Home Magazine Many as One: Michelangelo Pistoletto's Art Exhibition at the Rivoli Castle

Twenty-nine offices, each dedicated to an aspect of social life, transform the Rivoli Castle into a map of the vision of an ethical and harmonious society, a tribute to the master on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

Related articles: Art that Makes Noise: When Expressive Freedom Becomes the Stone of ScandalArt World and Market News - September 2023The Magic of Freddie Mercury: The Memories Auction

Since the 1960s, Pistoletto has been one of the most engaged artists in redefining the concept of art. The significance of his work lies primarily in its ability to bridge the gap between art and life, allowing art to transcend its traditional boundaries and become a reflection of the ever-evolving world. His Mirror Paintings from the early 1960s, which explore the theme of self-portrait by integrating the viewer and the surrounding environment, exemplify his pursuit of a dynamic and inclusive artistic experience. Through this new approach, Pistoletto transcends the conventional limits of pictorial art, opening up new avenues that form the basis for subsequent theoretical reflections. In the 1990s, he created the Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto and the University of Ideas in Biella. He worked on the development of the Arte Progetto, an initiative that promotes the vision that artists should take responsibility for establishing connections with every sphere of human activity, including economic, political, scientific, religious, educational, and behavioral, in order to inspire and produce responsible transformation in society. The artistic career of the master from Biella, marked by numerous solo exhibitions in the most prestigious galleries and museums in Europe and the United States, as well as awards and honors such as the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2003 and an honorary degree in Political Science in 2004 from the University of Turin, reaches a new turning point with the advent of a phase of his work called the Third Paradise, also the title of a 2010 essay by Pistoletto himself. Recently, after the publication of another fundamental text, "Omnitheism and Demopraxy: Manifesto for the Regeneration of Society" in 2017, the artist presented his latest research in "The Universary," an exhibition inaugurated at Cittadellarte in 2021.


QR-Code possession - Self-portrait, 2019-2023 Photo Damiano Andreotti Courtesy of Cittadellarte and Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Rivoli-Turin

Michelangelo Pistoletto. Many as One: The Exhibition

Now, the Rivoli Castle dedicates an exhibition to him on the occasion of his 90th birthday. Curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Marcella Beccaria, the solo exhibition will open on October 31, 2023, and will include a large site-specific artwork set up in the spaces of the Manica Lunga, titled "Michelangelo Pistoletto. Many as One." This project serves as a reinterpretation of Pistoletto's entire body of work, a sort of gigantic self-portrait that functions as a map of an ideal city of the future. An unusual experience awaits visitors: "Designed for the Manica Lunga," explains Marcella Beccaria, "Many as One is a city of art structured as a walkable architecture composed of 29 offices or rooms. Designed as open and interconnected spaces, the offices include: metaverse, art, science, philosophy, law, architecture, communication, politics, ecology, surveillance, sports, mathematics, spirituality, religion, mythology, education, nourishment, symbology, cosmology, design, burial, history, urban planning, fashion, space, writing, health, computing, and nature. The 29 offices display the structure that, according to the artist, underlies civil and social life, proposing a vast network of interrelations and a proactive dynamic condition aimed at breaking down walls and separations."


Michelangelo Pistoletto. The Reintegrated Apple, 2007-2019 Photo Alessandro Lacirasella - Courtesy of Cittadellarte

The 29 offices are interconnected and interconnected through a series of doors, each of which indicates a specific activity on the lintel. Their shape takes up Pistoletto's art sign given by the intersection of two triangles, in which a human body with raised arms and spread legs can be ideally inscribed. This concept marks a significant turning point in Pistoletto's artistic reflection and finds further development in his book "La Formula della Creazione" from 2022. Here, the artist analyzes his journey, identifying 31 steps that constitute the fundamental principles underlying the Formula of Creation, which would lead to the birth of a new society.

Michelangelo Pistoletto. Many as One: Third Paradise

According to Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Director of the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, "Pistoletto is one of the most multifaceted, innovative, creative, and visionary figures in contemporary art on a global level. Active already in the second half of the twentieth century, he is capable of reimagining the world in the twenty-first century through his 'formula of creation,' marked by a new trinamic balance between the natural and the artificial that he calls the Third Paradise." The term indicates a new phase of humanity that is realized in the "balanced connection between artifice and nature," and it was coined to define "the transition to a new stage of planetary civilization, essential to ensure the survival of the human species." To this end, Pistoletto argues that it is necessary to first reform the ethical principles and behaviors that guide common life.

Third Paradise 1+1=3 2003-2023, Photo: Andrea Rossetti


It is within this vision of a new community oriented towards ethics that "Many as One" is positioned, with the goal of serving as an engaging tool for a wider audience, including various operators working within it. This transforms the museum into a microcosm representing a possible ideal city, concretely contributing to the creation of a new world based on Demopraxy. Every day, an individual with specific skills and practices related to one of the areas represented in the 29 offices will take on the role of catalyst responsible for the day. The role will vary depending on the abilities, inclinations, and profession of each individual: a press officer will take on the role of head of the Communication Office in this case, the competent doctor will collaborate during the day dedicated to the Health Office. Similarly, the day dedicated to the Nutrition Office will be managed by a cafeteria manager, and the day dedicated to the Ecology Office by the gardener, just as a librarian will manage the one dedicated to the Writing Office. The exhibition, created in collaboration with Cittadellarte and with the support of the Foundation for Modern and Contemporary Art CRT, will close on February 25, 2024.

Written by Kooness

Cover image: Michelangelo Pistoletto. Photograph by Pierluigi Di Pietro - Courtesy Cittadellarte 

Stay Tuned on Kooness Art Magazine for more exciting news from the art world.