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Cerimonia, the first site-specific installation by the Tresoldi Academy

Fifteen students from TRAC Tresoldi Academy have collaborated with artist Edoardo Tresoldi to create the site-specific installation, Cerimonia, in Bologna, on the site of the former Mercatone Uno store. The site, which has laid abandoned for over a decade, belongs to the Unipol Group and will be redeveloped over the course of 2021 with the construction of a new multifunction complex with private housing and personal services.

The context and the installation

Cerimonia represents the process of reconnecting the city centre with the suburbs, giving them a new look through a combination of art, beauty and creativity. Regional development is in fact one of the missions of the Tresoldi Academy, created in collaboration with YAC, an architecture academy for young, talented architects who work with the world’s largest architecture studios, and STUDIO STUDIO STUDIO, the interdisciplinary project created by Edoardo Tresoldi to create and support contemporary art projects. Cerimonia is promoted and supported by UrbanUp | Unipol, with  scientific collaboration from G124, the group founded by Renzo Piano to redevelop the suburbs.

The work is a monumental portal measuring over 5m tall, constructed from wire mesh from the Cavatorta Group, which evokes the stylistic features of classic architecture. The structure is embellished with debris and materials recovered directly from the site. Completing the work are the lighting elements which create a sort of staircase leading up to the portal whose internal framework is also illuminated evoking a mysterious passageway.

The signs of decomposition and spontaneous vegetation that characterise the work are transformed into artistic elements which interact openly with the aesthetic chaos of the site, transforming it into an atmospheric scene of poetry and art.

Cerimonia creates a presence that expresses itself through its cyclical nature, incorporating itself into the process that already inhabits the space. The work will co-exist with the area's state of abandonment for about a year, blending this process with a celebration of architecture.

That’s how Edoardo Tresoldi describes Cerimonia’s ability to integrate with the environment and communicate with the area’s biology:vegetation will gradually cover the installation, redefining the forms of architecture, and the natural process of biological transformation will establish a dialogue between architecture, nature and time.

Stefano Mancuso, director of the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology and extraordinary advisor of TRAC, spoke about the natural metamorphosis the work will undergo during 2021.

Nature must take over the city. I find 'Cerimonia' extremely fascinating and educational because it is the manifestation of how one might imagine architecture. It is like imagining the ideal city in 2050 which no longer follows the Renaissance model, but is instead a city of human thought where nature can flow freely within it. The real revolution is changing the idea of cities: if we covered our cities in greenery, plants, immediately we could solve the problem of global pollution. 

Cerimonia will remain in place throughout 2021: it is visible from the outside every day and, when possible, will open for admission (every Saturday from 10:30 – 18:30) via a dedicated walkway and in compliance with Covid regulations. 

The wonderful photos were taken by Roberto Conte.

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