Michelangelo Pistoletto has been associated with arte povera, defining a new kind of monumentality with his 1960s sculptures juxtaposing rags and other ‘worthless’ materials with the forms of classical antiquity. From 1962 he has used mirrors and metals such as gold, silver or copper as reflective backgrounds for ‘cut-out’ life-sized photographic human figures. These super-impositions fuse the present and the past into a single image, challenging the very idea of representation. In recent years the mirrors have often been shown without the added layer of figuration, and sometimes they have been deliberately smashed.
Michelangelo Pistoletto will realise both a large outdoor work ‘Third Paradise’ and a keynote speech, titled ‘the Work on the World’. Both start from his ‘third paradise’ notion that can be seen as an artistic aspiration to let the classical thesis/antithesis thinking transcend itself into an opulent engagement with the world, inspired by art. If there are two opposing spheres, we can read in the third paradise sign, something entirely new can grow in the middle. The outdoor third paradise, closed line that twists itself into three circles, is realised from sitting benches. As a result of the coherence of the line, the benches on the outer circles are turned outwards, those in the central circle look inwards.
Credits (c)image: M HKA