Building peace in the minds of men and women

UNESCO takes part in the 2014 edition of Art Night Venezia with Tangible/Intangible



On 21 June 2014, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), will take part in the 4th edition of ‘Art Night Venezia – Art sets the night free’, organised by Ca' Foscari University with the collaboration of Venetian cultural institutions. This year’s edition, ‘Tangible/Intangible’, will center on 3 expressions of tangible and intangible heritage and explore the distinctive ways in which they are able to speak to us about history, identity and creativity. The event will last from 7 pm. to 11 30 pm. and will be hosted by the UNESCO Office in Venice (Palazzo Zorzi - Castello 4930, Venice), following the schedule outlined below.

This is the third event of its kind to take place in Palazzo Zorzi. In 2013, the UNESCO Venice Office developed a narrative celebrating the value of women in various forms of art (visual art - cinematography – comics and cartoons - photography - theatre - music).  In 2012, a special event organised in collaboration with the Centro Internazionale Civiltà dell’Acqua, Veritas and Global Footprint Network invited guests to think about their ecological footprint, with a particular emphasis on water resources. This year’s edition will reflect on the significance of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, protected by the 1972 World Heritage Convention and the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, as a means to understanding important moments in our history and gaining insight into different forms of cultural identity.

At 7 pm. Archaeologist Françoise Villedieu, who has taken part in numerous excavations in France, Tunisia and Italy and is director of research at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, will discuss the Coenatio Rotunda, Emperor Nero’s famous rotating dining room. As one of the leading members of a research programme that began in 1985 and focused on the Palatine hill in Rome, she contributed to the discovery of what is thought to be the Coenatio in 2009. The appeal exercised by such a feat of engineering, described by Roman historian Suetonius as “rotating day and night to mirror the heavens”, attracted a great deal of media as well as academic attention. The project as a whole provided ground-breaking insight into the layout of this historic sector of the city and the lifestyle of its wealthy inhabitants.  

At 8:30 pm. ‘Barbablu’, a performance by and with Manuela Carretta and Elisabetta Mescitelli, flamenco dancers and founders of the unYdos dance company, whose work ranges in genre from traditional to contemporary. The duo seeks to harness the narrative potential of flamenco to explore elements of the female psyche. They tell the story of the captive wives of Barbablù (Bluebeard) who, locked in the depths of his castle, are left to dwell on innocence lost, self-discovery and, in the end, redemption. The performance is a fine example of how this art form can interpret and give new meaning to important philosophical questions surrounding life, death, identity and gender.

At 10 pm.  A concert by Venice-based choir Joy Singers. Founded and conducted by Venetian composer Andrea D’Alpaos, the group currently comprises 18 singers, accompanied by the Soul Shakers Band (2 keyboards, bass, and drums), and boasts a number of important collaborations with Italian and international artists (Andrea Bocelli, le Orme, Kool and the Gang, Massimo Ranieri, Banda Osiris). It stands out for its vast and diverse range of musical influences, with a particular focus on Afro-American music, from Spirituals to contemporary Gospel, moving through Soul, Funk and Rhythm’n’blues and revisiting some old favourites as well as exploring fresh takes on more recent musical genres. Well received at a national level, the Joy Singers have won awards in Italy and around the world.

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On the night of 21 June, Venetian museums and cultural institutions, both public and private, will open their doors to the public to mark the 4th edition of ‘Art Night Venezia – Art sets the night free’, a celebration of art and culture in all its forms. Throughout the city and the Lagoon, visitors will have the opportunity to attend a broad range of events, from concerts to lectures to guided tours, which capture Venice at its best and most culturally lively.