Kindergarten

Inseparable Opposites (final year)

"Igloos" by Mario Merz

From 25 October 2018 to 24 February 2019

Background
In Merz’s activity the igloo has many meanings that change and evolve from one work to another. Within that same activity contrasting elements and concepts – light-heavy, dark-light – coexist,  ones that are matched in order to breathe life into new entities. The igloo is a synthetic image, which in its hemispherical shape encompasses both natural and urban elements, including light, water, land, wood, and glass, so as to transform them into a poetic vision. Chiaro oscuro / oscuro chiaro, 1983, is an emblematic work made up of a glass igloo and an igloo completely clad with bundles of sticks that intersect like night and day.

Areas addressed

  • Talking and words
  • Knowledge of the world
  • Self and Other

 Educational goals
The aim of the activity is to help children discover that each of Mario Merz’s igloos is a planet, a unique world that holds within it numerous pairs of opposites that render it complete. Starting from one of the elements making up the pair – for instance, transparent, light, natural, curved – with the help of the Arts Tutors,  children are encouraged to find the opposite seeking among the different components included in the artist’s igloos.

Activity
Drawing inspiration from the artist’s working method and synthesis, during the lab activity each child will build their own catalogue of opposites, comprised of cards where the two opposite elements are ideally joined in a perfect sphere.

Travelling Houses (final year)

"Igloos" by Mario Merz

From 25 October 2018 to 24 February 2019

Background
The “Igloos” exhibition casts light on and outlines the multiple trajectories that have generated one of the most significant corpora of works in Merz’s output: igloos. In this artist’s practice, on the one hand the igloo serves to delimit space, a territory – or to determine the boundary between interior space and exterior space – while on the other it is a symbol of or metaphor for man’s condition and his way of inhabiting today’s world. The igloo is a synthetic image, which in its hemispherical form encompasses both natural and urban elements, including light, water, land, wood, and stones, thereby transforming them into a poetic vision. In the artist’s imaginary the igloo is at the same time a “world and a small house” and its hemispherical form is a protection, a space in which to take refuge in order to withstand the outside reality: a small personal space that continuously converses with a broader context.

Areas addressed

  • Self and Other
  • Images, sounds, colours
  • Knowledge of the world

Educational goals
By exploring the exhibition, children will discover why Mario Merz chose igloos as the preferred shape of his works from 1968 onwards.  Emphasis will be placed on the idea that the Eskimo igloo, which inspired the artist, is a type of temporary shelter that is used while moving around for the purposes of hunting: thanks to its essential and compact nature, it preserves as much heat as is required inside, and can be built with the materials that are available, in perfect symbiosis with the surrounding nature. Furthermore, the igloo is considered a “nomadic house” because it allows Eskimos to follow the migrations of the game they are hunting according to the natural cycle of the seasons; analogously, it allows Merz to create a new work each time, choosing the dimensions and the materials based on the changes underway in the surrounding society, in the territorial context, and in his own artistic inspiration.

Activity
Drawing inspiration from the most significant igloos on display and from a reading of the book by Leo Lionni “La casa più grande del mondo”, the individual activity will allow each child to build their own “travelling house”: by choosing a shape, colours, and the materials and smells that make it  up, each child will be able to create an ideal shelter, one that reflects their personality and can accompany them wherever they want.

Chasing a star (final year)

“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
• Knowledge of the world
• Images, sounds, colours

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.

We Are History (final year)

“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
• Self and Other
• Words and discourse
• Knowledge of the world

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 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. Kiefer’s pictures will thus be picked up and put back in place!