Sometimes, even the most unpleasant, awkward, coarse and deformed exhibitions can hide small cameos, tiny jewels and diminutive aesthetic flashes left to one side (perhaps even deliberately). This is what happened at the embarrassing adventure of the 65th edition of the Michetti Awards which refers to the foundation of the same name located in Francavilla al Mare in honour of the luminous painter Francesco Paolo Michetti (Tocco da Casauria, 4 August 1851 – Francavilla al Mare, 5 March 1929). In line with the themes of EXPO 2015, this new edition of the awards presented the theme of «sustainable food and food in art».
Among the myriad of exercises that ravage the exhibit’s halls, some works actually offered a glimmer of hope. In fact, there is a machine in the museum’s lobby that is fun and intriguing: The Machine for the automatic distribution of works of art. By feeding 50 cents, 1 euro, 1.50 euro or 2 euro into it, you will receive a tiny piece of art that can also be used as an authorized parking receipt. This is an irreverent yet certainly elegant project proposed by the AAART group, «a group of artists, architects, art historians and critics and other professionals from the cultural sector».
A small colophon describes the Machine for the automatic distribution of works of art as follows: «this is an installation/performance that plays upon the clichés and taboos of contemporary art. From exhibit spaces to the market and its mechanisms of approval; from a given aura to the role the public plays». Behind this gizmo, we have a functional parking meter that also influences the steps of the market – there is a basic theme here that focuses upon the Testudines Linnaeus, otherwise known as the turtle, to accentuate a very timely issue: sustainability, the fundamental theme of the upcoming EXPO.
(cover e 1) AAART collective, La Macchina per l’erogazione automatica di opere d’arte [Machine for the automatic distribution of works of ar], installation/performance, Premio Michetti, Franca Villa a Mare, Italia, agosto 2014.