UP IN THE SKY. Bell Towers from the world

28 February 2013


SAIE3 dedicates an important section of the fair show to the memory of the earthquake that last spring shocked Emilia Romagna and to the symbolic, cultural and artistic value of bell towers, that have always been important to the communities.

The exhibition especially focuses on the damages suffered by 515 dioceses and their bell towers, destroyed or seriously affected by the earthquake. In the centuries – just like real museums – they have preserved the masterpieces and history of a geographic area. 

With this awareness in mind Sabatini Group, cooperating with architect Laura Villani, gave birth to UP IN THE SKY, a project that aims to contribute to the reconstruction of the bell towers in the areas affected by the earthquake by involving some of the most prestigious architects, designers and artists. Every one of them was asked to imagine a bell tower. The projects, that have an extraordinary artistic value, will be collected in a unique exhibition that, as well as giving a contribution to consolidating the roots of the affected territories, wants to give a signal of renewal.

To underline this aspect, the exhibit will be divided into 3 parts. 

In the first part a gallery of churches and devotional buildings in the world will be presented, to show the strong bond with the territory and the populations, and to show their importance not only as a location for religion, but also as part of the everyday life and culture of a community. 

In the second one the focus will be on Emilia Romagna, with a dutiful commemoration of what happened last spring after the earthquake. The images of churches and bell towers, before and after the earthquake, shall be the protagonists of this section, captured by a reportage by Rosalba Caffo Dallari.

In the third part we can see the true meaning of UP IN THE SKY that, together with SAIE3, does not only want to live the present or the past, but also wants to suggest a possible future. The new projects for the reconstruction of the bell towers will be presented in this context, both with images and models. The bell towers, that have always been a geographic, religious, cultural and social symbol of every town, can now find new ways to communicate a and spread a mystic and artistic message over the lands on which they are built.

To the exhibition we must add the convention UP IN THE SKY – Campanili dal mondo, scheduled on February 28 at 12.00, which will take place in Sala Melodia inside BolognaFiere; it will be the time for a qualified exploration of the themes of the initiative.

Before a bell tower forever lost we must deal with the long-standing stylistic issue of rebuilding a fake to replace the old one as opposed to accept the challenge and take it as an occasion to have a great artist, architect or designer build a masterpiece to pass on to the future generations. If the path of rebuilding from scratch were to be chosen, the Emilia Romagna region, affected by the earthquake, could turn the natural disaster into opportunities and establish a unique cultural and architectonic path: the whole area would become the largest open air Museum of Contemporary Art in the world, giving a great and important touristic appeal.

UP IN TH SKY wants to be this: an exhibit where planning, symbols and cultural values are greatly emphasized, but that is also a Proposal. The research for ideas and projects, even before a dramatic event that has greatly stricken men and women, their memories and artistic patrimony, can give a contribution to start over, with the strength and the capacity to react that are typical of this territory and that were widely proven at the time by the population of Emilia Romagna.