01.06 until 01.10.2004

The Arte all’Arte Rinascimento Nascimento project is informed by the desire to make Europe the starting point of a process that draws on the languages of contemporary visual arts and tries to influence many other spheres of reality. An open project which has no intention to affirm neither a point of view, nor an artistic current, nor a specific experience of a place, but rather to propose various practices rooted in the relationship between contemporary art and artistic expressions down the ages. In particular, the aim is to transform visible shared space through the work of artists who set up and face one another within the international art world. Arte all’Arte seeks to continue in the present what the art of the past brought to shared living and work space. Small towns like Vinci or San Gimignano, despite having been redeveloped over the time, are still visual treasures of Western culture. Nevertheless,what today are called \"art cities\" were once simply \"cities\", with no connotations whatsoever. If we consider this simple statement as a non-nostalgic interpretation but as a way to develope actions appropriate to our times, it is easy to understand why Maurizio Rigillo, Lorenzo Fiaschi and myself, founded a cultural association through which it has been possible to initiate projects in collaboration with public administrations, and which, every year since 1996, has led to the realization of this strange and adventurous project called Arte all’Arte. With the intention to give an effective reply to the above-mentioned questions, we have worked in two directions: on one hand we have tried to find out points of contact between curators and artists, on the other to build relations them and local communities. This is one reason why we talk about Arte all’Arte as a \"glocal\" project. The special relationship we have established with the Comune di Vinci and with Romano Nanni, Director of the Museo Leonardiano, has made it possible to pose in a meaningful way the question of how the Renaissance and Leonardo can be considered as the clarifying elements of that historical age. At that time human beings were the measure of things, of knowledge and investigation of the world in terms of its appropration. That opened up a fundamental path in the process of modernization. What we find out from the past is the fact that art changed the physical appearance of churches, squares, palaces, workshops and streets, giving a sense of identity to the communities living in them. Starting from these assumptions, one of the issues we try to explore is the way in which it is possible to create elements that hold together an increasingly heterogeneous community, marked by rapid, intense and evident immigration that also translates into a sense of linguistic and conceptual estrangement between people. Like many others, we have seen the signs of a change of age, generated by the revolution of the‘total quality’, of the ‘just in time’, of the microelectronics and the notion of ‘real time’. The fall of the Berlin Wall was stimulated by these underlying impulses: by the realization and organization of social time in a radically different way to that generated by Renaissance thinking, of fully humanizable, progressive time, that is, increasingly finite and organizable. The notion of time that emerged in the Renaissance is no longer completely hold, not only for ideological reasons relating to the crisis of the idea of progress, but also due to the limits on biological and physical sustainability that this process involves on a global scale. There are no great \"vertical\" crises in the industrial countries, but one can perceive the need to redefine both the notion of time and the identity of communities undergoing transformation not only in the West, but also in all those places where the industrial system has made its mark. We believe artists are regenerators of the sense of time, and that for a number of reasons Europe could become the physical and symbolic space of this new era we want to bring in, because Europe is grounded on the recognition of difference and specificity as the basis for living together.

Transforming non-values into values is an old process, which art has always managed to bring to the human community, and which we believe can spread out from museums and galleries into other areas of the reality in which people live today. Artists can make apparent concepts, which are difficult to communicate, in a way that is concise and visible to everyone. It is necessary, then, that they should also be able to work on the outside, in places which are not designated to art, but nonetheless are frequented and lived in. Those are identified with industrial productive areas. The path of Arte all’Arte is clearly a new departure from the countryside to the city, from countryside marked by the presence of art cities and by human intervention in the shape of agriculture, to cities with institutions and physical places devoted to contemporary visual research, and which are surrounded by industrialized countryside, which we would like to involve with the Arte all’Arte Rinascimento Nascimento. Art Industry Landscape project. We started this process together with Jan Hoet and Romano Nanni in 1999, with the exhibitions Serse – Van Eyck in Ghent and Leonardo - Panamarenko in Vinci; in 2000 we organized a conference in Vinci, and tried to bring together the art and the business world of the two countries involved. The process initiated in 1999 with the SMAK in Ghent and the Museo Leonardiano in Vinci was opened out in 2001–2002 to include the Het Domein Museum. This was supported by the Regione Toscana and the European Union. We brought an exhibition by Nam June Paik to Vinci, curated by Alessandra Pace; Jan Hoet and Eva Wittocx mounted an exhibition of work by Bernard Frize at the Ghent Museum and Stijn Huijts did likewise with the work of Rita Ackermann in Sittard. A thematic examination of the relations between art, technology and science was the focus of an international symposium at the Belgian Royal Academy in Ghent in April 2002, the acts of which were published by the SMAK; these themes were further developed at Villa Demidoff and the Spedale degli Innocenti in Florence on October 2002.

The 2nd Arte all’Arte Rinascimento Nascimento event focused on the relations between art, technology and science. We raised the question of how to generate synergic action involving artists and the art world, politicians, public administrators and private enterprises in order to establish direct contacts between them. Another initiative that drew reciprocal attention was the publishing of the Guide to the Artistic, Technological and Environmental District, edited by Pier Luigi Sacco, currently Professor of Cultural Economics at the I. U. A. V. in Venice. The work involved the selection of 40 companies in the more industrialized part of Tuscany; this covers the area surrounding Vinci and Empoli and the highly developed zone linking Florence, Prato and Pistoia and stretching as far as Pisa. Industrial plants or companies were chosen on the basis of specific criteria – whether they were artistic craft concerns (a typically Italian phenomenon), or high tech businesses or involved in environmental preservation. Though these criteria are not homogenous, they give an idea of Tuscany’s modern, well-established industrial system, of which many people, especially from abroad, are unaware. We developed the project on these lines, in the sense that the 3rd Arte all’Arte Nascimento Rinascimento, which also includes this magazine, search to develop the relation between art, industry and landscape. In November 2002 we inaugurated Nari Ward’s Illuminated Sanctuary of Empty Sins. It was realized inside the Poggibonsi incinerator, a certified plant where emissions are constantly monitored, and it was produced for the 6th Arte all’Arte Art Architecture Landscape event curated by Pierluigi Tazzi and Jerome Sans. Besides being a permanent and viewable work, it represents, in our symbolic path around Tuscany, a link between city and countryside, that of the beautiful rural landscapes of the Siena province and the more industrial ones grouped along the rivers and valleys of zones previously indicated as the \"ideal typical\" area of this district. The work of the 3rd Arte all’Arte Rinascimento Nascimento includes a continuation of the research by Professor Sacco, who will now focus on the Prato area (not examined in previous research) and the Belgian and Dutch Flanders. Besides this, work is underway to develop relations between museum bodies involved in the project and high-tech and environmental preservation businesses; the aim is to shape paths that encourage artists selected by the museums to directly transform production plants into works of art within which it is possible to work, seeking to combine some of the positive elements of production with positive visual elements. This will take place by establishing business consortiums who will invest their own resources and activate others together with the European Union.

The aim is to realize the great transformations we wish to leave as a legacy to future generations. The programme of exhibitions for the three-year period 2002–2004 develops the relations between the three original participating museums, plus the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. In Vinci, Giacinto Di Pietrantonio and Romano Nanni, the curators of this part of the project, asked Ilya Kabakov, Joseph Kosuth, Jannis Kounellis, Anish Kapoor and Mimmo Paladino to transform what will become the new entrance to the Museo Leonardiano in Piazza Conti Guidi, into a work of art. In 2004 Mimmo Paladino will realize the new entrance together with the architect Nicola Fiorillo, with whom he has worked since this new \"work-piazza\" was first conceived. A warm thanks to all the artists for their commitment to the realization of this undertaking, which we hope will serve as encouragement for other similar projects. At the S.M.A.K. in Ghent, Eva Wittocx will curate an exhibition, due to open on 12 October 2003, of the work of Daniele Puppi, Nicoletta Agostini, Paolo Chiasera, Massimo Grimaldi Corrado Sassi and Pietro Roccasalva, which will explore the applicability of their work to industrial areas. In July 2004, in collaboration with the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen, Wittocx will organize a performance by John Bock. In October 2003 Jerome Sans and Nicolas Bourriaud will present, at the Palais de Tokyo, research work focusing on the relations between Western and Eastern scientific culture and between aspects of the Chinese tradition and Western industrial production, through the work of Chen Zhen, a leading Chinese artist who lived for a long time in France. In November 2003, in an exhibition curated by Alessandra Pace, John Bock will show at the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, in a display inspired by the theme of the project. Stijn Huits invited Öyvind Fahlström to the Het Domein Museum in Sittard in January 2003, and this will continue in September 2004 with a show that is particularly pertinent to the issues involved; this will involve contemporary artists who investigate, through their interdisciplinary work, the industrial and environmental world from an ecological point of view. Partners operate also outside their architectural environment, which are sites for shared development of solutions to set up and test on the ground. What we are trying to do is to direct towards active industrial areas the results of art work developed within them. Undoubtedly, the aim of the project is also to respond to the reduction in public and private funding for cultural activities. In our view, the industrial and productive crisis is also clearly connected to a crisis in the vision of the future and of the world. Businesses are increasingly careful about what they invest in and are less disposed to invest in anything unrelated to the direct goals of the enterprise. Another element we hope to stimulate in enterprises is the competitive advantage in global and communication terms offered by producing manufactured goods inside an art work. 

The idea is that the \"contemporary art work enterprise\" will \"naturally\" come to support the territorial centre for contemporary art in response to the problem mentioned above. The aim is also – this is the case above all in Italy – to try to provide a deep, broad and highly visible foundation to the relationship that has always existed with art, a kind of restoration of identity, and also to start a long-term period of work in the mature capitalist societies, which to varying degrees includes all the European countries. The research in the industrial areas, partly carried out in conjunction with the Universities of Florence, Ghent and Maastricht and coordinated by Professor Sacco, all moves in this direction. The results will be reported in the next issues of the magazine. As regards the realization of the project in the spaces of the cooperating institutions, the proposed shows are not carried out to create a common movement or to sustain an artistic current, or to promote exchanges between artists in one European country with artists in another. The criteria we wish to stress is our desire, despite the differences, to embark in a common path, to reaffirm Europe as a place where it is possible to rethink and renew not only artistic practices and the way art is presented, but also to view art as the development of visible, shareable concepts. Naturally, we do not want to present an idyllic situation that is far from problem-free, but, as many people have noted, there is something odd going on in Europe: it is the first time a new monetary system has been introduced without it having been imposed by a war; it is the first time an attempt is being made to forge ties between heterogeneous elements that have been conflictual for centuries, for instance the countries of \"old Europe\", creating something capable of keeping together differences as the basis for equality.

The idea of raising further European resources to realize the artistic, technological and environmental district together with other productive areas in Europe is undoubtedly an excellent reason for improving the place where one works, but it is also a challenge that our age throws up, and which only a few are now able to accept as a serious issue that needs facing immediately and personally, starting with one’s own enterprise. The implicit invitation of the project is to develope a series of actions that will lead us to take greater care of the landscape in which we live and work, in order to create elements that can provide a new and shared conceptual base and to make a little less sadlooking the majority of buildings going up today. 

With the support of Culture 2000 programme of the European Union.

Participating artists:
Nam June Paik, Serse