Imago Mundi

Luciano Benetton Collection - The Art of Humanity 

Imago Mundi 
Imago Mundi is an idea of Art. Imago Mundi is an idea of the World. Art and a World without borders, as interpreted by Luciano Benetton: a democratic, collective and global map in the making, of human cultures.  A unique format, 10x12 cm, for artists from every continent: at the moment, more than eighteen thousand from one hundred countries, grouped by ethnicity. Established and emerging, young and old, women and men, all side by side on the same starting line. Under the aegis of the Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, Imago Mundi brings together North and South, East and West; countries historically opposed and divided, invited to dialogue in the name of Art. The result is a kaleidoscope – fiery, creative and imaginative – of techniques, colours, currents and inspirations. A mosaic of stories, passions, dreams, actions and contradictions.
The Origin
Luciano Benetton often traveled around the world while he was growing his entrepreneurial business and in moments of free time on these business trips he made a point of meeting artists and visiting galleries. During a visit to Ecuador in 2006, upon his request for a business card, the artist Miguel Betancourt gave him instead a small 10x12 cm oil painting.

A few months later, following this example, the representatives of that area assembled more than 200 10x12 cm works by artists from various South American and was organized an exhibition in Santiago, in Chile.

Imago Mundi An idea of Art, an idea of the World
Pleasantly surprised by this unusual collection of miniatures, Luciano Benetton felt compelled to consider how to add value to the artists of these works that had been so generously donated by both famous and emerging artists. He arranged the publication of a catalog entitled Ojo Latino, with all the artworks and biographies of the artists. This sparked the idea of Imago Mundi: that first catalog led Luciano Benetton to recognize the potential of creating an archive of contemporary art at the start of the Third Millennium, including every country of the world, and so much more.

Each collection is published in a dedicated catalog that contains all the works and biographies of the artists, along with a series of introductions authored by experts. The catalogs are published in three languages: Italian, English and the local language of reference.

In the Imago Mundi Art Collection, the artworks are grouped according to nationality thus illustrating the intrinsic value of the works, but also the project as a story of the world and a journey through art, not favouring any particular school, trend or fashion, but rather an openness to new horizons and the coexistence of expressive languages. Imago Mundi aims to bring together the diversities of our world in the name of shared artistic experience, creating a catalog of works, inspirations and ideas. It does so with the ambition of passing on to future generations “the widest possible mapping of human cultures at the start of the third millennium.” - as Luciano Benetton says.   
The Founder's Vision
“In a certain sense, the vast numbers of artists present reproduce the world I would ideally like. A world without borders and without political, ideological or religious barriers. Where people work for beauty. And where diversity and freedom of expression are considered a great wealth. If it were up to artists, I often say, there would be no wars. Our Map of the new art is a global catalogue of visions that includes opposing worlds and views. Anticipations of the future that form the future. It is artistic thought that creates the world. The movement of ideas across borders, ideas that connect with each other and create links. And maybe slowly, but unfailingly, change things, Nations, Humanity.”  -  Luciano Benetton
Curators select the artists on the basis of an analysis that they carry out alongside art experts from their countries. The selection includes both established and young, emerging artists. In the photo Bita Fayyazi the curator of the collection "Iran:" with Leila Souissi the curator of the collection "Tunisia: Turbulences" at the opening of "Map of the New Art" - Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, Italy

Ruth Ortlepp, Abdulmalik Mabellini (curator - Somalia), Leila Souissi (curator - Tunisia), Luciano Benetton, Nadia Daehnke (curator - South Africa), Peter Osman (curator - Fondazione Sarenco) at Museo Carlo Bilotti, Villa Borghese, Rome

Maria Laura Mascelloni, curator of the Imago Mundi collection "Flashes from Colombia"

Jennifer Karch Verzè, curator of the Imago Mundi collection "Native Art Visual Vision"

Peter Noever, curator of the Imago Mundi collection "Vienna for Art's Sake!"

Pier Luigi Cecioni, curator of the Imago Mundi collection "North Korea: a Unique Country"

Luciano Benetton, Aman Mojadidi (curator of Afghanistan) and Soraya Malek at Casa dei Carraresi, Treviso, Italy

Ariadna Ramonetti, Octavio Avendaño Trujillo and Barbara Perea, curators of the Imago Mundi collection “Mexico: The Future is Unwritten”

A global community of established and emerging Artists
Imago Mundi involves, on a voluntary and non-profit basis, established and emerging artists from many different countries. Actually more than 18000 Artists takes part in the project. Each of them has created a work whose only restriction is its 10x12 cm format, contributing to the creation of a remarkable artistic geography. Talking about artists Luciano Benetton says: "I like to think of the artist as an example of creative humanity, who gives to the world, to each one of us, more than he takes. In this sense, I believe the artists in this collection together transmit beauty, passion and commitment, as well as the ethics of expertise, ability, knowledge and a vision for the future. I hope that visitors to Imago Mundi are encouraged to engage in a sincere dialogue with art and with the world, remembering that meaning, ideas, reason and inspiration are not the monopoly of a few, but thrive on interaction and communication." 

Zaher Omareen, the Syrian artist involved in the Imago Mundi's Collection "Syria Off Frame", and curator of the project "Syrian Pixels" included in.

Imago Mundi has brought to its exhibitions a positive image of the World. In the current climate of arrested utopias, attacks on cultural heritage, assaults on imagination and knowledge, Luciano Benetton’s global art project presents exhibitions that offer an art without borders that breaks the silence, transcends differences, pushes civilization towards new horizons. With a quality and quantity of protagonists (both established and emerging), artworks, languages and ideas that make it both original and unique. Imago Mundi promotes artists internationally through participation in events and exhibitions in collaboration with private and public institutions across the World: from Venice (Biennale 2013) to Senegal (Dak'Art Off 2014), from Rome (Museo Carlo Bilotti, 2014/2015) to New Orleans (NOMA, 2014/2015), from Vienna (Belvedere & Winter Palace, 2015) to Turin (Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, 2015) and Venice (Exhibition "Map of the New Art" at  Fondazione Giorgio Cini, November 2015).

Exhibition "Map of the New Art", Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, Italy (Sep 01 2015 - Nov 01 2015)

Exhibition "Praestigium Italia", Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy (May 18 2015 - Jun 21 2015)

Exhibition "Vienna for art's sake” at the Winter Palace, Wien, Austria (Feb 27 2015 - May 31 2015)

Exhibition "The Art of Humanity”, Museo Carlo Bilotti, Villa Borghese, Rome (Nov 20 2014 - Jan 11 2015)

Exhibition "Reparation", New Orleans Museum Of Art (Noma), New Orleans, United States (Oct 25 2014 - Jan 25 2015)

Exhibition "The Art of Humanity”, Casa Dei Carraresi, Treviso, Italy (Jul 9 2014 - Aug 3 2014)

Exhibition "The Art of Humanity", CCBM Automobile, Volkswagen Showroom, Dakar, Senegal (May 10 2014 - Jun 9 2014)

Exhibition "Imago Mundi at Biennale 2013", Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice, Italy (Aug 27 2013 - Oct 27 2013)

The special exhibition structure was designed by the architect Tobia Scarpa as a welcoming space that, in a long sequence of images presented by country, emphasizes the richness of the collections and, at the same time, ensures visibility of the individual paintings. With stands that close like the pages of a book, the structure is easy to transport and install, facilitating the itinerant aims of the collections.

Many people are working together to build and pass to the future memory an artistic map of the different human cultures.

Luciano Benetton and Tobia Scarpa at the opening of Imago Mundi "The Art of Humanity " exhibition at Casa Dei Carraresi, Treviso, Italy

Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche
Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche was founded in the late 1980s by the Benetton family. Chaired by Luciano Benetton, with the collaboration of scientific internationally active committees of scholars and experts active in an international context, the Foundation conducts research in the vast world of landscape and the study of places, as well as the history and culture of games and cultural heritage. From the start, the Foundation has been organized as a study center that promotes documentation, research and experimentation in the field of landscape and gardens. The initiatives in the field of cultural heritage, conducted both by the Foundation itself and in collaboration with other public and private institutions, take place in several areas: music, literature, theater, cinema and the arts.
Imago Mundi Description text
Credits: Story

Imago mundi is a non-profit project sponsored by Luciano Benetton under the auspices of La Fondazione Benetton Studi e Ricerche.
The set, designed by Tobia Scarpa, is curated by Fabrica

Catalogs are curated by the editorial department of Fabrica, directed by Enrico Bossan

Art directors:
Marcello Piccinini
Namyoung An
Daniele Tonon

Photography and Video:
Marco Pavan
Marco Zanin

External Relations: director Martina Fornasaro
Texts: Pietro Valdatta and Emma Cole
Organizing Committee: Valentina Granzotto

Digital and Social Media department:
Digital Director: Valentina Pozzoni
Digital and Community consultant: Anita Falcetta
Digital Assistant: Livia Pozzoni

Digital creative agency North Kingdom

Special thanks to:
All the artists and the curators of Imago Mundi
Laura Pollini
Carlo Tunioli

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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