ALTRI VENTI – OSTRO
Language: EN + IT + ES
Dimension: 170 x 240 mm
Price: € 20
Edition of 799
“It’s been a long journey, rich in fruitful and unexpected encounters, and I feel privileged to have been part of it with Bruna Esposito and Altri Venti – Ostro, one of the winners of the ninth edition of the Italian Council award.” Stefania Miscetti
The piece’s engagement with issues related to renewable energies —and indeed our shared passion for handheld fans—united us in ex-tensive conversations and debates that were at once light-hearted and profound. For a long time, starting in the winter of 2019, Bruna Esposito and I—in collaboration with ARKFACTORY, the architecture studio I share with Laura Pane—carried out research and built up a network of contacts that might be useful for the project.
This work led us to a reservoir of information which, after starting as a rather bland list, suddenly burst into life thanks to the clarity of Esposito’s poetic vision. Her drawings, which were both so immediate and yet full of information and minute detail, sketched out a cycle of works linked to the southern winds. They burst authoritatively into our mental and physical space, and urgently demanded to be made. Ostro was the one selected (the first in a long series, I hope) and con-tinued its journey during lockdown with the search for materials. Added to this was the careful, subtle concertation which the artist combined with a generous welcome for the whole team involved in making the piece, ensuring everyone felt part of her creative energy. Even while abiding by the rigid measures imposed by the pandem-ic, Ostro welcomed large numbers of people during its long run at the STUDIO STEFANIA MISCETTI. Still, protected by their masks and main-taining social distancing, visitors were delighted to meet in the ritual and physical space the piece provides: welcoming without being overbear-ing, it offered a place to stop and reflect—an active ‘pause’ designed to encourage the slow and attentive exchange of thoughts and opinions. After far too many virtual meetings, the desire to return to some kind of normality and see each other in person led us—almost by chance—to film the many conversations we had with friends inside the artwork. They included artists, curators and writers, and their reflections cov-ered a whole range of arguments and disciplines: from literature to sci-ence, history to architecture, and technological research to renewable energies—which we then amplified through online sharing.
In the words of Nicolas Bourriaud: “If a work of art is successful, it will invariably set its sights beyond its mere presence in space: it will be open to dialogue, discussion, and that form of inter-human negotiation that Marcel Duchamp called ‘the coefficient of art’, which is a temporal process, being played out here and now.”1 Altri Venti – Ostro was conceived, designed and created as a rela-tional device: its ‘frugal’ structure is not mere simplicity but essentiality coexisting with poetic richness.
The support we received from the Ministry of Culture through the Italian Council programme, promoted by the Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity, enabled us to test out the infinite potential that we knew to be part of the work’s DNA, and encourage questions that were always ‘in process’. In this sense, Altri Venti – Ostro has been both seed and fertile ter-rain: not only has it acted as a meeting place for those who have inhab-ited it, it has also gone out to ‘meet’ people, experiences and cultures, grafting itself onto distant and different lands.
Conceived as an indoor piece, Ostro took shape in the white cube of the STUDIO MISCETTI, an industrial building in the Trastevere area of Rome, which was reconverted into an artist’s studio in the 1960s. Yet it has managed to challenge and outdo itself: on the first leg of its international tour, it settled into the Hudson Valley that plays host to Magazzino Italian Art; it was then able to interact with the decoratively rich and historically charged architecture in the Palazzo Noel chap-el, today home to Fernández Blanco Museum and BIENALSUR; and finally it was welcomed into, and acquired by, Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art.
The dialogue the piece has been able to establish with space demonstrates its adaptability, its poetic power and its visionary charge: in other words, it demonstrates the absolute flexibility of the technical solutions put forward by the artist. They may be frugal but are no less effective when guided by a will and a vision.
Altri Venti – Ostro has truly played a central role in a genuine journey. It is only right that we thank those who have been with us along the way: first and foremost the artist, soul of this project, and the Italian Council that has been its driving force; my team, in particular Veronica He and Pia Lauro, who have worked with passion and tireless dedication; the cultural partners Center for Contemporary Art Luigi Pecci, Magazzino Italian Art, UNTREF/BIENALSUR, Italian Institute of Culture in Lisbon, Tools for Culture, to whom I extend my immense and heartfelt thanks.
Text by Stefania Miscetti
Nicolas Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics, translated by Simon Pleasance & Fronza Woods with the participation of Mathieu Copeland, (Dijon: Les Presses du Réel, 2002).
Stefania Miscetti, Stefano Collicelli Cagol, Bruna Esposito, ARKFACTORY, Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu, Benedetta Casini and Cristiana Perrella
Giorgio Benni, Marco Anelli, Alexa Hoyer, Gonzalo Maggi, Guillermo Monteleone, Carlos Porfirio, Puro Conceito