The history and ancient art of the Ascoli capital merges with contemporary art to celebrate Christmas. Red Zone, then, becomes the symbol of the Christmas holidays, but also characterizes and ties the contrast that this color assumed and assumes for the Piceno territory following the 2016 earthquake.
Exactly as the slogan of Cracking Art, Art Regenerates Art, the city of Ascoli Piceno wants to donate to its citizens and tourists for the holidays a peaceful invasion of animals, a symbol of rebirth for the territory and a hope for the future.
The installation is promoted by the City of Ascoli Piceno, curated and organized by the Vertical d’Arte Association with the support of the Marche Region, the province of Ascoli Piceno, and BIM Tronto. Red Zone is a public art project that involves the entire historic center of the Ascoli capital, peacefully and silently invaded by plastic animals of various types and sizes, which trigger, from the first glance, a strong connection and total empathy with the spectator, be it adult or child.
Red is the quintessential color of Christmas, a color full of joy and expectations, but it has also become a symbol of the territories hit by the earthquake, the Red Zone, the impassable area no longer accessible due to unsafe buildings, rubble, and craters.
With Red Zone, Cracking Art wants to tell a contemporary fairy tale of reconstruction and resilience, whose protagonists are red animals in recycled and regenerated plastic created by the collective Cracking Art.
Crocodiles, frogs, meerkats, turtles, penguins, bears, dogs, rabbits, swallows, the famous snails that have invaded many cities of the world, and the last animal born in the Cracking Art universe, the elephant (symbol of historic memory), will invade the historical center of Ascoli Piceno day and night thanks to LED technology that illuminates artistic installations.
From the terraces and the merlons of the Piazza del Popolo, penguins, bears, meerkats, wolves, frogs, and snails will be stationed (the latter also in giant form), in the center of the square in front of the historic Palazzo dei Capitani to create a real interaction with the public.
Next to the Cathedral, inside the Baptistery of San Giovanni there will be three more snails, in single file as if it were a procession.
Three giant crocodiles will guard the evocative cloister of San Francesco, as if they were guarding the well that stands in the center of it. Legend has it that crocodiles, abandoned by man, inhabit the subsoil of the cities. In the fable of Cracking Art, these feared creatures emerge out into the open as an offer of reconciliation between the dangers of nature, sometimes destructive, and the places of man created for human existence.
Finally, there will be the elephant, the latest protagonist of Cracking Art and a metaphor of memory. It will support the head of its travertine counterpart that adorns the entrance of the Cassa Risparmio Foundation of Ascoli Piceno, the historic building of Corso Mazzini that is now a branch of Banca Intesa. Through its position, the elephant will connect directly with the historical memory of the place, making its own memory while at the same time offering its direct support.
Anything broken, such as the territories of the Ascoli affected by the earthquake, can be reconstructed through art, and in this case through the research that has carried forward the Cracking Art collective for more than 25 years: a social and environmental commitment that renews itself from city to city, installation after installation, all over the world and for Christmas 2018 with the Red Zone exhibition. Cracking Art assumes an even more current meaning of urban regeneration through contemporary art: Art that Regenerates Art.
The entire project includes, in conjunction with the Cracking Art installation, crowdfunding. Proceeds from the sale of small red plastic sculptures in limited edition go to support a systematic action program (such as restorations, conservations, interventions, etc) on historical artistic heritage sites and Italian monuments. For Red Zone in particular, it was decided to direct fundraising to the restoration of the detached fresco of Cola dell’Amatrice entitled The Redeemer, present in the collection of the Pinacoteca Civica of Ascoli Picena.
Memory and future, two words that encompass the meaning of Christmas, the exhibition, and the research of Cracking Art, also have the ability to make people reflect, enjoy themselves, and show under a new light beautiful historical places through art.