A cognitive adventure by Antonio Scaccabarozzi


L’Istituto dei Ciechi di Milano is one of the oldest institutions in the city that works for the blind and visually impaired. Founded in 1840, the Institute is now a center of excellence for educational research, which promotes services aimed at the school, cultural and social integration of people with visual disabilities. For many years, the institute has been working with the most significant museum institutions to facilitate access to the collections to blind and visually impaired visitors through the drafting of museum accessibility projects carried out ad hoc in close synergy with the conservators of museums and those responsible for educational activities.  The teaching methodology of the Institute of the Blind prefers guided tactile exploration of the works that can be touched while, for the most important ones at risk of deterioration, relief images are created that allow the blind to acquire, through touch, as much information as possible about the work. In addition to the tactile exploration path, a didactic laboratory for blind school-age visitors is structured, which can also become a laboratory for all visitors. The Institute organizes training meetings with the staff of museums with which it collaborates, in particular the reception staff, the museum guides and the staff of the educational sections. In 2014 a tactile path with epoxy resin tablets was designed for the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, making the pictorial works of artists from the historic avant-garde such as Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinskij accessible. More recently, the Institute has produced tactile reproductions of important works on display at the Galleria d’Italia – Piazza Scala: four bas-reliefs by Antonio Canova, and for the “Collezione del ‘900”, Achromedi Piero Manzoni, Concetto Spaziale Attesee Concetto Spaziale – La Luna a Venezia by Lucio Fontana. Also in 2017, the institution is a partner of the project “VIBE. Voyage Inside a Blind Experience”, funded by the EU’s “Creative Europe 2014-2020″ programme with the aim of creating a temporary art exhibition model, replicable and usable with equal interest by both the blind and visually impaired. For this project, tactile reproductions of twelve abstract works by Josef and Anni Albers, a catalogue in Braille in three languages (Croatian, Italian and English), as well as a targeted training programme and an accessible website for the blind (www.vibe-euproject.com) have been produced. Project for the creation of compensatory tools for the visit of the works of Antonio Scaccabarozzi for the blind and visually impaired”, the Institute of the Blind in Milan continues its path of opening towards contemporary art, creating a tactile reproduction of the work “Prevalenze”, Tre presente, Tre assente – 1979, an audioraccount of the artist’s biography and its translation into braille. Finally, the Institute will work alongside the Antonio Scaccabarozzi Archive in the design and creation of two workshop paths.


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