The Arte Sella project, launched in the second half of the 1980s at the Villa Strobele garden in Val di Sella in the Trentino Dolomites, was based on the idea of combining contemporary art and nature. An artistic project that has grown significantly over time. On the southern slope of Mount Armentera a trail that unwinds through the woods was created, which later paved the way for the ArteNatura route. Since 1998, the Malga Costa area, an old building previously used as an animal pasture, has also been included in the project. Thanks to the ArteSella project, Malga Costa first became an exhibition venue and was later converted into a space for hosting meetings, events and concerts.
The development of the Arte Sella project is based on a number of key principles which " Simbiosi”, the site-specific work created by Edoardo Tresoldi and inaugurated on September 15, 2019, has certainly stayed true to. In particular, when designing Arte Sella, the artist agrees to share his or her work with nature, meaning that it will be nature itself to complete the artistic work. The ecological approach is not a classic approach, because even though nature is indeed protected as a window into memory, at the same time, artists are asked to also interpret its absence. Lastly, the works are constructed favouring the use of natural materials and are placed in a “hic et nunc” spatial perception, leaving the landscape but at the same time returning to it and being part of it.
In 2001, the creation of Giuliano Mauri’s Cattedrale Vegetale (or Tree Cathedral), a work that nature is progressively completing, marked an important moment in the evolution of the Arte Sella project. In the years that followed, many prestigious artistic collaborations continued and in 2016 a specific project related to architecture was launched: “Arte Sella Architecture”, with works designed by internationally renowned architects including Atsushi Kitagawara, Kengo Kuma and Michele De Lucchi. In 2019, two new collaborations enriched Arte Sella Architettura. In the spring, the work of an important master of international architecture, Pritzker Prize winner Eduardo Souto de Moura, was inaugurated. The Portuguese architect designed a contemporary dolmen which, placed in the Villa Strobele gardens appears like a door opening towards the forest. Finally, on 15 September, “Simbiosi”, the site-specific work by Edoardo Tresoldi was inaugurated, located in an area on the hills devastated by the disastrous storm that took place in October 2018.
“Simbiosi”, the work created by Edoardo Tresoldi, presents itself as a space for rest and contemplation, completely open to the sky. It is five metres tall and stands as “a ruin suspended between architecture, nature and temporal dimension”.
For the first time the artist presented a work in which the transparency of the “absent material”, expressed through the use of wire mesh, hybridises with the real and tangible materiality of the local stones. This is not a ruin, there is no process of deterioration or destruction. Instead, it is a reconstruction that takes place according to unusual physical rules led by the design and the will of the artist. The work is described by the artist as a living and permeable organism that creates an emotional channel of communication with nature. At the same time, the architectural elements introduced by the artist become the key to understanding the natural landscape. That same nature that will gradually modify them, defining a new architecture that will blend into the park’s landscape.