Michelangelo Pistoletto exhibition in Belgrade from May 10

Preventive Peace is the title of an exhibition by renowned artist Michelangelo Pistoletto which will be staged at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade from May 10 to September 10.

“This is an opportunity to introduce one of the greatest living exponents of contemporary Italian art to the Serbian public. For the most part, works and canonical periods of Italian art, such as the Renaissance or the Baroque, have been showcased in Serbia, while contemporary art certainly deserves an in-depth study aimed at exploring the links and mutual influences between Italian and Yugoslav and then Serbian artists from the second half of the 20th century to date. This exhibition also fits into the series of events we have put together in 2024 to celebrate three anniversaries: 145 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, 15 years since the signing of the strategic partnership agreement between the two countries and 100 years since the groundbreaking ceremony that marked the construction of the Italian embassy building at 9, Bircaninova Street. Above all, Pistoletto is not an artist closed in his own inner world, but throughout his career he has always wanted to testify to the social role of art as much through the use of unusual materials (he is one of the exponents of the Arte Povera movement) as by thematizing and interpreting social and international tensions in various historical phases. Never before has the message of Pistoletto’s exhibition been so important, especially at such a delicate time for peace and security in Europe,” Italian Ambassador Luca Gori remarked in his speech.

The director of the Museo di Arte Contemporanea and the curator of the exhibition, Marijana Kolaric, highlighted Pistoletto has always presented art as a moment of social responsibility of the artist, not against the world, the society and the political tensions that crossed it.

“Pistoletto has proposed his art as an instrument of social transformation, of tolerance, of confrontation with subjectivities distant from the usual users of contemporary art. Today, Michelangelo Pistoletto’s commitment aims to integrate natural and artificial, to overcome their separateness, to preconceive a new era where these distinctions will find a synthesis. In this spirit, we welcomed with great gratitude the opportunity to host and organize the exhibition in the spaces of our museum”, she added.

The director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Belgrade, Roberto Cincotta, highlighted the enormous symbolic and cultural significance of the event, both for the relevance of the artist and for the contents and importance of the works on display. Cincotta also noted that the art collection of the Italian Foreign Ministry contains important artwork by Pistoletto such as “The Etruscan” and “Love Difference – Mediterranean Sea”.

Assistant to the Minister of Culture of Serbia for Contemporary Art, Radovan Jokic, recalled that this is not the first time that Italian contemporary art, and particularly conceptual art, has found space in Belgrade. In 2005, there was an exhibition of Jannis Kounellis, while in 2008, a retrospective of Ilija Soskic, a Serbian artist living in Rome, made it possible to take stock of mutual influences in relation to an artist who from the 1970s had collaborated with Kounellis, Pistoletto and Ontani, attracting the interest of critics such as Achille Bonito Oliva and Mario Diacono.

The exhibition is staged by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade in collaboration with Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, the Zerynthia Association and the Italian Cultural Institute in Belgrade, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia and the Italian Embassy in Belgrade.

Ranging from the 1960s to the present, the Preventive Peace exhibition will showcase some of Pistoletto’s most famous and iconic works such as Images on a Mirror, Venus of Rags, Minus Objects, Loving the Differences – an Art Movement for Intermediterranean Politics, Third Paradise and many others. An anthological exhibition that will illustrate the artist’s entire vocabulary, including sculptures and installations, but also photographs, videos, early actions in public space to more recent paintings consisting of coloured QR codes that can be enjoyed visually as abstract art, but can also be activated by revealing stories in digital format, making this exhibition an important event for both the museum and the artist.

The exhibition will be staged from May 10 to Sept. 10, 2024 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, under the auspices of the Bircaninova@100 project celebrating the 100th anniversary of the groundbreaking ceremony that marked the construction of the Bircaninova Palace, home of the Italian Embassy in Belgrade.

This post is also available in: Italiano

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