Castello di Rivoli
On a Sunday as grey as wet asphalt we decided to go to Rivoli, Italy, not far from Turin.
Why ? For the love of art obviously!
3 hours of dreary motorway to reach the Turin hills crowned the nebbia, this fog that gives its name to nebbiolo, the black grape at the base of all Piémontes wines … Turin that already has the second largest collection of Egyptian art in the world knew perfectly how to anticipate the industrial crisis in order to organize its reconversion into a must-see cultural spot, especially with the Castello di Rivoli .. in addition, the city is with Rome, the true place of emergence of Arte Povera and finally, to the artistic effervescence of the 60’s is what Florence is to the Renaissance.
In the Vortex of contemporary art
The Castello di Rivoli is an old fortification dating from the Middle Ages and a historical residence of the House of Savoy, remodeled in the 17th and 18th centuries remained unfinished. A hybrid of contemporary architecture by Andrea Bruno in the 80’s, today it is the precious and anachronistic landscape of the main collection of contemporary art in Italy and an indispensable research center in the region. The castle now houses temporary exhibitions,, events and cultural activities as well as a specialized library, archives and a multimedia center. In nearly 40 rooms, the collection documents the development of Italian contemporary art and many other international artistic proposals from the 60s to present day with the permanent collection, many works of ArtePovera, Minimalism, Body art, Land art and video art. Welcomed by the minimalist installation of Luciano Fabro “Paolo Uccello” we then wandered through rooms in rows often richly decorated with grotesques and flooded for the most part with monumental creations. The simplicity of the materials used, felt, cotton, branches, charred wood, contrast with the sophistication of the Baroque walls and ceilings that remain as they are, and produce an original synthesis.
Gilberto Zorio & Anna Boghiguian
On the 3rd floor, the space is devoted to a retrospective of the work of Gilberto Zorio, a pioneer of Arte Povera, through 50 years of plastic research and unpublished installations of his private collection. In front of the main building, in the “Manica Lunga” (Long sleeve), which takes its name from its elongated shape, we discovered the verbose work in relation to the wanderings and territories of Egyptian artist Anna Boghiguian.
Scissors stone sheet – the permanent collection
The collection is dense too, here is a non-exhaustive Prévert inventory of a few visible treasures at Castello di Rivoli:
A circle traced by hand with mud overhanging the Romulus circle by Richard Long, an artist of Land art, Steinway & Sons coated with tarry black by Bertrand Lavier, bright colors of a tapestry by Alighiero Boetti, igloo glass panels by Mario Merz, “exploded Hut” by Daniel Buren, video by Bill Viola presented in the old ducal chapel, camp bed overflowing with knotty cotton by Kounellis, seven elements of ancient architecture in typical soft structure style of pop artist Claes Oldenburg, frozen neon in cement by Giovanni Anselmo, back of a Venus of Roman statuary confronting her nakedness with a pile of colorful clothes by Michangelo Pistoletto …
Focal sur Penone, Cardiff & Miller, Ai Wei Wei, Cattelan
Two rooms present the vegetable gesture by sculptor Giuseppe Penone, a major artist of Arte Povera: and the bitterness of the sublimated material by its clean scenography: Caged leaves, terracottas of materializing the invisible like the “Souffle” (1978), emblematic trees “peeled”, “the tree is a fluid material that can be shaped” with time or a lung in bronze foliage like the reminiscence of a metamorphosis of Ovid.
The Institute of Paradise, an immersive video installation from 2001, is a collaboration between Janet Cardiff and Bures Miller. It’s sort of illusionist cinema and miniaturized in which 17 seats are spectators with helmets facing a screen on which they are supposed to follow a 13-minute fiction work that cultivates an aesthetic dark film to the limit of the fantastic. The scenario is a pretext to mobilize attention while whispers and the noises of room parasitize the projection, causing a derealizing and disturbing claustrophobia.
In a vaulted room with exposed bricks without stucco or cherobs, unfolds an amazing work on the cultural heritage of the Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei: A structure composed of traditional Chinese antique furniture and articulated trunks which prove to be beams and pillars of different temples of the Qing dynasty, destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.
Another type of visual shock awaits us with provocative art and mockery by Maurizio Cattelan who has understood the star system and advertising genius. Cattelan strikes the spirits with his suspended horse. Taxidermied and succumbing to the effects of gravity with its exaggerated elongated legs, he is resigned to his fate. The work is titled “1900” like the social fresco of the filmmaker Bertolucci and is supposed to be the symbol of atrocities and illusions aborted of the 20th century.
The lessons of Arte Povera & Art Minimal
We at Bel Œil are especially interested in the aesthetic density of minimal art and the use that Arte Povera makes of raw and natural material by intensifying its physical presence in space. Particularly sensitive also to the simplicity of the creative gesture and the lighting of the materials in their destitution.
These artistic practices are basically quite connected with the notion of Wabi Sabi that elevates the aesthetics from the natural, the crude, the imperfection, the sobriety, the humble materials and the vanishing of time to the rank of a philosophy applicable to the organization of the domestic space in which we evolve daily.
Tuesday to Thursday: 10h – 17h
Friday to Sunday: 10h – 19h
December 24 and 31: 10h – 17h
8,50 € Reduced price: 6,50 €
Taxi from the center of Turin: About 37 € radiotaxi
Bus # 36 direction Rivoli
Approximately 20 min from Turin.
Turin is the only city in Italy where there is a pass – Contemporary Torino + Piemonte Card – which provides access for tourists in all its contemporary art structures.