Michelangelo Pistoletto’s practice developed in tandem with his concern for responsible and sustainable social transformation. His foundation, Cittadellarte, was established as a place for nurturing both art and social interaction. For this conversation, he will be in dialogue with Cittadellarte’s director, Paolo Naldini, about the concept of the Third Paradise and the meaning of the trinamic formula 1 + 1 = 3. This talk also marks the launch of the ‘1 and 1 makes three | Third Paradise Award’ in support of Switzerland for UNHCR.
Presented in collaboration with: Cittadellarte; Centre des arts – Ecolint; Switzerland for UNHCR; and ASMI – Art with Social Measurable Impact Association.
Michelangelo Pistoletto, artist, Biella
Paolo Naldini, Director, Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella
Manuel Fadat, curator and art historian
Michelangelo Pistoletto (b.1933, Biella) is an artist based in Biella. In his early works he focuses on the inquiry of self-portraiture which lead him to create his first Mirror Paintings, that directly include the viewer and real time in the work and are the foundation of his subsequent artistic output and theoretical thought. These works quickly brought Pistoletto international acclaim, leading, in the sixties, to one-man shows in important galleries and museums in Europe and the United States.
Pistoletto was a protagonist of the art movement Art Povera, and from 1967 he began to work outside traditional exhibition spaces and through ‘creative collaboration’ over the following decades by bringing together artists from different disciplines and sectors of society.
With Project Art and with the creation in Biella of Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto and the University of Ideas, he brought art into active relation with society with the aim of inspiring and producing responsible social change.
He is recipient of numerous awards and degree honoris such as the laurea Honoris causa in Political Science (2004, University of Turin), Wolf Foundation Prize in the Arts (Jerusalem), the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifelong Achievement, the Praemium Imperiale for painting (Tokyo), a degree honoris from the Universidad de las Artes (Havana, Cuba), among others. His essay The Third Paradise (2010), was published in Italian, English, French and German.
Paolo Naldini gained experienced in the financial sector both in Italy and in the UK as account officer. Since 2000, he has been involved in creating and managing Michelangelo Pistoletto’s foundation, together with Cittadellarte’s (the Foundation’s “stage name”) extended family of about fifty people. Within the Foundation he covers the role of general director, besides being a board member. Naldini collaborates in the conception and management not only of the administrative and strategic aspects of the Foundation, but also of its intellectual contents.
He has recently been working on the concept of ‘demopraxy’, a neologism he invented to indicate a tension towards a new and throbbing declination of the concept of democracy along the lines of concrete experimentation, direct involvement and an open and continuous working commitment through human practices. Demopraxy looks at what people do in the public space, what they carry out as an urgent and de-ideologized response to dispossession in all the fields of life.
He speaks at international conferences and seminars on the themes of art and culture, and writes for specialized and general publications.
Manuel Fadat is an art historian, art critic and independent exhibition curator and also works with the Oudeis team, which he joined in 2012. He is greatly interested in the question of social and political dimensions in contemporary art. He is a specialist in particular in the mutations in glass arts and the uses of glass in art. He teaches and writes and for the past few years has also run major projects with Ecolint, the International School of Geneva.
The Art Basel 2022 Conversations program is curated by Emily Butler.
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