Macao is a present from a better tomorrow sign now

Macao is a present from a better tomorrow


Since Saturday, May 5, 2012, in Milan the city is being reinvented: in a friendly takeover, inhabitants and art workers have entered the skyscraper Torre Galfa and opened Macao, the new center for art and culture in Milan. The historic high-rise office building is owned by Fondiaria Sai Group, and has stood empty for fifteen years.

Thousands of people are participating in the opening of Macao, in an exceptional and transverse way, appropriating and repairing the spaces, making the new center visible and lively. Every day is an experience of exchange of common intentions and visions. The occupiers are working to develop an innovative perspective for the creation of an art and culture center for Milan.

Macao has already received a flood of inquiries and proposals: academies, universities and intellectuals want to cooperate. Everyone brings knowledge and abilities, offering means of production, relocating entire courses and workshops to Macao, with the aim of making it a driving force of creativity, the common weal and free expression for all. Amazed and excited by what is happening, we are witnessing a process of invention and participation that opens up new perspectives for action, and for rethinking culture.

The emptiness of the tower was like a symbol of the widespread crisis, beyond economics, of a system that finds no positive use for spatial resources; and of politics, which has no answer to the crisis because it is part of the problem. Instead of waiting for top-down solutions, the occupiers have taken the fate of these spaces into their own hands, thus making a precious gift to the city.

Contrary to mainstream thinking, in times of crisis culture is anything but a superfluous, marginal issue. We believe Macao can help to develop a new way of thinking about power structures and a different understanding of the time of life, with energy, resolve and stamina. All this is contagious!

But let's not kid ourselves: this cultural laboratory is endangered and already threatened with eviction. We mustn’t allow this positive process to be stopped by misguided application of policies of law & order and political repression disguised as civic mindedness.

We strenuously support this constituent practice and request the political actors and the public in Milan to voice their support as well, to actively back the occupation - and to put a halt to the announced eviction.



Macao è un dono che ci arriva dal futuro


A partire da sabato 5 maggio 2012, la città di Milano è stata reinventata: con un’occupazione pacifica, gli abitanti e i lavoratori dell’arte sono entrati nel grattacielo Torre Galfa e hanno aperto Macao, un nuovo centro per l’arte e la cultura a Milano. Lo storico edificio, in passato adibito ad uffici, è di proprietà del Gruppo Fondiaria Sai ed è rimasto vuoto per quindici anni.

Migliaia di persone, in maniera straordinaria e trasversale, hanno partecipato all’apertura di Macao, appropriandosi e rinnovando gli spazi, rendendo il nuovo centro vivo e visibile. Ogni giorno è un’esperienza di scambio d’intenti e visioni comuni. Gli occupanti stanno lavorando per sviluppare una prospettiva innovativa per la creazione di un centro per l’arte e la cultura a Milano.

Macao ha già ricevuto un’ondata di richieste e proposte: accademie, università e intellettuali vogliono cooperare. Ognuno porta saperi e competenze, offrendo mezzi di produzione e trasferendo interi corsi e laboratori all’interno del nuovo spazio, con l’obiettivo di farne la forza motrice della creatività, del desiderio comune e della libera espressione collettiva. Sbalorditi ed emozionati da ciò che sta accadendo, siamo testimoni di un processo di invenzione e partecipazione che apre nuove prospettive per l‘azione, e per ripensare la cultura.
Il vuoto lasciato dalla torre era il simbolo della crisi diffusa di un sistema che, al di là dell’economia, non riesce a trovare alcun utilizzo positivo delle risorse territoriali; e di un politica, che non fornisce risposte alla crisi ma è piuttosto parte del problema stesso. Invece di aspettare soluzioni imposte dall’alto, gli occupanti hanno preso nelle loro mani il destino di questi spazi, facendo così un prezioso dono alla città.

Contrariamente a quanto sostiene il pensiero dominante, in tempi di crisi la cultura è tutt’altro che un’istanza superflua e marginale. Noi crediamo che Macao possa contribuire allo sviluppo di un nuovo modo di pensare le strutture di potere e di una differente concezione del tempo della vita, con energia, determinazione e resistenza. Tutto questo è contagioso!

Ma non prendiamoci in giro: questo laboratorio culturale è in pericolo e già minacciato dallo sgombero. Non dobbiamo permettere che un tale processo affermativo sia interrotto da un’applicazione distorta delle politiche di ordine pubblico e da una repressione politica mascherata dal senso civico.
Noi supportiamo strenuamente questa pratica costituente, e chiediamo anche ai personaggi politici e alla cittadinanza di Milano di esprimere il loro sostegno, di appoggiare attivamente l’occupazione e di impedire lo sgombero annunciato.



Fulya Erdemci, curator of the 13th Istanbul Biennial, director SKOR, Amsterdam
Christian Bernard, director Mamco, Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva
Marie Claude Beaud, director Nouveau Musée National, Monaco
Bani Brusadin, The Influencers - director Center of Contemporary Culture, Barcelona
Oliver Lerone Schultz, researcher, curator & coordinator Post-Media Lab, Lüneburg
Ulf Wuggenig, sociologist, director Kunstraum of Leuphana University, Lüneburg
Marijana Rimanic, curator for [BLOK], Zagreb
Grant Kester, director University Art Gallery, Professor for Art History, University of California, San Diego
Nato Thompson, chief curator, Creative Time, New York
Florian Malzacher, artistic director, Impulse Theatre Biannual, NRW/Germany
Veronica Kaup-Hasler, artistic director, steirischer herbst festival, Graz/Austria
Julia Draganović, curator LaRete Art Projects, Modena
Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen, rector New Design University, St Pölten
Gediminas Urbonas, artist and professor at MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, Cambridge
Armin Linke, artist, University for arts and design, Karlsruhe
Felicity D. Scott. architectural historian, Columbia University, New York
Ruth Sonderegger, philosopher, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna
Judith Siegmund, artist/philosopher, Universität der Künste, Berlin
Gerald Raunig, philosopher, European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies, Vienna-Zürich
Brian Holmes, cultural critic, professor of philosophy at European Graduate School, Chicago
Chantal Mouffe, professor of Political Theory and director of the Centre for Democracy at the University of Westminster
Karen van den Berg, professor for art theory, Friedrichshafen
Hedwig Saxenhuber, editor of springerin, Vienna
Georg Schöllhammer, editor and writer, springerin and tranzit.at, Vienna
Chiara Figone, publisher Archive Books, Berlin
Mike Watson, art theorist, Rome
Ray Brassier, philosopher, American University, Beirut
May Congress of Creative Workers, Russia, Ukraine and Kyrgistan
Precarious Workers Brigade, London
Oda Projesi, artist collective, Istanbul
Bert Theis, artist and curator, Isola Art Center, Milan
Steve Piccolo, artist and musician, Isola Art Center, Milan
Elvira Vannini, curator, Isola Art Center, Milan
Federico Zukerfeld, artist, Grupo Etcetera, Buenos Aires
Loreto Garin Guzman, artist, Grupo Etcetera, Buenos Aires
Shuddhabrata Sengupta, artist, Raqs Media Collective, Delhi
Jeebesh Bagchi, artist, Raqs Media Collective and Sarai-CSDS, Delhi
Monica Narula, Raqs Media Collective, Delhi
Christoph Schäfer, artist, Park Fiction, Hamburg
Margit Czenki, artist and filmmaker, Park Fiction, Hamburg
Constantin Petcou, Atelier d'Architecture Autogérée, Paris
Doina Petrescu, Atelier d'Architecture Autogérée, Paris
Nikolay Oleynikov - artist, Chto Delat?, Moscow
Dimitry Vilensky - artist, Chto Delat?, Moscow
Andreas Lang, public works, London
Pablo España, artist, Democracia group, Madrid
Iván López, artist, Democracia group, Madrid
Nomeda Urbonas, artist, Pro-test Lab, Vilnius
Barbara Holub, artist, Transparadiso, Vienna
Nienke Terpsma, Fucking Good Art, Rotterdam
Rob Hamelijnck, Fucking Good Art, Rotterdam
Martha Rosler, artist, New York
Thomas Hirschhorn, artist, Aubervilliers
Maria Eichhorn, artist, Berlin
Peter Kogler, artist, Vienna
Oliver Ressler, artist and filmmaker, Vienna
Marcelo Espósito, artist, Barcelona, Buenos Aires
Adrian Paci, artist, Milan
Maurizio Nannuci, artist, Florence
Andreas Siekmann, artist, curator, Berlin
Alice Creischer, artist, author, Berlin
Dan Perjovschi, artist and journalist, Bucharest
Saso Sedlacek, artist, Ljubljana
Bogdan Draganescu, artist, Bucharest
Axel Claes, artist, PTTL, Brussels
Elmas Deniz, artist, Istanbul
Sonja Pregrad, artist, Berlin/Zagreb
Angela Marzullo, video artist, Geneva
Karen Mirza, artist, member of no.w.here & The Museum of non Participation, London
Jakob Jakobsen, visual artist and professor, Copenhagen
Ferhat Özgür, artist, Istanbul
Siniša Labrović, artist, Zagreb
Inder Salim, performance artist, Delhi
Darinka Pop-Mitic, artist, Belgrade
Joze Barsi, artist, Ljubljana
Nicolas Vass, artist, London
James Self, painter, London
Harold de Bree, artist, The Hague
Kalle Brolin, artist, Stockholm-Gothenburg
Kristina Müntzing, artist, Stockholm-Gothenburg
Sofia Bempeza, artist, Zuerich

Manray Hsu, curator, Taipei
Marco Scotini, curator, Milan
Irena Boric, curator, Zagreb
Christiane Mennicke-Schwarz, curator, Dresden
Judith Quentel, curator, Paris
Evan Calder Williams, writer, Bologna
Raluca Voinea, art critic and curator, Bucharest
Arzu Yayıntaş, curator, Istanbul
Rocko Schamoni, writer, Hamburg
Marina Vishmidt, writer, London
Isabell Lorey, political scientist, Berlin
Anne Querrien, sociologist, Paris

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Isola Art Center Associazione Isola dell'ArteBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
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Macao is a cultural laboratory that is endangered and already evicted twice. We mustn’t allow this positive process to be stopped by misguided application of policies of law & order and political repression disguised as civic mindedness.

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Isola Art Center

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constituent practice, macao, palazzo citterio, torre galfa

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