Michelangelo Pistoletto is an Italian artist regarded as a leading figure of Arte Povera movement. Many of his works are socially oriented. Thus his famous installation The Third Paradise refers to the idea of creation a perfect place where people would live in harmony with nature. The work was presented for the first time in 2005 during the 51st Venice Biennale. Why it has such a name? According to Pistoletto the third paradise combines features of the first and second paradises. The first one refers to the paradise where “humans were fully integrated into nature”. As for the second one then it is an artificially created place “developed by humans through a process that has now reached globalizing proportions. This paradise is made of artificial needs, artificial products, artificial comforts, artificial pleasures, and every other form of artifice”. What about the third paradise? Pistoletto sees it as “the passage to a new level of planetary civilization, essential to ensure the human race’s survival. The Third Paradise is the new myth that leads everyone to take personal responsibility at this momentous juncture”.
Venus of the Rags is one of the most famous installations created by Pistolleto. It includes a classical statue of Venus and a huge pile of clothes. The idea of the installation is very ironic. It concerns different subjects regarding to art and life issues. “My project was to put the pieces together, leaving the signs of breakage evident, like the tears in the rags”.
Pistoletto’s the most impressive and important project is creation of Cittadellarte. The project was launched back to 1998. Students from different countries participating in the project are supposed to create works that are able to change the world and world community for the better. So the project was launched “to inspire and produce a responsible change in society by means of creative ideas and projects”.