In celebrating his ninetieth birthday, the groundbreaking artist Michelangelo Pistoletto takes centre stage at Castello di Rivoli with his monumental exhibition, “Molti di uno” (Many from One). Transforming the Manica Lunga wing of the castle into a labyrinthine tapestry of his creativity, Pistoletto reimagines the traditional linear gallery into an irregular urban landscape, a self-portrait mapping the contours of an ideal future city.
Pistoletto, renowned for his multidimensional contributions to contemporary art, stands among the vanguard of visionaries who reshaped the art landscape since the mid-sixties through Arte Povera. His innovative spirit catapulted him into international acclaim, with his mirror paintings in the 1960s marking a departure from traditional art forms. These works, including the iconic “Minus Objects,” paved the way for his deep exploration of identity and society.
“This exhibition is not merely a display of art; it’s a societal mirror reflecting our relationship with technology, identity, and freedom,” emphasizes Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea. The exhibition, meticulously curated by Christov-Bakargiev and Marcella Beccaria, unfolds across 29 Uffizi (Offices) or rooms, each a realm unto itself, interconnected in a dynamic dance of ideas.
Designed as an interactive city of art, these Uffizi are conduits between realms as diverse as science, philosophy, politics, and spirituality. Pistoletto’s architectural ingenuity realized through his concept of Segno Arte (Sign Art), manifests in the unique shapes of doors bearing specific Uffizi symbols. Through this labyrinthine layout, Pistoletto challenges societal boundaries, echoing his commitment to breaking barriers and divisions.
The exhibition does not merely exist as a static display; it evolves into a participatory experience, drawing individuals from diverse fields. Professionals like press officers, doctors, artists, and educators become catalysts, guiding visitors through thematic days dedicated to their expertise. Pistoletto, through this dynamic approach, transforms the exhibition space into a microcosm of an ideal city, fostering a collaborative spirit among its inhabitants.
Yet, Pistoletto’s visionary artwork transcends the physical realm; it delves into the complex interplay between humanity and technology. “What does a world of homo cellularis mean, whose minimal gestures are recorded, measured, archived, and indeed extracted for predictive purposes?” ponders Christov-Bakargiev. “Pistoletto makes us reflect on this, more than humanly.”
At its core, “Molti di uno” serves as an intellectual call to arms, inviting visitors to engage with the intricate tapestry of human existence. Pistoletto’s profound exploration of the societal fabric resonates not only as a reflection of the past but also as a roadmap for an enlightened, ethically responsible future. As visitors traverse the exhibition’s labyrinth, they become voyagers through the artist’s intricate mind, glimpsing a world where art, technology, and humanity harmonize in unprecedented ways.
Pistoletto’s legacy, rooted in innovation and human connection, reverberates within the walls of Castello di Rivoli. His exhibition embodies a new era of artistic expression, one that transcends traditional boundaries, beckoning viewers to participate actively in the evolution of art and society. Through “Molti di uno,” Michelangelo Pistoletto ignites a beacon, guiding us toward a future where creativity, collaboration, and consciousness intersect in a harmonious dance, redefining the very essence of artistry and life itself.
Photo: Michelangelo Pistoletto © Damiano Andreotti Courtesy Castello di Rivoli
Michelangelo Pistoletto: Molti di uno (Many from One) Curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Marcella Beccaria Castello di Rivoli November 2nd, 2023 – February 25th, 2024