A skatepark has landed in Triennale Milano, it glows, it’s available, and it’s an artwork. It’s OooOoO, the big multisensorial creation designed by Koo Jeong A (Seoul, 1967-), the South-Korean artist behind the fluorescent skatepark series - Otro (2012, Vassivière, France), Everton (2015, Liverpool, England), and Arrogation (2016, São Paulo, Brazil).
Since the nineties, she has been working on the reinvention of spaces throughout site-specific installations, which are mainly experiential and participatory. Her artworks reflect on the “ordinary” and discuss factual and fictional boundaries surrounding us.
Why a skatepark inside a museum?
First of all, Triennale Milano wants to go back playing with both public and content. It’s not the first time that the institution opens up to this topic: in 1964, the entire XIII International Exhibition was centered on “Leisure Time” and on the importance that it was assuming in the society. After 45 years, the game theme comes back, and it is presented as an essential component of geopolitics and culture. In this respect, OooOoO is the Milanese skatepark presented within PLAY!, the yearlong game-themed program conceived and curated by Julia Peyton-Jones with Lorenza Baroncelli. PLAY! is a step-by-step project that aims at involving a wide range of public and offers different facets of the same theme. OooOoO is the “first episode,” and it’s temporarily hosted (27 November 2019 - 16 February 2020) in the ground floor Gallery of Palazzo dell’Arte, headquarter of the Triennale. Come February, it will be donated to the City of Milan.
Second, Triennale Milano is experimenting with new ways of using exhibition spaces, especially this year.
“How will it stay connected to daily life interactions? How can it play a central rather than a peripheral role?” Julia Peyton-Jones asks herself thinking about the museum institution. The risk detected is that it could end up being marginalized unless it becomes an essential part of everyday life.
OooOoO manages to arouse an immediate reaction to this issue while focusing on the concrete relational dynamics between man and object. Based on a contemporary speaking language and conceived as a functional sculpture, the skatepark wants to stimulate a non-canonical (physical and mental) participation with exhibition space.
The immersive experience is enhanced by a specially designed music composition. Koreless, electronic music producer based in Glasgow, accompanies us into the multisensorial concept behind OooOoO: the music is a crystalline background to the kicks’ sound of wheels and wooden board, but when it intensifies the entire structure magically glows in the dark for a few seconds. The artwork is framed by a banister, which only defines the borders of the gigantic sculpture. Unlike the works of typical museums, here Art can be experienced, even touched, and people are part of the concept.
Triennale Milano keeps up its vibrant core, remembering to live Art without any prejudice while confirming itself as a place where avant-garde and experimentations are welcome. “There is no longer a standard model of culture” (Julia Peyton-Jones). Considering this premise, it seems significant staging the less institutional but highly diffuse sport of these modern times inside a museum, in order to spread concrete awareness about what we mean when we think about the artistic expression.
No boundaries and no specific rules make skateboarding something very similar to the artistic practice: a rebellious sport which has much to do with the extreme and total need to express the self, whenever, wherever.
The choice turns out to be extremely current.
The Triennale reaches out to the street culture and shines a vivid light on the resident skaters swarming community of Milan and Italy as well.
A perfect timing considering skateboarding will make its Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
|Title||OooOoO by Koo Jeong A|
|Period||Nov. 27, 2019 – Feb 16, 2020|
|Opening Times||Tuesday – Sunday, 10:30 – 20:30|
Free admission for visitors