Im-materiality and identity



Paolo Icaro, Unfinished, 1977. Courtesy the artist



13.01.2017 /14.01. 2017 –  Venaria Reale, Turin


A seminar open to the public focused on the relationship between the materiality – and immateriality – of the artwork and its identity processes.

In this perspective, the seminar invited artists, art historians and philosophers together with restorers to reflect broadly on the relationships between artistic practices and materials in the framework of their transitions from tangible supports towards their digital crumbling.

The series of meetings intended to reflect on the relationship between materiality (or immateriality) and its cultural meanings and seeks to address the issue by opening the discussion to a team of stakeholders invited to testify on the subject according to their own personal experiences and researches.

From the selection of raw material to its organization, processing and presentation in the space until the complete de-materialization of the moving image, the question about materiality is often and still an important clue to understanding the motivations and consequent possible meanings of the work itself.

What the raw material tells us about form and symbolic meanings?

How and to what extent a restorer negotiates the relationship with the artist when materiality is altered? When and how this calls into question the identity of the work itself?

How the materials are symptom of a cultural affiliation to which the community as we address – and thus we protect? How that transformation of state of matter (solid towards digital distribution) can be a tale of a different art history and social identity?

On the first day the artist Piero Gilardi intervenes, the son of a fresco restorer, who describes what it means to restore something that has no physicality. Gilardi cites Robert Morris Box’s work with the Sound of its Own Making (1961), and states that a possible restoration could reduce the work to a simple document that reports its operation. It is in this idea of ​​naturalness that the very acceptance of the cyclical nature of things lies. What Gilardi proposes is a different idea of ​​both temporality and restoration; his nature rugs, in their original intentions, had to be actually used as carpets, the artist accepted the wear and tear of the work and in doing so made it alive.

The flow of time and energy flows are the subject of the practice of the second artist to intervene, Italo Zuffi. In his work Zuffi emphasizes what could be called “entropic passages”, composed of open works, both in the acceptance of temporal becoming and in their reception. Emphasizing energy changes, Zuffi follows Lavoisier’s famous axiom based on which nothing is destroyed and nothing is created but everything is transformed. Reconnecting therefore to the restoration, his works are unrestorable precisely because they are devices that circulate energy translating it into other ways and other worlds, dematerializing forms that are not completed.

In the practices of three young artists, as many different approaches to restoration can be found: in the works of Lupo Borgonovo there is an archaeological nostalgia for worn and discarded objects. Alberto Tadiello, artist who works with sound and with installation, accepts instead that the temporal destiny of the work is delimited, letting time act and transform it. Similarly Hilario Isola, close to the categories of the ephemeral and of perception, states that one must follow the identity and destiny of the work; when the materiality is more aleatory, it is the public that becomes co-author and the role of the restoration changes accordingly.

As part of the activities of the classroom the seminar is conceived as a place where the contributions of different speakers on the suggested theme put into question the very mode of transmission of knowledge and forms of “lecture” as a multifaceted and interdisciplinary artistic practice.

The seminar is thus open to students of any undergraduate degree and disciplinary matters, as well as the interested public. Lessons and meetings are intended to encourage discussion and direct exchange between teachers and students, fostering a unique working plan in the class.

The seminary has been produced with “Centro di Conservazione e Restauro della Venaria Reale” thanks to collaboration of Sara Abram, development and fundraising manager,  and under the presidency of Stefano Trucco.




Piero Gilardi , Italo Zuffi, Ben Vickers, Andrea Pinotti, Diego Marcon ,Lupo Borgonovo, Giulia Bruno – studio Armin Linke, Martina Angelotti, Marco Scotini, Antonio Rava, Barbara Ferriani.

Lectures and talks will take place inside the laboratories of the Centre where the project Handle with careby the video artists MASBEDO is installed.




Book launch and Artists talk today, 6pm @ICA Milano

(Im-)materiality and identity in contemporary art – a step into the relationship between restoration on display and contemporary art with MASBEDO, Martina Angelotti, Marco Belfiore, Diego Marcon.

100 Piper. Short history of Piper Torino in 100 fragments by Ra di Martino

Film screening and talk with the artist. The event is part of Fo.To. Fotografi a Torino program.

Cinema Massimo, Sala 2 – Torino, H. 18.30


Things that Death Cannot Destroy – A performance and an open classroom with Linda Fregni Nagler

The project is part of FOG – Triennale Performing Arts, Miart, Milano Artweek.

Teatro dell’Arte, Triennale Milano, H- 10.00 – 22.00


What’s next? A Round table about art and education after Manifesta 12 Palermo

In collaboration with Manifesta 12 Collateral Events, the classroom organized a round table about the aftermath of art and education in Palermo with Sara Kamalvand (Hydrocity, Valentina Sansone (Magazzino Brancaccio ), Evelina de Castro (Palazzo Abatellis), Laura Barreca (Museo Civico di Castelbuono, Maria Rosa Sossai (  e Roberto Albergoni (Director Fondazione Manifesta 12 Palermo and Paola Nicolin.

Galleria Regionale della Sicilia Palazzo Abatellis, Palermo, H. 18.30


Materiality versus Image. (Im-)materiality and identity in contemporary art

Book publication curated by the classroom and Paola Nicolin entirely dedicated to the theme of image care and restoration. Authors: Sara Abram, Martina Angelotti, Laura Barreca, Marco Belfiore, Lupo Borgonovo, Giulia Bruno, Laura Cherubini, Barbara Ferriani, Piero Gilardi, Paolo Icaro, Hilario Isola, Diego Marcon, Paola Nicolin, Andrea Pinotti, Laura Papotti, Alessandro Rabotini, Iolanda Ratti, Antonio Rava, Alberto Tadiello, Sergio Toffetti, Stefano Trucco, Italo Zuffi.



Piper. Learning at the discotheque


12.30–2pm Le déjeuner sur l’herbe – Round table with Piper protagonists
 Pietro Derossi, Graziella Gay, Piero Gilardi, Clino Castelli, Tommaso Trini 
with Luca Cerizza, Maria Teresa Roberto and Fulvio Ferrari
2 –2.30pm Film screening: Rä di Martino on Piper
3–4pm Dialogue – Gino Viliani with Francesco Arena and Paolo Icaro
4 –4.30pm Film screening: Mephobia by Mika Gustafson (Sweden, 2017) (winner, section “Irregular Lovers”, Lovers Film Festival)
4.30–5.30pm Dialogue – Philip Corner with Massimo Torrigiani
5.30–8pm Campari | Djset Notte italiana by ZERO


Piper. Learning at the discotheque

You are my own.
Art, dance and identity

Dialogue – Dora García with Jacqueline de Jong ed Esther Ferrer
1.30–2pm Superbudda sound intermission
2– 3pm Interview – Corrado Levi with Dafne Boggeri and Giovanna Silva
3 –3.30pm Superbudda sound intermission
 Dialogue – Maria Grazia Chiuri with Maria Luisa Frisa
5 –6pm Workshop – Michele Rizzo with Simone Frangi
6pm Awarding – Campari Art Prize
pm Dialogue – Roberto D’Agostino with Michela Moro and Emanuele Piccardo


Piper. Learning at the discotheque @Artissima 2017

Space is the place.
Sound, image and architecture

 Meet the artists – Cally Spooner with Eva Fabbris and Charlotte Laubard
1.30–2pm Superbudda sound intermission
2–3pm Dialogue – Mario Garcia Torres with Francesco Manacorda
3 –3.30pm Superbudda sound intermission
 Interview – Tony Oursler with Tom Eccles
5 –6pm Lecture: “Piper and beyond”, Pietro Derossi. Q&A with Catharine Rossi and Maria Cristina Didero
6pm Campari | Superbudda sound intermission
6.30 –7.30p
m Concert – Guido Costa on “Le stelle di Mario Schifano”

Piper. Learning at the discotheque @Artissima 2017


6–7pm Interview – Hans Ulrich Obrist with Kamasi Washington (in collaboration with OGR and Club to Club)
7.30pm Campari | Open classroom with Seb Patane
8.30pm Superbudda sound intermission


The Classroom #5 Seb Patane @Artissima 2017


Piero Golia, Diego Perrone on Chris Burden

Via Cesare Correnti 14

Piero Golia, Diego Perrone on Chris Burden

Classroom, Via Cesare Correnti 14

Masbedo, Handle with care

Guided tour of the exhibition with the artists
H.12, La Venaria Reale and 
Centro Conservazione 

(Im-)materiality and indentity.

Lectures, talks and readings on art and its materials
Classroom with Paolo Icaro, Andrea Pinotti, Giulia Bruno, Sergio Toffetti, Martina Angelotti, Ben Vickers, Laura Barreca, Diego Marcon, Marco Belfiore, Barbara Ferriani, Jolanda Ratti.
H. 11-19, Centro Conservazione e Restauro
La Venaria Reale


(Im-)materiality and indentity.

Lectures, talks and readings on art and its materials
Classroom with Piero Gilardi, Marco Scotini, Italo Zuffi, Hilario Isola, Lupo Borgonovo, Alberto Tadiello, Antonio Rava.
H. 11-19, Centro Conservazione e Restauro
La Venaria Reale


Masbedo, Handle with care

28 October - 15 January 2017
Exhibition, La Venaria Reale and 
Centro Conservazione e Restauro 

Eike Schmidt

H. 18.30, Sala d'Arme Palazzo Vecchio

Luisa Mensi in conversation with Masbedo

H. 16.30, Sala d'Arme Palazzo Vecchio

Masbedo, Handle with care

22-24 October
Exhibition and classroom
H. 14-20 
Sala d'Arme Palazzo Vecchio 

Psychic Diary. Analysis of a Contemporary Art Exhibition

Book publication written by Masbedo and Paola Nicolin. The book is a collection of intimate writings elaborated during a year spent working with th artist preparing the exhibition project the classroom. Masbedo, Handle with care, Reggia di Venaria, Torino.


Adelita Husni-Bey

H. 19, La Triennale di Milano


Adelita Husni-Bey

11-18 April 2016
Exhibition and classroom
H. 14-24, Bocconi University


Adelita Husni-Bey

08-11 April 2016
H. 12-20, the classroom

“Welcome Palermo” by MASBEDO – Italy, 2019, 75′

At the Cinema La Compagnia in Florence, on November 15, the feature film by MASBEDO “Welcome Palermo” was previewed.
The film is the formal and narrative evolution of the Videomobile project, the video-installation conceived for Manifesta 12 in Palermo.
Welcome Palermo

La Metamorfosi, Emanuele Coccia and Luca Trevisani

29 June – 2 July 2020
Emanuele Coccia and Luca Trevisani in Milano on the theme of metamorphosis
Space Caviar garden, via Marco Aurelio 21 + Zoom meetings