The Defensive City

The Italian artist Paolo Ciregia was the winner of the Sustainable Art Prize 2018, which was organized by Sustainable Ca’ Foscari during the ArtVerona fair and introduced by the art gallery “L’Elefante”. Ca’ Foscari University collaborated with Paolo Ciregia in order to create the art installation “THE DEFENSIVE CITY. Barriere (im)percettibili nel contesto urbano contemporaneo” ( “THE DEFENSIVE CITY. (Im)perceptible barriers in the contemporary urban scenario”). The creation of the art installation has been enriched by public meetings and workshops for Ca’ Foscari students.
The art project was based on the 11th Goal of the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations for the Sustainable Development entitled “Sustainable cities and communities”. From this perspective, the aim of the art project was to stimulate a reflection on the coincidental, random and hidden barriers that work against the sustainable development of our cities. The artist uncovered and analysed the spread of this “urban decorations” that lead to marginalisation and that are imperceptible by our eyes but perceptible by our body.


The Project

Throughout workshops for students and seminars for all the citizens, Venice and Ca’ Foscari University became the settings for the research and the analysis of the urban scenario and in particular of the hidden and imperceptible barriers that permeate every corner of the architectonical context. Some thematic meetings directed to the students who signed up for the project has been hold on March and April 2019 in order to discuss and deepen the topic of the barriers in the particular scenario of Ca’ Foscari University. Some artists but also lectures, professors and researchers from Ca’ Foscari talked about their experiences so as to provide a scientific approach to the meetings.
The students who collaborated with the artist for the creation of the art installation had been called to take photos of every physical barrier they meet during their daily routine. After that, they realized an online digital database dedicated to the recollection of their photos. Furthermore, an important part of the project where the students covered a significant role was the writing of a catalogue where the results of the research conducted among the regional and national urban scenarios has been resumed. Moreover , Paolo Ciregia used the catalogue as the starting point for the creation of his art installation, exposed on autumn 2019 in the historical central building of Ca’ Foscari.

Last update: 12/10/2021