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Projects/2003/1._Vietato L'Accesso (No Access)
View quicktime (11.3 MB) Presently, the area surrounding the river in Biella lies mainly unused by the people of the city. Access to the river is blocked by buildings and fences and a visitor trying to reach the river is confronted by many signs and notices that are designed to discourage further exploration - Vietato l’Accesso, Proprietà Privata, Strada Privata. This project takes the strong imagery of these signs and turns it round, using the provocative message Vietato l’Accesso as a paradoxical invitation, attracting people’s attention to the area and challenging them to play an active role in its regeneration. Over the years, the riverside has become polluted with waste that detracts from its stunning natural beauty and one aim of Vietato l’Accesso is to encourage the public to become actively involved in cleaning up and caring for this special area. Work in collaboration with local associations will encourage a wider involvement and activities in schools will be especially important, informing and involving the future citizens of Biella in the process of preserving this important place. One of the most important tasks is to increase public awareness of the potential for the River Park and this will be achieved with a highly visible and creative publicity campaign. Public attention will be drawn to the River Park area by the sight of several large balloons bearing the Vietato l’Accesso logo rising above the buildings that block access to the river. By delineating the area of the park, these will serve as a striking symbol, visible from all over Biella, both of the park’s existence and its present status as ‘out of bounds’. In addition to these large symbols, a variety of products will be made bearing the Vietato l’Accesso logo - bags, sweets, clothes and postcards - that will reinforce the message at a domestic level. The final event of the publicity campaign will feature actions and performances in the City Centre to publicise the programme of the Festival.

The River Park Festival
For one weekend in September, the buildings that line the banks of the river will be opened up to visitors to play host to a variety of activities: architectural tours of historic buildings, a photographic exhibition of images of the park taken by local people, gastronomy stands celebrating local produce, performances and other activities that place the river centre-stage. The festival culminates with a concert, Non Suonare, which combines the creative efforts of local musicians and schoolchildren in an especially composed piece to explore the musical possibilities of instruments made from materials recovered and recycled from the River Park. The Vietato l’Accesso Festival is an opportunity for people from all parts of the city to meet, rediscover this beautiful area, play together and have fun.

Photographic Safari
Open to_all with a camera, the Photographic Safari created a unique document of the_River Park area made by the people_of Biella. Tours of the area for project participants promoted an interest_in the flora, fauna and architecture_of the River Park and the subsequent photographs were used to highlight_the potential for the regeneration of the area. A school’s project also took place, introducing the children to techniques_of photography and to the River Park. Participants’ photographs were exhibited during the Vietato l’Accesso Festival and prizes awarded for the most interesting and original photographs.

In the First World, citizens are asked to separate their garbage into different categories for recycling. But where does this process end? Where does our garbage go and who re-uses it? It is proposed to construct a mirador, a walkway along the river Cervo, in the area outside Cittadellarte. This will be a contemporary architectural structure, fully integrated into the landscape and constructed from glass, iron and materials recycled from rubbish found in the River Park area. The recycled materials will retain something of their original form making their origins clear to visitors and give them another life – a metamorphosis both in terms of functional utility and economic value. As a construction made with materials supplied by Biella’s population, the mirador makes a positive connection between recycling, regeneration and the River Park. In this way, the people of Biella will be contributing something specific to their city that promotes the wider benefits of transforming the area. The project is not merely a technical procedure but is, more importantly, a reflective process shared by the participants and which continues after construction with the mirador’s use.

Proprietà Privata: Tutto Aperto
This event provides a rare opportunity for the public to gain access to important and fascinating examples of the city’s architectural heritage. Selected buildings along the riverside, some of which have been closed for decades, are for the first time accessible to everyone. Guides giving architectural and historical information take you on a tour through the story of the long forgotten treasures of industrial architecture in Biella.

Details: Project idea by Maria João Calisto, Martin Koppenhöfer, Consol Rodríguez, Cameron Sinclair, Óscar Vargas, Dirk Vogel, Markus Weber e Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto

In collaboration with Osservatorio per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali del Biellese, Comune di Biella, Centro di Educazione Ambientale della Provincia di Biella

Exhibited: Michelangello Pistoletto & Citttadellarte &, MuKHA, Antwerp (BE); Critique is not enough, The Shedhalle, Zurich (CH); and at Art at the Centre - the new Agora. Responsible Social Transformation, Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella (IT)