“The Emergence of Self-Awareness” 
May 6th 2009 – Berlin School of Mind and Brain  

Abstract “If art is the mirror of life, I am the mirror maker” – M.P.

The talk, moderated by the neurobiologist Ludovica Lumer and introduced by the art historian Elena Agudio, will be an attempt to reflect on the emergence of self-awareness and to focus on the scientific perspectives of Pistoletto’s work and research. The process of self-identification, its development, the relationship of the self to the world, and the dialogue between the work of art and the observer will be the centre of analysis.

–Michelangelo Pistoletto is an Italian artist, world renowned as a protagonist of the Arte Povera movement. His work mainly deals with the subject matter of reflection. His artistic research starts in the ‘50s with self-portraits: studying his personal identity Pistoletto has come to the reflective – metallic – canvas as a conceptual instrument. He began painting on mirrors in 1962, connecting painting with the constantly changing realities in which the work finds itself. In the late sixties he began bringing together rags with casts of classical Italian statues to break down the hierarchies of ”art” and common things, finding in an art of impoverished materials the concept of Arte Povera. Believing in the responsibility of the artist as a “sponsor of thinking”, in 1994 he announced his programme Progetto Arte, whose ambitious aim is to work towards the unification of creative, social and economic aspects of human existence. In 1996, he founded the art city Cittadelarte – Fondazione Pistoletto in an abandoned textile factory near Biella, as a centre and laboratory to support and research creative resources, and to develop innovative ideas and possibilities.

Curated by Elena Agudio