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Parole per la speranza

Project on the theme of urban outlying areas 2017

In June 2016, the MIBACT Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities – General Directorate for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Outskirts called on the Promotional Committee for the Italian Contemporary Art Foundations, of which the Fondazione Spinola Banna per l’Arte is part, to come up with and implement an original artistic and cultural project aimed at the reappraisal of urban outlying areas. The project also foresaw the involvement of students from the upper three years of secondary school, thus chiming in with projects promoted through the so-called ‘Buona Scuola’ reform.

The Fondazione Spinola Banna per l’Arte thus decided to come up with an artwork which might contribute to the artistic requalification of the outside wall of a building to be found in a suburban neighbourhood of Turin. Through their direct involvement, as workers, a group of teenagers living in the neighbourhood intends to promote the creation of an innovative work, one with a profound social significance, making it possible to foster civic integration and, at the same time, stimulate people’s sensitivity to beauty.

The project is modelled on the Viale dei Canti, the multimedia work which brought together a visual and a sound installation, staged by the Italian Institute of Culture of Paris in spring 2016, thanks to the support of the Fondazione Spinola Banna per l’arte. The Viale dei Canti, designed to bring back lustre to the Hotel de Galliffet, a historic venue of diplomatic representation, now accompanies visitors to the cultural institute along the wall leading to the entrance to the 18th-century palazzo on a permanent basis. The work is a mural graffito which re-evokes ancient Roman tombstones, three metres high and fifty metres long, created by the artist Giuseppe Caccavale, along with a number of students from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, through the carving of poetic texts onto a plaster base, and with the help of the ancient artistic technique of pouncing. The mural graffito was completed with a ‘sound mould’, i.e. a sound installation by the composer Stefano Gervasoni entitled Muro di canti, for electronic instruments, which may be heard through acoustic diffusors integrated into the wall itself.

As for the choice of place in which to carry out this work, as well as the selection of the young people to involve, the Fondazione was able to count on the support of the office of the MURARTE project of Turin City Council, which deals with public art projects and foresees the allocation of a number of wall surfaces for artistic interventions. The new project by the Fondazione Spinola Banna per l’arte, entitled Parole per la speranza, will thus consist in the implementation of a mural graffito applied to an outside wall of the gym of the Primo Liceo Artistico in Turin (around 360 m2) and which once again will involve the artist Giuseppe Caccavale on the visual side, who will work together with three classes from the Lyceum, and the composer Stefano Gervasoni for the musical element. The mural graffito will feature texts written by the participants, arising from their reading and interpretation of contemporary writers and poets, all linked to the city of Turin, starting from Natalia Ginzburg.

In this way, the aim is to directly involve the adolescents who live in the outlying areas, encouraging them to take care of the beauty of their neighbourhood. At the same time, care will be taken of their training, highlighting the importance of respect for urban decorum and their awareness of beauty, as well as of discipline and the meaning of teamwork. Even merely understanding the time necessary to carry out an artwork is believed to make the onlooker’s gaze more aware of what the various art forms have offered us over the centuries. Thus, the students themselves will be the real artists and crafts workers employed in the construction of the artwork, treating the wall surface, working on the graphics, on the reproduction of the text, and lastly as painters, called upon day after day to reproduce the words of great literature.

In this way, the Fondazione Spinola Banna per l’Arte responded to the invitation received from the MIBACT Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali – Direzione generale Arte e Architettura contemporanee e periferie urbane, for the implementation of a project on the theme of outlying urban areas, with the aim of providing a model which, in the light of its artistic value and that of social integration, may be replicated in any number of other Italian cities in order to foster the reappraisal of beauty, and thereby lead to positive developments in our suburban areas.

Giuseppe Caccavale

Giuseppe Caccavale was born in Afragola (S. Angelo in Formis, Naples) in 1960, and he now lives between Paris and Bari. An art professor in Art Mural Dessin et Poetique des Espaces at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, he left Italy after completing his studies, and over the course of his various moves around Europe, he learnt and experimented with various different techniques of ancient origins, such as frescoes, miniatures and glass engraving, bringing into his own works the evocations drawn from his encounter with different cultures, from Flemish art to Byzantine frescoes. A key element of his poetics is the force of the stroke, which serves as a bond between the so-called ‘greater’ and ‘lesser’ arts, and allows for the visual translation of poetic passages, giving body and imagery to words. The artist produces etchings, works on glass and wall frescoes. All his work revolves around the art of the stroke left on material which originates from the same gesture: that of the tip cutting into the surface. Caccavale’s works have been featured in solo shows in Italy at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in Venice and the Opificio Arte Contemporanea in Benevento, as well as abroad in the Musée Grobet-Labadié in Marseilles and the Vereninging voor het Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst in Gand, as well as having been included in a series of group shows. Caccavale’s exhibitions include those staged at the MAXXI in Rome (2002), at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in Venice (2006), at the Musée de Marseille, Chapelle de la Vieille Charité (2007), at the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica in Rome (2011), and he was also one of the 15 artists to have been invited by Vincenzo Trione for the Italian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. The artist has been featured in numerous publications: ‘Fresques-Affreschi’, with texts by Erri De Luca (2002), ‘Una calma Utopia’, with texts by Erri De Luca and Chiara Bertola (Ville de Marseille, Marseilles – Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice, 1999), and D'Après Tableaux (Artothèque Antonin Artaud, Marseilles, 1994).

Stefano Gervasoni

Stefano Gervasoni’s work (born in Bergamo, 1962) is characterised by his delicate expression and a fragile lyricism, conveyed by a rich and refined sound world. The transparency of his writing is constantly veiled by scarcely perceptible processes which gradually alter the initial sound image from within. He draws on a wide range of linguistic elements: modal structures, perfects chords, sound and Bruitist objects coupled with a great variety of performance techniques. Making a frequent use of citation, Stefano Gervasoni creates initiatory moments of associations and reminiscences that elude the logic of composition and create a distancing effect. From his allusions to jazz in ‘Godspell’, 2002, to Girolamo Frescobaldi in ‘Six lettres sur l'obscurité’, 2005-06; from the use of Fado in ‘Com que voz’ (2008) to the countless references to highbrow and extra-highbrow music in the work ‘Limbus-Limbo’, 2012, right up to the creation of a trans-figurative language, every reference or source of inspiration aiming at the pure expression of situations endowed with emotional tension (for example, we might recall here the cycle for vocal and instrumental ensemble ‘Dir - in dir’, 2004-11 and the concerto for violoncello ad orchestra, ‘Heur, leurre, Lueur’, 2013).
Stefano Gervasoni studied composition at the Verdi Conservatory in Milan with Luca Lombardi, Niccolò Castiglioni and Azio Corghi. His encounters with Brian Ferneyhough, Peter Eotvos and Helmut Lachenmann, as well as with Gerard Grisey and Heinz Holliger, proved decisive to his training. He has received commissions from the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the IRCAM, the Festival Archipel of Geneva, from Contrechamps, Klangforum Wien, the Ensemble Modern, the Festival d'Automne in Paris, Radio France, the WDR, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and the Berliner Biennale. Pensionnaire at the Villa Medici in Rome (1995-96), awarded grants from the Fondation des Treilles in Paris (1994) and from the DAAD in Berlin (2006), and composer in residence at the Domaine de Kerguéhennec for the period 2008- 2010, Stefano Gervasoni has taught composition at the CNSMDP in Paris since 2006. The musicologist Philippe Albèra dedicated a major book to the work of Stefano Gervasoni, entitled ‘Stefano Gervasoni. Le parti pris des sons’, published in December 2015 by Contrechamps in Geneva. The second in a series of three monographic CDs issued in October 2016 by the German label Winter & Winter followed the first (2014) dedicated to a vocal cycle (‘Dir - in dir’) and comes prior to a third which will feature a composition for voice, ensemble and live electronics entitled ‘Fado Errático’. The CD ‘Le Pré’ brings together the three sketches of a cycle for piano, and was supported by the MFA (Musique Française d'Aujourd'hui) and the Francis et Mica Salabert Foundation.

Parole per la speranza