Art arose and developed at the same time as Pistoletto’s
teaching activity at the Vienna Fine Arts Academy, from 1991 to 1999.
Here he and his students set up an innovative program that broke down
the traditional barriers between artistic disciplines. In February
1994, at the Marstall Theater in Munich, Pistoletto organized the
event Tempo, Tag Theater, involving exponents of the worlds
of economics and politics as well as artists from different fields.
In October, the town hall in Pistoia hosted the first in a series
of public meetings in which the program manifesto of Project Art
was presented and discussed with representatives of increasingly
broad sectors of society.
“Progetto Arte is founded on the idea
that art is the most sensitive and complete expression of human
thought, and that the time has come for artists to take on the responsibility
of establishing ties among all human activities, from economics
to politics, science to religion, education to behavior—in
a word, among the threads that make up the fabric of society”
(from Progetto Arte Manifesto, 1994)
There followed a flurry of activity in which the
goals of Project Art, summed up in certain catch phrases
in the manifesto—“eliminate distances while maintaining
differences,” “love differences” and “thought-sponsoring
artist”—developed and became concrete. Among them the
exhibition, The Doors of Palazzo Fabroni (Pistoia, November
1995 – February 1996), divided into 16 thematic rooms (Dress,
Politics, Meetings, Architecture, Theater, Art, Information, Music,
Science, Design, Religion, Market, Economics, Literature, Food,
Philosophy) that correspond to the different areas articulated within
Project Art. In the following show, Habitus, Abito, Abitare,
at the Pecci Museum in Prato (September 1996 – February 1997),
which, like the preceding one, was curated by Pistoletto and Bruno
Corà, the rooms were ‘inhabited’ by artists,
sociologists and designers, and events involving the inhabitants
were organized in various spots around town.
Journal , a magazine documenting the developments of Project
Art (since 1994) and the activities of Cittadellarte
(since 1998) is published annually.