In Context - Searching for traces

  • Reservation required
08.06.2024, 15:00—18:00

Schmiedewerkstatt Franz Messner / Messner Architects
Handwerkerzone 8, 39054 – Klobenstein / Ritten

with artist Filippo Contatore in the workshop of Franz Messner

DOP: Marino Di Fiore Filippo Contatore, Forge Activation, 2024, Wrought iron, single-channel video, audio, Dimensions variable, Courtesy of the artist
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Curated and moderated by Brita Köhler
With Filippo Contatore, Franz Messner’s wife Erika Messner, David and Verena Messner of Messner Architects

A dialogue meeting in Collalbo as part of the exhibition RENAISSANCE 
German-language event part of Museion Academy - Lifelong Learning series

As part of the ongoing exhibition RENAISSANCE, Museion presents “In Context”, a conversation between guests whose stories expand on the themes of the exhibitions through interdisciplinary connections in the local area. In the event entitled “Searching for traces: with artist Filippo Contatore in Franz Messner’s workshop” we leave Museion to meet in Franz Messner’s forge in Collalbo. In the company of artist Filippo Contatore, we will explore the forge, learn about his artistic approach to metalworking, light a fire and listen to the stories and projects of Erika, David and Verena Messner.

As part of the exhibition RENAISSANCE, dedicated to the reinterpretation of cultural heritage, the artist Filippo Contatore focuses on one of South Tyrol’s typical craftsmen. The artist takes up the work of the blacksmith, associated with masculinity and muscular strength, and in particular researches the activities of Franz Messner (1952-2017), who founded his workshop between art and craft in Collalbo (BZ) in 1977.

Contatore spent several months in the forge, trying his hand at basic skills and approaching this complex craft, in close dialogue with Messner’s descendants. In Museion, the artist elaborated on his experiences in the installation Forge Activation, a video work and metal elements created by himself, reminiscent of traditional forged elements for household fences.

Just as the relationship between the creator and that which is created is perceived in the work of Contatore, so too in the Collalbo forge, the master of metal design, artist and visionary Franz Messner saw a connection in everything: in the contact with the material, in the form and creative process of craftsmanship and art; in nature, landscape and architecture, as well as in the relationship between object, spectator and space. His family still continues this approach today, making the complex of buildings where the forge still stands a place of connections and diverse cultural references, the creative potential of which continues to be developed and maintained in all activities.

Filippo Contatore

Born in 1999 in Modena (I), Contatore lives and works between Bolzano and Merano. He trained at the Faculty of Design and Art at the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano and at the Universität für angewandte Kunst in Vienna. His works have been exhibited at the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano (2022); at the Olomouc Museum (2021); at the Universität für angewandte Kunst, Vienna (2021); at the Antonio Dalle Nogare Foundation, Bozen/Bolzano (2020); for Off Site Art, L’Aquila (2019). In the summer of 2023 Contatore realised, together with curator Jörg Schafaff, the series Haircuts With Attitude for the exhibition Vielheit: Stories from the Post-Migrant Society at Merano Arte. During the workshop, which took place in a hairdresser’s salon in the historic centre of Merano, the artist made haircuts while discussing cultural identity.

David and Verena Messner – Messner Architects

Siblings David and Verena Messner founded Messner Architects in 2013 on the Renon Plateau, near the workshop of their father Franz Messner, who died in 2017. The studio follows a contemporary approach for every scale and type of intervention, from housing to functional buildings, from urban interventions to furniture design. A predominantly regional context determines the scope of the studio, affecting the view of how old and new are related. The questioning of what is already there and the use of transdisciplinary strategies lead to a creative dialogue between architecture, landscape, art and design.

Franz Messner

The master and metal artist Franz Messner (1952-2017) completed his technical training in Bolzano. From 1972 to 1976 he lived and trained in Germany, where he graduated from the ‘Meisterschule für Metallgestaltung’ in Munich in 1976. From 1977 to 2017, he lived and worked in Ritten and realised numerous projects in the fields of sacred buildings, architecture, landscape and art.

In Context - Searching for traces

Museion Academy

08.06.2024, 15:00—18:00

Location: Schmiedewerkstatt Franz Messner / Messner Architects
Handwerkerzone 8, 39054 – Klobenstein / Ritten

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