Art Heals: A Museum In Italy Becomes COVID-19 Vaccine Site Enveloped In Claudia Comte's Site-Specific Audiovisual Work

  • April 29, 2021 11:31

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Claudia Comte installation. Courtesy Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Torino
Vaccination center in the Claudia Comte installation. Courtesy Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Torino

From April 29, 2021, a Covid-19 vaccine center will be set up at Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Rivoli, on the outskirts of Turin, Italy. Vaccinations will be administered in the galleries of a Claudia Comte exhibition where visitors will be ensconced in a specially-created audiovisual installation incorporating large-scale murals and a soothing sound work.

"I hope that people feel they are entering an inviting and calming environment, and that even some joy can be gleaned by seeing and experiencing this work while waiting to receive this very important vaccine,” said artist Claudia Comte.

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Occupying a former baroque royal palace, the museum’s large, open spaces are well-designed for social distancing and the museum is implementing all the necessary health and sanitation measures mandated by the current situation.

The vaccination center is set up in the galleries on the third floor of the museum where the Claudia Comte. How To Grow and Still Stay The Same Shape mural exhibition is currently underway. Claudia Comte, starting from the observation of nature and its changing patterns, created large environmental installations on the gallery walls that incorporate the world from the perspective of the digital experience. For her exhibition at Castello di Rivoli, the artist created monumental mural interventions specially designed for the rooms of the historic residence that develop according to geometric modules repeated in the space through which Comte creates an enveloping and vibrant optical environment. To accompany the vaccinations, the artist has specially created a new soothing sound artwork that will be broadcast in the spaces. While in the museum’s vaccination center, people will be able to listen to the sound work The Pattern That Connects, 2021, composed by the artist with the collaboration of Egon Elliut (sound, 41’26”, Courtesy the artist and Castello of Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea).

Vaccination center in the Claudia Comte installation. Courtesy Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Torino

Comte notes: “For the vaccination center at Castello di Rivoli our aim, with composer Egon Elliut, was to create an audiovisual experience akin to a daydream, something that was above all calming and welcoming. There are several chapters that make up the soundscape and each represents, rhythmically, the natural realm of flora and fauna. The process involved creating sounds that give an impression of a sentient thing, for example the humming of a jellyfish propelling itself through seawater and the soft gentle grunts of a herd of deer. Oscillating between electronic sound to more classical influences, the soundscape also incorporates field recordings taken from nature, the sound of the ocean can be heard in varying depths and pulses for example. Mimicking the soundscape are the patterns in the wall paintings which visitors will experience in unison for the first time, these immersive works wrap around all twelve walls of the upper gallery floor." 

Castello di Rivoli, a cultural space in the Piedmont region that is devoted to openness and plurality, is ideally suited to providing a community service and to hosting Covid-19 vaccinations. Says, the Director of the Castello di Rivoli, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev: “Art has always contributed to the care of society - it is no coincidence that some of the first museums in the world were formerly hospitals. We would now like to return the favor, so to speak, by making the rooms of the Castello di Rivoli available for the national vaccination plan. Our baroque spaces are large enough to house a safe vaccination center; our staff are welcoming and well trained in monitoring the public. But above all, this is a commitment to create an accessible place at the service of the community. Our buildings can continue to serve this purpose and fulfill our mission - art heals. We invited the artist Claudia Comte to take this journey towards health with us. I thank her for her sensitivity and creative generosity.”

Vaccination center in the Claudia Comte installation. Courtesy Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Torino

From Thursday April 29 to Saturday May 1, people who come for vaccinations will have exclusive access to the museum, while from Thursday May 6 the Castello di Rivoli will also reopen to the public and, to mark the occasion, the painting Narcissus, 1597-1599, by Caravaggio, on loan from the Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica in Rome, will be installed in the Manica Lunga wing as part of the Espressioni and Anne Imhof. Sex exhibitions.

The project is the result of a wide-ranging collaboration. The Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, the Piedmont Region and the City of Rivoli all contributed to the project.
 


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