“Art is good and essential. Like bread. We need art, just as we need food.” This is the premise of the project #10cents - ART AT THE SUPERMARKET, conceived by artist Giuseppina Giordano who, during her lockdown in Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, thought of an original way to give an answer to the many artists who have suffered the heavy consequences of the coronavirus, with cancelled exhibitions and closed galleries. It is also a way to bring the contemporary art world closer to a heterogeneous public that, moving between pasta shelves and meat counters, will see the supermarket transformed into an exhibition space.
The works of young artists – but also masters like Pietro Consagra – will unexpectedly appear in the most familiar of places, the only one that we’ve been able to visit in the last two months. The users-consumers will be able to become philanthropists by donating to the cashier the symbolic amount of 10 cents (or more!). Every 10 days, 10% of the total amount of all the income of each edition will be donated to an artist or cultural operator who is in economic, physical or social difficulty. The remaining 90% will be divided equally among the artists and the organization.
#10cents – ART AT THE SUPERMARKET, video teaser, 2020
“The project was born as inclusive as possible, free of charge, to emphasize the interdependence between the public and art. People who will never come close to museums as they are conceived today will meet art for the first time and everyone will experience it in a different way”, explained the artist who is working as a curator, at 1 am the night before the official opening.
“If it is true that one cannot satisfy oneself by watching a cooking program, in the same way art and artists cannot survive only online or through the digitization of their works”, states the press release. “At the same time, a world that forgets how much art and culture are essential goods is a world that cannot face the challenges that the future holds for us.
The formula is simple and therefore viral. The “zero edition” in Sicily will be followed by others in various Italian cities but also in Seoul, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Athens, Sydney, Helsinki, Montreal and Lahore, Pakistan. The complete list of supermarkets will be constantly updated on the project’s website, 10centsproject.com. It is possible to participate as an artist, collector, curator, food business or supermarket by contacting the organization from the website.
To underline the importance of art as an essential good, a series of curators were asked to contribute with phrases and thoughts on why art is to be considered vital, like bread. The answers will be diffused from the supermarket’s speakers together with other audio works chosen for the occasion. “The reflections of the protagonists of the art world and culture help to generate further reflections and in a certain sense they help to educate,” Giordano explains.
The first appointment will be held at the Migros supermarket in Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, from 23 May to 1 June 2020 with the artists Pietro Consagra, Cose Cosmiche, Federica Di Pietrantonio, Domenico Laterza, Tania Lombardo, Matteo Pizzolante.
In addition to the exhibition of individual works, there will be special projects aimed at companies in the agri-food sector who will be able to book dedicated exhibition spaces inside the supermarkets, curated by a protagonist of contemporary art, such as Abhijian Toto, independent writer and Indian curator specialized in ecosophy, interdisciplinary research, work and finance, chosen for this assignment.
“The future begins with art, and it is time to consider artists as World Heritage and protect them as such”, we keep reading in the press release. While waiting for the report of the long-awaited Forum of Italian Contemporary Art that will held an online plenary assembly on May 30 2020, the project #10cents - ART AT THE SUPERMARKET shows how artists, with their sensitivity and visionary approach, are the first ones to give a sign of recovery.
- #10cents – ART AT THE SUPERMARKET (the supportive art r-evolution)
- Curated by:
- Giuseppina Giordano
- Migros di Mazara del Vallo (TP), Sicily
- Via Bessarione 85, Mazara del Vallo
- Opening dates:
- 23 May – 1 June 2020
- Artists on show:
- Pietro Consagra, Cose Cosmiche, Federica Di Pietrantonio, Domenico Laterza, Tania Lombardo, Matteo Pizzolante
- Curators’ written contributions:
- Bernardo Agrò, Arianna Baldoni, Matteo Bergamini, Ginevra Bria, Michela Eremita, Gianni Di Matteo, Pietro Gaglianò, Gianluca Gramolazzi, Marco Marelli, Cristina Muccioli, Susanna Ravelli, Gabi Scardi