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The telepathists

Stefano Arienti

This book – published by Edizioni Ermenegildo Zegna, 2011, 64 pp. – documents the work of Stefano Arienti for ALL’APERTO, the contemporary art project curated by Andrea Zegna and Barbara Casavecchia for the Fondazione Zegna.

With a rich set of images, the volume chronicles the birth of “”I Telepati”” (The Telepathists), from the first encounters of the artist with the students from the secondary schools in Ronco, to their collective action of painting, and the successive transfer of the imaginary faces and expressions of “”I Telepati”” on the stones.

It also records the installation of the sculptures, as well as of the large free Wi-Fi network they signal. Introduced by the texts of Anna Zegna and Andrea Zegna, the discussion between Stefano Arienti, Barbara Casavecchia and Luca Cerizza analizes the relationship between the artist’s modus operandi and the issue of public space; it discloses Arienti’s work constant openness towards the viewer, all throughout his career, from the beginning in the mid Eighties until today, and it unveils the broad range of its sources: biological sciences, sociology, anthropology, art history.

A chronology of Arienti’s public works closes the book.

Arienti involved in the project the students from the local secondary schools, inviting them to spread the news and to draw with him, in a collective action, the imaginary faces of “I Telepati”.


Stefano Arienti

Stefano Arienti was born in Asola, in the province of Mantua in 1961. After graduating in agricultural studies, he turned to art under the guidance of Corrado Levi, and made his debut in Milan in the mid Eighties at the Brown Boveri (a former factory that many young artists used as a meeting point for free experimentation).

He currently lives and works in Milan. Operating on “poor” and every day materials – which often include paper, books, pictures taken from postcards, posters or photocopies, as well as polystyrene, plastic, plasticine, fabrics – Arienti realizes surprising works, that induce the viewer to reflect on the concept of “wonder”, prompting participation, through the use of manipulation too.

The numerous shows he has participated in include Venice Biennale (Aperto 1990, 1993); Istanbul Biennale (1992); Cocido y Crudo, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (1994); XII Rome Quadrennial, 1996 (winner of the first prize); Fatto in Italia, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva; ICA, London (1997); Gwangju Biennale (2008).

Among his latest solo exhibitions: MAXXI, Roma (2004); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2005); Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston (2007); Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2008); MAMbo, Bologna (con Cesare Pietroiusti, 2008); Palazzo Ducale, Mantua (2009); Museion, Bolzano (with Massimo Bartolini, 2011).