze” in Palazzo Sant’Elia. Pistoletto’s installation, a mirror table in the shape of the Mediterranean Sea (surrounded by 23 chairs, representing every European, North African and West Asian country facing it), will accommodate most of the meetings in the programme of the cultural festival. During the ceremony, the mayor motivated the choice of the public administration and thanked the artist from Biella, who started by saying that he was “moved to say the least” by the honour.

“At this moment – said Pistoletto addressing the audience – I feel like many elements, many parts of life, and not only mine, are coming together. I’m thinking about the work I started in the ‘50s, when I began searching for my identity, eventually creating the mirror paintings and seeing spectators and society enter my work. I realized that the mirror is a book we have to learn to read, because that’s where we can find the writing of the whole society.

I therefore started studying it, – continued the artist from Biella – to extrapolate the essential elements of that reflected reality in an attempt to understand it, and I also started operating so as to bring what I understood from the mirror into reality itself. This reality leads to this table, which is in turn a reality in itself: we are in fact all here, right now. We have previously discussed about issues that could be analysed around an abstract or square or round table… but this is the “Mediterranean Table”, and talking about the Mediterranean around this work means taking on serious commitments in the eyes of ourselves: we are all witnessing what we are experiencing and doing. This is the table of our testimony, of the activity stemmed from this testimony of ours. We are therefore witnesses to a commitment to do something concretely, not only in theory or ideally. Today, this Mediterranean is a little example of a parliament”.

In his speech, Pistoletto then explained the meanings and values of the Third Paradise, in particular the concept of trinamics and the specifics of the Rebirth Day. He closed introducing the topics analysed in his last book “Ominitheism and Demopraxy” (ed. Chiarelettere).

The table “Love Difference” will be in Palazzo Sant’Elia until 10th January 2019, in a set-up curated by Paolo Falcone, artistic director of Fondazione Sambuca, entrusted with the work.