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Friday, February 23, 2024

Public art in domestic spaces

Futur Dome: / a living museum in Milan

In the culture of the contemporary art world, the history of exhibition spaces has developed around the ideological concept commonly referred to as the white cube. In the summer of 1986, from June 21 to September 21, the exhibition Chambres d'Amis (Friends' Rooms) invaded Ghent, Belgium, laying the groundwork for the creation of the Museum von Hedendaagse. In this way, 58 dwellings occupied by city dwellers became exhibition spaces for artists such as Panamarenko, Juan Munoz and Hidetoshi Nagasawa,
Bruce Nauman, Maria Nordman, not forgetting Joseph Kosuth, Jannis Kounellis and Bertrand Lavier.

Selected by Jan Hoet, the works of international artists are integrated into the daily lives of families of all socio-cultural levels, who welcome them into their intimacy. Whether in bourgeois neighborhoods or on the outskirts of the small town
houses open their doors to the public, making us forget the confined and distant world of the classic museum institution. Works of art, immersed in the very heart of private space, take over the walls of corridors, bedrooms and even kitchens, offering not a privileged choice but a reflection of art as a condition. So, in this particular context, while art becomes a provocative presence, it is at the same time accessible, presenting itself without any particular artifice, without a case, without a pedestal to show it off.

The choice fell on a Liberty-style building of some two thousand square meters, built in 1913, which in recent years has undergone an internal architectural transformation focusing on the contribution of light to highlight each element of the historic building. The building, which is part of ISISUF, has a number of missions, including the extension over time of cultural activities arising from the updating of the institute's own archives, the restructuring of the current exhibition headquarters in Milan, and the reorganization of the Basel archives. This emblematic building comprises twenty residential units of various types: studios, small two- to three-room apartments, penthouses with penthouse terraces and gallery studios on the ground floor.
The building's involvement with contemporary art is sealed by a contractual status that will allow L'ISISUF to pursue its artistic programming for the next two years, both in the available apartments and in the common areas. Thereafter, it will be up to the co-owners to decide whether or not to continue the exhibition program.

Fundamentally, testing the home environment in all its forms, on all levels, means exploring this microcosm with a broader, open-minded intention that interferes with more general socio-economic and socio-political themes. What's more, in an open building such as this one, vacant apartments possess an original semantic charge that gives them the power to imagine, thanks to the link between the public and private dimensions, an architecture that's more than just a place to live.
public and private dimensions, an architecture of the possible. In short, a place where anything can still happen.

For a generation of artists such as Enrico Boccioletti, Guglielmo Castelli, Alessandro di Pietro, Michele Gabriele, Diego Miguel Mirabella, Giovanni Oberti, Jonathan Vivacqua, Ornaghi&Prestinari and Valentina Perazzini, distancing oneself from one's own roots, for each of these artists, this distancing from one's own roots, achieved through a personal process of recognition, first involves an inner search before being displayed outwardly, and then takes on its full meaning in the name given to the exhibition itself: The Habit of a Foreign Sky, which welcomes them to

Chambre d'Amis was not only a professional experience for the artists, but also an opportunity to build relationships with a public that was more or less skeptical of contemporary art. Many of the apartment-owners were acquainted with certain artists
artists, but for some it was their very first contact with this kind of approach to art. Their testimonials are particularly interesting. Thanks to their direct contact with the artists, their point of view has changed profoundly, and their conception of contemporary art has evolved positively.
art has evolved positively. This is the success, the victory of Chambres d'Amis, and the one hoped for by The Habit of a Foreign Sky exhibition project. In FuturDome, however, the only residents are the artists themselves, who have worked in the apartments provided, and their works are no longer objects but subjects who play an active role in the concept of the enjoyment of art. Most of the artists selected by The Habit of a Foreign Sky interpret this relationship between public and private in their own particular way, often creating interventions that are sometimes difficult to understand, disarming the visitor transformed into a spectator and provoking in the latter a sense of disorientation despite the familiar surroundings. In this way, the dwelling is interpreted as a territory at the crossroads of collective works, which not only create spaces with specific site markings, but also give a certain rhythm to the visit.

For most of the artists present, it's a way of forging links with a public that's more or less open to contemporary art, a way of giving an account of themselves in a confidential parenthesis set in a place with a well-known connotation.

With population movements due to natural disasters and migratory movements of all origins, housing takes on a special significance. Italy is affected on several levels. Thus, The Habit of a Foreign Sky is to become a kind of
The Habit of a Foreign Sky should become a kind of protection for individuality, offering at the same time an analysis of itself, and should mark the history of the action of dwelling, offering the possibility of presenting public dwelling places that are about to pass into the private domain.