We would normally rewrite the email from Vittorio Parisi and put the whole thing in our vernacular, but to be honest, we have to catch a flight to the East Coast in a couple hours, Poo (our cat) has to be attended to before our trip and errands need to be ran... So, in Vittorio's words below, check out this great street art show running in Italy and hear his issues.
If you like what you see and read, be sure to lend your support by leaving a comment at the bottom of the post. This will help ensure events like this continue not just in Italy but in other cities around the world.
My name is Vittorio Parisi, I'm 27 y.o. and I work as chief curator and reviewer for Doppelgaenger art gallery in Bari, southern Italy.
I am a passionate, long-standing follower of Fecal Face, and I'm honored to write you for the first time, in order to present this street art exhibition we opened on June 25, with the participation of six artists: Eltono, Sam III, Hell'O Monsters, Sten & Lex, 108, Ozmo. The show is called "Fresh Flaneurs", and it implied some outdoor (in some special spots of the town) and gallery interventions, as well as the production of some artwork.
Bari is not so far from Grottaglie (they're both in Apulia), where Angelo Milano organizes his famous FAME Festival and, recently, Momo's solo show. Fresh Flaneurs is not a festival, but not even a traditional gallery show. I've thought it as an occasion to take for the first time in Bari some examples of the latest European and Italian street art production. In Italy, the most vulnerable target of the financial crisis has been culture, especially in southern towns. Bari is suffering a lack of significant cultural and artistic events, because of this, and I'm persuaded that urban art is an excellent way to create low-cost cultural capital, and to speak to a broader public, not just collectors, buyers and gallery customers. Fresh Flaneurs was entirely funded by Doppelgaenger, with the logistic support of the "Comune di Bari" (the municipality). The gallery (which is a 5.000 square feet space on three levels, with a huge terrace and located in the heart of Bari Old Town) hosted all the artists during a period of 1-2 months before the opening; the City gave us the authorization to paint on some public walls.
But we had, and we still have to face some problems. In fact, while all the operation was enthusiastically supported by the Mayor, the citizenship (the two most visible local newspapers created a survey, in which the 85% of Bari's citizens stated that they wanted to keep the interventions permanently) and by some city's opinion leaders (university professors, art critics, architects), some city councilmen tried to stop the interventions because of an old Italian retrograde law that prevents ALL the city center buildings to be aesthetically altered, no matter if they have no cultural or historical value, no matter if they're already degraded, no matter if their owners give permission to an artistic intervention. Fortunately, all the artists succeeded in finishing their works, but there's still the concrete possibility that the City has to remove them, under the disposition of the "Soprintendenza dei beni culturali" (which is a state organ that supervise the conservation of the Italian artistic and architectural heritage).
... in order to have an eminent voice and support to let us persuade the Soprintendenza to keep the interventions on the walls of Bari. It is totally nonsense that a department that should defend and promote art and cultural capital in Italy, wants to erase an art initiative that has been enthusiastically welcomed by the citizens, supported by its government and by the press. Moreover, it is a real shame when politics tries to fight culture and art. Your help would be really useful.
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