Monday, 29 August 2016

The Third Paradise

After the sewer tour on Saturday, I wandered around Brighton for a while and ended up at Fabrica, where the latest exhibition was in its final days.
I'd intended to visit this exhibition a while ago, but circumstances were never such that I had time to go there!

The exhibition this time was The Third Paradise: The Labyrinth and the Well by Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto.

The room was filled with cardboard, bent and made into walls that lead the visitor on a twisting, turning pathway, or labyrinth, through the gallery.

At its centre stands a 'well', with a mirror in the bottom, and coins, as though tossed in by wish-makers.

The bottom of the 'well' features Pistoletto's Third Paradise symbol, used in all of his works of his current phase: that of an infinity sign with an extra loop.

As usual, this work evoked a bit of a clueless reaction from me, so the leaflet I picked up was handy. In it, a quote from the artist explains,
"The Third Paradise seeks to reconcile the conflict between the first paradise of nature and the second paradise of human artifice. This conflict has led to destructive problems that threaten the planet, but by imagining a third paradise representing a socially responsible path to a new global civilization, we can aim for a resolution that will save the planet and humanity."

From the leaflet, I also learnt that Pistoletto is a founder of the Arte Povera movement, which I'll admit I had to google.
Tate's website defines it as
"[...] a radical Italian art movement from the late 1960s to 1970s whose artists explored a range of unconventional processes and non traditional 'everyday' materials." 
(Check their website for a more in-depth history!)

Though - as usual - the meaning of this installation was lost on me until I read the information about it, the execution is effective. Although one could easily look upon the work and say 'but it's just cardboard' and a mirror with coins on top, it takes some planning to put stuff like this together--and you can guarantee that if most of us tried to construct a piece like this, it would end up looking like a dog's dinner.

After reading the information, I understood the installation much better, and appreciate that concept behind it, as quoted on the leaflet:
"The Third Paradise is an evolutionary transition in which human intelligence finds a way to coexist with the intelligence of nature" - Michelangelo Pistoletto
Of course, I also enjoyed going into Fabrica again, because I really like the building!


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    1. So the cardboard maze is supposed to represent the "intelligence of nature" and the and the person going around the maze is supposed to represent the "human intelligence" and the maze part and the the interaction between the two is the coexisting and the imagined path of the "third paradise" then? And the coins and the mirror (reflection of yourself? Of the world? Of people? IDK!) are supposed to represent the destructive problems that already exist, maybe (?) being wished away in the "well" at the centre, in the three rings/paradises? *this bit disappeared, so I deleted my last commented & reposted, sorry*

      That's what I got from what you said about this installation at least and if that's it, then I think it's kind of cool. Though maybe actually having something more to do with nature forming the maze, rather than cardboard would have been more relevant. Then again, cardboard is made of trees that have been cut down by humans, so I guess that adds to the message.

      Anyway, I'll stop trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about now, because I clearly don't. XD This was an interesting post, so thank you for it :)