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Cycle of seminars "Arte come..."

“Arte come...” is a cycle of virtual seminars carried out in the first semester of 2021, when we were part of the Student Council of the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples.

The project aimed to re-bring to attention the dynamics of complexity as a condition capable of fostering a collective awareness regarding the macrodimension of art, a world containing within itself so many interconnected and sometimes even seemingly contradictory variables.

There were three seminars, characterized by a different theme and composed half of the time by discussion with the studentsə.

First seminar:

Art as... social, journey between oppression and liberation

What generates the sense of oppression in our society today? And what can we do to re-find a sense of liberation? We live in a culture that imposes itself, from the school system to advertising campaigns of all kinds, to recreate a form of homologation, of our actions and the way we live, based on an idea of taste that has its center in the industrial comforts of society.

The meeting places at the center of the dialogue the awareness we can gain from recognizing this state of oppression and how it can help to change that condition.

From the fear generated by oppression we have the task of balancing a creative force that makes possible the vision of a new reality, one that is not static but practical.

Art, in the sense of a tool for liberation, fosters a constant reshaping of reality, a fantastical re-construction, re-discussing certain social constructions. By placing itself at the center as (a) possibility, thus as a witness, it can generate awareness of a state of oppression, becoming a fundamental key to a dialogue on the educational and re-creative relationship of social and cultural identity.

Invited experts:

Donella Di Marzio

Rosaria Iazzetta

Paolo Vittoria

Second seminar:

Art as... uninhabiting, a journey through goods and monuments

What does it mean to inhabit a space? When can we speak of a cultural asset or monument? In the contemporary urban context we find ourselves surrounded by goods and/or monuments that determine our perception of history and space.

History imposes itself as an inescapable element moving away from individual narratives and narrating an equally valid but unspoken reality.

Cultural goods often experience special and contradictory conditions; this is the case with monuments, which as historical testimony become the voice of a collective memory that represents a standardization of information.

The difference between collective and individual memory lies in the difficulty of recognizing ourselves in a historical portrait that does not belong to us. To make ourselves an integral part of the cultural narrative through the gesture of uninhabiting becomes, thus, a possibility to reappropriate a reality, our own, and to be able to re-inhabit a place.

Who decides what becomes history and what is omitted? What does a monument say, but more importantly what doesn't say? The statue of Indro Montanelli placed in Milan's public gardens in 2006, for example, represents a contradictory condition on which we can start a reflection. The monument has already lived through three moments in which it has been the "protagonist" of defacements because of the character's colonialist past and his failure to narrate it in sculpture.

Art therefore can pose itself as a mediating tool to uninhabit a place, a monument and/or an asset as a means of change to re-inhabit the uninhabited, to resemantize space; to redefine the concept of collective memory that recognizes an individuality.

Invited experts:

Federica De Rosa

Giulia Grechi

Donato Maniello

Third seminar:

Art as... decolonizing, from museum practice to the infra-ordinary everyday.

In social reality, especially in Italy, we live a relationship with colonialism that seems to be so distant that it does not belong to us, extremely contradictory. Yet in our daily lives we are constantly dealing with a colonialist past that lingers on and becomes normality, becoming part of seemingly inoffensive practices.

The role of art, by creating diverse imaginaries in a collectivity, can generate a flow of exchanges, open up new uncertainties about certain beliefs that accompany us; to doubt them and put them into circulation, open the gaze and foster a widespread global resemantization.

Invited experts:

Viviana Gravano

Maria Thereza Alves

Mario Panico


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