Street Art and Urban Art public project in the squares and courtyards of the city of Como. Contemporary artists will fill the city with sculptures and urban installations in dialogue with the city’s public spaces.
Street Art & Urban Art
Curated by Chiara Canali and Ivan Quaroni
From 12th October to 17th November all the works from the eighth edition of StreetScape8, the Public Art project that proposes new “views” of the streets and glimpses of the city of Como through the intervention of contemporary artworks, will be on display in order to revitalise the artistic, historical, architectural and museum heritage of the city.
Every year StreetScape involves the participation of established and emerging contemporary artists on the Italian and international scene, who are invited to create artistic projects expressly made to engage with the squares and courtyards of the historic buildings, museums and cultural spaces in the historic centre of Como.
An exhibition designed as a widespread and polycentric display, with Urban artworks, installations and sculptures, as well as workshops and talks on the topics of creativity and art evolution.
In Piazza Duomo throughout the entire duration of StreetScape and in addition to the work of Gianni Pettena, the great sculpture by Christian Balzano entitled “Non è vero, ma ci credo” (It’s not true, but I believe it) will be displayed in collaboration with Casa d’Arte San Lorenzo. The work portrays a bull uncharacteristically lying on its back. Taurine symbolism, which in traditional cultures alludes to elemental and brute force, here takes on a new meaning and invites spectators to perform the ancient superstitious gesture of touching the attributes of the beast to avoid bad luck.
Francesco Garbelli, considered to be a true pioneer of Street Art and Urban Art, has made four works of Public Art in Como that redefine the theme of civil and road signage. At the public toilets of Como Lago Railway Station, he will affix a sign that, on the basis of the traditional man/woman gender distinction, reflects on the new and blurred boundaries of gender identity. In Piazza Volta, he will attach to a telephone box a sign that invites people to consider the planned obsolescence of mobile phones and, indirectly, of the human race that uses them. In Piazza Medaglie d’Oro, there will be a road sign that reminds humanity how climate change could cause the explosion of the planet within 12 years’ time, and the street sign “Operazione Zebra” (Zebra Project) consisting of the graphic design of a pedestrian crossing manipulated on a three-dimensional scale on a work in progress barrier.
The courtyard of the Municipality of Como will host the work “Plinio” by Enrico Pantani, a simple and stylised wooden model of a horse, presented for the first time in occasion of the exhibition “Foreste” (Forests) at the headquarters of Patrizia Pepe, in January 2018. His style is childish and deliberately clumsy, synthetic and ungainly. The wooden sculptures focus on an ideal form of the animal, with elements that are repeated from one subject to another, constructing a figurative syntax similar to that of cave paintings.
The following work in corten steel concludes the exhibition: “Il merlo ha perso il becco/Digiunare sull’erba” by Icio Borghi at the Chiostrino Artificio. An anthropomorphized blackbird, of human size, is sitting somewhat hidden in a city courtyard. The work is a result of an initial divertissement on paper by the artist who designed a motionless blackbird, thrilled by the disappearance of its beak. In fact, in the sculpture, instead of a beak there is an empty triangle.
List of Artists and Locations
1. Ugo La Pietra - Campo Quadro, Pinacoteca Civica (Como Art Museum)
2. Gianni Pettena - Piazza Duomo (Work exhibited only on 19th October 2019)
3. Christian Balzano - Piazza Duomo
4. Francesco Garbelli - Piazza Volta, public toilets of Como Lago Railway Station, Piazza Medaglie d’Oro
5. Enrico Pantani - The courtyard of the Municipality of Como
6. Icio Borghi - Chiostrino Artificio
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In this eighth edition, StreetScape celebrates 50 years of the exhibition-event “CAMPO URBANO, interventi estetici nella dimensione collettiva urbana” (URBAN FIELD, aesthetic interventions in a collective urban dimension), curated by Luciano Caramel, which took place in the historic centre of Como on 21st September 1969 and which involved a variety of creatives from various disciplines including Bruno Munari, Ugo La Pietra, Enrico Baj, Gianni Colombo, Gianni Pettena, Giuliano Collina, Dadamaino and Ugo Mulas.
The event was born from the need to bring the artist into direct contact with the community of an urban centre, with the spaces in which they live every day, with their habits and needs, giving the artist the possibility to express themselves fully and thus with greater productive potential.
Just like the aim of “CAMPO URBANO”, to bring the reflection of art, architecture, design and music to the public through radical, participatory interventions involving citizens, is inserted in the tradition of “CAMPO URBANO” to reactivate a dialogue between art and citizenship and question the public in its public dimension, so will StreetScape bring art outside of the museums and the normal ways of viewing the works and instead display them in the squares and open spaces of the city 50 years later.
IN MEMORY OF “CAMPO URBANO”
In memory of 50 years of this historic event, StreetScape8, in collaboration with the Municipality of Como and the Galleria Ca' di Fra' of Milan, will be exhibiting a new work that will be displayed in the Campo Quadro area of the Pinacoteca Civica (Como Art Museum) and which was specially created by one of the stars of Campo Urbano: Ugo La Pietra. The installation consists of two photomontages that compare the artist’s intervention in the pedestrian area of Como on the occasion of the 1969 exhibition with his analysis of the pedestrian area of Milan, via Paolo Sarpi, used today for loading and unloading wholesale market goods. The comparison is also presented with works that allude to urban living with the title ‘Abitare è essere ovunque a casa propria’ (‘Living is being at home everywhere’).
According to Ugo La Pietra, space is public because it belongs to everyone who inhabits it and inhabiting means leaving traces of one’s own existence, knowing limitations, interacting and familiarising oneself with them, tracing them, shaping them and modifying them, loading them with meaning, and processing their unexpected uses. Living is thus an act of continuous creation and manipulation of spaces. The work will be on display in the Campo Quadro area from 21st September to 17th November.
Together with the work of Ugo La Pietra, which will only be exhibited on 19th October, the work entitled “Laundry” by another star of Campo Urbano, Gianni Pettena, will be relaunched. On 21st September 1969, Pettena laid out laundry in Piazza Duomo, with which he intended to emphasize the difference between living and the appearance of a city. The clothes-lines of clothes washed and laid out to dry in the main square of the city, making fun of the static nature of this context, instead told the city in its evolution, in its daily life, in the freshness of life, that they remembered that the places of official standing are above all spaces of the ostentation of power, but also of social contrasts and marginalisation.
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