The bench has no age and does not expect it.
The bench represents the pause and the observation point.
The bench is energy.
The bench is ready to enter the field.
The bench is a socially strong value.
The bench belongs to everyone.
In the midst of the pandemic, an artistic project aimed at enhancing sharing, reflection, dialogue and rest was born. Concepts whose importance has been amplified in this period and which we should have learned to value. It all starts from Michelangelo Pistoletto's Third Paradise, a participatory and participatory project of rebirth. The symbol of the project is a reformulation of the mathematical sign of infinity: the two opposite circles mean nature and artifice, the central ring is the conjunction of the two and represents the womb of rebirth. The Third Paradise is the third era of humanity, it is the era of responsibility.
It is the fusion of the first and second heaven. The first is that in which human beings were totally integrated into nature. The second is the artificial paradise, developed by human intelligence, up to the global dimensions reached today with science and technology. This paradise is made up of artificial needs, artificial products, artificial comforts, artificial pleasures, and every other kind of artifice. A real artificial world has been formed which, with exponential progression, generates, in parallel with the beneficial effects, irreversible processes of degradation and consumption of the natural world. The Third Paradise is the third phase of humanity, which takes place in the balanced connection between artifice and nature.
The Third Paradise is a symbol of rebirth, wherefrom the encounter of one with the other a new thing is always born, a third thing (1 + 1 = 3) and in this sense, it is a symbol of creation.
100 Benches for Rome is a child project of this philosophy, born at the Rebirth Forum Rome 2019 and developed by Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto. A public awareness project based on the concepts of community, responsibility, respect and sustainability. An installation of 100 recycled plastic benches will be created during the Festival delle Periferie curated by Giorgio de Finis and in Piazza di Siena in Villa Borghese - Rome, on the occasion of the second edition of Back to Nature curated by Costantino D’Orazio recreating the symbol of Michelangelo Pistoletto's Third Paradise. The purchase of the benches takes place through their adoption by 100 different lenders (you can offer your contribution from the site dedicated to the project), a form of direct fundraising. At the end of the installation, the benches will be officially donated to the City of Rome which will arrange for their displacement throughout the territory.
The bench is a resting place, a realized utopia. It's a vacation at your fingertips. On the benches we contemplate the spectacle of the world, we look without being seen and we give ourselves time to waste time, like reading a novel [...] Today being on the bench is a social anomaly. For many, who feel embarrassed to be on the bench, this is the image of provisionally, of precariousness, perhaps of decline. Being on the bench, in the current lexicon, is the opposite of taking the field […] My favorites are the green wave ones of the past, made of wood, endangered. But all the benches seem to be on the verge of extinction today. As if their gratuitousness (their grace) in the new horizon of welfare were absolutely to be banned.
Thus the writer Beppe Sebaste defines the bench which is not simple street furniture but has a fundamental political and civil value for a democratic community that allows itself the time to talk, to get to know each other, to reflect ...
A chair can be occupied by only one person, therefore it is not democratic. A bench can hold more people, and for this reason, it is democratic.
This is the spirit that must accompany us in exiting the pandemic. It was/is one of the most difficult tests in human history but it is also offering us a very strong social and political message: sharing, connection and perhaps we have not yet emerged from the pandemic for this too, because we have not understood the message.