Foto: Lorenzo Palmieri. Courtesy Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milano.

High School

Appearance as Reality

"A Leaf-Shaped Animal Draws The Hand" by Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

Runs from 12 September 2019 to 19 January 2020

Introduction
For years Daniel Steegmann Mangrané (Barcelona, 1977; lives and works in Rio de Janeiro) has been engaged in an artistic exploration of how geometric and abstract forms intersect with elements of the natural world around us. The resulting imagery has given rise to recurring motifs such as leaves, trees, and insects that prompt us to reflect on the reality of the world we inhabit. One of the main subjects of his work is the Mata Atlântica, one of the richest rainforests in terms of biodiversity, which extends along the Atlantic coast of Brazil, reaching as far as Paraguay. The artist’s work involves a poetic approach in which geometric and abstract forms intersect with the elements of Nature. The resulting imagery has given rise to recurring motifs such as leaves, trees, and insects that prompt us to reflect on the reality of the world we inhabit. The artist uses a variety of media to create his works, including film, sculpture, video, photography, design and installation, favouring methods in which the technical characteristics are intrinsically linked to the process of producing the work.

Focus Areas

  • History of art
  • Biology
  • Geography

Educational Objectives
Drawing inspiration from the artistic practice of Daniel Steegmann Mangrané – which represents his vision of the relationship between nature and culture using different technologies in order to stimulate a variety of thoughts and reactions in those who observe his works, depending on the case – the objective of the course is to invite the children to exercise their observation and analytical skills, and to encourage them to adopt a critical approach to the world around them. One of the other purposes of the activity is to create opportunities for peer-to-peer education that involves students in both the design and content sharing stages.

Activities
In the first phase, the participants will be divided into small groups and invited to explore the exhibition on their own, with the aim of combining one or more of the works present in the space with certain keywords – supplied by the Arts Tutors – that exemplify the recurring themes of Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s creative philosophy. The resulting works that most closely match these select keywords are then photographed. To conclude this activity, each group will share its own pathway with the rest of the class, and explain the choices they made. In the second phase, students will be asked to design and develop visual, audio, and written content using different forms of contemporary communication.

Thematic Activities: Infinite transformations

“....the Illuminating Gas” by Cerith Wyn Evans

Runs from 31 October 2019 to 23 February 2020

Introduction
“.…the Illuminating Gas” is the largest exhibition ever set up by the Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans (born 1958 in Llanelli, Wales, United Kingdom; lives and works between London and Norwich, UK), whose installations employ a wide variety of different materials – mirrors, neon lights, plants, fireworks, projectors, strobe lighting – to create works of either tangible or ephemeral nature devised to prompt reflections on the evocative power of art and its capacity to generate clashes between different meanings, and to raise questions on the borders between the visible and the invisible, between material and immaterial. His works inquire into the phenomenon of synesthesia, and dovetail visual with aural stimuli coupled with movement, often tapping into a repertoire of cultural references that span the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and cover literature, music, philosophy, photography, poetry, art history, astronomy, and science. The outcome is a complex stratification of meanings, associations and interpretations that challenge the observer to decipher the dynamic system before them: Evans’s creations generate multiple scenarios, short-circuits, and juxtapositions of meaning that open new perspectives on our concepts of reality.

Focus areas

• Art history
• Sciences

Activities
The entire excursion takes place in the installation itself and will draw the students’ attention to numerous quotes and cross-references to other works by Cerith Wyn Evans – some evident, some less obvious – so as to highlight the complex overlapping meanings, associations, and interpretation that criss-cross through the exhibition, in both its underlying design and its layout.
Among the key figures from the last century’s art world are Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) and Marcel Broodthaers (1924–76), Morse Code, Noh theatre and Japanes culture in general, whereas movies and astronomy are among the various areas of study that visitors are invited to investigate during their excursion.

Thematic Activities: Anselm Kiefer and Multi-material Painting

“The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015” by Anselm Kiefer

Introduction
Five large paintings from between 2009 and 2013, on display for the first time, enrich and expand The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015, the permanent work by Anselm Kiefer, bringing new meaning to it by creating an interaction between the installation and the new paintings. An in-depth analysis of Anselm Kiefer’s artistic practice reflects on the core aspects of his work, including the relationship between man and nature, and references to the history of ideas and Western philosophy.

Focus Areas

• History of Art
• Italian and Foreign Literature
• History
• Religion

Activities
The course will consist of two parts: the first in the form of a brief face-to-face lesson, with images showing the use of materials in Anselm Kiefer’s art from the 1970s onwards. In the second, the children will be accompanied by the arts tutors around the exhibition to observe and analyse the five paintings in relation to the Heavenly Palaces. At the end of the activity, they will be given a small fascicle with the key notions explained during the lecture.

One, No One, a Hundred Thousand

“The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015” by Anselm Kiefer

Introduction
In The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015 Anselm Kiefer uses several objects imbued with a value that goes beyond what they represent: the tower, the book, the ship and numbered glass shards. The latter help us discover the star, the recurrent element in our daily life, geographical and political history, and – above all – religions. We will see how a seemingly commonplace image can hold countless meanings that are universal and subjective, immediate and hidden, shared and personal.
We will learn that each object can invoke an invisible world that goes beyond its mere representation: form and content, significant and significance, do not always coincide. The symbol is something different from what it appears to be, the visible part of that which is not present.

Focus Areas

• History
• Italian
• Religion
• History of art
• Philosophy

Educational Objectives
The young people will be asked to reflect on the multiplicity of senses that an image contains, learning to go beyond appearance to glean the true value that is concealed behind forms. They will understand the difference between sign and symbol, and the fact that, at times, they can be universal and shared by all, whereas at other times they are strictly subjective.

Activities
Starting with the recognition and interpretation of the symbols in The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015, they will ponder the broader concept of symbols and the contexts in which they are used. Therefore, starting from the assumption that any daily object can remain such, but can also acquire a myriad of meanings, the young people will be asked to choose an object, form, fruit or word that best represents them, to which they will attribute a content and meaning that will make them their own personal symbol, on a strictly subjective level.