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Public Art

What common ground is shared by two groups of “artists” – each member, however, with an architectural or design background - one operating in Milan, the other in Turin? First and foremost a conception of art as a non-consumer activity to be carried out in urban spaces for the benefit of a wide, non-specialist public. Secondly, the decision to create projects, not collectors’ items for the market, and to let documentary evidence be the main record of their existence.
For more than seven years, Esterni – a deliberately anonymous group – has taken the whole city as its workshop inventing the Salone dell’Arredo Urbano, urban furniture events, in an attempt to protect us from the ceaseless bombardment of commercial images. Far from interiors where every last designer detail helps create a culture of isolation and globalisation, Esterni have opted for exteriors. For this group, public spaces are nurseries for personal growth, the arena of the fight against urban desertification.
The group’s aim is to stop private vested interests turning public areas into advertising opportunities and whole cities into one vast communication campaign, relegating the citizen to being a passive, pliable recipient.
The public area in Via Paladini, 8 gave them a firmer foothold in Milan a little more than a year ago. A series of events, feature and short film shows was the result. In Turin from June 5 this year, Esterni will stage a happening in the public park surrounding the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation museum as part of the exhibition “Art in the Global Era: How Latitudes become Forms”. Mock road signs will invite passers-by to dance, shake hands, speak to one another or lie in the hammocks made available. Confronted by these unusual, even disconcerting images, ordinary people will perhaps start thinking about taking part instead of just being colourless spectators.
Founded at the end of 2000, the young research workshop, ADELINQUERE, organises events linked to...

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