Irene Pittatore, One Week Plinth, 2024
Irene Pittatore: MONUMENTA ITALIA
Feb 26 – Mar 28, 2024
Opera Viva Barriera di Milano / Recontemporary
Turin, Italy

Monumenta Italia is a public art project by Irene Pittatore, curated by Lisa Parola and Tea Taramino. Do we still need heroes? A question that cyclically resurfaces in history is the starting point of Monumenta Italia, an artistic project of awareness, dissemination, and production that aims to engage the public in reflecting on the scarcity of monuments dedicated to women: an opportunity for civic reflection on urban artistic heritage and what it means today to speak of monumentality, memory, and heritage in relation to women’s history.

The Monumenta Italia project is based in Turin and was created to operate nationwide, bringing together the expertise of cultural and art workers accompanied by a series of works conceived by artist Irene Pittatore. The project is based on the research project of the Centro Studi e Documentazione Pensiero Femminile APS Monumentale dimenticanza, aimed at cataloging the presence of monuments dedicated to historical female figures in the cities and municipalities of Piedmont.

The project kicks off on February 26 in Piazza Bottesini, with the display of posters featuring data and questions regarding the presence of women in the public monumental heritage of Piedmont. The posters will also be displayed at the Piazza Bengasi Metro station (March 6–31, 2024) and at the URP of the Piedmont Regional Council in Via Arsenale 14/G (March 4–29, 2024).

Monumenta Italia continues at the Recontemporary spaces, at the foot of the Mole Antonelliana, where from March 6 to 28, an exhibition-laboratory is presented to investigate the themes of the presence of women’s history in public space and its narration. Irene Pittatore’s works will be presented to the public as tools for reflection on the research themes and will be the starting point for workshops and meetings open to schools, universities, and a diverse audience.

The exhibition, conceived as an itinerant project, is designed as a “working kit” that includes posters, a banner, videos, and photographs of artistic performances that will be used each time as the starting point for meetings with experts and activists.

Why Monumenta Italia? If history is not told, history does not exist. Now more than ever, we need to reflect on the idea of public heritage in relation to women’s history and the concept of monumentality itself. The artistic heritage in public space is still predominantly male. We move in an urban scenography predominantly composed of men “who have made history.”

Often erected and almost never inclined, the monument can be interpreted as a masculine “I” that never foresees a “We.” The monument does not question history; it wants to be history. The public body is therefore the male body. Women’s statues have no names, do not document facts, and often present themselves as archetypes, symbols, muses: prosperity, homeland, justice, often represented reclining or kneeling at the feet of the hero, are symbols, rarely women protagonists of facts or actions. Based on these premises, Monumenta Italia questions, investigates, researches with the intention of challenging the idea of monumentality in favor of a profound reflection on the public presence of women.

Part of the data collected by Monumenta Italia comes from Monumentale dimenticanza (2018),a research project by Centro Studi e Documentazione Pensiero Femminile APS, aimed at cataloging the presence of monuments dedicated to historical female figures in the cities and municipalities of Piedmont and Italy. The census was supported by the Piedmont Regional Council and the Consulta delle Elette del Piemonte in 2018. This census highlighted unequivocal data: in Turin, in the provincial capitals of Piedmont, and in the 1088 municipalities with more than 5000 inhabitants, the number of monuments dedicated to women is minimal, if not zero. The dissemination and contextualization of this data will allow citizens to observe the monumental heritage of their cities with different eyes, becoming aware of the so-called “epistemicide”: the liquidation and burial of women’s thinking, which also manifests itself through the lack of public recognition of civil, intellectual, political, artistic, and scientific merits. A first step to advance, together and consciously, towards new paradigms of equity and equality.

Actions:

Piazza Bottesini, Turin / Billboard
As part of Opera Viva Barriera di Milano, the first billboard of 2024
Feb 26 – Mar 11, 2024

URP del Consiglio Regionale del Piemonte / Complete series of billboards and 2 videos
Via Arsenale 14/G, Torino
Mar 4–29, 2024

Piazza Bengasi Metro Station, Turin / 8 lightboxes with the complete series of billboards
Mar 6–31, 2024

Recontemporary
Exhibition and Workshop
Mar 6–28, 2024

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