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“What does giving one’s all mean to me?It means doing something I can learn from, something that pushes me beyond my own abilities, beyond my normal ways”

Corrado Levi in Triennale

July 2, 2020

On the occasion of Global Pride 2020, Triennale Milano celebrates the works of Corrado Levi: Panchina rosa triangolare [Triangular Pink Bench] of 1989, on display in the Triennale Garden, and Piercing a Milano [Piercing in Milan] of 2020. The latter was created for the first time in 1996, in collaboration with the Cliostraat collective, for a building in Turin. Now in a new version, it is being shown again, in the atrium of Triennale, as part of the exhibition Corrado Levi. Tra gli spazi, curated by Joseph Grima and Damiano Gullì.

“The City of Bologna had organised a public competition for a monument to the homosexual victims of concentration camps. In these camps, these people had to wear a pink triangle their grey uniforms so they could be identified as gay. Together with the R.O.S.P.O. Collective of the Faculty of Architecture of the Politecnico University of Milan, I took part in the competition and we won with this project. It measures three and a half metres per side, it is pink, it is shaped like the benches in the parks in Bologna, and you can sit on it.”

Corrado Levi

Coralli d'asfalto, Corrado Levi

“When they’re purely symbolic, just terrible figures in public squares, monuments are only useful for pigeons. On my bench, on the other hand, you can sit down and talk to those next to you. It brings people together. I took a photo when there were thirty people sitting together: it was exciting to create a work with a purpose. One that’s more than just symbolic.”

Corrado Levi

Photo by Gianluca Di Ioia

Piercing a Milano [Piercing in Milan] is a new version of Urban Kisses of 1996, specially created for the Corrado Levi. Tra gli spazi exhibition at Triennale. The piercing is in the form of a ring – one of those with a metal ball at the centre, to be worn on the nose, as was the fashion at the time. With the Cliostraat collective of artists and architects, it occurred to us that we could make it on a monumental scale and place it on a building in Turin rather than on a body. That was the great leap: taking something that’s usually worn on the human body and transferring it to the body of architecture. When we submitted the project to the Sovrintendenza, they gave us the go-ahead because it would be possible to remove the work... But it’s still there today! But then again, the Eiffel Tower was also supposed to be temporary, but then people liked it and it remained.”

Corrado Levi

Photo by Gianluca Di Ioia

An architect, artist, intellectual, cultural agitator, teacher, critic, curator, and collector, Corrado Levi is indeed an eclectic figure. Born in Turin, he was a pupil of Carlo Mollino and Franco Albini, and worked as a professor of architectural composition at the Faculty of Architecture of the Politecnico University of Milan. In 1988 he created Asphalt Corals, a large-format work for the Le Case della Triennale show at the XVII International Exhibition. Other works of his have been shown at Triennale in Quali cose siamo, 2010, and in Il design italiano oltre le crisi, 2014. 2020 brings the solo exhibition, Corrado Levi. Tra gli spazi, curated by Joseph Grima and Damiano Gullì.

Credits

With thanks to Corrado Levi and Ribot Gallery

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