Curated by A. Soldaini, Teatro di Fabbrica, Peccioli (PI), 1995-97

This work is dedicated to the young women and young men who fell in love in this little theater

The work consists in the philological renovation of a small theater at Peccioli (Pisa), a place cherished by the community, but one that had been abandoned at the time. On a stone slab at the entrance of the theater, the following phrase is engraved: “dedicated to the young women and young men who fell in love in this little theater”.

This was the first public commission received by the artist, a seminal work with respect to the method applied in all his subsequent works in the space of the city: the encounter with citizens, the people for whom the work is made, but indirectly also its clients, seen as a way of stimulating a linguistic updating of the work; investigation of the territory, so that the work will not undermine historical memory, but take it as its theme; the commentary on the economic dynamics of the art system, for which the artist makes his “professionalism” and the entire budget available for an intervention that will be “useful” for the townspeople; the use of a caption as an activating device, of the dedication as a “perpetual motor” of the work. At Peccioli, the restructuring became the “aesthetic” opportunity to assert a methodological procedure the artist defines as “Macchiavellian”, because on the one hand the work is integrated in the social and geographical territory, while on the other it addresses the art system, exploring its languages.

“For me, the priority was to make a work that would not be rejecting by the townspeople – the artist says – a work with minimum environmental impact, that would shift the linguistic level to avoid populist demagogy. All this meant, as it does today, working on the method in a political way, rather than making a political work”.

“In public projects – he continues – I have glimpsed the danger of the self-referential nature of the art system. So I have understood that it was necessary to ‘go toward’… and, in the end, what is a work if not an encounter? To ‘go toward’ contains a political idea; and in this sense my work is political, precisely because it aims at establishing a plot of relationships with the city” [Achille Bonito Oliva, “Alberto Garutti”, in Enciclopedia della parola. Dialoghi d’artista. 1968-2008, Skira Editore, Milano, 2008, pp. 396-405].

The Opera per la Corale Vincenzo Bellini, made at Colle Val d’Elsa for “Arte all’Arte” in 2000, was also the restructuring of a building, in this case the headquarters of a chorus from that town.