8

Primary School

Point, line, and light (I and II cycle)

“Ambienti/Environments” di Lucio Fontana

September 21, 2017- February 25, 2018

Background
Visitors to Lucio Fontana’s “Ambienti/Environments” exhibition are greeted by a light installation that traces a looping, tangled line. This is Struttura al neon per la IX Triennale, which the artist made in 1959, now reconstructed in its original size at Pirelli HangarBicocca.
It is an emblematic work that sums up the artist’s investigation of space: light and curving lines are used to reshape our impression of the surrounding space, offering visitors a new perceptual experience.

Areas addressed

  • Mathematics and geometry
  • Art and images

Educational goals
During their tour of the exhibition, the children will get the chance to single out and identify the different kinds of lines (open and closed, simple or interwoven) that some of the Ambienti spaziali create with rows of holes in the walls or with neon tubes bent into different shapes.

Activity
Inspired by what they have seen in the exhibition, during the workshop phase the kids will be invited to draw different kinds of lines on pieces of cardboard, then pierce holes along them.
These holes will then be backlit and projected into the surrounding space; using transparent colored materials, the students can experiment with different effects of light. In the final stage, the cardboard pieces will be assembled into three-dimensional shapes reminiscent of the Ambienti spaziali in the show.

 

Mysterious environments ( I cycle)

“Ambienti/Environments” di Lucio Fontana

September 21, 2017- February 25, 2018

Background
Lucio Fontana (b. 1899 in Rosario, Argentina – d. 1968 in Varese, Italy) was a key international figure in twentieth-century art.
The “Ambienti/Environments” show brings together, for the first time, nine Ambienti spaziali and two environmental pieces made between 1949 and 1968. These ephemeral works, destroyed after exhibition, have been reconstructed through archival research and consultation with the artist’s associates. In them, Fontana combines painting, sculpture, and architecture, in an attempt to move past the traditional, static notion of an artwork, creating a space that visitors can walk through and explore.
Each environment is conceived as a room in which our physical and visual perception of space is altered using tools such as monochrome, neon, ultraviolet light, and fluorescent paint, or by constructing labyrinths and corridors.

Areas addressed

  • Art and images
  • Italian

Educational goals

The main goal of the guided tour is to expose children to new techniques of expression, through a dialogue that encourages them to look more carefully at works of art.
Specifically, students will be invited to think about the connections between outside and inside, container and content, developing imaginative and descriptive skills as they explore the Ambienti spaziali in the show.

Activity
The workshop is divided into two parts. During the guided tour of the exhibition, the children will be asked to use their imagination to visualize and describe what might be hidden in the dark rooms of the Ambienti spaziali. After exploring them all, they will use the materials that are supplied to depict their experience.

 

 

Turning spaces into words (II cycle)

“Ambienti/Environments” di Lucio Fontana

September 21, 2017- February 25, 2018

Background
Lucio Fontana (b. 1899 in Rosario, Argentina – d. 1968 in Varese, Italy) was a key international figure in twentieth-century art.
The “Ambienti/Environments” show brings together, for the first time, nine Ambienti spaziali that Fontana made between 1949 and 1968. These ephemeral works, destroyed after exhibition, have been reconstructed through archival research and consultation with the artist’s associates.  They combine painting, sculpture, and architecture, in an attempt to move past the traditional, static notion of an artwork, creating a space that visitors can walk through and explore.
Each environment is conceived as a room in which our physical and visual perception of space is altered using tools such as monochrome, neon, ultraviolet light, and fluorescent paint, or by constructing labyrinths and corridors.

Areas addressed

  • Art and images
  • Italian
  • Science

Educational goals
The main goal of the guided tour and workshop is to develop the children’s ability to put a sensory experience into words, making specific reference to the colors and materials found in the Ambienti spaziali on view. They will then be asked to turn the words they have identified into a new three-dimensional depiction.

Activity
During the workshop, the children will be asked to pick a color they saw in the show and use it to create their very own environment, incorporating materials that they choose based on the words that came up during the tour.

 

 

 

 

 

Stellar Myths

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

Introduction
For the opening of Pirelli HangarBicocca in 2004, the German artist Anselm Kiefer created an installation called The Seven Heavenly Palaces, to which in September 2015 he added five large canvases that give new meaning to his original work.
In the form of constellations, meteorites and stars, the celestial sphere is the protagonist of the stories told by the towers and paintings.

Focus Areas

  • Italian
  • History
  • Science
  • Art and image

Educational Objectives
During the guided tour with the arts tutors, the children will find out more about the celestial sphere, through stories about constellations, meteorites and stars.
The aim of this activity is to help the children find out how the heavenly bodies can lead to different interpretations, depending on the terms of reference, which may be artistic, mythological or scientific.

Activities
Starting with a reading of myths and legends about the constellations, each participant will be asked to make one of their own, using the materials provided.
At the end of the activity, the works will be placed next to each other to create the idea of a great sky, where different sets of stars – all telling different stories – can coexist harmoniously.

 

A Great Multi-Material Picture

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

Introduction
In September 2015, eleven years after it was unveiled, the permanent Seven Heavenly Palaces installation was complemented by five large paintings, which Anselm Kiefer had made between 2009 and 2013. These works give new meaning to the towers, expanding the issues they address: great architectural constructions of the past appear as man’s attempt to ascend to the divine, but they also examine the history of the West, the constellations in the form of astronomical numbers and, lastly, man’s relationship with nature.Since the 1970s, the German artist has been using materials such as lead, wood, sand, straw and seeds to create his paintings, giving them a dense, material consistency.

Focus Areas

  • Art and image
  • History

 Educational Objectives
During the guided tour with the arts tutors, the children will find out what materials Anselm Kiefer used when making the five large paintings in the exhibition space and what the significance of each one is.
The aim of the activity is to show the pupils how crucial the choice of a material is for creating a work of art, since it brings about new visual forms, new compositions and new stories to interpret.

 Activities
The class will be divided into groups during the workshop and each one will make their own multi-material painting, taking inspiration from the paintings in the exhibition, and using the materials provided, which will include sand, seeds, straw and bits of wood.
At the end of the session, the works will be placed next to each other to create just a single vast canvas.

 

Sulle torri puoi contare!

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

Introduction
As well as having their own mathematical value, numbers can also have symbolic value and thus be open to a number of interpretations: numbers are such an intrinsic part of daily life that we often fail to notice their importance. And yet, since the most ancient times, they have played a fundamental role in enriching and giving meaning and value to the most magnificent works of art. In Anselm Kiefer’s The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015 we find many references to the world of numbers: the repetition of individual modules, the use of the double, the choice of the number seven, the presence of long series of numbers on pieces of glass, the numbering of strange rocks, and more besides. The children will discover how a number used apparently randomly can bring with it a whole array of mean­ings, whether universal or subjective, immediate or hidden, shared or personal.

Focus Areas
• Languages, creativity, expression
• Numbers
• Knowledge of the world

Educational Objectives
This activity helps children find out about and enter into the world of numbers in a simple, direct way. They will need to look very carefully at the work and find elements linked to the world of numbers, such as the modules and multiples, and the presence of doubles. The significance of numbers in the work will be investigated, linking them to what the pupils have already learnt at school and bringing out the multiple range of concepts that numbers represent.

Activities
Starting out from identifying important numbers that are significant in their daily lives, the children will examine how important numbers are for recognising and understanding the world around them. During the workshop activities, each child will be able to make a cube into which they can insert all the numbers that are important in their lives, linked to their personal lives or to school, and they will be helped to give these numbers the right level of importance. Starting out from this cubic module, which is the same for everyone, the class will together make a construction, taking inspiration from Kiefer’s towers, or creating new surprising forms. Starting out from their individual works, the children will then be invited to create a collective work in which the individual “voices” come together in a choral composition. This will give value to the contributions of each child, whose individual peculiarities will gradually decide the shape of the collective work.

Further information

Inseguendo una stella

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

Introduction
The installation is a perfect scene in which to imagine fantastical stories and help children discover the depths of the sky and take a close look at its inhabitants: stars. The artist has chosen them as the guardians of one of the towers, presenting them in the form of shards of glass. But what are stars really like? Where do they come from? Do they live forever?

Focus Areas
• Sciences
• Motor and sports sciences

Educational Objectives
Through play, children will learn a complex concept such as that of the birth of the stars. They will learn what they actually look like (the points are a convention invented by humans to draw them), the matter composing them, why they shine and their life cycle. They will also learn that heat comes from the agitation of gas and dust particles, simulating their movement and heating action through play.

Activities
The explanation of the birth of a star is introduced directly during the visit of The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015. Back at the workshop, the student will actively participate in the “birth” of a star, in order to understand together – starting from the basics – the complex creation of these heavenly bodies. This workshop can be integrated with a story (the story of Thomas) to get the children involved and spark their imagination.

Further information

La storia siamo noi

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

Introduction
Anselm Kiefer has always been acknowledged as “the artist of history”, particularly German history, because his works originate from profound reflection on memory and on “how to remember”. Each of us has an individual history full of events and encounters that have determined our path: The idea is thus to help young people understand that their personalities are influenced by an array of factors that this activity aims to bring out.

Focus Areas
• Geography
• Italian
• Religion
• History

Educational Objectives
The workshop aims to underscore the importance of individual history, as well as personal and family memories as the constituent elements of collective memory. The child will become aware that his or her personality is the outcome of personal experience and that existence goes beyond the present and is irrevocably bound to the history of his or her own context.

Activities
Starting with the reflection on the importance of memory in the language of Anselm Kiefer, students will be asked to identify people, places or things that are particularly significant to them. They will be asked to imagine that they are picking up Anselm Kiefer’s Falling Pictures and to think about what they would like to see represented inside the frames. Using recycled material that is provided to them, each child will create his own picture and “content”. When everyone has made their pictures they will build a tower with boxes and use it to hang their works. Anselm Kiefer’s pictures will thus be picked up and put back in place!

Further information

Una torre una storia (second cycle)

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

Introduction
When making his work, Anselm Kiefer was profoundly inspired by the idea of the tower in history, with many references to the architecture of the past, but especially to its symbolic value. His towers, which each consist of between five and seven modules, testify to what remains after every conflict. Their precarious look does indeed make them appear like ruins, as the memory of a by no means distant past, or the foreboding of a possible future. When looking at them, some have wondered: “Are they the remains of an ancient city, an industrial settlement or of a village with asbestos-cement roofs?” There is no single answer to this question, for there can be many interpretations and everyone can apply their own imagination to them.

Focus Areas
• Italian
• History
• Art and image

Educational Objectives
The activity is designed to show the kids a different approach to history, letting them discover how the same architectural forms may be repeated in every age, but with different functions, depending on the particular historical period. Having them build a tower of their own to reflect their world and their needs, and choosing a particular historical period for this, is designed to include them actively in the flow of time and make them the manual creators of a past that will testify to the present. Individual work and a spirit of cooperation between classmates will also be developed.

Activities
At the beginning of the activity, the kids will be shown pictures of various towers that have been built throughout the course of history, from ancient lookout towers to bell towers, minarets and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, through to towers of distant cultures and the modern towers of our cities, such as skyscrapers and chimneys. The class will then be divided into groups and each one will be asked to invent a tower, taking inspiration from the ones they have seen together, imagining what it might look like and be used for, and what functions it might have. The students will decide whether to take inspiration from a historical tower or to make one that might suit their present needs.

Further information