The ARTLANDS project brings to light new methods of artistic and ecological interaction with the landscape.
Promoted by an international committee of artistic and environmental culture experts, the initiative draws attention to the effort of Carlo Scoccianti, a biologist, author of several interventions focused on the reconstruction of ecosystems, especially wetlands.
Nowadays, only a few kilometres away from Florence, these new interventions represent an extraordinary reality and a great collective heritage of cultural, artistic, naturalistic and landscape interest and offer themselves to the public as an innovative, continuous fusion between art and environment, environment and art.
Supported byWWF, the management body of this system of new sites, organized and coordinated by Image, ARTLANDS was born in 2012 at the Luigi Pecci Centre for Contemporary Art in Prato, thanks to the collaboration with the Province of Florence, the Municipalities of Campi Bisenzio and Lastra a Signa, the University of Florence, the Local Authority for land drenage and flood risk management, Quadrifoglio (Alia), Publiacqua, L’Isola dei Renai.
In the research of Carlo Scoccianti new and unique abilities, which reinterpret drastically the topic of the utilization and the modification of the territory, emerge: “The places I create are complex systems from an ecological and an aesthetic point of view. They are on the one hand real spaces shaped according to specific aesthetic choices and on the other they are living, dynamic and interactive ecological sites. These features make them environments profoundly tied to the larger territory in which they are located. Meanwhile, their ecosystemic nature, typically interrelational, determines an infinite number of meanings depending on the subject taken into consideration each time: in my sites humans are the users but on a par with all the other living beings. Each of them can, in fact, arrive, stop over, leave again or choose to live there permanently”.
The change of perspective of the intervention is therefore radical and involves the artistic practice and even the concept of the project itself.
At the Luigi Pecci Centre for Contemporary Art in Prato numerous workshops, conferences and public debates have been taking place since 2012. Different “interpreters” of this new idea of intervention have been taking part in the discussion, among others the artist Alan Sonfist (one of the most famous Land Art artists), Pedro Gadanho (curator of Contemporary Architecture at MoMA in New York), Aaron Betsky (dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture), Sébastien Marot (École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture di Marne-la-Vallée), Beatrice Galilee (associate Curator of Architecture and Design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York), Gianni Pettena (architect and artist, professor at the California State University in Florence), Richard Ingersoll (architect, professor at the Syracuse University in Florence), Marco Bazzini (art historian, president of the SIA Firenze), Roberto Zancan (architect, associate researcher UNESCO Chair, IUAV University in Venice), Pietro Valle (architect, critic of contemporary art and expert in Land Art), Alessandro Rocca (architect, Politecnico di Milano), Alberto Pizzati Caiani (architect, Politecnico di Milano).
The discussions and observations developed during these events led to highlight the innovation of this new type of research, artistic and ecological at the same time, in contemporary art: for the first time, the landscape is no longer an object that remains in the background and/or that embraces an intervention or an installation (Land Art), but it is itself, with its large dimensions and features, the subject that becomes the artwork.