20.10.2016 | all' aperto

ALL’APERTO: when art works are “adopted” by the community

The story of Lorenzo, one of the kids who took part in artist Alberto Garutti’s project seven years ago

“Dedicated to the people who will talk about it as they sit here, 2009” is an permanent installation created by Alberto Garutti for the 2009 “ALL’APERTO” contemporary art project. Helped by pupils from the local primary school, the artist got in touch with families who owned dogs. The result was a public work that can be used (and has been “adopted”) by everyone: a number of concrete benches located in various parts of Trivero, each with a sculpture of a dog (Pulce, Sbadiglio, Lampo, Otto…) belonging to a local family. Seven years on, we interviewed Lorenzo, one of the kids who took part in the project.   How old were you when you took part in this project? I was 10. I’m now in my 4th year at high school.   What do you remember about meeting Garutti? When they presented the initiative, at school, we were enthusiastic about the idea of doing a project different from the ones we normally did in the classroom. We were involved in something outside the school environment, collaborating on a real project for the neighborhood: the production of a work of art! First of all, Garutti asked us to draw our dogs, or our friends’ dogs. Then he personally went round to each family to measure the dogs and study them close up, so he could reproduce them in his studio.   Did you watch the work being created? Yes, and it was fascinating. We went to Garutti’s studio in Milan to see how the dogs were reproduced in cement. This was the best part of our experience: seeing how a work of art is produced! We’re so used to seeing sculptures in squares that we rarely wonder how they’re made.   How do you “live” these works that are now in your town? When I go out with friends, especially in summer, we still “live” this work of art. They installed the benches where there was nowhere to sit before, so they immediately became places where people can meet, and even little children can play. It’s a work that I feel is partly mine, of my school friends and their families: they were all very helpful and happy to collaborate on the project. It’s as if the work has been adopted by all the inhabitants of Trivero, and not just us kids.   People sometimes find it hard to approach contemporary art. How was the experience for you? The difficulty at the start was maybe the fact that at school we study art from the past but don’t look very deeply at contemporary art. This project is completely different from the art we usually study at school: we produced a work that should be lived and not just looked at. In contributing towards its creation I learned to appreciate art not only as something to admire aesthetically but as something that’s entertaining, useful, functional. I think contemporary art should be experienced more or less spontaneously: some works are useful, others are aesthetically pleasing, sometimes a beautiful work of art has a meaning to discover, other times you should just enjoy and appreciate it for its aesthetic value or functionality. The ALL’APERTO project (curated by Andrea Zegna and Barbara Casavecchia) is promoted by Fondazione Zegna and was designed make contemporary art and its values more accessible. All the project’s works are in the Trivero area and can be visited. Discover ALL’APERTO and its artists

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