We-Traders in Turin

Cedo Crisi, Offro Città

After its successful debut in Madrid with 19.000 visitors, We-Traders. Swapping Crisis for City is now open in Turin. Here are some impressions from the first exciting days of the show.


The exhibition takes place in a former industrial building which has been reinvented by our host and We-Trade Toolbox Coworking Torino.


Our ingenious exhibition designer, Alex Valder, is installing the Madrid results of our traveling D.I.Y. Statistic. Will Turiners also feel that they give more to the city than the city gives to them? We will wait and see, when the Turin results will come to Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin on July 3rd.


Local co-curators Luisa Perlo and Lisa Parola (from left) from curators collective a.titolo talk about the particular situation in Turin. If you understand Italian, read what national newspaper La Stampa makes of it the next day.


One of the goals of the We-Traders project is to connect initiatives across countries. We-Traders MixArt’Myris (above) and AERA from Toulouse, as well as Lisbon´s A Linha and O’Espelho have travelled to Turin.


A temporary market has popped up in the entrance hall for the We-Traders opening. People carry jars of honey and homemade cheese around.


Same same but different: This time everything is illuminated!


In Turin, local co-curators a.titolo have enriched the exhibition with several art installations. You can see Eva Frapiccini’s Dream Capsule in the back, in which visitors can record their dreams. The Esculenta Lazzaro by Caretto & Spagna brings degenerated vegetables back to life – you are welcome to bring your own salvaged supermarket cabbages.


The Love Difference Table from Michelangelo Pistoletto with a mirrored top in the shape of the mediterranean sea looks so precious, but we are allowed to use it for workshops. Honestly.


And the Turin exhibition space even features a cinema with 80 seats, where Il Piccolo Cinema will show films every Tuesday night.


As in Madrid, there are a lot more exciting initiatives in the city, than the exhibition can show. To give the wider picture, the Goethe-Institut Turin and a.titolo have organized a fantastic tour around informal projects and activities in Torino.


First stop is the Cantiere Barca, a project developed by a.titolo over many years in collaboration with Berlin based collective Raumlabor.


This cockerel belongs to the project, which has over the years built up a meeting space, wood workshop and offers various activities to young people in an otherwise neglected neighborhood.


What all kick starters are wishing for has happened in Cantiere Barca: it has been adopted by enthusiastic volunteers. We talked to Francesco Fortino and his colleague, graduates from the innovative Eco Design Program at Politecnico di Torino about the work they are doing here. “How do people find out about your workshops?” They point to the kiosk nearby, a neighborhood hub before they were invented. We take our coffee there and watch older men play cards.


Next stop is a traffic island with a silver-sprayed tram wagon. Welcome to the Diogene’s tram, an artist space that also offers residencies. There, we also meet brothers Riccardo and Roberto Fassone from dotventi, a game design collective, who are about to “hack the university” with an urban gaming event. Sounds great, I would love to take part, check out their poetic gaming software sibi.


This is Mario la Crisi, a grumpy and disillusioned Italian pensioner, who has been tweeting about We-Traders and the crisis for the last few weeks, as part of a collaboration with the Scuola Holden. Keep on going Mario!


An urban renovation project is busy converting an old printing joint into a café/catering service/bakery/neighbourhood laboratory in the Via Baltea. It does not look like it yet, but this will a professional kitchen available for rent.


The ten-strong (mostly female) group decided to rent the space in a neglected neighborhood and create their own jobs: studios and kitchen are for rent, and on June 15th their Café will open. Maria and Anna, who also work in the Casa del Quartiere are sure that as long as you sell coffee and beer, you will generate an income. The guys from MixArt’Myris nod knowingly, there seem to be similarities to France. The café feels very welcoming and as always the food is delicious. Please note: the group is still looking for more chairs, grazie.


The inspired director of the Goethe-Institut Turin, Jesscia Kraatz-Magi, is about to enter the Buena Vista Social Club, a housing cooperative that has transformed empty buildings left-over from the Olympic Games in 2006 into a lively estate. Unfortunately I had to leave the group at this point to fly back to Berlin. But I am determined to come back soon to see more. The We-Traders exhibition still runs until June 15th, 2014. And if you can´t make it to Turin, you have to come to the We-Traders exhibition in Berlin!

We-Traders is an initiative of the Goethe-Institut region of south-west Europe and was developed by the Goethe Institut, Vienna based curator Angelika Fitz and myself in collaboration with local co-curators and Goethe-Instituts in Lisbon, Madrid, Toulouse and Turin, as well as with twenty-four We-Trades from all five cities. The exhibition scenography is by Alex Valder and the exhibition graphics by Carsten Giese/Studio Regular, both from Berlin. Thank you all.

Find out more about the project on our multilingual website www.goethe.de/wetraders and for details on all the fantastic people involved in the project click here.

All photos by Rose Epple 




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