Open to the public starting Saturday, December 4th

Rome, December 3rd, 2010 – The winning work of the Enel Contemporanea Award 2010 – a house inhabited by butterflies, based on the famous Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe and made by the Dutch art duo Bik Van der Pol (Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol) – is featured at the official opening (Friday December 3rd 2010, open to the public starting on Saturday December 4th) of the new permanent wing of the MACRO designed by the French architect Odile Decq and supported by Roma Capitale, Department of Cultural Policies and Communication, and the Office for Cultural Assets. The project by Bik Van der Pol, created precisely for these particular spaces of the new MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, constitutes another step in the partnership begun last year by Enel for the support of the Museum, with the objective of creating productive synergies between public and private initiatives for the promotion of contemporary art in Italy.

On Friday, December 3rd 2010 the new wing will be inaugurated and presented to the press.
On Saturday, December 4th 2010 the space can be visited for free, advance booking required.
Starting from Sunday, December 5th, 2010, the space will be open to public. Tickets on sale.

“Are you really sure that a floor can't also be a ceiling?” – this is the title of the work, a quotation from M.C. Escher – was selected in March by an international jury as the winning work of the Enel Contemporanea Award 2010, the fourth edition of the project produced by Enel, which this year, using the updated formula of an “invitational competition”, involved a Committee of Experts composed of outstanding international curators and critics, who invited seven artists from different countries to participate. The artists were asked to submit original works on the theme of energy, designed specifically for the new spaces of the MACRO. A jury of outstanding personalities from the world of art and culture selected the winning project.
The Dutch duo Bik Van der Pol was invited by Hou Hanru, director of Temporary Exhibitions at the San Francisco Art Institute. The other members of the Committee of Experts were: Marc-Olivier Wahler (director of Palais de Tokyo, Paris), Beatrix Ruf (director of the Kunsthalle, Zurich), Mami Kataoka (chief curator of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo), Tirdad Zolghadr (independent curator and critic, Berlin), Lourdes Fernandez (former director of the fair ARCOmadrid), Jessica Morgan (curator, department of contemporary art, Tate Modern, London), who invited, respectively, Loris Gréaud (France), Jonathan Horowitz (USA), Anya Gallaccio (UK), Meg Cranston (USA), Daniel Canogar (Spain), Allora & Calzadilla (Puerto Rico).

Starting on December 3rd, Rome and Italy will boast a major new contemporary art museum. But even more importantly, they will have a new engine of culture, an active laboratory of exchange, discovery and knowledge, for our country and for the citizens of the world. A flap of wings for the future. An architecture within an architecture, that until  January 16th 2011 will witness the magnificent spaces designed by Odile Decq establish a dialogue with the structure created by Bik Van der Pol, freely based on the renowned icon of modern architecture: the Farnsworth House, built in 1951 by Mies van der Rohe, with its focus on the ideal relationship between man and nature. A highly symbolic work that embodies the beating, vital heart of the new Museum. Hundreds of colorful butterflies find a natural habitat here, thanks to the scientific assistance of the Centro ButterflyArc of Professor Enzo Moretto, to remind us that the beating of the wings of a butterfly can change the world, that every little gesture can have much larger consequences. The artists reflect on the relationship between man and nature starting with butterflies, now understood to be among the species most sensitive to climate change, so much so that they can be a true indicator of environmental conditions. Viewers can freely enter the work, complying with a maximum number of visitors at any one time, to protect the ideal microclimate for the butterflies.

«The works of Bik Van der Pol are systematically connected with the creation of new architectural forms, often making use of temporary constructions that offer new spaces of public interaction. Their projects bear witness to reflection, with a lasting impact on the host communities. This long-term effect amplifies the importance of the artistic interventions, turning them into a true resource that stimulates the collective imagination and critical reflection in the society» (Hou Hanru).

Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol have worked and collaborated under the name Bik Van der Pol since 1995. Their works encourage the audience to rethink places, their architecture, function and history. They explore the potential of art to produce and transmit knowledge, and to create moments of communication. Recent projects and exhibitions include: the Istanbul Biennial; the exhibition Volksgarten at Kunsthaus Graz; Plug In at the Van AbbeMuseum of Eindhoven; Models For Tomorrow at the European Kunsthalle of Cologne; the Moscow Biennial (2007); Fly Me To The Moon, at the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam; Naked Life, MOCA, Taipei (2006); Secession, Vienna; Cork Caucus Cork (2005); Nomads in Residence, an itinerant workspace for artists, Utrecht (2003, with the architects Korteknie/Stuhlmacher). They have also issued a number of publications, including: Catching Some Air (2002), With Love From The Kitchen (2005), the Past Imperfect series, in progress (2005, 2007), Fly Me To The Moon (2006) and The Lost Moment (2007).

Enel Contemporanea is the project produced by Enel calling for the creation every year of artworks on the theme of energy, commissioned from artists of different nationalities (www.enelcontemporanea.it). The fourth edition, this year, has been based on an updated and even more international formula: the Enel Contemporanea Award, an invitational competition involving seven artists invited by seven leading figures from the world of international contemporary art, with a selection of the winning project made by a jury of outstanding quality. The previous editions of Enel Contemporanea have presented the works of seven international artists: in 2009, the outdoor installation by the American artist Doug Aitken on the Isola Tiberina in Rome (a work that was then donated to the MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome). In 2008, an ecosustainable waiting room by the American artist Jeffrey Inaba was installed at the Policlinico Umberto I of Rome (a permanent work), as well as an itinerary of images, neon lights and video projects by assume vivid astro focus, amidst the ruins of Largo Argentina in Rome, and a hidden garden by the group A12 in the Venice Lagoon, during the 11th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennial. In 2007, in Rome, a large work/construction site by the Italian artist Patrick Tuttofuoco was seen at Piazza del Popolo, as well as an interactive fountain by the Danish artist Jeppe Hein in the Garbatella neighborhood, and an evocative lunar eclipse by the English artist Angela Bulloch over the Ara Pacis.

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