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"LUCI D'ARTISTA A TORINO": 14 artists light the city streets

November 21st, 1998 - January 10, 1999

On the evening of Saturday 21st November 1998 the city of Turin inaugurated a truly original artistic event: 14 artist illuminated 20 km of the city's streets and squares with their own "messages", using up to a total of 50 kmq of "urban canvas".

The artists Vasco Are, Francesco Casorati, Enrico De Paris, Richi Ferrero, Carmelo Giammello, Emanuele Luzzati, Luigi Mainolfi, Mario Molinari, Luigi Nervo, Giulio Paolini, Luigi Stoisa, Francesco Tabusso and two young artists Domenico Luca Pannoli and Enrica Borghi - who where selected from a competition organised by BIG Torino 2000 - transformed the traditional Christmas decorations, with their illuminated installations, into an exceptional event.

LUCI D'ARTISTA A TORINO is a project which was devised by the City of Turin, and is the further development of a project realised for the Christmas period in 1997, when the artist and scenographer Emanuele Luzzati constructed a huge "presepe" (nativity scene) in the piazza that lies just in front of the city's central station. The event was enriching, and deeply changed the atmosphere in the city.

The members of the committee responsible for the coordination of the project are: Pier Giovanni Castagnoli (director of "GAM", the Turin civic Gallery of Modern Art), the architect Sergio Jaretti, Stefano Valezano and Turismo Torino (tourist office promoting the metropolitan area of Turin). One of the committee's many objectives for the project was that of creating an occasion where contemporary art meets the general public.

The exhibition covered not only the main streets and squares in the historical centre (from the central station Porta Nuova to Piazza Castello, from Piazza Statuto to Piazza Vittorio), but also other characteristic areas of the city as San Salvario, Porta Palazzo, Santa Rita and Il Balôn. The city streets became an immense open air exhibition of contemporary art, that rivet the attention of citizens and tourists alike, in this cultural, artistic and particularly suggestive event.

Visitors received a diverse perception of the city, either through the awareness of being part of an artistic event or simply through their joy at seeing the lights and being intrigued by the illuminated forms.. The artists themselves had to confront both the general public and a rather out of the ordinary gallery space.

LUCI D'ARTISTA A TORINO is certainly not a one-off that disappear after the Christmas period, but will continue on a yearly basis evolving from year to year to include new works of art and many cultural events proposed by the City of Turin.

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