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Berlin Artist Week: an exhibition dedicated to Pistoletto

Michelangelo Pistoletto’s art will be displayed during the Artist Week in Berlin, a week of events dedicated to one of the pioneers of the “Arte Povera” (literally Poor Art). The programme of the 2018 Artist Week, from 1 to 4 June, foresees a site-specific installation, an exhibition, a film screening and two public talks. The initiative, called ‘Dedika’, is organised every year in Berlin by the Italian Institute of Culture, which aims to promote events that focus on one personality of the Italian cultural scene. This year’s edition is dedicated to Pistoletto, whose works of art over the last five decades have represented changes in society, politics and art. The initiative is not just restricted to an exhibition, but also foresees a discussion with Georg Bertram, a philosophy professor at Freie Universität Berlin; an artist talk with Pistoletto, who is attending every event, at Akademie der Künste; and an entire morning dedicated to the presentation of Daniele Segre’s documentary on the artist at the new cinema Klick Kino.

Michelangelo Pistoletto was born in Biella in 1933. He is considered to be one of the pioneers as well as one of the main advocates of the ‘Arte Povera’ movement. At the center of his work is a desire to combine art, society and everyday life. Another central tenet of his work is the participation of the public.

In the 1990s, Michelangelo Pistoletto founded the Cittadellarte in his hometown, Biella, which is affiliated with a private University of Arts (University of Ideas). Similar to an artists’ colony, it allows artists and academics to work together to experiment with new forms of design, art and life. The artist was awarded the Golden Lion for his life’s work at the Venice Biennale in 2003. He also received an honorary doctorate in Political Science from the University of Turin in 2004.

Pistoletto’s works of art have been exhibited at Palazzo Grassi (Venice), the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, the Lenbachhaus in Munich, the MoMA PS1 in New York and many other museums all over the world. Additionally, the Louvre in Paris organised an exhibition in 2013 dedicated entirely to the artist. There, for the first time, the Terzo Paradiso (literally Third Paradise) was presented as an installation on the glass pyramid of the museum. Currently, the exhibition ‘RESPECT’ at the Tang Contemporary Art of Hong Kong is showing a selection of the artist’s works.

Pistoletto previously showed his art in Berlin in 1978, when he lived in the city for a year as a DAAD guest. Forty years later, the artist is back presenting a selection of his works at the Italian Institute of Culture and the Italian Embassy. In the courtyard of the Italian embassy, a new version of the Terzo Paradiso as a site-specific installation will be presented and be open to the public all summer long. The Italian Institute of Culture will also host a whole exhibition of Pistoletto’s art works. 

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