Spaces change in the name of art

A cycle of educational meetings has begun in Milan, Auditorium San Fedele – since some days. The title is “Milan: A city that changes. Travelling to discover the city’s symbols” organized by the Italian Touring Club.

Touring Club Conferenza Riunione San Fedele Milano

The meeting – entitled “Spaces change in the name of art” – occurred during this important occasion of information sharing. Here, some important personalities came bringing their own wealth of experience: Carolina Orsini, keeper of the archeological and ethnographical collection of Museo delle CultureGiovanna Amadasi, the person in charge of the cultural and institutional projects of Pirelli HangarBicocca and Barbara Roncari that works for Fondazione Nicola Trussardi.

Even if the three Milanese institutions used different methods, they managed to recover some industrial areas.

The number of industrial buildings transformed into museums or art galleries is bigger and bigger. We are dealing with an architectural phenomenon that depicts the city within a reality that is more dynamic and culturalThis was the central idea of the congress.

Breda Pirelli HangarBicocca Milano Museo Fabbrica vecchio edificio
Ph credit: Pirelli Hangar Bicocca

Mudec, acronym of Museo delle culture, is “an area that had a very long gestation before having been inaugurated in 2015” said Carolina Orsini. It was born in order to permit the exhibition of civic collections that previously were on Castello Sforzesco’s responsibility and that had been damaged cause of a bombardment during the 2nd world war. The creation of this museum gives birth to a cultural explosion (we could define it also as a fashionable one) in the area of Tortona, previously occupied by the Ansaldo factory.

The permanent collection has been made according to the contemporary museography. It includes an organized and planned structure that explains acquisition’s chronology of this heritage so heterogeneous cause of its origin. Moreover, it also reflects on the reasons for which it came to Milan. The museum’s particularity is surely the hall’s covering that the aficionados nicknamed “Lantern”. It is made up of a group of free geometric pattern designed by David Chipperfield. This was a very smart idea because it represents a real square, the same square missing in Savona road. It could be interesting the visit of the warehouses since they opened (booking required).

MUDEC Museo delle culture Milano Museo Visitatore Arte Ansaldo
Visitatrice al Mudec – Visitor at Mudec. Ph credit: Federica Taddeo.
Lanterna Mudec Hall Geometrie Astratto Linee
Movimenti Astratti, Lanterna del Mudec – Ph credit: Federica Taddeo

Pirelli HangarBicocca is a wonderful 15000 m2 wide area (almost near Sesto San Giovanni-Milan) strictly linked to contemporary art research with 10000 m2 of expositive areas. As Giovanna Amadasi said, this cultural project that was born in 2004, is completely supported by Pirelli. It’s a project having both great importance and social responsibility (artists do not have to support the tire company at all).

The person in charge showed us the introductive video where there is Vicente Tolodì, current artistic director of the space (ex-director of the Tate Modern – London, it previously was an industrial area too) showing one of the guidelines of this project: “We do not want to transform it into a white cube in the name of art but we want to maintain its industrial identity”.

HangarBicocca maintains his authentic nature of industrial area since it has been a factory of Breda and later bought by Pirelli. We also can mention Sched, a characteristic industrial building with the original lightings where usually there is the exposition of the artworks of the youngest artists. Moreover, there is also Cubo that has a natural lightning.

Exhibitions are all free and original and the visitors are within the project; there are a lot of educational set ups both though the distribution of free flyers and the interaction of very kind cultural mediators. They often offer a reflection to the spectator. In this area, the exhibitions cannot be only visited but they have to be crossed and lived.

Pirelli HangarBicocca Milano Archeologia industriale conteporary art Arte contemporanea scultura
Esterno Pirelli HangarBicocca.
Ph Credit: Milano Eventi

Fondazione Nicola Trussardi has an itinerant path. It was born in 1996 thanks to Nicola Trussardi and it aims to spread the contemporary culture through temporary events. They are often organized in abandoned buildings that has been lately restored, making them available to the community.

Paola Pivi Milano Stazione Porta Genova Contemporary Art Fondazione Trussardi
Vecchi Magazzini, Stazione di Porta Genova, Milan November 14 – December 10, 2006
Caserma XXIV Maggio, Milan
November 13 – December 16, 2012
Ph credit: Fondazione Nicola Trussardi

World famous artists has been taking part in this event. The exhibitions of Fondazione are free and there are very flexible opening times in order to permit to a major number of people to have a discussion with art.

There were other Milanese events organized in the past such as: “My religion is kindness. Thank you, see you in the future) of Paola Pivi in the old warehouses of the Porta Genova station and Caserma XXIV Maggio hosting “Cyprien Gaillard. Rubble and revelation”. I hope that it will be some new proposal for the old abandoned industrial area.

A heartfelt thanks to the Italian Touring Club for this interesting and erudite initiative.

Federica Taddeo.

Translated by Andrea Consalvi.