The first was to bring children of school age closer to contemporary art; the second to help families during the summer months, who in the period after the end of school and before family vacations often find themselves looking around for some activities for their children to do. It’s a common need felt by the mums and dads who have been extremely enthusiastic about summer learning possibilities at the Pirelli HangarBicocca since the start. It’s a chance to find out through play and discovery the techniques of today’s artists with the use of varied and engaging learning materials.
The camps, part of the greater annual range offered by the ‘Kids’ activities programme, are three weeks in length and repeated throughout the summer, with each camp dedicated to a particular age range. Activities are always related to exhibitions and artists from the Pirelli HangarBicocca and are led by the Arts Tutors, young people with technical training working together with professionals and artists to give the children a unique development and entertainment experience. The activity contents are the result of an intense exchange of ideas and information between the members of the curatorial department and, where possible, directly with the artists, who highlight the aspects of their work they most want to be conveyed to the young members of the public.
This year the “Art or Science?” summer camp will focus on the imagery of Carsten Höller, whose exhibition “Doubt” is at the Pirelli HangarBicocca until 31 July – it’s a course which encourages a multifaceted approach, journeying from science to music and from chemistry to physics.
“Doubt” is an exhibition which requires the active participation of viewers, whatever age they might be, who must “get involved in the game”, making choices, activating installations of vast dimensions, taking part in them and living them, as well as observing others as they too experiment. A complicated piece, but capable of stimulating understanding on many levels, even in our younger visitors, offering them the possibility to discover new and unexplored worlds.
It contains a unique, exceptional collaboration between the artists Marco Belfiore and Luca Pozzi, both extremely active in the Milan area and who, inspired by the exhibition and by following their own professional inclinations, have planned specially designed workshops for the participants, sharing their skills with the children and helping them to discover the world of performance, film and sound.
As for the part more closely connected to the scientific and technical world, this year the camps will benefit from new opportunities as a result of collaborations with the Fondazione Pirelli, the Research and Development Department, the Chemical Laboratory and the Testing Department of Pirelli, meaning that for the first time it will be possible for the young participants in the camps to try out all the stages involved in tyre production, transforming them into young chemists and giving them the opportunity to help out in the stages of production and tyre tread testing.
There is also a new collaboration with the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology of Milan, which has exclusively reserved laboratory activities for the camp participants to study all the scientific aspects of light. The relationship with various other institutions present in the area will also continue, in particular with the Archivio Giovanni Sacchi, part of the Spazio MIL, another cultural centre in the once entirely industrial space of Breda.
Finally, the summer programmes will also have the benefit for the first time of a new format, dedicated to young people aged 13-17, lasting three days and linked to the programme “Outside the Cube”, which takes place every three years within the Pirelli HangarBicocca and is dedicated to the world of urban art, this year seeing the participation of the Brazilian duo OSGEMEOS. Inspired by street art and its special methods of communication, during the three-day course the artists will illustrate with the aid of projectors the numerous characteristics and genres of urban art, before guiding the participants as they create a mural on one of the external walls of the Pirelli HangarBicocca. In an innovative approach to camp activities, Alice Pasquini has also planned a one-day tour, using the metro lines between different areas of Milan (in particular the Garibaldi and Tortona zones) to show participants the most interesting urban art in the city. The youngsters will be invited to document the trip with photography, which will then form a basis from which their work can be developed the following day. In the next two days they will alternate between presentations on the various techniques used by graffiti and street artists and group work and preparation of the materials to be used. At the end of the three-day workshop the participants will choose the photos which have the most meaning for them and will be invited to develop a personal vision of what they have seen during the tour and experiment with some techniques of their choice, working directly with the materials on the walls.