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HOME | Visual Arts | Liliana Moro / Piero Gilardi / Emilio Fantin

Liliana Moro / Piero Gilardi / Emilio Fantin

Master Artists:
Liliana Moro, the ‘Lazzaro Palazzi’ artist-run space and the magazine ‘Tiracorrendo’
Piero Gilardi, ‘Political Theatre’ and the ‘PAV’/Living Arts Park
Emilio Fantin, the ‘Oreste’ Project

The organisations taking part together offer a concise national mapping of those spaces run independently by artists or artists’ collectives:

‘Diogene Bivacco Urbano’, Turin

‘Gum Studio’, Turin

‘DNA Projectbox’, Venice

‘Lucie Fontaine’, Milan

‘Bocs box of contemporary space’, Catania

‘Gruppo Radici’, Albertina Academy of Fine Arts, Turin

For the year 2012, we decided to organise the various contributions and meetings in-house, with the aim of analysing a key aspect of many artists’ biographies, especially those on the contemporary scene: that of creative collaboration projects. This practice, very common in much relational art, has often led to examples of delocalisation and hybridisation, thus generating countless examples of creative collectives, groups or interactions with the social arena that have profoundly modified and innovated the arts scene.

The mapping of such a phenomenon is complex and evanescent, but it is for this very reason that we decided to dedicate a number of meetings and workshops to it in order to shed light on various important aspects. Therefore, it is by virtue of the diverse characteristics of each experiment that we organised a series of seminars around the workshop in keeping with our mission. The aim is to provide an articulate range of approaches, focusing mainly on those most directly operative ones, accompanying them up with accounts of memorable past events and significant case histories.

The highlight of the whole year will be the workshop with Tim Rollins & the Kos, to be held between 22 October and 4 November 2012 adopting the usual formula (i.e. held over a long period with space for project interaction etc.). The story of the Kos and of its innovative practices also allows for a highly experimental approach, one of real creative collaboration with ‘other’ members of the professional artistic environment, with the main focus being on the ‘social’ use of the arts.

A similar yet more sectoral example is to be found in the story of Lazzaro Palazzi, a space self-managed by artists and for many years a key reference point for the horizontal organisation of creativity. This space will be discussed with Liliana Moro, one of the founders of the group, telling the story of Lazzaro Palazzi and its theoretical foundations. The same synthetic historical  approach will be adopted for the presentation by Emilio Fantin, founder of Oreste. And despite the great period to be covered, Piero Gilardi will be allotted a similar length of time for a presentation on his own work, from his political theatre days right up to the foundation of the PAV (the Living Arts Park).

As may be seen, these are just some of the many elements that go to make up the diversions from everyday artistic practices. Other meetings and small conferences are already in the pipeline, thus allowing us over time to obtain an ever more detailed mapping of the phenomenon. As for the potential ‘users’ of these events and workshops, we are interested in opening them up to other subjects in the field, such as groups of artists, collectives, collaboration projects, as well as artists with clearly similar vocations, as well as those undertaking new and relevant social experimentation projects operating along the same lines.

Liliana Moro
Born in 1961 in Milan, where she lives and works. She was among the founders of the space in via Lazzaro Palazzi in Milan, and one of the editors of the magazine Tiracorrendo. She has exhibited her work in a great range of major venues and events from Documenta in Kassel (1992) to the Venice Biennale (Aperto, 1993), to the Institute for Contemporary Arts in London (Made in Italy, 1997). Her works may be found in many important collections: that of Rivoli Castle, the Pecci Museum in Prato, and the Fonds National pour l'Arte Contemporain in Paris.

One of the key elements in Liliana Moro’s artistic research is the political dimension, not in terms of the presentation of contents, but which is expressed through the relationship with the public: for example she often lays her work out on the ground with the implicit intent of asking onlookers to bend down in order to see it.

Interview with Liliana Moro

G. C. In 1989, together with other young artists living in Milan, you breathed life into the exhibition space in via Lazzaro Palazzi as well as the magazine ‘Tiracorrendo’, the pages of which were often home to fierce debate...

L. M. There were nine of us artists who in 1989 decided to open up this space, which was for all intents and purposes a gallery. It was never looked upon as an alternative space; we never tried to work on the fringes of the system: if anything, we wanted to work on it from the inside. That same year, some of the Via Palazzi artists founded ‘Tiracorrendo’, a little self-financed magazine which was then sent throughout Italy. I was not part of the original editing group, but later on I began to make the odd appearance. It was an important magazine insofar as it was written by artists themselves: you could find their opinions and reviews of the exhibitions they had visited. External artists were then called upon to take part both with contributions to the magazine and with displays inside the gallery. And so it was a frenetic activity, and we staged one exhibition a month for four years, from 1989 until 1993, the year it closed. It was a very important and very positive experience.

(From ART IN THEORY, A conversation in Liliana Moro’s studio. By Giorgia Calò. Milan, 31st January 2007, 11am).

Emilio Fantin

Emilio Fantin (Bassano del Grappa, 22nd May 1954) is an Italian artist. In 1991 he performed his earliest experimental artistic events, designed to explore and valorise the reciprocal relationships between art and its audience, the audience and the artist, artists and other artists, and in general between all the various members of the art system.

He has organised a range of different events and performances as well as a number of videos, and he has collaborated on and shared projects with many members of the Italian artistic panorama.

In 1994 in Bologna, he shared a studio with other artists (Francesco Berardi, Gianni Godsan and Eva Marisaldi), known as ’L’atelier senza pennelli – La Casa Mentale’, which also became a point of reference for young Bolognese artists.

In 2003 he took part in the exhibition Arte Pubblica in Italia: lo spazio delle rivelazioni curated by Anna Detheridge at the Cittadellarte_Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella.

In early 2000, Fantin created spaces and situations in which he invited others to share the non-geographical area of sleep and dreams in the work ‘Astrale’, an area in which intense dynamics of encounter and exchange are generated, however much ignored or overlooked by science and other typically ‘daytime’ forms of knowledge.

The artist then went on to organise workshops on the relationship between art and nature, designing nature trails and coming up with works functional to the re-appraisal of green areas in order to reinstate the bond between man and the natural world. An example of this is given in the collective works and the other projects undertaken as part of ‘Percorsi Arte e Natura’: in 2010 he designed the Pollaio Smeraldi in the park surrounding Villa Smeraldi in Bologna, and in 2011 in the same park, the artist headed the creation of a series of activities aimed at producing handmade works with both great aesthetic value and practical use in order to improve the park as a whole, especially the children’s area.

Piero Gilardi

Born in Turin in 1942, he made his artistic debut in 1960 with his ‘nature carpets’ which were to place him on the international stage. He was among the founders of the Arte Povera movement, of which he espoused the fundamental principle (the relationship between art and life), spending the following decade in the field of collective creativity, from his psychiatric studios to his political and anthropological theatre.

From 1968 and throughout the ‘70s, his artistic activity was coupled with his political militancy in various forms of the so-called Nuova Sinistra, while embracing artistic movements of collective and spontaneous creativity, operating in various social environments, to which he contributed in terms of grassroots cultural activity. In 1969, he set out on a long trans-cultural experience aimed at the theoretical analysis and practice of the ‘art/life’ coupling. As a political militant and cultural youth leader, he headed a great number of collective creativity experiences in out-lying urban districts as well as in Nicaragua, the US Indian Reserves and Africa.

In 2008 the PAV – Centro sperimentale d’arte contemporanea (Experimentation Centre for Contemporary Arts) was opened in Turin, based on an idea by the artist and developed together with the landscape architect Gianluca Cosmacini. The centre is many different things at the same time: a public space in a transforming city, an open-air exhibition venue, an interactive museum, a meeting place and home to workshop experiences, and a research centre mindful of the interplay between art and nature, between biotechnologies and ecology, and between the public and the artist. The PAV also houses the interactive installation Bioma.

For the cycle entitled Fuoriluogo 2008, Piero Gilardi was invited by Connecting Cultures to present the PAV project: the Parco d’Arte Vivente (Living Arts Park) was founded in Turin, in an unused industrial area which until the ‘90s was home to a flourishing light-engineering industry.

During this latest transformation, the park area has been abandoned to itself, a terrain vague, a suspended space which it was said would soon host a play park. On this transitory piece of land, a wild area in a certain sense, used as a rubble dump by local building firms, this ‘Third Landscape’ – according to the definition used by Gilles Clément – has become a temporary place complete with its own sense of vitality. A space tending towards an unprecedented transformation which has become the object of negotiations between a range of different actors, with the aim of creating an Art Park instead of the previously planned play park.

Liliana Moro / Piero Gilardi / Emilio Fantin

Photogallery Corso