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Ceramics is much more than an art. It is a tradition that merges the wisdom of master craftsmen, the entrepreneurial spirit of Sassuolo people and the genius of Italian (and foreign) artists daring to experiment. Not only air, water, earth and fire make up the soul of a material as ancient as it is avant-garde. This is well known by the Marca Corona brand that involved people in a choral work in presenting its Opera Aperta exhibition, the second project within the Marca Corona per l'Arte artistic journey.
But it is history repeating itself. In the Sassuolo district, the historic brand, present in the area since 1741, has always collaborated in its long history of almost three hundred years with local craftsmen and artisans who, reinterpreting the textile decorations of the Maisons of the twentieth century, have reused the colour combinations and graphic patterns to obtain a different kind of ceramics that is as scenic and artistic as it is modern and trendy.
Techniques, knowledge and passion regarding the utmost care of the product, the genuineness of the raw material and a form of cooperation based on shared values and principles, develop into a continuous interweaving of transversal arts that, together, convey decorative richness, artistic passion, originality and that forward-looking ability of contemporary art.
The artist Stefano Arienti, together with the company's own employees, staged some large works - on dust-proof industrial tarpaulins -, designed for the Galleria Marca Corona (inaugurated in 2010) that is, even today, the first and only Italian company museum dedicated to the history of the Sassuolo ceramic district.
This year's scenic artistic creations, set up in the company's premises (between the company museum and the showroom), tell the story of the strong link between the outside world and the manufacturing reality of ceramics - through participatory experimental art.
A series of experimentations that have the ability to show the working-manufacturing world in all its facets, also and above all the human one, through the eyes and sensitivity of the artist. The exhibition, which also features personal symbol-works of the artist, offers - until the end of January 2024 - real-life moments, suggestions, reflections and corporate values.
Stefano Arienti's work is a clear homage to Umberto Eco and his intuition of considering the cultural product in relation to those who will enjoy it. Just as a book exists if and when someone reads it, a work of art is such - or rather begins to be such - when someone looks at it, desires it or, like a rare seashell found on the beach, considers it something precious, mysterious and magical.
The first impact? In the garden of Marca Corona's headquarters in Sassuolo, an exhibition site and also a passageway between the various bodies of the factory, one of the five new works created by the artist for the company stands out: the scraper, a symbolic element of the district and one that encapsulates the primary purpose of the exhibition, that is, to establish a dialogue among art, the business system and the local area.
"I worked on the works created specifically for the spaces of Marca Corona, as I would have done in the intimacy of my studio," explains Stefano Arienti, who adds: "during participative meetings with employees, I kept people informed of all planning stages. The reference to the Opera Aperta also lies in this collective process. It is a company immersed in the contemporary, so it is a perfect place to imagine a real museum project."
This diffuse work - like that of the 2022 edition - is also an operational mode that believes, first and foremost, in an industrial model inspired by respect, enhancement of the local area, wellbeing of the community and that vision of a sustainable future that, even at the level of interpersonal relations, we can no longer disregard for the future of work (and not only) in Italy.
Participation, involvement and support of talent are important objectives that characterise the growth of Marca Corona brand and encourage the exploration and writing of new scenarios.
The aim of this year's exhibition, just as with Giuseppe Stampone's Abecedario d'Artista work in the 2022 edition, is to generate an unprecedented artistic product that can then also be viewed and offered to the world.
Other than that? The launch of the second edition of the competition for artists under 35. The dialogue with youth is developed in the wake of tradition with the aim of promoting and enhancing the research of new talents with unpublished and original works, as a result of their interpretation of the several topics proposed.
The scenic representations, which have led the company to experiment with new languages and new artistic influences, will prolong the stylistic and creative path that the company has traversed in its almost 300 years of history.