The Hidden City

Palazzo Abatellis, Palermo

Cloe Piccoli

Stefano Graziani

General Coordinator
Evelina De Castro

10.09.18 | 17.09.18

Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera of Milan and Dipartimento dei Beni culturali e dell’Identità siciliana, present The Hidden City, at Palazzo Abatellis from the 10 to the 17 September. Collateral Event of Manifesta 12, on the occasion of Palermo Capitale della Cultura 2018, the project curated by Cloe Piccoli, with the artist Stefano Graziani, and the general coordination of Evelina De Castro, Director of Galleria Regionale della Sicilia di Palazzo Abatellis, in collaboration with three prestigious Institutions based in Palermo: Scuola Politecnica - Università di Palermo, Conservatorio Vincenzo Bellini and Accademia di Belle Arti di Palermo.

Stefano Graziani

Stefano Graziani,
Cedric Price, model for Fun Place, ca.1964

The Hidden City is a project in three parts – a workshop, a public program and a book, drawing from the narrative tradition of Palermo and focusing on one of the singular aspects of Manifesta 12, the contamination of cultures and languages. The Hidden City assimilates Manifesta’s main theme from this particular point of view. It investigates Palazzo Abatellis with Cloe Piccoli and Stefano Graziani, to unveil, to narrate and to delve into the cultural stratification of an historic and important place of the city of Palermo. The idea of The Hidden City is to look at the identity of Palazzo Abatellis through its art, architecture, history, and the narratives, legends and documents of the archive. The research will span eras and disciplines, and will also touch on the relationship between Palazzo Abatellis and the surrounding urban context.

Stefano Graziani

Stefano Graziani,
Chiesa di Santa Maria in Porticoli in Campitelli,
(1667), Carlo Rainaldi, Roma

The Hidden City is a laboratory of hidden stories, which spans through this ancient aristocratic palace, turned into convent, and later into the Regional Gallery of Sicily, with the 1953 museographic intervention of Carlo Scarpa, remaining one of the most fascinating works by the Venetian architect. Here, in the same spirit as Manifesta 12, a new narration will be constructed, through historical and contemporary suggestions, art and architecture, photography and archives.

The Workshop will be a research on details, fragments of the palace, which represent the complexity of the place. The participants will have free access to the archive, the library and the most hidden areas of the museum. Guided by the artist and the curator, they will develop a collective narrative, 30 dossiers with texts and images, that will be available for the visitors of the gallery to see on Sunday 16th of September. Over this period the Galleria Regionale della Sicilia di Palazzo Abatellis will be regularly open to the public.

For seven days, at dusk, the Public Program will bring together each evening numerous international guests for a talk open to the public: architects, writers, anthropologists, botanists, musicians, will present their personal point of view on a single aspect of Palazzo Abatellis and the themes of The Hidden City. The talks will take place in front of the magnificent “Triumph of Death”, in Palazzo Abatellis, and, on the 14th of September, in the Sala delle Capriate in Palazzo Steri, another of the most beautiful historic palazzos in the Kalsa area of Palermo. Some of the guests: artists like Massimo Bartolini, Stefania Galegati, Simon Starling, Luca Trevisani, architects like Emanuel Christ, Kersten Geers, Ippolito Pestellini, Kuehn Malvezzi, Onsite Studio, scholars like Paola Barbera, Guido Beltramini, Maria Vittoria Capitanucci, Philippe Duboÿ, Margherita Guccione, Matteo Iannello, Giovanni Iovane, Pierfrancesco Palazzotto.

Stefano Graziani

Stefano Graziani,
Antonio Canova, Palamede, Gypsotheca e Museo Antinio Canova.

On Saturday night there will be a contemporary music concert in the court of Palazzo Abatellis, curated by Conservatorio di Musica Vincenzo Bellini.

The book, in English and Italian, will take the form of diary or artists guide, in and around Palazzo Abatellis. The idea is to take Palazzo Abatellis as the starting point, in order to then illustrate other stories and places that are connected to it. It will be a narrative environment where historical and legendary components, artistic and literary, material culture and evocative suggestions will meet. All through the eyes of the artist and the curator and the different international authors that will be invited to participate.

The Curator

Art critic and curator, Cloe Piccoli is professor of Contemporary Art Practices at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, in Milan. She is contributor of the cultural section of newspaper La Repubblica. She has been artistic director of selected contemporary art projects, including site specific installations by Paola Pivi (2017) and John Armlender (2015) in Piazza Duomo in Milan. She curated exhibitions, installations and projects for international institutions such as: MAXXI Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome; PS1/Moma, New York; PAC Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan; Museo del Novecento, Milan; La Triennale, Milan; MACRO Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma, Rome; Musée d’Art Moderne, Saint Etienne Metropole, France; PAN - Palazzo delle Arti, Naples; Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice; Domus Academy, Milan; Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice; Cartier Creative Academy, Milan; EXPO Gate, Milan.She has produced solo shows and projects for Atelier van Lieshout, Elisabetta Benassi, Massimo Bartolini, Pedro Cabrata Reis, Jonas Dahlberg, Alberto Garutti, Armin Linke, Kuehn Malvezzi, Tobias Rehberger, Studio Park, Diego Perrone, Paola Pivi, Vedovamazzei, Darius Ziura. She has written articles, essays and interviews with artists and architects, including Gabriele Basilico, Stefano Boeri, John Bock, Thomas Demand, Olafur Eliasson, Alberto Garutti, Zaha Hadid, Herzog & de Meuron, Damien Hirst, Carsten Holler, Rem Koolhaas, Joseph Kosuth, Daniel Libeskind, Yoko Ono, Ettore Spalletti, Bill Viola. Her latest publications are: Paesaggio Italiano II, Conversazioni con Artisti Italiani (Manfredi Edizioni, Imola 2017), I’ll Be There Forever | The Sense of Classic, (Electa, Milano 2015), Paesaggio Italiano I, Conversazioni con Artisti Italiani (Fortino Edition, Brescia | Miami 2014).

The Artist

Stefano Graziani, artist, professor of Photography at Free University of Bolzano and at Master IUAV in Venice. He co-founded the magazines San Rocco and Genda. He actively collaborates with prestigious magazines and publishing houses. His work has been shown at MAXXI, Rome; CCA, Montreal; Prada Foundation, Milan; Photography Foundation, Modena. He has also collaborated with architectural rms such as Baukuh, Milano, Christ&Gantenbein, Basel, Of ce KGDVS, Brussel, PioveneFabi, Milano, Studio Mumbai, Mumbai, 51N4E, Brussel, Eric Lapierre, Paris.

His publications include: Questioning Pictures, Fondazione Prada, Milan, 2017; Neon Palladio; Ep, Lausanne, 2016; Fruits and Fireworks, a+mbookstore 2016; Art Paper, Ghent, 2016; Caraibi, Humboldt Books, Milan 2015, Conversazioni notturne (Nocturnal Conversations), texts by Alessandro Dandini de Sylva, Quodlibet 2014; Taxonomies, with a note by the author and texts by Stefano Boeri, Antonello Frongia, Rene Gabri; he curated, Jeff Wall, Gestus, Writings on Photography and Art, Quodlibet, 2013

On the occasion of

A project by

In collaboration with

Interior partner