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Some weeks ago in Chicago, for the fourth year, Art On Track took place: a huge mobile gallery on board of a CTA train, that circled in loop for five hours on september 17th to give the visitors a unique experience. Different artist customized each of the carriages, turning an everyday experience into something unusual: not just a boring trip on the way home, but a party of colors and original performances in the same place where we used to see the same grey routine. Every coach was a sort of pavilion where artists could show their works and ideas: someone turned the train into a cosy home, some others made up a fashion show and somebody else built a real garden, almost a jungle, in the small space of the carriage. This specific project, realized by noisivelvet is named  Mobile Garden. Covering the floor and all the seats with a carpet of green grass, the artists created a nice garden with indigenous plants and flowers spread in every corner of the track and hanging from the top.

This project was a sort of preview of the original one noisivelvet is currently trying to realize:
an open-air art installation of a native plant garden pulled behind the L line of Chicago subway for one month. Once tasted this appetizer, we cannot wait to see the big one.

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Image taken from urbanfields.wodpress.com

The New York Times recently published a list of the 41 things not to be missed during 2011. Between them there was also the new Museo del Novecento, in the very heart of Milan. So, some weeks ago, when we where traveling there, we decided to visit the museum, giving a chance to the world-renowned newspaper.
During this visit, we had the chance to see a temporary exhibition, organized in a hall of the museum and dedicated to the relationship between art and urban environment In Italy from 1968 to 1976. The exhibition is called FUORI! (Outside).

 

As the curators explain in the nice catalogue, around 1968 artists started to act outside galleries and museums, to face the real world and involve more and more people in their performances, installations and sculptures. While analyzing this movement, they especially focused on four historic events and exhibitions; in between them, Arte Povera + azioni povere, organized in 1968 in the old dockyard and in the streets of Amalfi, Campo Urbano, that took place in Como in 1969; Festival del Nouveau Réalisme, which happened the city of Milan in 1970, and Volterra 73 in the homonymous little town in tuscany during 1973.

Even if these events where different between each other in the specific interventions they presented, they all had a common line based on ephemeral performances happening in the streets of the cities, a sort of first step towards that feeling of appropriation that characterized the following years and the early seventies. One of the main goal was to create a closer relationship between artists and citizens, as well as to encourage people to participate to the life of their cities, as it was demanded by the social and political atmosphere of that time.
All of these events had basically an ephemeral soul, and that is why the exhibition prefers to tell this story with historical videos, pictures and slides. Visiting the exhibition, it was interesting to notice how what we are nowadays investigating has old and distant roots, also in our own country’s history.