NO MAN’S LAND
Site-specific installation
by Yona Friedman and Jean-Baptiste Decavèle

Opening: Saturday 14th May 2016, 12.00 Contrada Rotacesta – Loreto Aprutino (Pescara)

Saturday 14th May 2016, at 12.00, the Fondazione ARIA will open at Contrada Rotacesta in Loreto Aprutino (Pescara) the site-specific installation No man’s land by Yona Friedman and Jean- Baptiste Decavèle. The project was born from the significant collaboration between the artists, ARIA, Cecilia Casorati, the foundation’s artistic director, Zerynthia Association and Mario Pieroni, who donated the ground on which the installation has been constructed.

The installation is the largest ever made by Friedman, the French-Hungarian artist and architect, born in 1923, a visionary and original thinker whose considerations have become a point of reference for contemporary culture.

In recent years Friedman’s work has been reappraised by the contemporary art world and he has been invited to the eleventh Documenta in Kassel and to various editions of the Venice Biennale; from June his Summer House will be open to visitors at the Serpentine in London. Finally, his entire archive – photographs, notes, sketches and letters – has recently been acquired by the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.

The artist’s starting point is the consideration that the world is already too built up and that architecture ought therefore to be rethought. It is not a case of building new structures but rather of building new images.

The “image” that Yona Friedman has created and constructed in Loreto Aprutino (Pescara) along with the artist Jean-Baptiste Decavèle, with whom he has already collaborated for some years, extends over more than two hectares of countryside and is composed of a large natural tapestry made of white river stones, a structure of 1000 bamboo canes recalling the artist’s museum without walls, and an imaginary dictionary carved into over 200 walnut trees. The construction has seen the active participation of the students of the Rome Academy of Fine Art, the Pescara Faculty of Architecture and the Art Schools of the area, becoming as such a privileged place for the renewal of educational processes and for the spreading of culture.

No man’s land is proposed as a model for social and ethical change – repeatable in any place in the world – to cancel the idea of property, to transform a private asset into a common one, following a sustainable course that returns the place unto itself. The negative implication of no man’s land, a land without rules, here assumes a positive meaning: no man’s land is a gift that art gives to all.

Over the years this place will be managed by the new, homonymous No Man’s Land Foundation, created specifically and currently in the process of being recognised, the aim of which being to give life to to a programme that does not end with the conservation and fruition of Friedman’s work, but that will nourish new initiatives curated in situ thanks to a synergy with the Fondazione ARIA – Adriatic Industrial Foundation. The aim is that of exporting the model of “non-property” to other places, inspiring a series of initiatives on the theme of evolution of territorial culture, according to Friedman’s participative philosophy.

ARIA, born in 2011 and composed of managers, educators, professionals, artists, intellectuals and associations from Abruzzo, promotes the territory by carrying out cultural initiatives on an international scale with sustainable development, planned in a way that is economically virtuous and sociably useful.

Biographical notes:
Yona Friedman (Budapest, 1923) was educated in Hungary. After the war he moved to Haifa in Israel where he worked for around a decade. Since 1957 he has lived in Paris. He has taught at a number of American universities and has collaborated with the UN and UNESCO. In recent years Friedman has been reappraised by the contemporary art world and he has been invited to the eleventh Documenta in Kassel (2002) and to various editions of the Venice Biennale. He is the author of important essays on architecture, among the more recent of which Feasible Utopias (2003), The Architecture of Survival. A Philosophy of Poverty (2009) and The Complicated Order. Building an image (2011). The corpus of his work has been exhibited at the Center for Contemporary Art di Kitakyushu in Japan and in the month of June 2016 his Summer House will be open to visitors at the Serpentine in London; his entire archive – photographs, notes, sketches and letters – has been recently acquired by the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.

Jean-Baptiste Decavèle (Grenoble, 1961) has exhibited in a number of European and North American galleries and public spaces and he has participated in important video festivals. In 1999 and in 2001 he received the Villa Medici “Hors Les Murs” prize. He has for some years collaborated with Yona Friedman on the creation of the Iconostases.

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