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Voci della Natura: Ecologies and Nature in Italian Arts


Voci della Natura: Ecologies and Nature in Italian Arts

Voci della Natura: Ecologies and Nature in Italian Arts

2022 Programming Series

Digital Archive


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Voci della Natura: Ecologies and Nature in Italian Arts is the theme selected by the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago for 2022. The programs in this series explore the role of Italian art and sciences in redefining the perception of nature and ecology, through new and original perspectives.

The many contributors who collaborated with the Institute throughout the year, have collectively provided a snapshot of our relationship with nature across fields and at different times in history. With this digital archive, we want to create a space for reflection on these topics and a set of resources to be shared with the public for both educational and personal use.


Architecture and Design




Visual Arts


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 Architecture and Design

logo idd websiteItalian Design Day

Wednesday, March 23, 2022


On Wednesday, March 23, 2022 the Italian Cultural Institute (IIC) and the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago participated in the 6th edition of the Italian Design Day, dedicated to “Re-generation. Design and New Technologies for a Sustainable Future.”

The Institute presented “I, You and It: Stories of entanglement between species” a series of 2 long-feature and 3 short-feature films, selected by the designer duo Formafantasma in collaboration with Milano Design Film Festival, a yearly event that examines social and ecological issues in the fields of architecture and design, through the cinematic lens. The series explored the relationship between Humans and Nature, with a multidisciplinary ecological approach.

Selected titles:

Becoming Animal” by Peter Mettler and Emma Davie (2018, 78’)

Cambio” by Formafantasma (2020, 23:21’)

Flores” by Jorge Jacome (2017, 26:40’)

Quercus” by Formafantasma (2020, 12:08’)

Donna Haraway” by Fabrizio Terranova (2016, 81’)


Cristiana Perrella interviews Formafantasma from Istituto Italiano di Cultura on Vimeo.


In this video, 2022 Design Ambassador and Milano Design Film Festival Artistic Director Cristiana Perrella interviews Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, co-founders of Formafantasma. The conversation provides a deeper understanding of the proposed selection and reflects on issues of sustainability in the field of architecture and design.

The Italian Design Day is an initiative promoted by the Italian Association of Industrial Designers (ADI), the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the worldwide network of Italian Cultural Institutes.


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Volevo Nascondermi (Hidden Away), directed by Giorgio Dritti (2020, 120’)

Friday, March 4 through Monday, March 7, 2022


Toni, son of an Italian immigrant—who was deported to Italy from Switzerland, where he experienced a difficult childhood—lives in a shed on the bank of Po river. The encounter with sculptor Renato Marino Mazzacurati propels his redemption journey, during which painting becomes a medium to build his own identity. “El Tudesc” (the German) as people call him, is a solitary man, emaciated, ugly, often mocked and humiliated. He becomes an imaginative painter, drawing a fantasy world of tigers, gorillas and jaguars, all from the river banks. Overwhelmed by a regime who wants to obliterare people like him, and by his own anguish, he is sent to an asylum. Above all, Toni paints himself, as to confirm his desire to exist beyond his childhood rejections. The turning point comes when he leaves the asylum, toward his redemption and the public recognitionof his talent. Over time, Toni’s art becomes a gift for his entire community, the gift of his differences.

This movie was made available on MyMovies for a limited time streaming.


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Piqued Jacks
Concert at Milwaukee Summerfest
Saturday, July 9, 2022

The Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago was pleased to sponsor the participation of the first ever Italian band at Milwaukee Summerfest: the Piqued Jacks, alt/rock group with an international flair. Along with their passion for music, Piqued Jacks are very attentive to environmental issues and they have always been committed to raising awareness on the subject. In the past, the band participated in "M'illumino di Meno," the day of energy saving organized by Radio 2. They also took part in the initiative "Puliamo il Mondo" by Legambiente and from the beginning they have supported the Friday For Future movement. Piqued Jacks have addressed the theme of environmental protection also in their songs and videoclips, as in the recently released "Particles" and "Eternal Ride of a Heartful Mind", that touches on the theme of deforestation Listen here.



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World Music Festival: Paolo Angeli and Surabhi Ensemble

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts


World Music Festival Chicago brings global grooves by award-winning artists from around the world to the citywide, multi-venue festival featuring more than 30 artists and ensembles representing 22 countries and regions of the world.


Paolo Angeli, born in 1970, started to play guitar when he was 9. He grew up in Palau, an extremely stimulating musical environment. In 2013 Paolo produced his definitive meeting point balanced between traditional Sardinian music, free jazz, flamenco, Arabic nuances, and post-folk music: Sale Quanto Basta (ReR), followed by S’Û (2015 ReR). Paolo spent two years touring around the world and produced Talea (2017 ReR), double album live, with recording from Australia, Brasil, US, Japan, Europe and Turchia’s concerts. Talea is the point of arrival of a research project and a kind of coexistence that has lasted 20 years, during which Angeli embraced the instrument as the natural offshoot of his musical ideas. He has a degree in Ethnomusicology at DAMS, Bologna. From 1997, he has been collaborating with ISRE at the constitution of Archivio Mario Cervo (the most important collection of sardinian records and traditional music).


For the World Music Festival Chicago, Paolo Angeli presented his new concept album RADE, produced for ReR Megacorp  in collaboration with AnMa productions, and distributed by Goodfellas. 


Watch the teaser



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Chemical Modeling to Design a Sustainable Energy Future

Wednesday, April 27, 2022


Producing sustainable energy solutions is a challenge for our planet. Scientists, engineers, politicians, policy makers have all to work together towards this goal. Professor Laura Gagliardi is a computational chemist and in her research she develops theoretical chemistry models aimed at understanding and predicting fundamental chemical phenomena. In this lecture Gagliardi talks about a class of materials called metal-organic frameworks that act like nanoscale sponges and selectively capture carbon dioxide and harvest air vapor to generate drinkable water.


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Visual Arts


Lecture Series by Prof. Giovanni Aloi

March 3 and 31; April 21; May 5 and 19; September 19; October 6, 2022


Professor Giovanni Aloi conducts a series of lectures that explore the changing aesthetics of nature representation in Italian modern and contemporary arts and architecture, and how these shifts redefine our relationship with ecologies and the environment.


1/ Antonio Ligabue: Seeing Nature. Watch

2/ Luigi Ghirri: Urban Jungles and Potted Plants. Watch

3/ Giuseppe Penone: Ecological Thinking. Watch

4/ Ecological Perspectives in Contemporary Italian Art. Watch

5/ Italian Architecture: Building Sustainable Futures. Watch

6/ Gabi Scardi in conversation with Prof. Giovanni Aloi. Watch

7/ Andreco in conversation with Prof. Giovanni Aloi. Watch