dolomiti contemporanee

more than a project

by nina zerby

When we talk about Dolomiti Contemporanee, using the term “project” is very limitative to us because Dolomiti Contemporanee is much more.

DC can be defined as a sort of cultural climbing, a “mountaineering modality” through which it is possible to dismember the concept of Heritage and Memory by making alive places that have remained silent and immobile for years. But how? Through temporary and transformative practices.

In fact, culture is also knowing how to move spaces and not a overbearing term used for the static management of assets or “empty boxes”. DC is an existing vision, a cultural vector capable of reprocessing landscapes and resources through the contemporary.

If places revive, the territory acquires new lifeblood, work, identity, culture and development.

“Dolomiti Contemporanee is a spatial and conceptual reconfigurer that operates through contemporary art and culture. The Dolomites are the physical and conceptual space to which it has been decided to apply a critical, reactivating look (the critical approach is refill) “

 It was 2011 and Gianluca D’incà Levis was a curator in Venice. In that year the “Pale Mountains” were declared a World Heritage Site. But what does heritage mean? Gianluca started from here, from a question and a question he created Dolomiti Contemporanee.

There has been a lot of talk about Heritage and what it actually means. Starting from this base Gianluca literally took paralyzed sites in his memory that had not hitherto triggered a regenerative process. Heavy, silent ghosts such as the Eni Village in Borca di Cadore or the New Spazio di Casso. Ghosts within which, practices dealt with through contemporary art, can really act as a means of salvation and not a restitution of a simple exercise in style.

Curator Gianluca D'Incà Levis

If a site has a lot of value, we cannot speak of container but of content. If you have a value in your hand, in this case a heritage, you must understand and know that it is already contained, and not a mere container. Consequently, it is necessary to find practice modalities compatible with that content.

DC does not organize exhibitions inside empty boxes and if it does, it does so in a totally distinct way compared to the simple aesthetic setting. In essence, Gianluca collects and cares for sites scattered throughout the Dolomites, sites that contain in their DNA a potential, a story, an experience, stories of life and experiences such as the case of the former Eni Village.

There are two possibilities for these places: to remain motionless or to become something else. Through reactivation processes focused on art and culture and with a strategic action program, in these years of activity DC has activated a structured network of collaborators and sponsors.

In these places the artists arrive who tie themselves with a revolutionary knot to the surrounding spaces. The program provides for the temporary occupation of the identified complexes, which are transformed into cultural engines and exhibition centers. “Inside them, the residences are activated, where the artists are hosted, which create cultural production centers.

The artists work online with the dozens of partner companies, which provide them with the materials, the processing supports, the assistance, to create the works.

When, after inhabiting it for a few months, and having made some exhibition cycles, at the end of the season, the site is abandoned by the artists, it is different from before. The action of the artists has made it attractive again, even on a commercial level. In this way, art has shown that it can provide concrete impulses to the territory, reactivating areas with great potential, which lay in a necrotic state “.

Ten years of exploration, cultural climbing, impromptu passages or longer and more articulated stations such as in the sites of the Vajont, in Casso, or in the former Eni Village of Borca have now passed.

Certainly Dolomiti Contemporanee does not spread a classic mountain stereotype but rather a concept of constant elaboration that distances itself from the fossil static nature that encompasses places abandoned over time.
photo courtesy Dolomiti Contemporanee