February 2, 2013 - Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci - TRIGGERING REALITY
February 2, 2013


DUS architects, Bucky Bar, 2010.

TRIGGERING REALITY. New conditions for art and architecture in the Netherlands

Until March 10, 2013

Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci
viale della Repubblica 277, Prato, Italy


In the exhibition TRIGGERING REALITY. New conditions for art and architecture in the Netherlands, proposed by the Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato until the 10th of March 2013, the reality of space is questioned, investigated, reproduced, represented and criticized by artists and architects that have long searched to redefine themselves and their role in society.

Atelier Van Lieshout, Boundary Unlimited, DUS architects, Haas & Hahn, Nicoline Van Harskamp, Anne Holtrop / Bas Princen, Wouter Klein Velderman, Krijn de Koning, NIOArchitects, ONIX: in an encounter between established identity and new generations of designers, the protagonists of the event TRIGGERING REALITY. New conditions for art and architecture in the Netherlands discuss the overlaps that exists between architectural and artistic research.

Curated by Giampiero Sanguigni with the collaboration of MarcoBrizzi, promoted by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Rome, organized by the Pecci Center and by Image, realized with the support of the Netherlands ArchitectureFund, the Mondriaan Fund and the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Prato, the exhibition reflects on the possibility of shaping new and original modes of production in response to the international crisis. The result is a type of realism that suggests a tendency towards an ethical and social dimension of evolution. The strategies adapted by the architects and artists in the exhibition, imbued with a dynamic interaction and creative collaboration, are meant to question our reality, almost defying it to sustain the mercurial economic and social conditions of the last decade. 

“The Netherlands of the 1990s, a nation of golden ideas and sweeping transformations, of icon-projects and baby-stars is a thing of the past,” explained Giampiero Sanguigni, curator of the exhibition. “Today the position of the Netherlands is similar to that of its European counterparts… We now build less and clients are no longer able to guarantee a stable market. This has led numerous architectural practices to shift their focus towards research, venturing into areas usually associated with the arts. Dutch creatives are investigating the city and its spaces, observing contemporary social phenomena and represented in the form of installations, sculptures and urban interventions.” The criteria, by which the protagonists were asked to portray their own experience and demonstrate their commitment to design, bases itself on a willingness to embrace areas of research and intervention that diverge from their own; to the extent that the work of the invited participants would be difficult to classify.

Among the objectives of the exhibition there is present a desire to describe the conditions observed in the Netherlands in comparison with the current architectural scene in Italy and to begin a discourse on the possibility for new collaboration. 

Of particular importance is the participation of Maurice Nio, Dutch architect responsible for the extension of the Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato, that houses the exhibition. The extension, currently underway (completion scheduled for fall 2013), embodies the aspects studied and analyzed in the exhibit. The building showcases Maurice Nio’s capacity to merge architectural principles with a sensibility towards contemporary artistic research.

The exhibit is accompanied by a catalogue published by The Architecture Observer and whose curator is Giampiero Sanguigni. The publication documents, in both the Italian and English editions, the activity of the artist and architects invited and offers greater insight into their work and the exhibit as a whole. It is understood as a form of social design, that which Hans Ibelings, editor of the volume and author of the introductory essay of the publication, identifies as, “the common factor in all these new practices, irrespective of the professional background of those involved. This social design exhibits greater engagement with the world than the ironic detachment that characterized much of what was produced up to the beginning of the twenty-first century…Social design is unquestionably driven by an earnestness, linked to a desire to do good, to bring about change, if not in reality itself, then at least in our awareness.”

The event TRIGGERING REALITY. New conditions for art and architecture in the Netherlands is part of Olandiamo in Toscana, a programme promoted by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Rome, which consists of a series of cultural, commercial, and economic events that took place year-round in 2012 (and the first months 2013) throughout the Tuscan region.

Participating artists and architects
Atelier Van Lieshout, Boundary Unlimited, DUS architects, Haas & Hahn, Nicoline Van Harskamp, Anne Holtrop / Bas Princen, Wouter Klein Velderman, Krijn de Koning, NIO Architects, ONIX

an event promoted by Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Rome
under the patronage of Regione Toscana, Comune di Prato
conceived by Giampiero Sanguigni, Marco Brizzi
curated by Giampiero Sanguigni
organized by Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Image
supported by Netherlands Architecture Fund, Mondriaan Fund, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Rome, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Prato, Pecci Family

Catalogue: The Architecture Observer
Edited by Giampiero Sanguigni

Press offices 
Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci
Silvia Bacci, s.bacci [​at​] centropecci.it; Ivan Aiazzi, T +39 0574 531828 / i.aiazzi@centropecci.it
Image Media Agency
Susanne Lambert, T +39 393 0824 646 / susanne.lambert [​at​] image-web.org

Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci
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