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PASSING THROUGH PALAZZO BOTTIGELLA IN PAVIA.

DSCF1467PHOTOS CANNOT  FULLY PORTRAY THE MAGIC OF THE OPENING AT PALAZZO BOTTIGELLA IN PAVIA LAST WEEK.
For that occasion the whole palazzo was candle lit persuading the weather to join in and back the event up! The spring temperatures were warmly welcomed. After six wet weeks of continuos rain and non-stop intense work the fairy atmosphere were heartily welcomed. What a great relief!
Candles were not just an aesthetic choice but rather an ethical decision. To use the least amount of power possible was in fact the aim.
Guests were able to view the artworks bathed in different lights: from day to dusk to night. From natural light to candle light and ending with a splash of artificial illumination.
The light changes performed during the whole event and interacted with the artwork by shaping its meaning.
The fluctuating light diversified the environment context suggesting different interpretations whilst starting the process of metamorphosis.

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Here are pics of the finished works at Palazzo, my bags not only invaded the main courtyard but stretched out to the staircase, up to the loggia and into the rooms all the way to the other side of town into the modern gallery space.
Ideally I would have needed at least three months to properly interact with all the available space. To squeeze all that work in an intense six weeks was quite testing and an ambitious achievement!
‘JUST FOR ONE DAY’ is the title of the main work that is set in the Palazzo’s courtyard. The tree-like structure is composed by about 2500 plastic bags (mostly recycled), metal wire, reclaimed plastic waste pipes, reclaimed metal tubes and a hollow tree trunk weighing four tons that the local carpenter kindly lent to us.

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‘SCULTURE PRECARIE (fare attenzione)’
is the title of the work climbing up the palazzo’s majestic stair case.
‘IT’S EITHER YOU OR ME’
is the one situated on the Palazzo’s loggia.
I thought it was important to keep the Palazzo untouched and leave it exactly how I first experienced it in it’s semi abandoned state in order to retain that very same overlooked feeling of abandonment. That meant no tiding up nor cleaning, even the pigeons feces were left piling up on the palazzo’s outer parts becoming part of the work’s concept instead. My role was just to complement was already existed.

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 In the rooms upstairs you will find :
‘IT’S ALWAYS CHRISTMAS’

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‘SPARE SOME CHANGE’

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‘L’ALBERO DELLA CUCCAGNA’
In these pics you won’t be able to smell nor see the cigarette buds that lie on the floor by the trees

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‘HOW ETHICAL IS CHANGE IF NOT JUST POETIC’
This was a short performance piece: the burning of a little white plastic bag

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‘IN MEMORIA DI’
In its most recent past the Palazzo used to be a nun’s convent and a school. One of the classrooms is dedicated to Pietro Marozzi, a young pupil who had died there.

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 I am pasting the very initial project proposal. I think that it is interesting to notice how the work has evolved and moulded itself around all the surrounding elements. The site, the retaining of materials, budget, the weather and all sorts of other unpredictable circumstances significantly shape a project like this.
I would like to thank the Calisti family, especially Mariangela and Roberto Calisti, for not only supporting this venture but also for supplying all the materials that were mostly reclaimed from their construction site. The access to all sorts of building materials has pushed my work to new venues that I am hoping to be able to further and to explore in future occasions.
A big huge thank you goes to Paolo Sansone for lending his force as well as his precious knowledge and experience in practical matters. Another thank you goes also to Ginevra Calisti for her assistant curator role.
english version

PASSING THROUGH

Push through the arched and squeaky door of history then arm yourself with force to close it back behind you. Be aware: it’s thick and heavy: a big dark wooden door.

Did you ever venture over to this side? Or even just wondered what could be behind such majestic front gate?

Now cross the threshold. Blink your eyes to click open the next shutter. Only then step inside.

Here, the secret garden is right in front of you. Breathe in, and walk into the white landscape.

You are inside Palazzo Bottigella: an enchanted world, only apparently crystallised by time. Silently and suddenly it has been putting up with modernity: you, I, us, here, now, in this instant, merging with history inside the modern gallery of Hangart Studio.

An elegant portico is guarding a dreamlike vision. Frail slim columns hold onto a floating image that drifts from the tangible to the intangible. Speechless renaissance frescos stare at the ethereal apparition that sways in front of them: back and forth, from fantasy to reality, from the middle to the periphery, weaved into a plaited construction of plastic knots.

Inside, PALAZZO BOTTIGELLA is cradling thousands of plastic bags: they are dressing up a man-made construction into a tree. Artificial leaves release poetic oxygen to aerate our lungs with art and fairy, whilst polluting with carbon dioxide the wonders of our future.

Columns and capitals make room for plastic, and plastic takes over to invade its past. Old and new, art and history, contemporarily, coexisting. Layer over layer informed by one another, constantly reinventing and reinterpreting each other. Past and present, together dreaming of the future.

A tree morphs out of plastic, twining out from a white winter tale, whilst ancient roots wind up to today, hoping to reach spring.

Plastic bags abandoned to wander the atmosphere, stumbled upon an improbable “petrified” tree and now sprout into luscious white foliage.

An overgrowth of plastic vines will branch out to briefly claim the palazzo. They will creep up, over the faded frescos and crawl inside the upper rooms: the ones of our imagination and the physical ones of the cloister, all the way to Hangart Studio.

There! The process of metamorphosis has now been triggered and crackles across, while the hiss of ghostly Benedictine gowns, still roaming their old convent, echo the rustling of crisp plastic leaves.

Listen, the air whispers at the ghostly nun’s passage. Murmuring vibrations, left behind by the breeze of drifty spirits, peregrinate from the palazzo’s courtyard to the loggia, across our minds and a mile down the street into the warehouse’s whitewashed walls of Hangart Studio.

HANGART STUDIO, this is where the sisters’ bell-drapes will swish too. There their sound will be shaped out into flimsy conic figures resembling giant Calla Lilies.

Hangart Studio is where the restless rustling pilgrimage will be voiced out into chaste and virtuous forms. Sounds and sensations materialized through the purity of white plastic to create a temporary virginal landscape ready to be contaminated by contemporary life and by yet another breathless series of transformations: the one you will bring to it.

A journey: from the centre to the edge of town. Present and past connected by art. Plastic bags, a useful poetic tool to look inside my epoch rather than an invasive, unwanted, overlooked and indispensable mirror of my hypocrisy.

If I close my eyes, I see Palazzo Bottigella become Hangart Studio and Hangart Studio becomes Palazzo Bottigella. They come together into one image, wedded by white plastic bags.

Giant lilies and a white tree are swaying from one place to the other, at times overlapping to suddenly blend into a fairy landscape.

Every fantasy needs giants, every life needs a tree and every culture needs nature.

Nature: the thread that binds me to art, to plastic, to this world and to the universe. Nature: my biggest struggle, nature: my greatest relief.

How to connect two diverse places that on first impression seem to have nothing in common but the air they share?

How to complement Palazzo Bottigella? With Nature? With an illusion? With plastic bags? With a tree?

How to link time and space? With nature? With an illusion? With plastic bags? With flowers?

A plastic tree and a nursery of plastic flowers is what I’ve created: come to give them life and consume them in a ruthless dialogue.

Italian version

DI PASSAGGIO

Spingi con forza l’arcuata e stridente porta. Fai attenzione: e’ storia. Armati di ancor più vigore e richiudila: e’ un gran portale di legno scuro, spesso e pesante.

Non ti eri mai azzardata/o ad avventurarti oltre, anche se solo con la fantasia, meravigliandoti di cosa poteva celare una battente così imponente?

Attraversa la soglia. Poi batti gli occhi per far scattare l’altra serratura. Adesso puoi entrare.

Ecco! Di fronte a te c’e’ un giardino segreto.

Ora riprendi il fiato e accomodati nel bianco paesaggio. Sei dentro PALAZZO BOTTIGELLA, in mezzo ad un mondo incantato che solo all’apparenza pare cristallizzato dal tempo.

Anche qui, in punta di piedi, e’ silenziosamente piombato il presente: tu, io, noi, qui, adesso, in quest’istante, fondendoci con la storia nell’ambito di Hangart Studio.

Un elegante portico fa da guardia ad un sogno. Sottili e fragili colonne arrestano una visione che barcolla tra il concreto, il vago e l’indefinibile.

Attoniti affreschi rinascimentali fissano un’apparizione eterea che si ondeggia davanti a loro vacillando tra fantasia e realtà; avanti e in dietro, dal centro alla periferia sino ad intrecciarsi in un’ingarbugliata struttura di nodi di plastica.

Nel ventre del Palazzo, migliaia di sacchetti si dondolano e si travestono da foglie. Foglie artificiali che per l’occasione si acconciano ad albero per ossigenare i nostri polmoni d’arte e di poesia al contempo inquinando d’ossido di carbonio le meraviglie del futuro.

Colonne e capitelli fanno spazio ai sacchetti di plastica che a loro volta invadono prepotentemente il passato. Arte e storia, mondi antichi e moderni convivono contemporaneamente. Strato su strato si formano e si scolpiscono uno sull’altro in un’inesorabile successione d’interpretazioni e  d’innovazioni. Presente e passato, insieme sognano il loro futuro.

La plastica si plasma ergendosi ad albero i cui rami si snodano tutt’intorno come in una fiaba polare, mentre antiche radici si allungano nel presente sperando di raggiungere la primavera.

Sacchetti di plastica abbandonati a se stessi come vagabondi dell’atmosfera s’imbattono in un improbabile albero ‘pietrificato’ sbocciando in un rigoglioso fogliame. E’ una crescita eccessiva che si ramifica e s’arrampica, per reclamare, anche se solo per un breve istante, l’antico palazzo. Rovi di plastica che s’inerpicano sugli affreschi sbiaditi, insinuandosi, su, nelle stanze dell’immaginazione, lungo la loggia e strisciandosi sino alla moderna galleria di Hangart Studio.

Ecco, il processo di metamorfosi si e’ ora innescato e scricchiola nello spazio. Il brusio di spettrali gonne benedettine, che ancora si aggirano per il loro convento, riecheggia, confondendosi al plastico fruscio del fogliame.

Ascolta, lo senti il sussurro dell’aria che si libra al passaggio delle suore? Vibrazioni di rumori emessi dalla brezza di correnti spettrali che peregrinano dal portico di Palazzo Bottigella alle nostre menti e sin dentro le bianche mura di HANGART STUDIO.

E’ nella galleria che il sibilo delle pie tuniche si sagoma in figure coniche: morbide campane floreali simili a gigli giganti.

Hangart studio, e’ dove viene data voce all’instancabile ronzio dell’errare il quale si modella in forme caste e virtuose. Qui suoni e sensazioni si materializzano grazie alla bianca purezza della plastica per creare un fugace paesaggio virginale pronto ad essere contaminato dalla vita contemporanea e da una nuova serie di trasformazioni: quelle che voi apporterete.

Un viaggio: dal centro ai margini della citta’ di Pavia. Presenti e passati connessi dall’arte.

Sacchetti di plastica, un utile mezzo poetico per guardare dentro la mia epoca piuttosto che un invadente, indesiderato e scontato ma indispensabile specchio che riflette l’ipocrisia di realtà contraddittorie.

Se chiudo gli occhi vedo Palazzo Bottigella divenire Hangart Studio e Hangart Studio diventa Palazzo Botticella, insieme si fondono in un’immagine sola, sposati dai bianchi sacchetti di plastica.

Giganti gigli bianchi e un albero, insieme fluttuano da un luogo all’altro, sovrapponendosi e improvvisamente completandosi in un paesaggio fiabesco.

Ad ogni favola occorre un gigante, in ogni vita ci vuole un albero e ogni cultura ha bisogno della natura.

La natura: il filo conduttore che mi unisce all’arte, alla plastica, a questo mio mondo e al resto dell’universo. La natura e’ la mia battaglia. La natura il e’ mio conforto.

Come connettere due luoghi diversi che in apparenza non hanno niente in comune tranne l’aria che li avvolge?

Come complementare Palazzo Bottigella? Con la natura? Con un’illusione? Con la plastica? O forse con un’albero?

Come collegare spazio e tempo? Con la natura? Con un’illusione? Con la plastica? O forse con dei fiori?

Un albero ed un vivaio di fiori, tutti di plastica, e’ quello che ho pensato di creare. Venite a dargli vita ed a consumarli a suon di dibattito e di dialogo.

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About Claudia Borgna

Claudia Borgna artist

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