Modena, Italy

OPEN CITY means to identify the city as an open space, a place of exchange and encounter, of freedom and equity, a crossroads of cultures. Urban Installations, artists and writers participations, performance, music and video.  

 aMAZElab, the Milano-based cultural organization (, is behind the international project entitled GOING PUBLIC 2010, winner of the 2007 European Union Culture Award.


In collaboration with the Network of Public Libraries of Modena and the Theatre Foundation / Le Vie dei Festival, aMAZElab organizes a series of exhibitions and events on the theme of migration and welcome. The event explores the borderlands between literature and theatre, featuring eyewitnesses and researchers into narration and its links with the oral tradition, as well as international artists committed with installations in public space of the city.

 On this occasion, aMAZElab presents OPEN CITY curated by Claudia Zanfi, that aims to identify the city as an open space, a place of exchange and encounter, of freedom and equity, a crossroads of cultures in which the individual may become a 'citizen’.

 OPEN CITY is therefore an arena of potentiality, multiculturalism and interdisciplinarity.

 All along focusing on multiple form of the society and territory, aMAZElab suggests to develop the project OPEN CITY at the Crocetta district in Modena. This area, at the back of the railway station, is characterized by high density of foreigner immigration and extended urban and social degrade.

Through the participation of local community and the involvement of multicultural groups, the project aims to begin an action of social implementation, working in the most widespread programs of urban redevelopment of the railways.

 For the first time in Modena, the urban research centre ‘Laboratorio della Città’ will host an international exhibition composed by over 40 artists. OPEN CITY will start with a symposium day dedicated to the subject of mobility and migration, focusing particularly on the Balkan area, through the direct testimonies of both Italian and foreign artists, including: Alterazioni Video (artists’ collective, present at the Venice Biennale), TooA (duo of video artists and researchers), Edi Muka (director of the Tirana Biennial), and Emina Cevro Vukovic (journalist Milano/Sarajevo).

 At the end of the discussion, a music program composed by dozens of different groups of immigrants will accompany the audience and local residents to the opening of the exhibition/ public installation, comprising of site-specific contributions by many international artists invited to participate to the project, such as:

Thomas Hirschhorn, Marina Abramovic, Pavel Braila, Maja Bajevic, Adrian Paci, Marina Grzinic, Anton Petrov, Tadej Pogačar, Calin Dan, Armin Linke, Danica Dakic, Oliver Musovik, Anton Petrov, Stefano Romano, Igor Sovilj, Biljana Stefanovska, Zaneta Vangeli, Shoba, Balkan Depot/Tomislav Terek, Yane Calovski, and other. The installation features a great mosaic that brings together ideas, emotions, drawings, photographs and images by the artists, called on to rethink and examine the Balkans as a complex whole and the opinion about the ‘open city’.

 Special project at Galleria Civica of Modena that will host the video Centro di Permanenza Temporanea by Adrian Paci, acknowledge thanks to the great success at the last Art Biennial of Venice.

 Other important events will be held in the city of Modena including:

the opening of the Teatro del Tempio at the Tempio neighbourhood;

 the start up of the Theatre and Performance Festival VIE;

the presentation of the Parabole project with readings by migrants;

the screening of the video “Lontano da…/Away from...” by Franco Vaccari, dedicated to the live-in carers from Eastern Europe (produced by Going Public/ aMAZElab). 

 OPENING Saturday 9th October 2010


 3 pm > International Symposium in the ‘Sala Pubblica’ of Palazzina Pucci, via Canaletto Sud 110, Modena.

5 pm > Street performance by the multi-ethnic band through the streets near the railway station (Parco 25 Aprile, Via Attiraglio, Via Gramsci).

6 pm > Opening of the OPEN CITY artistic installation at the Exhibition Space Laboratorio della Città and Crocetta Distric library, via Canaletto Sud 108, Modena.

7 pm > Buffet Multi Kult.

Sanday 21st November, in occasion of the exhibition's finissage, it will be a special event with Balkan music and typical food, at Crocetta district.

A project by: aMAZElab Art&Culture, Milano

 Direction and curated by: Claudia Zanfi

 In collaboration with: Public Libraries of Modena; Cultural Department of Provincia di Modena; Poletti Art Library, Modena; The Theatre Foundation, Modena; City and Territory planning Department / Laboratorio della Città, Modena; Galleria Civica of Modena.

 With the contribution of: EU Commission, Art and Culture Program; Foundation Cassa di Risparmio di Modena.


Ph. Massimo Sciacca