Interior view of the Documentation Center for Visual Arts (DOCVA) by Careof and Viafarini, Milan, 2009. Photo: Mario Gorni. Courtesy Viafarini DOCVA
Viafarini DOCVA, a nonprofit organization for contemporary art, is an exhibition space open for experimentation. It offers documentation services for visual arts, and runs a residency program for artists and curators.
Established in 1991, Viafarini used American examples and the European Kunstverein as models. This concept was new to Italy at that time, and among the most innovative ideas were the exhibition space, conceived as a project room, and the building up of international relationships and management based on collaborations between private and public bodies.
In 1995, Viafarini, in collaboration with the nonprofit organization Careof and the Milan City Council, founded the Documentation Center for Visual Arts (DOCVA, www.docva.org). In 2000, Careof and Viafarini won an international competition issued by the Municipality of Milan that let them merge their archives at Fabbrica del Vapore’s new venue, where Viafarini organizes a program of educational activities including workshops, talks, and lectures. In 2009, Viafarini started the Viafarini-in-Residence (VIR) program, an international residency for artists and curators. The project invites groups of artists with the aim to show, document, and compare different artistic experiences and promote them to the Italian public. The artists are selected under the suggestion of international prestigious residency programs, as well as by international artists and critics that Viafarini has worked with in the past twenty years.