On Saturday, 9 October, the 6th Giornata del Contemporaneo – the Day of Contemporary Art – will be held throughout Italy. This major annual event is promoted by the AMACI – Associazione dei Musei d’Arte Contemporanea Italiani (Association of Italian Museums of Contemporary Art) to focus on the art of our times and its public. AMACI museums and over 1000 contemporary art venues will be open to the public free of charge for one day around the country.

Now in its sixth year, the initiative promoted by AMACI has witnessed a steady increase in the number of participants: museums, galleries, associations, and public and private art venues will open their doors free of charge to present artists and new ideas through shows, workshops, events and conferences. This multifaceted programme offers the unmissable opportunity to experience the liveliness and riches of contemporary art, and gain insight into the pivotal role it plays in Italy’s cultural, social and economic development.

Since its inception, the Day of Contemporary Art has been supported by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, and has obtained not only the High Patronage of the President of the Italian Republic but also the sponsorship of Italy’s leading institutions.

As done in previous years, AMACI has commissioned an internationally acclaimed Italian artist to develop the key concept for the Day of Contemporary Art. This year, the artist that AMACI has chosen is Stefano Arienti.
Arienti has created a brand-new work, entitled Cristalli, specifically for the event. At a time when Italy is getting ready to celebrate the 150th anniversary of national unity, the artist offers his own sophisticated tribute to the country, representing it as a fragile entity. The work is composed of hundreds of tiny shards from a shattered pane of glass that have been reassembled. It is an image poised between destruction and reconstruction, one that poetically embodies the sense of suspension and precariousness that has powerfully characterized our era. At the same time, Cristalli is also a tribute to Luciano Fabro (1936–2007), one of the contemporary masters who most influenced Arienti’s path as an artist, and particularly to Fabro’s enigmatic Italia Cosa Nostra (1968): a delicate outline of the peninsula made of clear glass.

The Day of Contemporary Art is about more than art, however, as it is deeply committed to social issues. On 9 October of this year AMACI has thus decided to work alongside LILA, the Italian League for the Fight against AIDS, in the information campaign about prevention of the HIV virus, as well as its clinical and social consequences. AMACI and contemporary art are committed to raising public awareness about the importance of prevention, and to promoting and defending the right to health.