Meeting with Microclima at Serra dei Giardini, June, 29, 2012. From left to right, Andrew Welch (Microclima invited guest), Elisa Fantin, Monica Bosaro, Valeria Iacovelli and Claire Tancons (Art on Parade? IUAV) and Paolo Rosso and Michela Intra (Microclima). Photo Valeria Romagnini

Università IUAV di Venezia Art on Parade? / Intensive Laboratory


The course evolved into an inquiry into the legacy of the civic rituals of the former Venetian Republic and the immemorial cultural custom and emerging artistic field of the processional. It identified landmarks for a genealogical and theoretical framework about a distinct cultural practice and expository model that long preceded but was ultimately marginalized from the exhibitionary complex.

Devoted to lectures in the morning and discussions around readings and other assignments in the afternoon, the class left the classroom to venture into the city for site visits to the city’s processional landmarks and meetings with local art professionals. Such activities outside of the classroom included Assistant Professor Andrea Mattielo’s tours of Chiesa di San Zaccaria, Basilica Santa Maria della Salute and Porta della Cartella at Basilica San Marco and meetings with Paolo Rosso and Michela Intra of the non-profit arts organization Microclima at Serra dei Giardini.

The course followed a collaborative pedagogy whereby each participant contributed to the elaboration of the curriculum based on his or her field of experience, research and interest thus empowering every one as an active knowledge producer. It led to the formation of Venice-based curatorial collective Cake Away and established the basis for the realization of FAR FESTA: Nuove Feste Veneziane, which was formulated at the end of the course as an ongoing independent research and curatorial project on contemporary civic rituals across political, social, cultural and artistic practices.

Using Venice as a model from which to think about other globalized territories, FAR FESTA asked: If the stability of the Venetian Republic was sustained by its civic rituals then, at times of societal instability, can contemporary rituals instill anew a sense of social cohesiveness and inaugurate new ways of making community? If so, what are these rituals to be, who are they to include, where are they to take place and what new cartography of the city might they create?

From the end of the course in the summer of 2012 to the following summer 2013, Tancons and Cake Away met several times in Venice to work on FAR FESTA, ultimately leading a successful proposal as one of the official collateral events of the 55th Venice Biennale. The first of three planned FAR FESTA programs, Corteo de Casteo was ultimately realized independently and took place on the official opening day of the biennial and during Sagra San Piero de Casteo. Advisory and Support Committee for the project included Angela Vettese, IUAV and Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice and Bocconi University, Milan; Luca Pes, Venice International University; Fabio Cavallucci, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; Maria Morganti, artist, Venice.