Posted in Artworks
The event “Campo Urbano. Interventi estetici nella dimensione collettiva urbana” (The Urban Field. Aesthetic Interventions in the Public Urban Sphere), organised in Como on September 21, 1969, and curated by Luciano Caramel, Ugo Mulas and Bruno Munari, aimed at proposing new hypotheses and a potential dialogue and relationship between artists and the public at large within the city. The interventions interacted directly with everyday life activities. It was an invitation to search for a real, dialectical and educational relationship with the inhabitants and the city. Artists had to face relevant issues that invest the very meaning of art and its function within society.
Tempo libero. Strutturazione temporale in uno spazio urbano (Free time. Temporary structuration in an urban space) was the intervention designed by Edilio Alpini, Davide Boriani, Gianni Colombo and Gabriele Devecchi. They were among the first ones to be interested in Campo Urbano and to contribute to the definition of the program of events.
The intervention is an artificial rainstorm triggered in Piazza Duomo on the evening of September 21st with water coming from Firemen’s supply, electric solders that simulate the flashes of lightnings on the façades of buildings on the square, the sound of rain, far aways thunders, wind, city traffic under the rain recorded and amplified, beamers with yellow-green or slate blue light to lit up the area, groups of flash spotlights arranged on façades, numbered according to their switching sequence in order to simulate lighting bolts.
The rainstorm as a “gesture” stigmatises the tendency to accept the ephemeral as a prevailing dimension of practice. Artists operating within urban public sphere have an alternative, as Boriani writes in the text accompanying the project: “Either ignoring the existing problems in the aesthetic and cultural ambits of that same collective sphere […] or aiming at a different role, demanding effective cultural politics to public administration, local and central […]. In such direction, we thought it was possible to operate within the ‘urban field’; yet, despite such initial good wills, we realised that the participation of artists ended up as confined within the limits of an ephemeral manifestation, a city festival. Thus it was unavoidable that such a bight festive day would end in a rainstorm, as in the best tradition, that is something obvious, pleonastic, useless and completely devoid of any aesthetic or content ambition, whose diligent reconstruction engaged us with our usual repertory means, hoping that we did not disappoint you, this time”.
Caramel L., Mulas U. & Munari B. (eds.), Campo urbano. Interventi estetici nella dimensione collettiva urbana, Editrice Cesare Nani, Como 1969, p.118
Tempo libero. Strutturazione temporale in uno spazio urbano (Free time. Temporary structuration in an urban space)
Edilio Alpini, Davide Boriani, Gianni Colombo, Gabriele Devecchi