Ghizzano: Art amidst the “chiassi” in Tuscany

Patric Tuttofuoco in Ghizzano
Patrick Tuttofuoco, Elevatio Corpus, 2019, Permanent public installation in Ghizzano. Photo: Andrea Testi

Peccioli is a small Tuscan municipality on the road from Volterra to Pisa, and Ghizzano is one of its hamlets. Thanks to a challenge taken up a few years ago by the mayor and the inhabitants of Ghizzano: its views, its narrow streets, or “chiassi” as they call them there, together with the surrounding landscape, have been transformed into a treasure trove for contemporary art.

Walking through the alleys of Ghizzano, and work of Patrick Tuttofuoco, Elevatio Corpus

The first time I accompanied Patrick Tuttofuoco to Ghizzano on one of his many visits, I came to understand the spirit of this project, also thanks to the intelligent work of rapprochement between the artists and the inhabitants carried out by curator Antonella Soldaini. The people of Ghizzano were to see their medieval village transformed by the works of Tuttofuoco, David Tremlett and Alicja Kwade, and I myself had mixed feelings: enthusiasm, but also fear, resistance or, worse, indifference. As the work progressed, however, the citizens’ concerns gave way to curiosity, and then turned into pure pride, strengthening the general sense of belonging to the community. A few days ago, back in Ghizzano for the inauguration of Endless Sunset, Tuttofuoco’s work that wraps around and “accelerates” Peccioli’s new pedestrian bridge, I found a place where art is truly a tool for reflection, critical thinking and social change, where the works are not resolved in their presence, but rather in the process that generated them and, above all, in the dynamics produced by their existence in that particular context.

Patrick Tuttofuoco in Peccioli for the inauguration of Endless Sunset (behind him)

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