Viafarini, non profit organization
for contemporary art founded in 1991,
is an exhibition space open for experimentation,
offers documentation services on visual arts,
and runs a residency program for artists and curators.

Report 2006-2007

The year 2006-2007 has been be a period of great efforts and important recognition. The important collaboration with Gemmo s.p.a., a leading company in engineering construction services and facility management, was the first institutional sponsor to Viafarini, as well as the American Center Foundation Grant, the prestigious international prize given to Viafarini, both of which have demonstrated an experimental spirit in supporting emerging artists in the course of various projects.

Amongst these, with the collaboration of Provincia di Milano the project Milano on the Move began in 2006, enabling artists a certain ‘mobility’ abroad. In other words, by inviting various directors of prestigious international art institutions to participate in a residence and research program in Milan, this has proved to be an invaluable opportunity for Italian artists to display their work and get in contact with foreign curators, thus establishing possible forms of collaborations abroad. Amongst the participants in 2006 were Karin Eklund from the Delfina Projects in London, Els van Odijk from the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, Christoph Tannert, from the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Euridice Arratia from the Art-Omi in New York. Whereas in 2007 the proposal was accepted by Vasif Kortun from the Platform Garantì in Istanbul, Chus Martinez from the Frankfurter Kunstverein and Katerina Gregos from Argos in Brussels.
As a result of the relations formed during Milano on the Move, Viafarini has since 2006 been responsible for organizing the residence program abroad for the winner of the Premio Furla per l’Arte. Furthermore, it has become a point of reference for artists applying to the residence program of the Rijkakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam.

Report 2008-2010

2008 was marked by the opening of the new venue of Viafarini at Fabbrica del Vapore, a renovated industrial site. In this prestigious site Viafarini runs a 150 sq. mt. project space.
In the same also opened DOCVA Documentation Center for Visual Arts, collects and divulges documentation material about contemporary visual arts: books, magazines, videos, artists’ portfolios and information about international organizations. These materials were gathered within the activities organized by Careof and Viafarini, through the portfolio viewing program and the video post-production service, as well as through purchase and donations. The materials are available for consultation at the DOCVA reading room, as well as online through specific databases. These related data banks allow to carry out researches according to different criteria, as well as to view images of works of art and videos. DOCVA makes use of a network of collaborations with international organizations and Italian organizations promoting contemporary artistic research, among them Artegiovane, Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Fondazione Querini Stampalia - Premio Furla, Fondazione Spinola Banna per l’Arte.

Within its historical site in Via Farini 35, Viafarini has in the meantime established the VIR Viafarini-in-residence, the new program that permits artists and\or curators to spend a period of research in Milan. The residence constitutes of four apartments on the first floor, in addition to the two artist’s studios within the exhibitive area in Viafarini.

In 2009 and 2010, as crowning achievement of its 20 years long activities for the promotion of the most experimental artistic research, Viafarini has been invited to take part in both editions of No Soul for Sale: A Festival of Independents. The initiative, conceived in 2009 by Cecilia Alemani, Maurizio Cattelan and Massimiliano Gioni, represent a chance to promote on the international scene the activities of the most creative and representative non profit indipendent spaces from all over the world. On the occasion of the 2nd edition in 2010, held at Tate Modern London for the tenth anniversary of the museum, Viafarini presented Souvenir d’Italie. A nonprofit art story, a book that aims at presenting the story and the protagonists of theItalian contemporary artworld from 1991 to the present day, through the experience of a renowned Milanese nonprofit organization. Not only does the volume describe the core activities of the organization, it also brings together evidence, documents, photographs as well as previously unpublished works.

Report 2011-2012

Between 2011 and 2012 the bidecennial commitment of Viafarini for the documentation of contemporary art through DOCVA Documentation Center for Visual Arts was highlighted by two exhibition projects.
The first project to be opened was Contemporaneo.doc/DOCVA held in Rome at MAXXI - XXI Century Art and Architecture National Museum between December 2010 and February 2011, curated by Giulia Ferracci and Carolina Italiano for MAXXI BASE. In addition to the whole original materials of the archives of Careof and Viafarini associations the project presented the online databases as well as a program of lectures, video screenings and portfolio review sessions that put emerging artists in dialog with the curators of the archives.
In March 2012 a biennal collaboration agreemend was signed between Viafarini (together with Careof) and the Milanese Museo del Novecento, that led to the opening of a place for research among the online databases, located in the Gianferrari Hall.
In 2012 Viafarini opened the Academy Awards, a series of initiative conceived to foster the dialog between Italian Art Academies and the system of contemporary art. The project comprises a series of curatorial projects, lectures, artist talks, book launches, as well as by inviting a selection of artists to continue their research through a residency at VIR Viafarini-in-residence.

Report 2013 - 2016

With the new artistic direction of Simone Frangi, followed by that of Milovan Farronato, we focus on the theme of Bureau Viafarini for the development of collaborations with the world of business and civil society. The project has experimented with the collaboration of artists with companies such as Gemmo, Furla, Bonomea, Max Mara Group, Bonotto, Stonefly, AirBnB, NCTM, Achille Pinto, Section 80; collaboration with Sunugal Sociocultural Association on socially engaged artistic projects. At the same time we approach the training model of Public School with "Academy Awards" in collaboration with Fine Arts Academies; the Alternating school tool work in collaboration with artistic high schools; training activities for officials in collaboration with Ministry MIBACT. Always with MiBACT we are dedicated to the activity of international promotion of artistic mobility, while we consolidate the artistic production in the VIR studies Viafarini-in-residence We try to strengthen and communicate the identity of Viafarini as creative incubator and reference hub for the visual arts in Italy: the Archives of Viafarini is declared by the Archival Superintendency of Lombardy of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities of particular historical interest with a decree dated 07/11/2016. The Archive is the tool that allows the realization, together with the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, direction Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries, the Grand Tour d'Italie project, an action to support international mobility, with the selection of artists involved in social projects and their promotion at prestigious international training and residency structures. The design focuses on the consolidated training activities thanks to the multi-year Academy Awards collaboration with the Academies Brera, NABA, Carrara, IUAV and on the themes of socially engaged artistic practices. In this direction, and in parallel, the incubation activities involve the collaboration with Ass.socio-culturale Sunugal / Mascherenere that until 2016 is based at the Fabbrica del Vapore.


last update 9-03-2018