The Italian Almanac
Italian News - March 7
An innovative new exhibition in the northern Italian city of Bergamo enables blind and sighted art lovers to enjoy the unseen side of modern sculpture. Visitors to 'Un senso per l'arte' (A Sense for Art) can opt to be taken around the exhibit blindfold, led by blind guides, who help them discover the works on show via touch.
"We aim to take able-bodied people into the world of the disabled and use personal experience to sweep aside many stereotypes," explained Giovanni Battista Flaccadori, the president of the provincial section of the Italian Union of the Blind, which helped organize the exhibit. "It's not so much a matter of getting sighted people to understand what it means to be blind, it's more one of helping them appreciate the extraordinary sensorial possibilities certain physical limitations open up".
At the end of the tour visitors can take off the blindfold and go around comparing the sensations they got from touching with what the works actually look like. The exhibition, which runs at the city's Sant'Agostino church until March 26, also has explanations and descriptions in Braille, so blind visitors can enjoy it on their own.
There are 39 works on show by a range of Italian artists. The exhibition is open Tuesday to Sunday; blindfold tours must be booked in advance.