The opening ceremony of the exhibition Urban Forest, curated by Paolo Falcone, will be held on the 26th of October in the official context of Palermo Capitale della Cultura 2018, in the presence of the Chairman of the Cultural Heritage Committee of the Regione Sicilia, Sebastiano Tura, the Director General, Sergio Alessandro, the Chairman of Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Internazionale, Professor Emmanuele F. M. Emanuele and the Director of the regional Museum Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art in Palermo Valeria Patrizia Li Vigni.The exhibition has been promoted and produced by Fondazione Cultura e Arte, a branch of Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Internazionale, in association with the City of Palermo and designed by the Museum Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art.
The curator Paolo Falcone has invited some of the leading artists on the international scene to exhibit large artworks in situ linked to each other so as to create a route between the exhibition places that interpret and implement the concept of Urban Forest and communicate with the prestigious venues Piazza Bologni and Palazzo Belmonte Riso.
The project aims to build a constellation of linguistic expressions, a forest of interpretations of nature through the artists’ vision in the new millennium.
Professor Emmanuele F. M. Emanuele, who strongly requested and supported this project, affirmed, “The relationship between man and nature, nature and culture has been a constant in art ever since the dawn of the man’s first expressions. The earliest humans depicted the world around them in every way, using various forms of expression, as has always been the case throughout the course of history. Although I believe that art is a seamless flow and thus eludes any classification or sectorization, the so called contemporary art is no exception, as it loads this indissoluble bond between art and nature with new, urgent meanings. In a world in which the environment is abused and threatened, a new ethical commitment must inevitably be undertaken, through the communication power of art, to innovate and corroborate the indissoluble bond between man and nature. This is why I was determined to hold this exhibition, though I must say I was sincerely disappointed that I did not manage to fully accomplish the wider exhibition that should have brought the ideal forest of artworks to the characteristic Cassaro district in ancient Palermo since the authorities inexplicably failed to issue the necessary permits. Although we regrettably had to forego many outdoor installations, which in my original plan should have constellated along Via Vittoria Emanuele up to the sea, the exhibition eventually saw the light and still gives life to post-modern forest created by the greatest artists currently active on the international scene in a constructive dialogue that intends to save the architecture and history of the city and above all our troubled society and the bewildered humanity of the Third Millennium.”
The artists were selected by focusing on those whose interpretation of nature and its manipulation provided original compositional elements whilst formulating new aesthetic and representation codes.
The main artists include Ai Weiwei, Doug Aitken, Francesco De Grandi, Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Jimmie Durham, Olafur Eliasson, Bill Fontana, Sara Goldschmied & Eleonora Chiari, Carsten Höller, Ann Veronica Janssens, Koo Jeong A, Richard Long, Ernesto Neto, Benedetto Pietromarchi, Tomás Saraceno, Astrid Seme, Conrad Shawcross, Andreas Slominski, Pascale Marthine Tayou and Luca Vitone.