Nov. 2nd, 2013: The Celebration of the Living, 4th ed., Phoenix

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The Arizona State University Art Museum has invited Emilio Fantin, Luigi Negro, Giancarlo Norese, and Cesare Pietroiusti (as the authors of the collaborative art project Lu Cafausu) to participate in an artist residency through the ASU Art Museum International Visiting Artist Residency Program from the fall of 2012 through the fall of 2013. 

The ASU Art Museum and the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts are invested in the critical role of socially-based art practice and fostering greater access to and engagement with the creative process of professional artists to broader public audiences. The artists’ project for the ASU Art Museum, “The Celebration of the Living (who reflect upon death), 4th edition” is ideally matching these goals.

The residency will entail the opportunity to develop new work in collaboration with community members and organizations in Arizona as well as in partnership with selected resources through Arizona State University.

The first part of the project “The Celebration of the living (who reflect upon death)”, consisted of a series of meetings with the art community (the so called Roosevelt Row, downtown Phoenix) and with anyone who were interested in the project. Fantin and Norese already started these meetings in 2012 and they are going to complete them in 2013 together with the other two artists. The four of them would like to discuss a crucial topic as the idea of death, through the analysis of the social rituals and the urban/plural art practices, in order to give a common contribution to the improvement of the cultural life in the city. They hope that their European point of view will be helpful to develop, together with the people from Phoenix, interesting visions for a new imaginary. 

As a starting point for the realization of the project in Fall 2013, and to better understand the reality of Phoenix the artists will be dealing with the opinions and experiences of the locals and will consider which changes and adjustments to the original idea could be done through a common process. The meetings will be also an occasion to talk about other issues about downtown Phoenix, as for example the urban development of the neighbourhood, the everyday life in relation to the urbanization and to the needs of all the people who are living there and in the nearby areas.

The concept for “The Celebration of the Living (who reflect upon death)” in Phoenix takes inspiration from the other projects they made in Italy, as the one which was organized in 2010, and included into the And And And events as part of dOCUMENTA (13): a procession based on a symbolic icon, a boat, that was pushed by the participants along the streets of the village of San Cesario di Lecce, in Apulia, Southern Italy. 

Referring to the project in Fall 2013 in Arizona, the car is considered as an icon of the city of Phoenix. The car is an essential need for living in the city but at the same time it represents one of the more frequent causes of death: in this paradox lays the potential of the iconic symbol. Fantin, Norese, Negro and Pietroiusti would like to organize a parade in downtown Phoenix where the people will help them to push into reverse a crashed car. The parade route, some collateral events and musical happenings will be discussed with people. 

They also would like to discuss the topics related to the project in other occasions in USA through workshop, seminars and lectures.

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