INAUGURATION OF A NEW INSTALLATION BY ARTIST LAURA PUGNO AT CASA ZEGNA: RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES INCLUDING CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE CONSERVATION OF BIODIVERSITY
Fondazione Zegna's mission has always been to express the values of founder, Ermenegildo Zegna. Casa Zegna promotes cultural and artistic projects in a space housing the Group's historic archives, along with a multi-purpose centre. This year, the season opens with the premiere of a work by Laura Pugno, marking the Spring Days event with the FAI (Italian Environment Fund).
The artist has always been interested in how we visually perceive the landscape around us. Her multi-installation at Casa Zegna explores the wide array of relationships existing between man and nature. These works emerge through the observation of a suffering pine forest and the traces left on it by European spruce bark beetles (Ips typographus) — small signs pointing to macroscopic, inexorable changes in the order of the natural world.
Nature is subjected to the actions of mankind, and our relationship with the landscape is one of mutual care. Like all living things, forests can become sick. A rise in temperature of only two degrees makes places like the Oasi Zegna — a mountain surrounding Trivero Valdilana — vulnerable and subject to attacks by insects, who were previously present without being a threat.
Pugno uses photography, video, sculpture and design to explore the primary themes of her artwork: the landscape and how we perceive it.
On this occasion, a story is told from the point of view of Oasi Zegna's forest through material and media. Referencing the fact that spruce trees are used to make fine violins, Laura Pugno has created a unique in collaboration with sound artist Magda Drozd. This includes the sound of graphite retracing the wounds inflicted on tree trunks by the European spruce bark beetle.
She uses charcoal obtained from the burning of tree branches to draw a series of forest landscapes featuring key components, such as scientific tables on temperature and CO2 or the vulnerability and damage caused to European forests by climate change, among others.
In the dark room, she becomes the lens through which the spruce depicts itself as a self-sustaining ecosystem. Finally, she uses material to construct a wood-and-fern structure in the centre of the exhibition space, which serves as a monument to a disappearing landscape that will soon be substituted by another, which, in turn, will bear new visions, emotions, desires and memories.
This installation is not limited to the museum space, but extends into Oasi Zegna, an ideal location to explore environmental and conservation issues.
As part of the Zegna Forest project, during the FAI Spring Days, FAI experts will guide us through the discovery of forest renewal sites.
"The lesson in humility we have learned over a hundred years while managing our mountain is that without respect for nature, man's own survival is at risk. By taking care of the Zegna Forest, we are taking care of the planet, as well as our own humanity," states Anna Zegna, Fondazione Zegna's President. "Today, we are used to thinking about short-term returns on investments, but this doesn't work for forests. We need to learn how to respect nature's timeline. The results of our actions today will impact the quality of life of our children and our children's children."
Laura Pugno adds, "In my art, I have always been interested in how we perceive the landscape. Therefore, I welcomed this commission as an occasion to explore the many relationships between mankind and nature and look at the forests of my childhood under a new light."
Laura Pugno was born in 1975 in the Italian town of Trivero in the region of Piedmont. She currently lives and works in Turin. She is the winner of the 9th edition of the Italian Council sponsored by MIBACT (The Italian Ministry of Culture). In 2018, she won the Q-International Spring prize, organised by the Rome Quadrennial, in conjunction with FORUM STADTPARK, Graz, Austria.
Recent personal exhibitions include: Spazio Instabile (Unstable space), Colle Val d’Elsa, Siena (2019), Alberto Peola Gallery, Turin (2019); KIOSK, Nida. Lithuania (2019), Biennale del Disegno di Rimini (2016); Museo del Territorio Biellese (2015); MART, Rovereto (2014); Galleria Alberto Peola, Turin (2014); MAN, Nuoro (2013); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo; Turin (2012). In 2016, she conducted a workshop at Fondazione Zegna. She is the co-founder of Progetto Diogene and has taught at Turin's Istituto Europeo di Design since 2004.
ZEGNA AND THE ART WORLD
Ermenegildo Zegna was always closely linked to the art world. In the first half of the last century, he chose artists Otto Maraini and Ettore Pistoletto Olivero — father of the famous artist, Michelangelo Pistoletto — to create on-site artworks depicting the company's textile history, without creating any distinction between public, private and work spaces. Ermengildo's sons, Aldo and Angelo, were also inspired by art and beauty. They continued down this path by commissioning famous artists to create the first trophies dedicated to the world's finest wool, along with giving life to the prestigious Premio Incisione Biella (The Biella
Engraving Award). In 1987, alongside Italian media mogul Giulia Maria Crespi, they were founding members of the "200 del FAI", a group of patrons brought together to preserve Italy's artistic heritage and natural landscape.
The current third generation of the Zegna family has continued its ties with the art world by going down two parallel, compatible paths. On one hand, there is the Fondazione Zegna and its mission to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of the local community, and, on the other, the role the Zegna Group has taken as a global player.
Since 2008, Fondazione Zegna has locally promoted the ALL'APERTO initiative curated by Andrea Zegna and Barbara Casavecchia by commissioning permanent, site-specific public works of art for the area of Trivero (Biella). Additionally, since the early 2000s, it has partnered with Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, launching in 2010, VISIBLE – where art leaves its own field and becomes visible as part of something else. This biennial prize for public art is dedicated to the production and support of modern-day, socially engaged art in a global context, curated by Matteo Lucchetti and Judith Wielander.
Internationally, the Group has entered into a series of collaborations with artists, curators and institutions, which has, in turn, created a positive, beneficial relationship between the worlds of business and art.
Oasi Zegna is 100 km2 nature reserve in the Biellese Alps, recognised under the patronage of the FAI Italian Environmental Fund since 2014. Oasi Zegna's mission is to promote and protect a vast mountainous area in eastern Biella through the creation of educational initiatives and nature experiences in collaboration with the local community to raise awareness about culture and conscious tourism and create a sustainable future founded on a dialogue between mankind and the environment.
Via Marconi, 23 – Trivero Valdilana (Biella)
Tel. +39 015.7591463
FADING LOSS | TALES FROM THE FOREST
Inauguration: Saturday May 15 and Sunday May 16.
Open Sundays until October 31.
Buy Fastpass tickets online and choose your entrance time in advance at: www.liveticket.it/casazegna
Visits have no time limits, but in cases of high turnout, entrance numbers will be limited, and a suggested visit duration will be provided.
For further questions or information, contact: Tel. +39 015 7591463, email@example.com.
DIRECTIONS TO CASA ZEGNA
Autostrada A4 Milano-Torino Exit Carisio in the direction of Cossato, Vallemosso, Trivero Valdilana
Autostrada A26 Genova-Gravellona Toce Exit Romagnano Sesia in the direction of Coggiola, Trivero Valdilana