The Ortica district has something to tell: the “Orme” murals give voice to past memories

Comments (0) Art & Culture

The walls speak…that’s right, they speak. Bebunking an ancient popular quote is along the flakes of plaster, along writing, torn and faded posters, that the soul of that wall becomes the tale of a collective soul. Of the building, of the neighborhood, of the people who lived there, crossing glances and steps. The story has no hiding place, sang Francesco De Gregori. This is “Orme – Ortica Memoria”, a complex artistic project that will make Ortica the first museum district where the history of the ‘900 will be painted on the walls.

Twenty murals will appear in the coming months until 2019 on the facades of this microcosm in the eastern part of Milan closed between railroad tracks, celebrated by Enzo Jannacci in “Faceva il palo” or appeared in the background of “Miracolo a Milano”, Vittorio De Sica’s film. It is a return of meanings or a closure of a temporal path: from wall to wall, through decades, crises, rebirths, wars and smiles. A wall art story about the “Short Twentieth Century” along the “Martinitt”, orphaned and abandoned children, to Cardinale Ferrari, passing through the partisan Morandi and then again the women’s symbol of Resistance, industrialization, art, music, design, fashion, sports. A cultural and identity itinerary, a research path of memory which lives in social energies.

It is a choral participation, an invitation not to keep in the stories and the past in the depths of the memory but to tell them, involving the inhabitants of all ages to remember and take part in the work. The face partisans on a riddled wall, a handshake between a window and a balcony, a wave of color under a forgotten tunnel: in the eyes of everyone, to get to everyone because Orme does not arise inside a building like every other museum, but within a neighborhood so everyone can stop looking.

Stylistic and artistic research is entrusted to Orticanoodles, the pioneers in Italy of the technique of the stencil art that has made them esteemed and celebrated around the world. The symbiotic relationship between street artists and this district was born in 2015 with an experimental project sponsored by the City of Milan, involving 150 people and coloring the Buccari overpass to celebrate the seventh anniversary of Resistance. But they went beyond, immortalizing the faces of great popular music from the already mentioned Iannacci, Ornella Vanoni, passing through Giorgio Strehler and Giorgio Gaber, and later painting a wall of legality with Emilio Alessandrini, Giorgio Ambrosoli, Tina Anselmi, Mauro Brutto, Alberto Dalla Chiesa, Lea Garofalo and Walter Tobagi.

These are the first embryonic work that led to the creation of Orme, which was officially inaugurated on October 1st with a lunch in the square together with citizens and associations and which saw the realization of another wall, in via San Faustino 5 , dedicated to the cooperative movement and imprinted on the building of “Cooperativa Edificatrice Ortica”.

Through apps and parallel multimedia projects, visitors will also be able to get additional information, but that’s not all: the works, beyond the participation of the Orme association and the artistic gaze of Orticanoodles, will also be realized through the involvement of high school students and citizens of the district. In short, the story is about everyone, because as De Gregordi said «it’s people who make history».

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