Text artist's book The Map is not the territory (Montedellarte)


Recognise – Recount - Remap

2018, Juan Sandoval, Art Office Director – Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto

There are different ways of experiencing and confronting a given territory. One can become acquainted with a location via maps and photographs, or through direct experience by walking along a path or road, or simply by wandering and getting lost – and perhaps discovering something new along the way. Over the years, many artistic projects have been developed in Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto. Using varied means and within different timeframes, a number have investigated the possible relationships between the territory and its residents. In 2002, in the context of the Parco Fluviale (Riverside Park), Portuguese artist Maria Joao Calisto developed the Photographic Safari project, taking scores of Biella residents for shoreline strolls in the areas where the Cervo stream crosses the town. Calisto invited the participants to photograph different aspects of the site using disposable cameras. In 2013, Russian artist Anastasia Ryabova involved a group of young people in a series of city explorations, proceeding along a star-shaped path that she drew on the map of Biella; walking that path, participants were forced to traverse both public and private spaces, encountering and coming up against buildings and urban structures. In 2015, the artist duo Andrea Caretto and Raffaella Spagna’s project I Malus, conductedwith residents working in agricultural production, especially apple orchards, offered a complex interpretation of several implications in the relationship between produce and territory.

In 2017, Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto produced Griet Dobbels’ Montedellarte, a performative action that once again leads to a reflection on the resident-territory relationship, using known strategies but transforming and blending them into something new and different. Dobbels’ actions – such as tracing an itinerary on a map, inviting participants to ‘record and share’ the walk itself and involving local residents in a specific action – all combine to create an artwork and experience that focuses on the importance of finding moments and instruments to explore and observe the territory from a different perspective.