From November 27, Triennale Milano presents Play! a project conceived to take place over the next 12 months by Julia Peyton-Jones.
At a time when art can be experienced on mobile devices with great ease, it is important for cultural institutions to inquire, invest in, and foster new experiences for visitors, maximising the utility of their exhibition spaces.
The Year of Play responds to this with a year of participatory programming embracing a range of themes that will draw new audiences to the Triennale.
As Johan Huizinga wrote in Homo Ludens (1938), games are essential for society and humanity through which culture is formed. In the 20th Century, the theme of play was dealt with in art, architecture and design, for example the games invented by the artist of the avant-garde and Fluxus as well as the introduction of the artist designed playgrounds, which were introduced in 20th century.
The Triennale’s programme was at the forefront of these discussions and in 1954, the 10th Triennale di Milano presented BBPR Children’s Labyrinth, which was a reflection on the educational and cultural discussions of the time and the beginning of the institution’s programmes evolving out of galleries and into the public spaces.
In 1964, the 13th Triennale di Milano was entirely focussed on the Leisure Time exhibition. Designers, scientists and experts from all over the world brought to the Triennale their ideas, challenges and solutions in responding to the importance of leisure within people’s lives.
Today, 45 years after these outstanding exhibitions, Triennale Milano will focus on a ‘Year of Play’ to reflect the Triennale’s history. Play as a key component of geopolitics, culture and the new working model of contemporary societies.
The first episode of Play!, conceived and curated by Julia Peyton-Jones with Lorenza Baroncelli, is the site-specific installation OooOoO, a functioning Skatepark open to the public and specifically designed for the Galleria on the ground floor of Triennale, by the South Korean artist Koo Jeong A.
Koo Jeong A has been working on the reinvention of the gallery spaces through experiential and participatory site-specific installations since the 1990s; her most recent projects include the skatepark series, the first of which, OTRO, was created in 2012 in collaboration with L’Escault Architectures and built on the island of Vassivière in France.
OooOoO by Koo Jeong A invites visitors to explore the space both physically and perceptually, while challenging the relational dynamics between subject and object, individual and community.
The Skatepark at the Triennale Milano will be animated with the music
of Koreless, an electronic music producer based in Glasgow. A short passage of his music will repeatedly alternate with the lighting of the Skatepark, which is coated in glow-in-the-dark fluorescent paint. The sound will interact with the installation, involving the public in an immersive and multi-sensory experience.
The skate culture will be presented in a Public Programme, curated by Lorenza Baroncelli, which is seen through the lens of different disciplines and topics, such as photography, fashion, cinema, graphic design, architecture and urbanism, independent publishing, music and sport. The programme includes educational activities, such as the Triennale Milano Academy of Skateboarding featuring bastard for children, teenagers, families, and schools. A series of four videos, directed by Diana “Spaghetto” Manfredi, and a selection of photographs by André Lucat will reveal the Milanese skateboarders and their community. By following the skaters while they are skateboarding, Milano Tribe maps the city making a portrait of the skating community celebrating urban space as a playground and as a place of encounter.
The second project in the series in the Year of Play will be a Playground that will be unveiled in the Triennale’s Garden in 2020. In Autumn 2020 there will be an exhibition called Play With Me! curated by Julia Peyton-Jones with Lorenza Baroncelli and Emma Enderby of work by contemporary artists whose practice engages with play. This will coincide with a display of objects from the Triennale’s collection over the last 50 years.
So, the Triennale Skatepark is an irresistible call to play seriously and to take ‘playfully seriously’ the words of the great Sardinian artist Maria Lai: “Games are the art of children; Art is the game of artists”.
The Skatepark has been realized thanks to: BMW Italia, Partner; Amplifon, Hearing Experience Partner; Eni and Lavazza, Institutional Partners of Triennale Milano, and ATM, Technical Partner of Triennale Milano.
Thanks to iGuzzini for supporting the project of the new Education Area at Triennale.
Quoted from the press release