On the Pistoia Apennines – inside the the wonderful Oasi Dynamo – OCA Oasy Contemporary Art was born, a place that fully encapsulates, in the name it bears, both of its souls: that of a natural oasis and that of a space for contemporary art.
This year, artist David Svensson and photographer Massimo Vitali were invited to launch the project, with two works specially conceived for OCA and for the idea that the place wants to convey. It’s the idea that protecting nature does not mean prohibiting its enjoyment, but living it according to the culture of respect and knowledge.
Oasi Dynamo –which stretches for approximately a thousand hectares (about 2500 acres), reaching up to 1100 meters above sea level– was once the hunting ground of the Orlando family, who, in 1911 founded the SMI factory (società metallurgica Italiana – the Italian metallurgical company) on the Pistoia mountains. Recovered in 2006, the reserve is now mostly tree-covered, home to rare plant species and a wide variety of wildlife. Partly devoted to the traditional activities of agriculture and raising livestock, through the years the oasis has also opened up to hospitality, eco tourism, and the dissemination of a sustainable environmental culture. And today, with OCA Oasy Contemporary Art, art also arrives to high altitude, always with the utmost respect for the place.
La Grande Oasi. The way we live, now
Following the path through the woods, after walking in the shade of chestnut trees for about 45 minutes, OCA welcomes you on a sunny plateau, from which there is a fantastic view over the surrounding mountains. Here, in what was a large cow barn until recently, a new exhibition space has been set up, opening with Massimo Vitali’s show, curated by Giovanna Calvenzi, “La Grande Oasi. The way we live, now”. […] sixteen large works to narrate almost thirty years of photographic research on the territory: in his unique ‘documentary style’, through an ‘objective’ and never intrusive gaze, Massimo Vitali makes his early beach photos from the 1990s dialogue with those taken today in Oasy Contemporary Art. For this new body of work, Vitali has renounced his preferred technique, namely shooting from the top of a 5 meters-high platform, to instead respect a ‘fair distance’ that allows him to show the dialogue between man and nature.
In the spaces of the barn converted into an exhibition room immersed in nature, his inquiry made of contemplations and long waits finds its place, alternating images of summer crowds to the silences of the Tuscan spring, interposed by the shot of a famous Parisian picnic and a leisure moment along the Lima stream. A unique way to document, beyond the physical place, the relationship between man and nature, whether immersed in the sea or embraced by mountains.
Click here for more information about the exhibition.