AGOSTINO IACURCI | Fiori diversi al naturale

Fondazione Ermanno Casoli, Airforce Cerreto d’Esi (AN),

Fondazione Ermanno Casoli presents Fiori diversi al naturale, the site-specific work realised by Agostino Iacurci, the winning artist of the XXII edition of the Ermanno Casoli Award, curated by Marcello Smarrelli, at the headquarters of Airforce in Cerreto d’Esi (AN), a company belonging to the Elica group.

Fiori diversi al naturale is an installation composed of a series of paintings on paper, pictorial interventions on an environmental scale, sculptural elements and live plants. The project was realised through collaborative actions involving all the company’s employees.

Elica Chairman Francesco Casoli said: “We are thrilled with the new work by Agostino Iacurci, whose vision enriches the Fondazione Ermanno Casoli’s diffuse collection, representing an added value for the new Airforce plant. This project is an extraordinary opportunity to enhance our 20-year commitment to promoting work environments that foster creativity and a sense of belonging, reflecting Elica’s core values of innovation and collaboration. We firmly believe that art has the power to inspire and unite people, and we are proud to support initiatives that integrate art into the corporate context”.

he title of the work, Fiori diversi al naturale (Different Flowers in the wild), is a reference to Francesco Mingucci (1570-1642), a painter and cartographer from Pesaro famous for his portrayal of the Marche region in the 17th century. A forerunner in the study of nature and its relationship with culture, Mingucci depicted the local landscape by highlighting the dialogue and continuity between urban and natural elements, between architecture and rock formations.

Landscape and architecture are also central themes in Iacurci’s research. In his artistic practice, he uses painting, sculpture, drawing, light and sound, heterogeneously combining various media to create immersive installations in intimate dialogue with places. The result is visionary spaces in which stories, personal memories, literary references and vernacular tales freely converge. His large-scale works, which have decreed his international success, take the form of expanded painting interventions, an original reinterpretation of the so-called ‘talking architecture’.

“The project that Iacurci has conceived for the people of Airforce,” explains curator Marcello Smarrelli, “stems from a series of reflections that investigate the history of the garden and its symbolic meaning over the centuries, across different beliefs, cultures and religions. What emerges is on the one hand an idea of an ideal and dreamed garden, the Eden; on the other, the real garden, a place of patient and constant work, a space of mediation and exchange between human beings and the environment. The result is a surprising, complex and articulated work, a living garden composed of real and painted plants, destined to grow and develop over time thanks to the care and active commitment of all the members of the company community. A creative way to improve the work space and strengthen the sense of belonging to the company, creating an even more cohesive and supportive environment.”

The work designed for Airforce was realised through a series of actions that actively involved the entire company population – about 100 people with heterogeneous professional profiles, without any organisational distinction – transforming a large portion of the plant, until now only used as a transit area, into a place to stop and meet.

“Working with the people of Airforce,” said artist Agostino Iacurci, “was an extraordinary experience. I had the opportunity to get to know and interact with a passionate and dedicated community, and thanks to everyone’s commitment, we were able to radically transform the look of their workplace. I hope they can live and fully enjoy this space we have created together.”

During the workshop, there were theoretical and practical moments introduced by a conversation between Agostino Iacurci and Marcello Smarrelli on the themes of the project; the lecture by Domitilla Dardi, historian and design curator, was very inspiring. She recounted the events linked to the scientific and fantastic herbariums created by botanists and artists of all times. With the suggestions received, combined with imagination and their own experience, each of the participants made a drawing of a flower, contributing to the creation of a herbarium conceived by the artist as a collective portrait of the company’s population. Like a frieze, the herbarium runs along the walls housing a large mural painting, created by the working groups composed of the employees, engaged in painting the flowers in this garden. The installation is completed by sculptural elements – the planters with their seats – designed by the artist with the contribution of STARTT – a studio of architecture and territorial transformations.

Ruggero Pinto and Alberta Traballoni, respectively General Manager and HR Manager of Airforce, declared: “This garden represents a new meeting and sharing space for Airforce, a trespassing of the surrounding landscape that invades the areas dedicated to production, taking shape as a reflection on the theme of belonging and identity, understood not as static and immutable values, but as dynamic, participatory processes in continuous becoming.”

If, as Gilles Clément writes: “The first garden is that of the man who has chosen to interrupt his wanderings”, its construction is the founding act of a sedentary community, which finds itself sharing a space and building relationships. In this sense, the garden created in the new Airforce plant becomes a tangible symbol of their common commitment and their desire to take root and grow together as a cohesive and collaborative community.

Cerreto d’Esi (AN), June 2024