Question: Write a 1 page report about the documentary film, ADM installation and the related lecture/event. What artworks and concepts presented did you find engaging? How did this artist (and scientist) develop their work over their career?
Before his work showcased at ADM itself, the name Michelangelo Pistoletto was unfamiliar to me. In fact when upon seeing the three circular shapes on our beloved rooftop, I was dismayed at the marred pastures which is iconic to the ADM building itself. I questioned the purpose of this symbol.
It was only during our class activity did the meaning of this artwork hit me. During the documentary film, Michelangelo Pistoletto explained that the third paradise represents a fusion between the first paradise, in which humans are fully integrated into nature. The second paradise represents an artificial realm developed by humans through science and technology. Lastly, the third paradise is a balance between these two elements. On top of this, the work is akin to the shape of an infinity sign. Making the balance and understanding between the two realms to be in a continuous process.
“The Third Paradise project consists of leading the artifice, that is science, technology, art, culture and politics, to give life back to Earth. The third Paradise means the passage to a new level of planetary civilisation, which is indispensable to ensure the survival of humankind”
- Michelangelo Pistoletto
Personally, the meaning of the artwork was elevated even more when the work is placed on grass or soil. Because now, the work is living and growing organism.
The panel dialogue between Michelangelo Pistoletto whose an artist, and Ben Feringa whose a synthetic organic chemist, discusses the influence of art and science. It is eye opening because both agreed that despite their craft being seen as completely opposing entities in our society today, it actually has some similarities. A thought which was foreign to me.
“The greatest scientists are artists as well,”
- Albert Einstein.
For example, both science and art requires innovation. Meaning that one needs to ideate in order to discover, also it seems like the sky is the limit for both platforms. Also artists, like scientists, often experiment with different approaches toward achieving their goal. A term that came up during the panel discussion was serendipity, which refers to the occurrence and developments of events by chance in a happy/beneficial way.
A question from the floor brought up a conversation which concluded that both crafts needs passion and also appreciation.
This is probably why artists like Leonardo da Vinci were mathematicians or architects despite being great artists themselves.
Lastly, viewing the documentary is actually quite an intriguing experience as we are able to learn more about Michelangelo Pistoletto beginnings and reasonings for being an artist. It is inspiring to see how he developed along the years, and his pieces with mirrors, for example The Present, is interesting to me.
One of the reason is because of the way he experimented with several techniques in order to achieve the final look.
It seems like Michelangelo Pistoletto is not an artist who is only concerned about his craft but instead, more his beliefs and the messages his works have.
“At the crossroads between abstraction and representation, where I think every young painter today has passed or remained, I chose the representation of humans, because I feel it best suited to realizing my need to express particular feelings and situations of the human condition, what for me is the most vital and burning issue of all time.”
- Michelangelo Pistoletto
And this is the kind of artist I aspire to be.