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David Tremlett

11 Oct 2024 - 9 Feb 2025
The organ pipes
Permanent artistic intervention at the former Caffarri factory
Another Step
Exhibition at the Chiostri di San Pietro
Reggio Emilia, 11 October 2024 – 9 February 2025

On 11 October 2024, the Fondazione Palazzo Magnani presents the project devised by the British artist David Tremlett for the city, which includes the major permanent artistic intervention at the former Caffarri factory: The organ pipes and the exhibition Another Step, curated by Marina Dacci, in the Chiostri di San Pietro exhibition spaces.

This event reinforces the identity of the Cloisters of San Pietro as a hub of international contemporary art, creating an ideal bond with the enhancement of the city’s artistic and cultural heritage. For over twenty years, in fact, Reggio Emilia has invested in contemporary art, with key institutional choices, for the reconfiguration of deprived areas or those undergoing transformation, with the aim of creating a path of social and educational enhancement. Between 2003 and 2006, the public art project Invito a… (‘Invitation to…’) was conceived, proposed to the city and implemented by the artist Claudio Parmiggiani, involving four leading figures from the international art scene to devise and produce works for a number of sites around the city: in the Cloisters of San Domenico, Less Than by Robert Morris, Araba Fenice by Luciano Fabro in the premises of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (former Caserma Zucchi), Danza di Astri e di Stelle by Eliseo Mattiacci for the former Fonderia Lombardini, and Whirls and Twirls 1 by Sol Lewitt on the vault of the reading room of the Panizzi Library. In this way, a museum collection – open to all and spread across the fabric of the city – came into being, only to be enriched over time. Indeed,. in 2022, Joan Fontcuberta’s CuriosaMeravigliosa collective artwork came to life on the façade of the Palazzo dei Musei.

Ex Caffarri

With this in mind, David Tremlett (St. Austell, Cornwall, 1945) – an artist with a consolidated international curriculum and sixty years of research to his name – was invited to Reggio Emilia at Marina Dacci’s suggestion, to visit the former Caffarri factory – a building located in the northern area of the city and already home to various renewal projects. His choice was to intervene on the façade of the entrance and on the thirteen large silos to create the visible sign of a place dedicated to education and community gathering, especially for young people, and one which will host realities such as the Reggio Children Foundation, the Remida Creative Recycling Centre, the Lego Foundation, the MaMiMò Theatre Centre and a boxing gym.

The organ pipes is among the largest permanent interventions Tremlett has ever created: the silos of the former Caffarri factory occupy 750 square metres of surface area, over a total length of 75 metres as each has a façade of 100 square metres and stands 11.3 metres high. The work will be carried out over a period of about 20 days with the collaboration of a team of three. The project involves the use of more than 100 litres of acrylic paint, and the colour range was selected by the artist with a specific study of the area in which the work is to be set.

The exhibition Another Step in the spaces of the Cloisters of San Pietro, curated by Marina Dacci, complements the major public art intervention by creating a link between the liminal territories of the city and the historic centre. The focus of the exhibition is on certain constants in Tremlett’s artistic research from the 1970s right up to the present day through some 70 works stretching from 1969 (the start of his artistic career) to 2023. They are drawings and collages, textual compositions, mostly from the artist’s own studio and on loan from various collectors. More than half of the works have never been exhibited before, and are linked to a specific studio production, unrelated to the creation of subsequent wall drawings.

The exhibition takes place in seven rooms of the historic Cloisters. One of these will house the preparatory drawing and statement for the permanent work The organ pipes commissioned by the city, as well as a video on the process of its implementation and other documentation material on the artist.

The catalogue, published by Gli Ori, documents both the permanent installation and the exhibition with texts by Marina Dacci and Luca Massimo Barbero.

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  • Date: 11 Oct 2024 - 9 Feb 2025
  • Location:Chiostri di San Pietro and Ex Caffarri
  • Curators:Marina Dacci

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