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A look at the Triennale Milano skate park

South Korean artist Koo Jeong A took the skateboarding world in a museum

A look at the Triennale Milano skate park South Korean artist Koo Jeong A took the skateboarding world in a museum
Stefano Ciriello

It officially opened yesterday OooOoOthe installation by South Korean artist Koo Jeong A, as part of the PLAY! exhibition, on display at Triennale Milano through February 16th, 2020. The piece of art is actually an indoor skate park - the first of this kind made by the artist - which at regular intervals lights up, accompanied by Scottish producer Koreless's music. 

The intention of the artist was giving the skaters (the park is, in fact, useable and open to the public) to find themselves outdoor, in the open-air, in close contact with nature, thanks to the sounds and the colours of the installation. OooOoO is probably the best example of participative and usable art, a primary objective of Koo Jeong A's work, but also a clear reference to the history of this sport. The design of the structure recalls typical shapes and forms of this discipline, especially the moment of passage between street and ramps, at the beginning in empty pools of LA, and later in the skate parks of the world.

Besides the not optimal conditions to skate the installation, for many still too slippery, it's with a feeling of wonder and bewilderment that one looks for the first time at a skate park in a museum. It's at the same time the highest point for this sport, that destroys any borders between street and art, turning its protagonists into the subject of the piece of art, but it's also the deepest and most profound moment of identity crisis for this discipline, which has always flourished and lived on the streets and that boats among its strength point exactly the fact of being a subculture for a few. This component of exclusiveness has undoubtedly decreased over the last few years, just think of the success of brands such as Supreme New York or Palace Skateboards, and respective expansion in the luxury world, and more generally the commercialization of the skate deck more as a fashion accessory or as the object of high-dollar auctions, rather than the symbol of something that there was, and maybe does not exist anymore.

Let's not forget moreover that Koo Jeong A has picked Milan as the location for her installation, a city that has progressively gained a European and International appeal, and with a growing and interesting skate scene. It's still unclear what this piece of art will leave to the city and how it will be welcomed by the skate community of Milan. 

OooOoO is open from November, 27th through February, 16th 2020 at Triennale Milano. Free entry.