In 1994, Michelangelo Pistoletto chose Pistoia to present Progetto Arte, a utopian project that was later carried out in Biella with Cittadellarte. Almost thirty years later, on the occasion of his eighty-ninth birthday, the artist returns to the Tuscan city for the opening of PISTOLETTO PISTOIA. Constellation: 5 steps between creation and memory, an exhibition organised by Pistoia Musei in collaboration with Cittadellarte and curated by Monica Preti (director of Pistoia Musei), which will occupy city’s buildings and public places from 25 June to 25 September 2022.
A lasting bond between Pistoletto and Pistoia, celebrated by Pistoletto’s choice to collaborate with the young museum network of Pistoia Musei, considered fertile ground for activating a reflective and propositional artistic action; a constellation exhibition capable of activating processes of social change, creating connections, and recovering the historical relationship between the city and the surrounding territory.
The exhibition features some of Pistoletto’s most iconic works – such as the Venus of Rags, Love Difference-Mediterranean Sea, The Time of Judgement (Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism), the Third Paradise, Art-Sign Door, Sphere of Newspapers – alongside new ones created specifically for this project, located in buildings of historical and identity value in the city: the Ancient Bishops’ Palace, the Church of San Leone, the Fabroniana Library, the Museum of the 20th Century and the Contemporary at Palazzo Fabroni, the Pistoia Mountains Astronomic Observatory. A project that presents itself as a constellation exhibition and, by carrying out actions throughout the city and its territory, points the way to a redefinition of the urban and social fabric. A path further highlighted by the performance that the artist will stage today – Thursday 23 June – to mark the opening of the exhibition, when he will roll the Sphere of Newspapers from Palazzo Comunale to Palazzo Fabroni, the building that in 1994 hosted his exhibition The Doors of Palazzo Fabroni and that will display the work for the entire duration of the exhibition.
The press conference presenting the exhibition.
From the left: Lorenzo Zogheri (President of Fondazione Caript), Monica Preti (Director of Pistoia Musei) and Michelangelo Pistoletto.
The making of the Third Paradise
PISTOLETTO PISTOIA. Constellation: 5 steps between creation and memory expands beyond the city’s borders: in addition to the works on display at the Pistoia Mountains Astronomical Observatory, the project includes the creation of a Third Paradise in the Valdinievole area, near the Padule di Fucecchio nature reserve. On this occasion, the collective work will be done by members of Intrecci Onlus, an association based in Castelmartini, coordinated by Saverio Teruzzi for Cittadellarte and Alessio Bertini for Pistoia Musei, by practising the ancient art of weaving marsh grasses and telling stories, stitching together memories. The work, which the community donates to itself, is intended to strengthen the identity of the territory and encourage the future generations to forge alliances of peace.
The meeting with Pistoletto and Tonelli
Tomorrow, at 6.30 p.m., within the framework of the exhibition project, the Pistoia Mountains Astronomical Observatory in Pian dei Termini will host two events organised with the Municipality of San Marcello Piteglio, Pistoia Musei – the museum system created by the Caript Foundation – and Pistoia Mountains Astrophile Group: the conference The Origin of the Universe and the unveiling of Michelangelo Pistoletto’s works Blackboard of the Third Paradise and Self-portrait of Stars. Michelangelo Pistoletto and CERN senior scientist Guido Tonelli will discuss the origin of the universe in a debate moderated by Emanuele Montibeller, president and founder of Arte Sella, a cultural association that combines contemporary art and nature. A reproduction of Self-portrait of Stars will welcome visitors at the entrance, while displayed in the conference hall will be the Blackboard of the Third Paradise, a blackboard that recounts the origin of the universe according to Michelangelo Pistoletto.
The Public Program
In parallel with the exhibition PISTOLETTO PISTOIA. Constellation: 5 steps between creation and memory, Pistoia Musei offers a rich Public Program for adults, youths and children: two-hour guided tours for youths and adults on Thursday 7 and 21 July, Thursday 4 and 25 August, Thursday 15 and 22 September at 6 pm (tickets are 10 euros); and a Campus for children between the ages of 7 and 11 from 5 to 9 September from 9.30 am to 1 pm. Dates and details of all the activities open to the public can be found on pistoiamusei.it, where they can also be booked.