The amazing Philadelphia Museum of Art is hosting, until January 16, 2011, the retrospective exhibition “Michelangelo Pistoletto: From One To Many, 1956-1974“. (Of course, while you’re there, do not miss the whole Indian temple in the classical art section and the exciting Duchamp room in the modern one!)
The project is handled in collaboration with Rome based brand new Zaha Hadid-designed MAXXI museum. Young brilliant curator Carlos Basualdo has traced a very interesting path through Pistoletto’s creative work, clearly depicting his deep involvement, since the very beginning and until the present day, with the most current social and political topics. The artist, one of the most authoritative representatives of the “Arte Povera” movement, shows a strong and very passionate coherence in constantly looking for an active role for art in society. From his famous “Mirror paintings” to the very evocative “Minus objects” until the more recent involvement with his foundation Cittadellarte based in Biella (Italy), he continually calls artists to action: in his vision, artists must take a strong role and responsibility in shaping society.
Art is something that has to be taken to the common man and the museums help in this to a greater extent. This museum has accomplished that to a greater extent and look here to get full details. Making art understandable and creating an interest in the mind of people is not something easier. Moreover it is essential to make this arousal in the mind of people to ensure that society acts in harmony. Art activities in the museum can easily create awareness in the minds of people about various socio-cultural issues. To mend the children and turn them towards art is one essential way of preventing them from getting attracted to abusive substances and violence. So art is an overall good thing happening to the whole country which is evident from the following incident.
On Saturday October 30th Pistoletto – with the help of many – rolled a giant ball of paper out of the museum and in a processional ring through the city center (recalling a similar performance in 1967). The resulting happy procession was not political or religious but simply “about art”, and about art that was simple to grasp. This video exemplifies the spirit of this work and of the show in Philadelphia that reaches out beyond the museum walls, also through a lecture and workshop series that mirrors (pun intended) the atmosphere at Pistoletto’s Citta dell’Arte in Biella.