High School

Scraps of different worlds

“The Dream Machine is Asleep” di Eva Kot'átková

From 15 February to 22 July 2018

Background
The work of Eva Kot’átková, one of the best-known artists of her generation, has appeared in major international exhibitions such as the Biennale de Lyon (2011), the Biennale of Sydney (2012), and the Biennale di Venezia (2013). She draws on the language of the early twentieth-century avant-garde movements, particularly Surrealism and Dada—with their references to the subconscious and techniques like collage and photomontage—to investigate the human body and how it relates to objects.  Literature also plays a fundamental role in the practice of this artist; her influences include writers such as Samuel Beckett (1906–1989) and Franz Kafka (1883–1924), and she employs many different forms of storytelling and narrative, bringing them to life in her Diary series.

Areas addressed

  • Art history
  • Italian

Educational goals
The main objective of the workshop is to stimulate young people’s narrative and visual skills, through a guided tour of the show in which the Arts Tutors will highlight how different artistic techniques—drawing, collage, sculpture, photomontage, video, performance, and installation—can be deftly combined to create complex artworks, with many different layers of meaning that spark the imagination. They will also point out how literature, particularly the writing of Kafka, has shaped the artist’s imagery.

Activity
After presenting images that illustrate how collage was used by some of the most important figures in the avant-garde movements of the early twentieth century, and how Eva Kot’átková incorporated it her Diary series and the installation Asking the Hair about Scissors (2018), the students will be asked to create a class book in which this artistic technique merges with the world of literature, which is as important an influence to Kot’átková as art history.

Thematic Activities: Eva Kot’átková’s imagery

“The Dream Machine is Asleep” di Eva Kot'átková

From 15 February to 22 July 2018

About 90 minutes

Background
The practice of Eva Kot’átková draws on the legacy of the early twentieth-century avant-garde movements, particularly Surrealism and Dada—with their references to the subconscious and techniques like collage and photomontage—to investigate the human body and how it relates to objects. Following in the footsteps of female artists who have explored similar themes, including Lygia Clark (1920–1988) and Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010)—whose work shows an urge to move past the canons of patriarchal culture, into a female dimension linked to plurality and difference—Kot’átková builds on these ideas as she analyzes the dysfunctions of today’s society.

Areas addressed

  • Art history

Activity
The workshop will be divided into two parts: the first will be a brief lecture accompanied by images that examine the work of Lygia Clark and Louise Bourgeois, as it relates to Eva Kot’átková’s imagery.

In the second, the kids will be led through the exhibition by the Art Tutors to look closely at the works by this artist, who is among the leading figures of her generation, and see how she fits into this women’s history of art.

One, No One, a Hundred Thousand

“The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015” by Anselm Kiefer

Introduction
In his Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015 Anselm Kiefer uses several objects imbued with a value that goes beyond what they represent: the tower, the book, the ship and numbered glass shards. The latter help us discover the star, the recurrent element in our daily life, geographical and political history, and – above all – religions. We will see how a seemingly commonplace image can hold countless meanings that are universal and subjective, immediate and hidden, shared and personal.
We will learn that each object can invoke an invisible world that goes beyond its mere representation: form and content, significant and significance, do not always coincide. The symbol is something different from what it appears to be, the visible part of that which is not present.

Focus Areas
• History
• Italian
• Religion
• History of art
• Philosophy

Educational Objectives
The young people will be asked to reflect on the multiplicity of senses that an image contains, learning to go beyond appearance to glean the true value that is concealed behind forms. They will understand the difference between sign and symbol, and the fact that, at times, they can be universal and shared by all, whereas at other times they are strictly subjective.

Activities
Starting with the recognition and interpretation of the symbols in The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015, they will ponder the broader concept of symbols and the contexts in which they are used. Therefore, starting from the assumption that any daily object can remain such, but can also acquire a myriad of meanings, the young people will be asked to choose an object, form, fruit or word that best represents them, to which they will attribute a content and meaning that will make them their own personal symbol, on a strictly subjective level.

Thematic Activities: Collage techniques in the work of Eva Kot’átková

“The Dream Machine is Asleep” di Eva Kot'átková

From 15 February to 22 July 2018

Background
The work of Eva Kot’átková, one of the best-known artists of her generation, has appeared in major international exhibitions such as the Biennale de Lyon (2011), the Biennale of Sydney (2012), and the Biennale di Venezia (2013). She draws on the language of the early twentieth-century avant-garde movements, particularly Surrealism and Dada—with their references to the subconscious and techniques like collage and photomontage—to investigate the human body and how it relates to objects.

Areas addressed

  • Art and images

Activity
The workshop will be divided into two parts: the first will be a brief lecture, accompanied by images, exploring how the technique of collage was used by some of the leading artists in early twentieth-century avant-garde movements such as Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism, and Dada.

In the second part, the kids will be led on a guided tour of the exhibition, examining the works along with the Arts Tutors and learning how Eva Kot’átková has explored this technique in her oeuvre.

Thematic Activities: Anselm Kiefer and Multi-material Painting

“The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015” by Anselm Kiefer

Introduction
Five large paintings from between 2009 and 2013, on display for the first time, enrich and expand The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015, the permanent work by Anselm Kiefer, bringing new meaning to it by creating an interaction between the installation and the new paintings. An in-depth analysis of Anselm Kiefer’s artistic practice reflects on the core aspects of his work, including the relationship between man and nature, and references to the history of ideas and Western philosophy.

Focus Areas
• History of Art
• Italian and Foreign Literature
• History
• Religion

Activities
The course will consist of two parts: the first in the form of a brief face-to-face lesson, with images showing the use of materials in Anselm Kiefer’s art from the 1970s onwards. In the second, the children will be accompanied by the arts tutors around the exhibition to observe and analyse the five paintings in relation to the Heavenly Palaces. At the end of the activity, they will be given a small fascicle with the key notions explained during the lecture.

Further information

Talking art: “The Dream Machine is Asleep” di Eva Kot’átková

“The Dream Machine is Asleep” di Eva Kot'átková

From 15 February to 22 July 2018

About 60 minutes

Students will be led on a guided tour of the Eva Kot’átková exhibition “The Dream Machine Is Asleep,”  which presents older works alongside a series of new pieces made for the occasion, combining installation, sculpture, collage, and elements of performance. It revolves around a selection of works inspired by the notion of the human body as a machine, an organism that needs tune-ups—periods of regeneration and rest—in order to function. The theme of sleep and dreaming is a central part of this, as a time for creating new visions and parallel worlds.
The work of Eva Kot’átková, one of the best-known artists of her generation, has appeared in major international exhibitions such as the Biennale de Lyon (2011), the Biennale of Sydney (2012), and the Biennale di Venezia (2013). She draws on the language of the early twentieth-century avant-garde movements, particularly Surrealism and Dada—with their references to the subconscious and techniques like collage and photomontage—to investigate the human body and how it relates to objects.

Talking art: “The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015” by Anselm Kiefer

"The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015" by Anselm Kiefer

Pirelli HangarBicocca is one of the largest exhibition venues in Europe for contemporary art. It is a converted industrial plant, measuring some 15,000 square meters, where locomotives were once built.
The site-specific permanent installation The Seven Heavenly Palaces was created for the opening of this space in 2004, and later expanded in 2015, with the addition of five new large-scale paintings.
Along with the “towers,” they form a single installation titled The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015.
Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945 in Donaueschingen) is one of the world’s leading contemporary artists.
The hallmark of his work is his distinctive use of both natural and artificial materials, often infused with multiple symbolic meanings.
One of its recurring themes is memory, both personal and collective, accompanied by a deep meditation on German history.
The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015 stands as a summation of the artist’s oeuvre, encompassing all its main themes and concerns.