Ministry launches Bel Paese, project to promote Italian contemporary art

Kicking off today is the Bel Paese project, conceived by the Ministry of Culture together with the Contemporary Art Foundations Committee: the goal, to promote Italian contemporary art around the world, with six meetings that will facilitate relationships between Italian artists and curators from abroad.

It was presented today in Rome, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Culture, the project Bel Paese. Promoting Italian Art Around the World, an international networking program designed by the Ministry itself, through the Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity: the goal, to promote Italian contemporary art around the world by activating public-private collaborations. Thus, two years after the memorandum of understanding signed in 2021 by the Ministry and the Committee of Contemporary Art Foundations, Bel Paese is starting, which will run alongside the other project for the promotion and enhancement of Italian art, namely theItalian Council: in this case, the focus is on defining and activating common processes that will serve to enhance Italian contemporary artistic research in the international cultural context.

Bel Paese stands in continuity and as an evolution of the Grand Tour d’Italie project promoted by the Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity with the collaboration of some of the main Italian residency networks for three editions (2016, 2018, 2019) with the aim of promoting mobility and relationships between Italian mid-career artists with curators and directors of international art residencies and contemporary art centers. As in that case, Bel Paese wants to give the possibility to Italian artists to be able to get in touch with some of the professional figures of the most prestigious international contemporary art realities, in order to create opportunities for collaboration and career development opportunities through paths of promotion and enhancement of their research abroad.

The program will consist of six meetings (three in two years) in as many Italian cities involving 60 artists and 30 curators. Over the next three years Bel Paese. Promoting Italian Art Around the World will involve 6 Italian cities, 60 female artists/artists, and 30 international curators/curators. The cities involved in the project will be those that, due to their public vocation, are considered by the ministry as urban laboratories that integrate critical reflexivity and global phenomena, generating sociocultural processes of inclusion, listening, and construction of new strategies determined to reformulate and implement the relationship between contemporary art and society.

The first edition is kicking off in 2023 with the first two stages, Naples (July 10-11-12, 2023) and Turin (Sept. 22-23-24, 2023), two centers that incorporate an intercultural dialogue between the Mediterranean and Europe aimed at strengthening values, practices, and public principles that make Italian art and culture an open global tool for reinforcing peace, fostering socioeconomic equality, and supporting the rights of all human communities.

Official venues for Belpaese’s scholarly activities and meetings will be the Fondazione Morra Greco in Naples and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin. In Naples, the selected artists are Francesco Arena, Stefano Arienti, Betty Bee, Jacopo Benassi, Giulia Crispiani, Caterina De Nicola, Adji Dieye, Raffaella Naldi Rossano, Lina Pallotta and Giulia Piscitelli. The international curators are Michelle Cotton (Mudam, Luxembourg), Joao Laia (KIASMA, Helsinki), Claudia Segura (MACBA, Barcelona), Fabian Schöneich (CCA, Berlin) and Milan Ther (Kunstverein, Hamburg). Attendances in Turin, however, are being determined and will be announced at a later date. The invited artists, the Ministry points out, were selected from among the Italian voices considered most interesting at the moment by a curatorial committee composed of Anna Mattirolo and Stefano Collicelli Cagol, just as the curators of the international institutions were chosen from among the most representative European and international artists.

As a project strictly dedicated to the international promotion of Italian contemporary culture, Bel Paese is part of the main strategic objectives of the Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity and the Ministry of Culture and, in this sense, it is one of the flagship projects supported by the Fund for the Enhancement of the Promotion of Italian Culture and Language Abroad for the three-year period 2022-2024 as part of the cultural diplomacy actions implemented with the Directorate General for Public and Cultural Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

“I am happy that this important project for the international promotion of Italian artists starts from Naples and Turin, two cities in different ways capable of best interpreting their identity and their relationship with the world through creative work,” comments Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano. “We have a duty to build the past of our future. Shaping now new artistic paths, made of unprecedented languages, which arise from modern needs and lead us toward ambitions that are renewed, means leaving to posterity the memory of what we are living and processing nowadays. I have always advocated the need to cope, especially with young people, with this duty, which almost takes the form of a moral responsibility we have to future generations. This is why we will continue to boost contemporary art with initiatives and programs such as ’Bel Paese.’ In this direction, we are proceeding to annually establish the ’capital of contemporary art,’ an initiative to go alongside the capital of culture and the capital of books.”

The Contemporary Art Foundations Committee brings together the social, cultural, and aesthetic dimensions of the territorial work that the Committee’s foundations have been enhancing and sharing for years, developing a collective process of supporting Italian art through their resources and scientific activities. The Belpaese project is in support of the cultural diplomacy initiatives implemented by the Ministry of Culture with the aim of building new cultural relations related to contemporary art through institutional figures of international experts invited to explore Italian contemporary research.

“On behalf of all the members of the Contemporary Art Foundations Committee,” says the committee’s chairwoman, Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, “I am happy to share with the Ministry of Culture’s General Directorate for Contemporary Creativity this important path in support of Italian women artists. Bel Paese imagines and builds a new cultural methodology that intends to expand the boundaries of Italian contemporary art, strengthening its reception and establishing relationships in a constellation of international networks of excellence.”

The project’s coordinating and operational group, an expression of the Steering Committee instituted by the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry and the Foundations Committee, is composed of: Fabio De Chirico, Head of Service II - Contemporary Art, and Matteo Piccioni for the General Directorate for Contemporary Creativity; Raffaella Frascarelli and Olivia Fortini for the Contemporary Art Foundations Committee.

In the photo: the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation.

Ministry launches Bel Paese, project to promote Italian contemporary art
Ministry launches Bel Paese, project to promote Italian contemporary art