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Riccardo Benassi “Morestalgia” at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Genève

The Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève is proud to present the first public appearance of Morestalgia, an evolving environmental installation by Riccardo Benassi, at its Project Space (4th Floor). After its exhibition at the Centre, the work presented by XING will successively be shown at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Melbourne, ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Live Arts Week/Art City – Bologna Stazione Alta Velocità and Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin.

For its presentation in Geneva, Morestalgia will be in dialogue with the new English version of Daily Desiderio Domestico, a media-sculpture in which Riccardo Benassi writes and transmits a text message every day of his life, each message only lasting for 24 hours, opening up the installation space to mutability and transience.

Morestalgia is an environment based on sound, text and objects that has as pulsating nucleus a LED screen traversable by the human body. The project stems from a research into nostalgia and its social implications in an age where the internet is encroaching into our lives. It will take the form of a multimedia and multi-sensory work: a hyper-designed object. In keeping with Riccardo Benassi’s research pathway, it addresses the theme of displays in living spaces and in urban, infrastructural, and behavioral contexts, starting from an analysis that centers around the human being and its interrelations.

With the invention of the word “morestalgia” Riccardo Benassi intends to update the concept of nostalgia after the internet, investigating and cross-referencing different thematic fields such as memory and affects, migration and homesickness, phenomenology and interface design, history and futurology. According to the artist, the neologism “morestalgia” can be defined as “augmented nostalgia.” This is a specific kind of homesickness, whose sense of pain is similar to that caused by the feeling of envy, a feeling of lack – self-translated as loss – whose direct reference is experienced by others. Morestalgic human beings are those who have the desire to live an experience they have previously understood as a plausible one but who, instead of recalling it from their own past, supplant it with an immersive navigation experience offered by the web. The artist poses the question: how have social networks and online communities contributed to the unification and normalization of subjective pasts? Can digital empathy become a useful tool to remodel the future rather than creating an alliance around an apparently shared past? In other words, how can we transform a subjective feeling of belonging into a collective future?

Riccardo Benassi’s work has distinguished itself as a multidisciplinary approach that focuses on the impact of technology in our daily relation to space, mostly reflecting on how technological devices have radically altered the structures for living and organizing the real, from architecture to politics, to cultural production and consumption.

At Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Genève
until 23 December 2019

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