Artist in Residence 2002”, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, and Kanazawa College of Art, 2002

Dedicated to the inhabitants of the houses

The work was done in the context of the “Artist in Residence” project organized by the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art of Kanazawa, and consisted of the installation of small light bulbs on the facades of residences adjacent to the site where the museum was to be built, designed by the SANAA architecture firm. A sensor inside the individual apartments detected the movements of their inhabitants and activated the light bulb outside whenever someone was present in the dwelling. The pulsing of the light revealed the life inside the homes for those outside.

The aim of the work was also to help the local community approach contemporary art, in preparation for the construction of the new museum.

With the collaboration of faculty and students of the Kanazawa College of Art, the artist met with every family, to personally ask them to participate in the project. An advertising campaign was also organized, with posters that showed the facades of the houses with the lights turned on: the language of advertising permitted the whole community to learn about the project, whether they perceived it as art or not.

The work is an evolution of the projects shown at Casa Masaccio in San Giovanni Valdarno (AR) in 1996, at Galleria Galliani in Genoa in 1997, and in Watou in 1999, during the exhibition “Serendipiteit – Poëziezomer”. Regarding this series of works, Luca Cerizza writes: “These luminous topographies narrate a dialogue between private and public space. The private dimension, captured in minimal forms, far from any temptation of voyeurism and/or exhibitionism, emerges from its boundaries to become a public ‘spectacle’. The public dimension, the life of a city, a neighborhood, a space of social contact, is enhanced by new signs, like new information inserted over a map we thought was already complete” [Luca Cerizza, “Il sistema emotivo: Strutture e topografie nel lavoro di Alberto Garutti”, in Tre tentativi per un catalogo ragionato dell’opera di Alberto Garutti, Kaleidoscope Press, Milan, 2010, p. 14-15].