Milan Spills Art All Over The Place With BienNolo

BienNolo just wrapped up its first edition. This is a contemporary art Biennial that took place May 17-26 to gentrify the multi-ethnic neighborhood of Milan called NoLo (North of Loreto Square). Many travelers have found correlations between Milan and New York, and the fact that the Italian city’s districts are now called like the ones of the Big Apple, further attests this union.

Milano 2019 // Ph: Fabrizio Stipari

NoLo is a metropolitan area that is a prototype of a community that welcomes, integrates, invents ways of being together, reclaims spaces to live in a neighborhood that has already changed its skin. The idea of organizing a biennial in a former derelict and dangerous area, that today is thriving in multiple ways, came to Carlo Vanoni. He wanted to glorify the creativity of this multicultural district in the Italian City, and created BienNolo with the support of curator Matteo Bergamini, ArtCityLab, Gianni Romano and Rossana Ciocca.

The opening date coincided with the title of this first edition, #eptacaidecafobia, that indicates the fear of the number 17, that in Italy is considered to bring bad luck. Contrarily to the superstition, only in the first three days (including the unlucky opening day), three thousand visitors came to the iconic location of the former factory and workshop of Panettoni Giovanni Cova (via Popoli Uniti 11), where BienNolo took place.

Milano 2019 // Ph: Fabrizio Stipari

The former headquarters of the company that produced the typical Milanese sweet bread loaf that is eaten during Christmas (Panettone), epitomized the idea of a “Third Landscape.” A formerly abandoned industrial area of ​​1,800 square meters, where brambles and brushwood grow, was granted a second life. Transitory works filled the emptiness of this striking ambiance, exemplifying the concept of transience — a theme  that the featured artists have focused on throughout their creative activity.

Thirty-seven artists exhibited their work that explored a variety of themes utilizing several mediums, in order to give life to a diversified artistic exhibit that would echo the spirit of this part of town. Thus, every artistic expression within BienNolo adhered to this territorial reality, through absence of electric light and an anthropological, psychological and social research.

These are the artists that were part of this extraordinary artistic call to action: 2501, Mario Airò, Stefano Arienti, Elizabeth Aro, Francesco Bertelé, Stefano Boccalini, Marco Ceroni, T-yong Chung, Laura Cionci, Vittorio Corsini, Carlo Dell’Acqua, Premiata Ditta, Serena Fineschi, Giovanni Gaggia, Giuseppina Giordano, Riccardo Gusmaroli, Massimo Kaufmann, Sergio Limonta, Loredana Longo, Iva Lulashi, Francesca Marconi, Margherita Morgantin, Alessandro Nassiri Tabibzadeh, Adrian Paci, Federica Perazzoli, Matteo Pizzolante, Alfredo Rapetti Mogol, Sara Rossi, Alessandro Simonini, Ivana Spinelli, The Cool Couple, Eugenio Tibaldi, Luisa Turuani, Massimo Uberti, Vedovamazzei, Bea Viinamaki e Italo Zuffi.

Like all biennials, BienNolo also had a rich program of collateral events that enhanced the inspiring artistic initiative which is bound to have a promising future, after gathering eight thousand visitors in its very first edition.