February 11, 2018 - Museo Nivola - Cristian Chironi: I'm back
February 11, 2018

Museo Nivola

Cristian Chironi, Fiat 127 Special (Chameleon). Project for a polycromed version. Production Museo Nivola. © and courtesy Cristian Chironi. 

Cristian Chironi
I'm back
February 9–April 2, 2018

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Cristian Chironi’s exhibition I’m back, curated by Silvia Fanti, is a reflection on the values and meanings associated with the life and work of Costantino Nivola, an artist active on the international scene of mid 20th century modernism but powerfully tied to his home town, Orani, in the mountainous area of Barbagia in Sardinia, a place of infinite returns and departures.

Like Nivola, Chironi also set out from Orani, and is returning there for this occasion, after a series of experiences in various places and contexts as part of the project My house is a Le Corbusier, supported by the Fondation Le Corbusier and now also the Fondazione Nivola.

In the early 1980s, Nivola, by then quite ill, called his nephew Daniele from his home on Long Island, asking him to go to his house in Tuscany, in a final attempt to bring his belongings back to Orani. Daniele left the Port of Civitavecchia with a Fiat 127 full of art, coming home knowing that he had brought back only a small part of that cultural—and existential—patrimony. What was in that car, what had it brought back? 

Decades after that trip, Chironi is cutting through the residential area and parking the same car in the Museo Nivola’s space for temporary exhibitions, Orani’s old wash house, treasured by the sculptor as a symbolic site of the town’s old community-focused way of life.

It is an artistic and performative gesture that brings the museum space to the road and vice versa, in a journey made up of departures and returns, generational correspondences, encounters, and imaginary visions shot from the car window. 

Playing on Le Corbusier’s famous statement that “a house is a machine for living in” (in Italian, the word “macchina” means both “machine” and “car”), Chironi customized the vehicle with Le Corbusier’s typical color palette and created an environment around it packed with signs of travel and transit, in a playful remix of stories and meanings.

The Fiat “Camaleonte” is temporarily stopped by an improbable traffic sign: a “step-stop” that indicates a series of stylized window-sill/steps, and references Chironi’s last trip and stay in Chandigarh (India) and the design of the facade of the Pierre Jeanneret House Museum, where the artist lived for a month. A large sculpture by Costantino Nivola, Madre (Mother), hosted in the exhibition space, is used as a kind of notebook or logbook, its surface serving as a screen for videos beamed from a projector set up on a construction support.

I’m back is an exhibition about parallel paths, crossroads, detours, leaving and returning home. A journey undertaken by a mad navigator for whom Orani is the center of the world.

About the artist
Cristian Chironi uses various languages in his work, creating site-specific performances and installations, and always seeking out interaction with the context, both human (the visitors) and environmental (the surrounding space). His most recent exhibitions include: My house is a Le Corbusier (Esprit Nouveau Bologna; Studio-Apartment Paris; Unité d’habitation Marseilles; Casa Curutchet, La Plata; Pierre Jeanneret Museum, Chandigarh); Lo stato delle cose, 16th Quadriennale, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome; Falsa Torment, Casa Wabi, Puerto Escondido; ECO, CND – Centre National de la Dance, Pantin Paris.

Artist website

The Museo Nivola 
The Museo Nivola in Orani (Nuoro), located in the middle of a park in the heart of Sardinia, is devoted to the work of Costantino Nivola (Orani, 1911–East Hampton, 1988), an important international figure dedicated to the “synthesis of the arts” (the integration of the visual arts and architecture) who played a critical role in the cultural exchange between Italy and the United States in the second half of the 20th century. The museum has a permanent collection comprising more than 200 sculptures, paintings, and drawings by Nivola and organizes temporary exhibitions focused primarily on the relationship between art, architecture, and the landscape. 


Museo Nivola
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I'm back
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