Com’è viva la Città – Art & the City 1913-2014
VILLA OLMO - COMO
Com’è viva la Città
Art & the City 1913-2014
“Com’è viva la città” ( “How alive is the city”) is the third exhibition of the trilogy on the theme of the city, initiated by the Culture Councillor Luigi Cavadini. The first was in 2013, La Città nuova oltre Sant’Elia [The New City beyond Sant’Elia], curated by Marco De Michelis, which above all showed visitors the Utopian visions of modern and contemporary art, followed in 2014 by “Ritratti di Città” [Portraits of the City] by Flaminio Gualdoni, which set out particularly to show modern representations of the city.
The current exhibition, Com’è viva la città, curated by Giacinto Di Pietrantonio, takes its title from a famous song of 1969 by the Italian singer and performer Giorgio Gaber, and is a study more of the city dwellers themselves than the city’s architecture, though this is not overlooked. It reflects more on the representatives that the represented, in short the actual life of the city. In almost all the works on display, which are mostly contemporary, the images are of people and where these are physically absent their presence is nevertheless evoked by spaces, things and indicators of lifestyles. Com’è viva la città does not bring to the visitor the city as a single organism, as a designed and planned entity, represented and representable, but it peers into its heart and into its inner vitality. The city is no longer the “Promised Land” of the futurists, or of any other avant-garde movement, but is seen as a complex and multifaceted entity. It is no longer the city with a centre but a city with several centres and one which has undergone all sorts of transformations due to the fact that we immersed in a society that is a performance, Debord, on communication, McLuhan, liquid, Bauman, on the non-places, Augé, on the culture industry, Morin, on conflict, and that also of Morelli. It is these new realities that have to be reckoned with at this event. We decided to divide the exhibition into sections, namely Transportation, Leisure, Sport, Street, Destruction, Events, Trade and Markets, Emblems and Interiors. In this way, the story of the city is told not just as that of a place, nor even of a non-place, but as a “pluri-place”, a places place. A multiple place is narrated on a human scale. Com’è viva la città, it’s the city’s aesthetics and its activity, it speaks about us, about you, and about the city as it is manifest in the daily actions of its inhabitants. It is an exhibition that talks of the people that are the city, rather than the city itself. For this reason we have selected works that represent their representation, portraits of their being in the city that is the citizenship that it comprises.