Michele Giacobino

I am interested in relationship between human manufactures and landscape, between nature and culture, between inner landscape of everyone of us and how it reflects on external landscape.
So, starting from architecture and design landscape, with particular regard to garden design, I converged on ephemeral art, public art and land art, declined in their most varied ways. Large sculptures in open spaces (and, often, wild spaces), installations, public events, interaction with citizenship and cultural promotion of the territory are the object of my interest.
I work not only with natural materials (but that otherwise I prefer, especially wood, soil and “alive” materials as trees and shrubs). Respect for nature is for me a priority.
Using shovel, pick and other tools traditionally used working in agriculture I connect myself whit the most intimate part of me and, at the same time, with gestures and manual abilities of my fathers, abilities that they transmitted to me since I was very young.
Through my work I speak about civilization, about the attraction exerted on man by the wilderness and its contemporary result of feelings of fear and repulsion.
My work always starts from intimate memories or suggestions to interpret reality in a personal and often surreal way, through free associations of ideas. I still believe in the social value of art, or at least some of its forms. Dreaming does not cost anything (perhaps, for now).
Born and raised in the suburban countryside of a "one company town" like Turin, I studied architecture at the Polytechnic University of that city, always working constantly in the agricultural sector, in small farms oriented towards the use of traditional techniques and organic production.
By attending the two worlds of architecture and that of agriculture, seemingly so far, I have always reflected on their surface incompatibility and the role of technology and industrialization in modernity.
My reflections on the relationship man / nature / culture, my studies and my experiences have led me naturally to get interested in landscape design and landscape planning. Then I worked for over 13 years, especially in the field of public works. After this period, thanks to the knowledge gained, in 2014 I opened my own studio, "Michele Giacobino Architetture".
In an apparently almost unexpected way, from the beginning most of the time and the interests of my professional and artistic practice have been oriented towards land art. Immediately I got close to it in order for me naturally and spontaneously. Unconsciously I consider it the highest way of thinking about the relationship between man and nature, and then, in a critical manner (for those who, like me, was fascinated by the theories of Arne Ness) about who is and what it does, or should do, a landscape designer, and to whom should.
It was for me the way to reconcile theory and practice, to start again to learn by unlearning some learned notions in the past, the way to reason about my place in the world.
Despite my age (born in 1977), I consider myself and independent and emerging artist, with takes part in contests, looking for curators, galleries, sponsors, exploring a new universe for me, but that I feel close.
My work always starts from intimate memories or suggestions to interpret reality in a personal and often surreal way, through free associations of ideas. I still believe in the social value of art, or at least some of its forms. Dreaming does not cost anything (perhaps, for now).
2020, permanent exhibit, inauguration October 3, - Land Art / Public Art - "MAF - MUSEO ACQUA FRANCA", COMUNE DI MILANO, "I TALENTI DELLE DONNE" with work "ARIANNA"

2020, permanent exhibit, inauguration October 3, - Land Art / Public Art - "TRACES" BY "LES PHONIES BERGERES", ACCOUS, FRANCE - with work "EMPREINTE LABYRINTHE"

2019, December 15 to 2020 January 31 - Urban design - JESI CITTA' REGIA - Jesi (AN)

2019, August 30 to September 29 - Land Art Concepts - MONTE BARRO ART AND NATURE - Garlate (LC)

2018, July 30 to August 25 – Land art / Art residency – “LAM – Land Art Mongolia 2018: WHO ARE WE NOW?”, steppe of Murum Sum / National Gallery of Ulaanbaatar,under the patronage of Prince Klaus Fund, Mongolian Government, City of Ulaanbaatar, Union of Mongolian Artists, Embassies of artists countries.
http://www.landartmongolia.com/ https://www.artavenue.mn/who-are-we-now---land-art-mongolia-5th-biennial--10---19-august-2018--mongolian-national-modern-art-gallery.html http://www.lj1media.org/h-nd-13695.html#_np=2_552

2017, September – Land art / Art residency – “LUPANICA 2017”, Muzzana del Turgnano (UD)(Italy), under the patronage of Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia, Comune di Muzzana.
http://lupanica.it/page/2/ http://lupanica.it/2017/09/09/giacobino/ https://it-it.facebook.com/Land-Art-Muzzana-1020969354655839/

2016, December – Environmental design concepts – “ULTRA FAKE VIOLET”, Bologna, Urban Center.

2016, November - Environmental design concepts - “ULTRA FAKE VIOLET” at Centrale Fies, Dro (TN)(Italy), under the patronage of Comune di Dro (TN), provincia Autonoma di Trento, Centrale Fies. http://fiescore.squarespace.com/news1/

2016, November – Urban art – “PORTE AD ARTE”, Turin, Palazzo Chiablese.

2016, June/July - Land Art / Art residency – Title: “BAS – BOSCO ARTE STENICO 2016”, Stenico (TN)(Italy), under the patronage of Provincia Autonoma di Trento, Comune di Stenico, Europacreativa.
http://www.boscoartestenico.eu/2016/artisti.php http://www.boscoartestenico.eu/2016/artista.php?id=111

2016, February – Garden design concepts – MYPLANT&GARDEN, Milan, International Green Expo

2015, June - Land Art Concepts - MANTOVA CREATIVA

2015, March – Urban art – Title: “PROGETTO BANANITO – un’idea per la facciata verso lago di casa Rodari”, Museum of Design at Forum di Omegna (VB)(Italy), under the patronage of Fondazione Museo Arti e Industria di Omegna, Parco della Fantasia G.Rodari, Comune di Omegna.
www.forumomegna.org https://www.facebook.com/Concorso-Bananito-820470368033574/

2001, May - Landscape planning – Title: “Progettare la città – dalla periferia fordista alla città sostenibile”, Turin, Castello del Valentino, under the patronage of Regione Piemonte, Provincia di Torino, Comune di Torino, Politecnico di Torino.
www.progettonuovaspina4.org http://porto.polito.it/view/full/none/2001.html


since 2018 – Garden Design concepts – http://www.jardinsdemetis.com/festival/candidatures-anterieures/?y=2018 http://www.refordgardens.com/festival/previous-applications/?y=2018

since 2017 – Garden Design concepts - http://www.jardinsdemetis.com/festival/candidatures-anterieures/?y=2017 http://www.refordgardens.com/festival/previous-applications/?y=2017

since 2016 - textile design concepts - https://www.carpetvista.it/concorso-di-design/visualizza/50338/111716

Michele Giacobino, “Il parco - ponte”, saggio in Giorgio Preto (a cura di), Progettare la città – Dalla periferia fordista alla città sostenibile, Alzani Editore, Pinerolo (TO), 2001.

Michele Giacobino, “Plots without cities. Reading sprawl”, abstract at
http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/2317/ http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/2317/2/Giacobino_abstract_EN.pdf
Other infos
Master of Science In Architecture (Polytechnic University Of Turin)

2020, September/October - Accous (France) - Residency (biennal) at "Les Phonies Bergères"
2018, July/August – Ulaanbaatar/Murum Sum (Mongolia) – Residency (biennal) at LAM
2017, September – Muzzana del Turgnano (UD) (Italy) – Residency at Lupanica
2016, June – Stenico (TN) (Italy) – Residency at BAS.


2017: third place at Italian National Graphic Contest “Un logo per la ceramica di Assemini”, Assemini (CA)
2017: second place at LUPANICA, International festival of Land Art, Muzzana del Turgnano (UD)
2016: second place at International Contest of Public Art / Urban Art “Porte ad arte”, Turin
A work for LAND ART MONGOLIA 2018, 5TH BIENNAL LAM 360°, in the steppe of Khentii Aimag, near Murun Sum village, with exhibit in Ulaan Bator Art National Gallery. (from exhibition catalog): As an artist and architect focused on landscape, Michele Giacobino is concerned about the land, the ways in which humans use it, and in particular the question of which humans decide how the land is to be used. In this work for Land Art Mongolia 2018, the purely visual association between the green rolling grasslands of Mongolia and the game of golf is straightforward. But this artwork is not about golf as a sport, or about the enormous areas of land, and water resources, devoted to golf courses around the world. The title Club refers instead to the ‘club’ of G20 nations (20 of the nations with ‘developed’ or more powerful economies) whose attitudes largely determine the use of natural resources – including the land – around the world. So, in Club, the use of the flags of the twenty nations refers to he globalized culture of the G20. As Giacobino points out, the homogeneity of globalized culture leads people to seek out the unusual, ‘exotic’ or ‘undeveloped’, adjectives often applied to Mongolia. Since there are also artists from almost 20 nations (not G20) in this edition of Land Art Mongolia, come to experience the land and its people, Club can also be understood as a reflection on the artists and Biennial workshop. Flags are an ambiguous device, of course, referring not simply to the marker of the golfer’s ambition, but also to the territorial ambition and claims of nation states to possess the land. Giacobino’s artwork was present in the landscape for only a few days, and the artist was careful to return the soil to the places from which it had been displaced. Many thanks to Lewis Biggs
Michele Giacobino, Metall, Textil
An installation for “LAND ART LUPANICA”, a land art international annual festival in Italy. It works on surfaces of trees as natural sculptures. According with traditional “patois” that I talk with my family, “pacioc” means “mud”: a special kind of mud, with a secret formula, it is used to make decorations over more than twenty trees that are growing in a part of a very very ancient forest that survive between Italy and Slovenia. In the formula, there is a bit of soil of the place. Different soil with different compositions make different colors of paint, according to “genius loci”, i.e. the spirit of that place. According to curators of festival, “wood is an open wall”, so it is ready to receive any kind of message. Mud shows an ephemeral way (the real essece of environmental art), a transient way (and so also a sort of pessimistic symbol of era that we live in) to express myself as man and as artist. No messages, only symbolic decorations. This is also connected to idea of “to leave a sign”, a trace on this earth. The mud applied to the trunks, then, is part of me, of my story, of my family and of the activity that we always do in agriculture. It's a traditional remedy we still use today to help a tree to repair wounds or diseases of the trunk and bark. Sublimating this gesture through an ephemeral artistic installation that decontextualizes it from its practical purpose and deconstructs it by reinventing it… here this seems to me one of the things that comes closer to my concept of art. http://www.lupanica.it/
Michele Giacobino, Holz, Naturstoffe
An installation for "BAS - BOSCO ARTE STENICO", a land art international annual festival in Italy. Reflection concerns water as a vital element. Growth rings of a tree represent a lifetime and before their growth has been cut off it has been influenced by the amount of rain fallen in the woods. They tell, in some ways, rain stories (rain poetry in the woods) and they themselves refer to concentric waves on the water's hair. We have to consider the vital importance of trees in the life cycle of the element necessary to life. The WATER well is also an ancient and emblematic element of survival, in this case with a decontextualized reference: instead of being the essence of an inhabited center is placed in the middle of a forest, realizing a double referring to a fairy tale: the forest and the well are both united by mystery and desire, attraction and repulsion. http://www.boscoartestenico.eu
Michele Giacobino, Holz, Naturstoffe
A work made in a private historical mansion. It is a work that is between land art and landscape planning, for this reason I'm particularly fond of it. In countryside near Turin airport, 180 poplars trees are aligned with lines of roman centuriation (maibe?) and with lines of landing track of airport. Because of the reduced distance to the files and because of turbulence, they seems to move like signaling landing on planes. Growing, they will not be so monotonous as others bigger plantations of poplars.
Michele Giacobino, Holz, Naturstoffe
My first land art work realized in a farm not so far from my studio, with my hand (and with the help of a tractor 50hp). Work that it was first and foremost a performance lasting several days. It was inspired by the camps of nomadic shepherds, that in my country are disappearing or are being transformed. A little as Polyphemus, who was the last of a long line of ancient giants (and shepherds too). Not only for this reference the fire was so big. The fire shaped roots of trees, staring or removing clay from them, changing their curves, coloring it with a complex scale of greys. Result still remains, farmer loves it, a gigantic natural brazier.
Michele Giacobino, Holz, Stein
« Dans le noir, nous verrons clair mes Frères ! Dans le labyrinthe, nous trouverons la voie droite ! » (Henry Michaux) « Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. » (Ralph Waldo Emerson) My work revolves around the idea of "imprint", approached from different angles: our existential imprint on this earth, the ecological footprint of man, what human and non-human traces tell us in the natural cycle, making us part of an indissoluble whole. Reasoning the labyrinth as a key element to face the heart of my poetics, namely land art to connect the interior landscape and the exterior landscape and the relationship between man and nature and between man and man, I wanted to explore anthropologically the labyrinth as a constant theme of European art. From a local-global relationship perspective, I returned physically and symbolically to the Alpine valleys where my family is from. In recent years, it has become relatively famous among prehistoric scholars for the presence of "Masso Falchero", a huge millstone that takes its name from the family that owned it. The peculiarity of this stone is that it was engraved in prehistoric times with representations such as bas-reliefs that researchers have traced to the representations of the rituals inherent in the cult of the Great Mother, a cult in relation to which we find labyrinthine representations in different regions of the Alps. It is curious that from a linguistic point of view in the dialect spoken in “my” valley unlike the neighboring valleys all the important elements of daily life are feminine. In addition, it is emblematic, in my childhood memories, how in my family's home village old women, and not old men, played a key role in collective decisions concerning community life. I thought of the graphic and formal relationship between our fingerprints, the symbol par excellence of our uniqueness and our individuality, and the symbol of the labyrinthine representations of communities united by daily practices and cults that attach them deeply to the earth. In particular, my attention has focused on the thumb as a symbol of human skill and evolution and, in particular, a symbol of female talent and power: the opposable thumb, the thumb injured by the spindle in the ancestral fairy tale, thumbs for sewing and (above all) embroidery, thumbs to mark in the ancient practices of magic with mud and ashes, your thumb to support a child's head, thumb to assess and sample distances and shapes, as an artist, the thumb to clean the kids' faces, the thumb to hitchhike and so on! Nevertheless, the thumb is also used for counting banknotes (a gesture I associate with men) and today the thumbs are used for text messaging and for playing video games (is that an involution?). So I thought of creating an ephemeral labyrinth based on the graphic synthesis of the thumbprint. I was struck by the image of Accous and its valley, and the fact that it has always been an important transit point to the Iberian Peninsula, connected to a route like that of Santiago de Compostela which follows paths of even older routes that linked the old continent to the four corners. I thought about how the two great mountain ranges of the Pyrenees and the Alps, far from being physical barriers in reality thanks to their valleys, have always favored exchanges and movements. I thought of an ideal link between the Aspe valley and "my" Val di Viù, part of a path that crosses the Italian peninsula and the Alps connected Greece with England, a route taken later in the Middle Ages by pilgrims from all over Europe to Rome and Holy Land. I thought that in such a place a labyrinth, symbol of spiritual journey, could find an ideal location. I thought of current events. The theme of travel, thinking of how the labyrinth can express the complexity and the labors and tortuosity of those who travel out of necessity and for change, in search of a better life for thousands and thousands of kilometers, and how the Alps and the Pyrenees, always a place of connection and exchange, become insurmountable barriers due to new frontiers dictated by man. Moreover, I think of the fingerprints taken, the thumbprints, taken even by young children so that men can lay down, imprison, and repel other men. What is our current footprint? What are its meanings? What are its implications and labyrinthine facets? The imprint is the imprint of my grandmother, the last descendant of these women from "my" valley. The idea of the grandmother's fingerprint lies in the homage to an idea. In my idea, it is an ephemeral labyrinth, made of natural materials and intended to fade slowly and naturally over time, made with the materials available on site, guided by the "genius loci". The place (and the premises, after all, a place and its spirit are or are given especially by those who live there) will inspire the best formal solution on the spot to concretize the concept by expressing all the meanings contained therein. PHOTO CREDIT: MILA BRAUDEY for photos n. 6 / 7 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 19 GREGOIRE LAVIGNE for photos n. 1 / 8 PHILIPPE LE COZ for photos n. 18 thank you so much. And really special thanks to all "Phonies Bergères" organization and members, to Cler&Sandrine of "Maison Despourrins" and to all Accous friends.
Michele Giacobino, Holz, Naturstoffe
A work for the "MAF" museum in the park at the Nosedo sewage treatment plant in Milan, near the Chiaravalle abbey, within the 2020 schedule of the city's cultural initiatives dedicated to "Women's talents". It was born from the real imprint of my mother’s thumb (finger as symbol of humanity and fundamental element for human creativity), digitally reworked and transported to the ground in the way you can see in the attached photos. At the center of the work (and integrated with it) there is a wooden form, that refers to a seed, or a bulb ready to bloom, or a spindle, inspired by ancient fetishes of rebirth and fertility still visible in traditional festivals in some places in the Alps (see, for example, the "Puento" in Chiomonte, near Turin). Following an accurate preliminary study through both traditional drawing and computer graphics, each component of the work was handmade without the aid of machinery and following traditional techniques linked to ancient agricultural practices. In fact, it is a fundamental component of my poetics to relate to the landscape through artistic work to discover and try to overcome one's individual limits in balance with nature. Access to the interior of "Arianna", to walk through her labyrinth, it is forbidden to visitors by a museumstyle perimeter cordon to make people think, first, about the relationship between citizens and public art. Here are the curator's words about “Arianna” (please note English version below): Il filo conduttore della vita… Terra, natura, labirinto, filo e tessitura. I punti chiave per comprendere “Arianna”. La riflessione su una spirale che può assumere diversi significati in base al punto di vista da cui la si guarda o la si pensa, un’impronta digitale o magari un labirinto. Un filo che si avvolge in tante ellissi che girando attorno ad un fuso, crea un labirinto, reale e immaginario. Come nel labirinto del Minotauro è una donna che risolve il labirinto, Arianna, che ci aiuta a percorrere i solchi nella terra. All’interno dell’opera si trova un fuso, un intreccio creato dalla natura, Madre Natura che ci accompagna nel labirinto della vita con l’uomo che pone la sua impronta sulla terra. Un discorso sul territorio, sul paesaggio, un filo conduttore, come un corso d’acqua che crea canali che si intrecciano per creare una rete. Legno e terra, semplice, perfetto per un racconto, la trama di un tessuto. Gloria Longhi, curatrice The common thread of life... Earth, nature, maze, thread and texture. The key points to understand “Arianna”. The reflection on a spiral that can take on different meanings based on the point of view from which you look at it or think of it, a fingerprint or perhaps a labyrinth. A thread that winds itself in many ellipses that, turning around a spindle, creates a real and imaginary maze. As in the labyrinth of the Minotaur, it is a woman who solves the maze, Ariadne (Arianna), who helps us walk the grooves in the earth. Inside the work, there is a spindle: an intertwining created by nature, Mother Nature who accompanies us in the labyrinth of life, with man who places his imprint on the earth. A discourse on the territory, on the landscape, a common thread, like a river that creates channels that intertwine to create a network. Wood and earth, simple, perfect for a story, the texture of a fabric. Gloria Longhi, curator PHOTO CREDIT: for photo number 1, at the beginning: Google Earth for photo number 19, at the end of presentation: GLORIA LONGHI (special thanks)
Michele Giacobino, Holz, Naturstoffe

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