In the last 20 years many spontaneous experiences of urban requalification brought to a deeper
reflection about participated forms of access and appropriation of urban spots. It’s often “in
between places”, on the borders, and due to this specific nature they allow the recreation or
generation of new social experiences.
The city has always been a source of civilization because in its environment a relationship develops
between people and the territory, focusing on productive forces both in the social and cultural
field. Creative cities in particular can become a model of educational development e multicultural
dialogue if they recognize their potential, both in terms of relationships and new places that
continously generate from the urban environment.
The graffiti phenomenon generated movements which interact in a positive way with the urban
environment and the network of relationships that the city hosts in a rich and flexible balance.
According to Alessandro Mininno, author of many essays about graffiti and street art, graffiti is
today “not anymore a self-referential movement” but it has such a strong communicative potential
that also advertising companies recognized and used it.
For a complex phenomenon such as graffiti the judgment still fluctuates between full
aknowledgment (even in institutions and museums) and marginality. The generation of more and
more crews of graffiti artists is related to a need to recognize the city, as well as appropriate of
Urbanize-me – the exhibition
As a natural consequence of these inputs and analysis, the project for the exhibition Urbanizeme
was discussed and generated. The exhibition is realised by Progetto Giovani – Youth Policies
of the City Council in Padova, in collaboration with Cultural Association Ologram in the
framework of Giovani Energie in Comune – Young Energies in Common, program promoted
by the Italian Ministry of Youth and Association of Italian Cities.
Urbanize-me is the first event in Padova which has the aim to recognize the graffiti movement as
an art form and not only as an outcome of young people’s creativity. The choice of realizing the
project in a prestigious exhibition space of the city of Padova is an important acknowledgnment of
this discipline not only as a urban phenomenon, but also as autonomous artistic language.
With this project Padova will host an event with a national and international outlook to promote in
the contemporary art system artists who are active in Padova and in Veneto as well as abroad.
The exhibition will be structured as a group show of 25 artists, blending together the
experiences of 12 italian artists coming from the Veneto area, with 13 more coming from the rest
of Italy and abroad. The selection of the artists will be realized by independent curator Teresa
Iannotta together with Cultural Association Ologram. The exhibition will bring together graffiti
works together with painting and works realized with other techniques which all stem from the
graffiti art. The aim is to show possible developments of the artists who come from the graffiti
background together with their practice.
Together with the exhibition there will also be a documentation section, with a specific focus on
the graffiti art in Padova and its history as well as a small informative section about graffiti in
In its complex program, the project represents an important step in the awareness process of
contemporary art practices for the public through the approach to a movement which is not well
known or often considered with a negative approach.
The exhibition was organized in the framework of RAM – nel segno della creatività, a program of
events developed by the Department of Culture of Padova in autumn 2011, which will also include
series of screenings, lectures, and parallel events, all related to contemporary art.