A museum that belongs to everyone and is always accessible – a place for sharing. Promoting a change of perspective. This is No Man’s Land, an open-air museum in contrada Rotacesta in Loreto Aprutino (PE).
Established in 2016, the museum was based on an idea by Hungarian architect Yona Friedman – theorist of Mobile Architecture and creator of Ville Spatiale in the 1950s – together with the energy of Mario Pieroni and Dora Stiefelmeier. Two new installations have just been added to No Man’s Land: My Private Moon by Leonid Tishkov and La Cité des Réfugiés by Yona Friedmann and Jean-Baptiste Decavèle.
Both works have been installed on what would have been the utopian Hungarian architect’s 99th birthday and were conceived and realised according to the ideas and principles of sharing and participation.
My Private Moon, nestling in the middle of a walnut forest, illuminates the way for visitors who wish to experience No Man’s Land at night. This is a travelling light installation, a moon that acquires value when looked at together, just like the real one.
The Cité des Réfugiés, on the other hand, follows the principles of Yona Friedman’s mobile architecture, according to which anyone can build their own shelter out of inexpensive materials. It consists of cubic modules made of metal circles resulting in a slender architecture, made of almost nothing. It responds to the need for flexibility of those who will inhabit it and has been built following a participatory construction process.
Many people contributed energy and ideas to its construction, which took place at No Man’s Land between 23 May and 5 June, representing a participatory construction process supervised by artist Jean-Baptiste Decavèle and carried out by the students from the Department of Architecture of the University of Chieti-Pescara, together with the students of Art Therapy at the Brera Academy who guided the hard work done by the school students from Loreto Aprutino.
This process can be summarised with a few numbers: 6 days of work; an area of 2 hectares to be shared and inhabited; 250 metal circles to be assembled into 39 cubic units; 10 artists, curators, architects, photographers and collaborators; 13 students from the Department of Architecture in Pescara and 4 students from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts; 237 children from the schools of Loreto Aprutino, consisting of children from 4 to 12 years old together with their teachers.
Curious eyes, attentive ears and industrious arms. A vital energy that Yona Friedman’s visionary thinking was able to put into action. A multitude of energy belonging to different fields of knowledge, ranging from art to architecture and education.
An energy derived from teamwork that transformed No Man’s Land into a place to learn about beauty, in the Latin sense of the term – accompanying children, young people and university students on a path of artistic awareness, on a learning path towards beauty.
It is, therefore, the process that gives this work its added value. Firstly with the process of construction, followed later by the housing, to make the city of refugees a place to live in – a common shelter and a laboratory of ideas for a more democratic vision of the world.
No Man’s Land Foundation, Loreto Aprutino (PE), Italy
images: (cover 1-3-4)workshop «Architettura mobile / Mobile Architecture» with Professors and students of the Department of Architecture «G. d’Annunzio» di Chieti-Pescara, May 23-26, 2022, at No Man’s Land Foundation, for the realization of the installation «La Cité des Réfugiés di Yona Friedmann», photo: Gino Di Paolo, May 2022 (2) Leonid Tishkov, «My Private Moon», Gardening with John 1.1 di Alvin Curran, No Man’s Land Foundation