Michelangelo Pistoletto “Mirrors and Reflections” at The Italian Cultural Institute and Italian Embassy, Berlin
Like hardly any other artist of his generation, Michelangelo Pistoletto symbolizes the cultural revolutionary type of artist and has propagated social and ecological change with his aesthetic strategies, works and theoretical writings for over five decades. 40 years after his first exhibition in Berlin in 1978 as a fellow of the DAAD Artist Program, the artist has returned with a selection of works to the German capital by invitation of the Italian Cultural Institute and the Italian Embassy Berlin.
The key oeuvres of his body of work: Terzo Paradiso – a site-specific installation, Venere degli stracci (Venus of the Rags), Love Difference – Mar Mediterraneo, Quadri specchianti (mirror images).
Michelangelo Pistoletto’s more recent works are the result of a collaborative process of networking, cooperation and interaction between various actors of social life. “In order to create something, one must be a twosome” was the title of one of his works in 1974 and refers not only to the viewer’s engagement with the mirror, but also to the invitation created in Pistoletto’s works to actively interfere in what is emerging, to contribute ideas and thus to become part of a work of art. After the turn of the century, this participatory approach led the artist to his most recent and still ongoing creative phase, the current body of work named Terzo Paradiso.
Based on Terzo Paradiso Manifesto, released in 2003, this body of work is constantly evolving. In it’s center the union if nature and art.
In his Cittadellarte Foundation in Biella (Piemont), Michelangelo Pistoletto gave this utopia its first permanent symbol with an infinity sign expanded to include three bows. Since then, it has travelled the world in multiple forms and has been realized in various locations in different versions, e.g. 2010 as a land-art project of 160 olive trees in Assisi, Italy; 2013 in Paris on the glass pyramid of the Louvre; 2014, as a monumental installation in public space, on the sea, off the coast of Havana with numerous fishing boats; 2015 and on the United Nations Square in Geneva 2015.
The site-specific formulation of this project for the Berlin exhibition will take into account the historical surroundings of the Tiergarten Embassy Building: Here, the Terzo Paradiso three-part loop is created from the cobblestone pavement that marks the former site of the Berlin Wall in today’s reunited capital. Stone by stone, a unique work of art that is emblematic of Pistoletto and that is both new and temporary, is created.
The other works exhibited in Berlin include, among others, an icon of the Art Povera, Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Venere degli stracci (venus in rags), his Quadri specchianti (mirror images) and the 2005 installation Love Difference – Mar Mediterraneo
The exhibition at the Italian Cultural Institute connects major works from the artist’s various creative periods: from Arte Povera in the 1960s to current works with the projects of the Cittadellarte culture and think tank founded in 1998. The series of events in Berlin include conversations with the artist and discussions with the publicist and art historian Nike Bätzner and Georg W. Bertram, a professor of philosophy at Freie Universität Berlin, as well as the Berlin premiere of the documentary Michelangelo Pistoletto by Italian filmmaker Daniele Segre complete the exhibition.
at The Italian Cultural Institute, Berlin
until 29 September 2018