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Street art displays its magic in the capital of fashion

by Marco Carminati

Street Art, which is nowadays spread all over the world, offers a privileged perspective for observing the vital dynamics of contemporary cities.

Its spontaneity, linked to an activism that is both antagonistic and situationist, makes it difficult - perhaps impossible - to contain it within the walls of an exhibition space.
Without the random movements of the urban environment, the changing lights, the passing of the seasons, and without the varying effects of weather and noises, the artworks lose much of their meaning and it’s impossible to properly relocate them inside a confined space.

The “Street Art” exhibition, curated by Nina Bassoli, aims at adding to City After the City - a set of exhibitions held at Milan’s Triennale - this explosive multiplication of images, through a special device that allows to faithfully reproduce the variability and complexity of an urban setting.

The layout created by Bruce Mau Design connects each image to the subject of a poster, a typical street communication tool, and arranges them into a collage. The posters, superimposed on each other through an action-performance, convey the constant movement of the city, that changes its appearance as it gets involved in an interplay with its inhabitants.

The two large curved walls that run along the exhibition space, immersed in a sound environment of urban noises specially composed by Carlo Boccadoro, allow to display many specific stories.

On one side, a series of images documenting the birth of street art are on display.
They depict the extraordinary period between the 1970s and 1980s along the urban railway lines and on the walls of New York City, through powerful portraits by great photographers such as Martha Cooper and Jon Naar.

The second wall, by contrast, documents the more multifaceted and heterogeneous contemporary scene, and features artists and artworks from around the world.

(Street Art, curated by Nina Bassoli, XXI International Exhibition at the Milan Triennale “21st Century. Design After Design”, until September 12)