Luci d’Artista is a cultural event started by the municipality of Turin in 1998 and subsequently also undertaken by the municipalities of Salerno and Pescara, although the brand – except for the internet – nevertheless remains a Turin exclusive. On the occasion of the Christmas period, some squares and streets of the cities are dressed in lights, which go beyond the usualend-of-year lights: they are works conceived by contemporary artists, who are qualified for their high scenographic value or for strong values symbolic and conceptual.

Turin -The appointment with the month of contemporary arts, in collaboration with all the Bodies and Institutions operating in the Contemporary Art sector – brings together art, exhibitions, lights, music, theater, dance and cinema that the promoters will carry out in complete safety. The exhibition, which has always been an example of synergy, has generated over time a real system of contemporary art and, even in this particular year, it will continue to be a reference point for international contemporaneity and a distinctive feature of the City and Region.

Luci d’Artista is an event born in 1998 from a public lighting project created on the occasion of the Christmas holidays. Following the success achieved in 1997 with Emanuele Luzzati’s Nativity scene in Piazza Carlo Felice, the City of Turin extended the initiative to various squares and streets in the subalpine capital. Italian and foreign artists were invited to interpret the lighting not as simple decorations but as works of art, giving life to a great cultural event, to an exhibition of contemporary art that, with the use of light, combines art with urban landscape and favors the encounter between the general public and artistic creation. The exhibition is constantly evolving: the number of artists involved increases.

The Luci d’Artista event, a point of reference for contemporary art, was born in Turin in 1998 on the initiative of Fiorenzo Alfieri. 12 artists are invited (Vasco Are, Francesco Casorati, Enrico De Paris, Richi Ferrero, Carmelo Giammello, Emanuele Luzzati, Luigi Mainolfi, Mario Molinari, Luigi Nervo, Giulio Paolini, Luigi Stoisa, Francesco Tabusso) and two young artists, Domenico Luca Pannoli and Enrica Borghi – selected through a national competition of ideas. The sixth edition of 2004 proposes in Turin (among other things) the work of Mario Merz, a famous exponent of poor art who died in2003, called The flight of numbers: The first numbers of the Fibonacci sequence are placed on the Mole Antonelliana, and refer, as often happens in Merzian poetics, of the apparent chaos in the development of life forms. The installation by Daniel Buren called Flying Carpet is also scenographic and photogenic.

The event, which has been successful since its first edition, makes the Piedmontese metropolis appear dressed in lights and annually attracts numerous Italian and foreign tourists.

The collection, which started in 1998, has progressively expanded and in 2015 includes the works of numerous artists: Mario Airò, Vasco Are, Carlo Bernardini, Valerio Berruti, Enrica Borghi, Daniel Buren, Francesco Casorati, Nicola De Maria, Enrico Tommaso De Paris, Richi Ferrero, Martino Gamper, Marco Gastini, Carmelo Giammello, Jeppe Hein, Jenny Holzer, Rebecca Horn, Alfredo Jaar, Joseph Kosuth, Emanuele Luzzati, Qingyun Ma, Luigi Mainolfi, Mario Merz, Mario Molinari, Luigi Nervo, Mimmo Paladino, Domenico Luca Pannoli, Giulio Paolini, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Tobias Rehberger, Vanessa Safavi, Luigi Stoisa, Francesco Tabusso, Jan Vercruysse and Gilberto Zorio (former author, the latter, of Luce Fontana Ruota in 1999 aiMurazzi del Po for the second edition).

The same initiative was also adopted in the city of Salerno in 2006 and, ten years later, in the city of Pescara. An ideal twinning between the three cities, Turin, Salerno and Pescara, produced a reciprocal exchange. During the period of the event (November-January) part of the lights adopted the previous year by the Piedmontese capital were exhibited in Salerno and Pescara, as well as other unpublished works specifically commissioned. In the following years, however, the city of Turin adopted several works from the Campania and Abruzzo municipalities, thus starting a real “twinning” with the exchange of the works of the three participating cities. In 2009, the 25-meter Christmas tree located in Piazza Portanova was the tallest artificial type in Italy.

In 2011 the Salerno event sees the participation of the artist Nello Ferrigno. Of particular success of the Salerno edition is the theme of the enchanted garden, which envelops the historic city center with variegated and always different lights, making the Municipal Villa of Salerno an authentic fairy garden with wizards, sorcerers, luminous tunnels and enchanted figures.

The festival
The review – a project of the City of Turin created by IREN Smart Solutions and Fondazione Teatro Regio Torino, with the support of IREN SpA, Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione CRT – was born in 1998 as an exhibition of contemporary art installations created with the light en plein air in the urban space and, since 2018, it has been enriched with an educational-cultural path that favors the encounter between the public and the works. In the 2020 edition it will be possible to admire 26 works (between temporary and permanent installations) of which 14 in the city center and 12 in the other districts.

Every year the Lights are placed in significant places in the urban area with the aim of enhancing them and creating anticipation and curiosity. Their easy accessibility and fruition combined with the qualitative improvement they bring to the urban landscape, has made the open-air exhibition a cultural event symbol of the city appreciated in Italy and abroad.

“Luci d’Artista has long been one of the most loved initiatives by the Turinese and, for which, every year, many tourists come to the city to be enchanted – declared the Mayor Chiara Appendino and the Councilor for Culture Francesca Leon-. The exhibition celebrates its twenty-third birthday this year and is enriched with works, collaborations and new projects. Bringing people closer to contemporary art is one of the commitments we wanted to assume and achieve through the ‘Enlightening Encounters with Contemporary Art’.

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A program of actions that, allows us to accompany, actively involving them, citizens of all ages to discover the works, with the collaboration of museum experts, art foundations and the participation of schools and associations of the territories where the installations are located. This year the public program will involve the 3rd district with the work ‘My Noon’ by Tobias Rehberger in Borgata Lesna, the 5 with an intervention of historical-artistic recovery and enhancement of the monument ‘1706’ by Luigi Nervo, the 8 which will see the Regina Margherita hospital as protagonist thanks to the placement of ‘Concerto di parole’ by Mario Molinari in the square in front.

In these places, animation paths connected to the present installations will be created. We are happy – Appendino and Leon conclude – to have achieved a great result having used the Luci d’Artista to give visibility together with the center to other areas of our city, trying to involve the people who live in those places to make them protagonists of an event innovative”.

The exhibition, in addition to proposing a special path that will allow the public to grasp the different poetic visions expressed by the works created by artists united by the attraction for light, this year is enriched with important innovations: the new temporary location of ‘ Concerto di parole ‘ by Mario Molinari – for which some modules have been rebuilt – set up near the Regina Margherita Hospital; ‘ Illuminated Benches’ by Jeppe Hein in Piazza Risorgimento, made permanent on an experimental basis as well as’ The Kingdom of flowers: cosmic nest of all souls’ by Nicola De Maria in piazza Carlo Emanuele II.

whose layout is enriched after the integration of the public lighting of the square itself; the work ‘ Loving’ differences of Michelangelo Pistoletto at the Republic Square has been restored; ‘ My Noon’ by Tobias Rehberger is set up for the first time in Borgata Lesna in the courtyard of the King-Mila Comprehensive Institute; the work Once again by Valerio Berrutiit is installed in via Monferrato with the aim of supporting the development of Borgo Po by contributing to the relaunch of commercial activities in the area; a new artistic lighting will enhance the Monument in 1706 by Luigi Nervo.

The flight of numbers
The flight of numbers is the luminous series of Fibonacci numbers, created with red neon, by Mario Merz, created in 2000 for Luci d’Artista and placed on the curve of the dome of the Mole Antonelliana.

“The numbers” in flight “in the work of Mario Merz are those of the Fibonacci series, the medieval Tuscan mathematician (among other things he introduced the use of Arabic numerals in Italy) who thus summarized the progression that, in nature, determines the growth and proliferation of forms: in this succession, each number is the sum of the two previous ones. Merz has repeatedly used the Fibonacci series as an element of his installations; likewise he was one of the first artists to take fluorescent light as a metaphor for energy. Here, however, the numerical succession takes on new meanings both as a strong luminous signal placed on the monument / symbol of Turin, the Mole Antonelliana, and in relation to the curve (another scheme frequently used in mathematics) of the dome of Antonelli’s building “.

Artissima, the main Italian contemporary art exhibition that stands out for its innovative and experimental approach, this year changes format transforming itself into Artissima Unplugged expanded in time and space, bringing together physical exhibitions, created with the Torino Musei Foundation, to digital projects.

The exhibitions, united by the theme Frenetic Stasis and curated by Ilaria Bonacossa, will host the works of the galleries selected for this edition of the review. In parallel with the events in the museums, Artissima will launch, as already announced, the Artissima XYZ, a brand new online cross-media platform that will transform the curated sections of the exhibition into an immersive digital experience.

PARATISSIMA in 2020 changes and renews itself by rethinking the classic model of art review, to experiment a new exhibition format for independent artists and more sustainable and flexible art galleries: instead of 5 days concentrated in a single week it will extend the its duration over about two months.

The headquarters of the former Artillery Academy of Turin in piazzetta Accademia Militare 3 (behind Piazza Castello) have been confirmed, while the times of use dedicated to the sections that make up the entire event vary: visual arts, art galleries and photography. Four collateral exhibition projects: L’Immortalità, Lorenzo Puglisi’s solo show, one of the most interesting and original voices in Italian painting, curated by Luca Beatrice; Microcosmic Scoria by Eleonora Gugliotta, who redesigns the abandoned spaces of the ARTillery with her sculptural threads; Think Big, the exhibition project dedicated to great works of art, not only in form but also in content and messages; Blooming Playground, the basketball court in the internal courtyard interpreted as a luxuriant flower garden by street artist Tellas.

Flashback, the most contemporary of the ancient and modern art exhibitions, is a voice out of the chorus and, this year more than ever, is preparing to play an important role in the Turin Art Week by transforming itself into a ‘ Diffuse Edition. The Flashback galleries in Turin offered to host, in their spaces, the works of the galleries from outside Turin. Flashback referring to the ability of each individual to reshape reality through creativity, is very coherent with the choice to reshape the edition. The appointments of Opera Viva Barriera di Milano also continue, the Manifesto, the project conceived by Alessandro Bulgini and curated by Christian Caliandro, in the open space of Piazza Bottesini in Turin.

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