During its initial years the Fondazione per l’Arte has engaged in a variety of methods for supporting artists, particularly young artists, through various kinds of project. With the aim of developing a more planned and targeted activity, the Foundation’s opening of a large headquarters offers enormous potential, both on account of its architectural space and its particular location, rooted in the artisanal heartland of the district. With the opening of its headquarters in the Mandrione the Foundation has initiated an ‘intellectual workshop’ of national and international experts in various disciplines committed to an all-embracing project that aims to support and sustain the visual arts. Through its programming its objective is also to engage, the related arts of, say, theatre, music and architecture.
A primary avenue of research is already clear: the Foundation’s ‘operational workshop’ is taking form through a series of collective residency projects specifically addressing the exploration of the volatile and multi-faceted emerging Italian art scene. The intention is both to restore a platform of visibility and to offer the possibility of meeting and competing with European peers on the international art scene. This point of departure is determined by the climate of recent years whereby artist-run spaces have with courage and determination generated the progress of creative research. The focus is therefore on the studio and all those practices that contribute to the creation of an artwork – the objective being to generate dynamic exchanges between artists, curators and the public. The exhibition space is, on each occasion, transformed into a place of dynamic, formative, growth – a laboratory where groups of invited artists can measure up to one another revealing their connections, filling some of the gaps in our cultural landscape and inviting new modes of interpretation, above all broadening the horizon of ideas.
Furthermore by exploring the relationship between the artist and the place in which he works – in this particular case the city of Rome and the Mandrione district – it is hoped the revaluation of the area will be favoured.
Fundamental to the Foundation’s identity is its characterisation as a determined centre of research, production and discourse on art, intent on engaging an ever growing public, drawing it into exploring richly experimental content and all those precious thought processes of planning and creation that ferment in the art world. This objective would see the Foundation’s spaces transformed into a great laboratory, studio to every artist, a work place for critics and curators, and a space capable of engaging and stimulating the eye of the public, helping to draw visitors closer to the work of art through the organisation of initiatives such as workshops, talks, open studio events and studio visits.
The idea of an ‘operational workshop’ that is always open, always dynamic, has come into being to provide artists a platform for greater visibility and a meeting point offering the opportunity of national and international exchanges with other artists, dealers, critics, curators, museum directors, collectors and the public.
From 2014 the Foundation’s activities will take place at their Rome headquarters of Via del Mandrione 105. The space is part of a post-war industrial building development of the 1950s; it is located between the railway-lines and the Acqua Felice aqueduct. This urban district of Rome, known as Il Mandrione, is a part of the city that has been in constant evolution since the 1943 bombing of nearby San Lorenzo.
The area has been cited in various literary and filmic works, first among which, those by Pier Paolo Pasolini. It provides a unique urban setting where railway bridges and ancient roman aqueducts intersect and tangle in a timeless architectural palimpsest.
The simple linear structure of the venue makes it ideal for exhibitions and other projects. This industrial hangar consists of 260 square meters of open space with a ceiling height of 7.10 meters. Its horizontal disposition with easy vehicle access facilitates the transport and installation of works. The space is fully accessible to the disabled and is also equipped with office space and a kitchen. A large parking area within the industrial complex permits the organisation of any kind of public event by facilitating access.
The venue’s interior space is neutral and has been conceived as an area in which artists can work freely without conflict with the containing structure, its dimensions also permit the execution of large-scale installations.
Adjoining the venue, the Foundation possesses a large and comfortable apartment planned for the accommodation of those artists that have been invited to take part in the Foundation’s projects, and its programme of residencies for artists, curators, and critics wishing to spend periods of study and research in Rome. Disposed over two floors the apartment consists of two bedrooms, a bathroom and a large living room on the ground floor; on the first floor there is a kitchen with terrace as well as both an internal dining area and an external, dinning-terrace.