Inaugurated in Cremona the largest smog-eating mural in Europe: the aim of the participatory artwork is to raise countrywide awareness on the importance of the United Nations 2030 Agenda objectives.
“Concordia – Together for the SDGs 2021” – Europe’s largest smog-eating mural signed by the internationally renowned Italian artists Marco Cerioli, Dario Pruonto (aka MisterCaos), and Davide Tolasi, was inaugurated in Cremona on November 5th. The work is part of the #InsiemepergliSDG campaign promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and carried out in partnership with the European Commission, FAO, CIHEAM Bari, UN SDG Action Campaign, Save The Children Italy. Local institutions were also involved, such as the City of Cremona, Cremona Chamber of Commerce, CremonaFiere, Centro Fumetto “Andrea Pazienza”, Ente Scuola Edile Cremonese – C.P.T., I.I.S. “A. Stradivari” – Liceo Artistico. The local companies LGH and Corteva (main sponsor) together with the technical partner Keim gave their support, in addiction to Pro Cremona, Cosper and Cooperativa Nazareth. Media partners were La Provincia and Cremona1.
These institutions have joined forces to achieve the common and crucial goal of raising awareness throughout the ountry on the importance of the objectives of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Together with Cremona, the #InsiemepergliSDG campaign also involved the cities of Teramo, Rome, Prato and Bari, thus creating a diverse but virtuous network. Despite the diversities, the participants were in fact united and committed to launch positive messages for a better and more sustainable future. Key in the process was Urban Art, which proved to be the best artistic form to bring the theme of sustainability up to the attention of a potentially infinite number of people. The reason is that the language used in this art genre is very easy to read and everybody can get at least an overall meaning of the artworks.
«I am very pleased that the City of Cremona has joined the Cities4SDG venture. This is a project related to the #togetherforSDGs campaign promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in partnership with the UN SDG Action Campaign – says Marina Ponti, director of the UN SDG Action Campaign – A collaboration that led to the creation of a beautiful artwork that, thanks to the creativity of Marco, Dario and Davide, perfectly represents the need for commitment and collaboration to promote sustainable, just and inclusive development. We are at a turning point in our fight against climate change, but we need the help of institutions if we want to act faster and put an end to all inequalities. The City of Cremona has been showing a strong desire for change, as witnessed by associations, schools and the many kids who have been an active part of this project, giving life and soul to this important work with their passion and commitment».
The result was not only a meaningful urban enhancement, but also a clear signal of respect for the environment. The artistic curatorship has in fact opted for mineral paints with photocatalytic effect produced by Keim company that, thanks to their chemical and physical characteristics, are able to reduce the concentration of air pollutants. With its 1200 square meters – 400 m linear and 2.5 m height variable – “Concordia – Together for SDG 2021” marks a new, important record and makes Cremona the host of the largest smog-eating work of Urban Art in Europe. The record was previously held by the city of Rome.
«The mural – comments Gianluca Galimberti, Mayor of Cremona – was given an evocative title: “CONCORDIA”, a clear reference to the 17th objective of the 2030 Agenda promoted by the UN for a sustainable future. The fact that many have collaborated to its creation expresses the meaning of the mural itself. As art shapes our future, this mural wants to be a metaphor of the SDG Campaign’s 17 goals, which now define and shape the vision of our present and future. The SDGs represent the key factors and objectives that every community (including ours) should aim to achieve in order to grow and become stronger. Without solid values, vision and ideals no goal can be achieved. We have high hopes that people and especially our community will somehow be inspired by the message that we tried to covey through the art and beauty of the mural».
“Concordia – Together for SDG 2021″ is a work of participatory art created by the internationally renowned Italian Urban Artists Marco Cerioli, Dario Pruonto (in art MisterCaos), and Davide Tolasi, together with the students of Ente Scuola Edile Cremonese – CPT, Liceo Artistico Stradivari, Centro Fumetto “Andrea Pazienza”, Skarti d’Autore, Cosper and Nazareth. The mural was realized on the south fence of the Ca’ de’ Somenzi exhibition area in the city of Cremona, Lombardy. The artists and more than 70 young students and people focused specifically on Goal 17 of the UN Agenda 2030: “Partnership for the Goals – Strengthening the means of implementation and renewing the global partnership for sustainable development. A curatorial, design and iconographic choice very much in line with the value of collaboration, which is the core of the #InsiemepergliSDG campaign.
«Analyzing the 2030 Agenda in depth – the artists say – we realized that while the first 16 objectives tell us which emergencies must be addressed, the 17th specifies how to face them: through cooperative partnerships. And it is precisely this aspect that impressed and convinced us to base all our work on this theme. Our main goal was to address States and Institutions, but we also wanted the content to be closer to all of us and our experience as individuals. The work and contribution of each and everyone is in fact absolutely essential. In order to do this, we painted the 144 panels that make up the mural in such a way that when seen close up, they look abstract and unconnected, while, if you move back and observe the work from another perspective, the entire representation becomes clear and evocative».
It is therefore no coincidence that the work “Concordia – Together for the SDGs 2021” recalls through its storytelling the understandings and commitments necessary not only to achieve the 17 Goals of the 2030 Agenda, but also the need to act in time. On the wall it is portrayed in fact a succession of 17 pairs of hands in the act of firmly grasping a rope, on a texture of interwoven, knotted words that represent various values. Their overlapping results in a game of chiaroscuro, which makes the idea of a synergistic network between the hands (synecdoche to indicate human beings) and the rope (metaphor of relationships) more intense.
Not only that. What gives further strength to the final result is the synergic process that involved the artists and the students of the Higher Education Antonio Stradivari Institute of Cremona. In addition to posing for the realization of the painted hands, the students have researched the semantic of the words selected, and worked on the images production.
Michele Bozzetti, professor at the Stradivari Institute of Cremona, comments: «The students of Liceo Artistico Stradivari of Cremona were emotionally involved in the realization of the Opera CONCORDIA. The kids found themselves to be active part of a real artistic workshop and had the opportunity to work together with professional artists who guided and motivated them. They were not discouraged by the burning sun, the heat and the fatigue, and their contribution was significant. They really had the content of the project at heart».
These elements, together with other and various pictorial details related to the theme of “concord”, are the background – or rather, a solid support – to the poetic but clear verse by the artist MisterCaos “If we leave no future, our existence is worthless”, which ends right where the wall ends. A strong message for today but, above all, for the generations to come. And so, just as the kids painted the hands of their peers, we all should strive to establish new sustainable habits to make the entire planet breathe again.
«I particularly appreciated this work, realized in Cremona as part of our #InsiemepergliSDG action, together with the UN Campaign on SDGs and our local partners – concludes Giorgio Marrapodi, Ambassador and General Director for Development and Cooperation. Concordia is a name that well represents the concept behind the mural, where a rope is the symbol of the partnership necessary to face the great global challenges and achieve the SDGs. And I am especially proud that the project involved so many local players: institutions, artists boys and girls who, with their commitment and passion, have given body and soul to this street art intervention that leaves a tangible mark in the city of Cremona and reminds us that our actions are our future».
The work is part of the #InsiemepergliSDG campaign promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and carried out in partnership with the European Commission, FAO, CIHEAM Bari, UN SDG Action Campaign, Save The Children Italy.