“That’s IT!” at MAMbo, Bologna
MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna will be opening its new seasons in the main venue – Sala delle Ciminiere – with That’s IT! On the newest generation of artists in Italy and one meter eighty from the border, an exhibition curated by Lorenzo Balbi and showcasing works by 56 artists and collectives born in 1980 or later, an exploratory journey through different media and languages.
Clearly generational in tone, the exhibition explores the latest developments of art in Italy, consistently with the specific position that MAMbo decided to take on the Italian and international scene by giving each one of its venues a distinct scientific identity.
In this scenario, the Museum owns and expands the bent that has traditionally made it one of the ‘go-to’ places, and, for the exhibitions in the Sala delle Ciminiere, it gives priority to research into the new generations, experimental media and young artists that have never been seen in Italy before. It also focuses on the production of new works, not least to expand its permanent collection: a lot of the works on display will actually be made for the occasion.
That’s IT! (IT as the EU code that stands for Italy) deliberately chooses not to revolve around a single, monolithic concept, instead it comes up with questions, potential perceptions of the contemporary world from an open, dialectic, magmatic perspective. Does it still make sense nowadays to speak of an “Italian” artist? What defines “Italian-ness”? Does such definition have consequences on an artist’s self-representation? Where and how do we put the generational boundary?
The exhibition offers some cues. It includes artists born in Italy and working in Italy; born in Italy and working abroad; born in Italy and working both in Italy and abroad; born abroad and working in Italy; born abroad and working abroad but who have studied in Italy. Such a wide variety of potential combinations of birthplaces, places to study and places to work in is the epitome of a fluidity that shies away from barriers and easy labels, which we can sense in the subtitle of the exhibition, from Arte e confini by Bruno Munari (Codice ovvio, 1971): “In italia l’arte ha da essere italiana / in polonia polacca / in turchia turca e se un turco va a dipingere in polonia / che arte ha da fare? / e se la polonia occupa la turchia? in italia arte italiana e a un metro e ottanta dal confine francese? / in italia arte italiana / in sicilia siciliana / in piemonte piemontese / a milano milanese / e in corso garibaldi 89? / in italia l’arte ha da essere arte / in polonia arte / l’etichetta verrà dopo” (“In Italy art must be Italian / in Poland Polish / in Turkey Turkish and if a Turk paints in Poland / what art shall he do? / what if Poland occupies Turkey? In Italy Italian art and one metre eighty centimetres from the French border? / In Italy Italian art / in Sicily Sicilian art / in Piedmont Piedmontese art / in Milan Milanese art / and in Corso Garibaldi 89? / in Italy art must be art / in Poland art must be art / the label will come later”).
A similarly open attitude was the one taken by the curator: the artists did not have any restraints in terms of subjects or media, but they were asked to put themselves on the line by showcasing their own subjectivity, reasoning together on the concept of self-representation, and eventually select the works that they thought best embodied the way they defined themselves.
The only limit that was strictly put down and enforced was the age, to give prominence and visibility to those artists who have only lately made their debut on the art scene: actually none of them was born before 1980.
The exhibition paints an overview of Millennial Generation, the first one to go through endless adjustments to the frenzied evolution of technology, constant hyper-connectivity, and, socially, an increasing uncertain professional world, in a bleak economic climate. A generation that has left behind the certainties and ideologies of the older ones to embrace ways of expressing themselves that question the present and try to investigate the contemporary world, instead of giving answers.
The artists and collectives that will be taking part in That’s IT! On the newest generation of artists in Italy and one meter eighty from the border are the following, from the older to the younger one:
Matilde Cassani (1980), Giuseppe De Mattia (1980), Margherita Moscardini (1981), Michele Sibiloni (1981), Riccardo Benassi (1982), Ludovica Carbotta (1982), Danilo Correale (1982), Andrea De Stefani (1982), Giulio Squillacciotti (1982), Marco Strappato (1982), Carlo Gabriele Tribbioli (1982), Ian Tweedy (1982), Invernomuto (Simone Trabucchi, 1982 and Simone Bertuzzi, 1983), Francesco Bertocco (1983), Giovanni Giaretta (1983), Lorenzo Senni (1983), Alberto Tadiello (1983), IOCOSE (Filippo Cuttica, 1983, Davide Prati, 1983, Matteo Cremonesi, 1984 and Paolo Ruffino, 1984), Elia Cantori (1984), Giulio Delvè (1984), Elena Mazzi (1984), Diego Tonus (1984), Calori&Maillard (Violette Maillard, 1984 and Letizia Calori, 1986), Federico Antonini (1985), Alessio D’Ellena (1985), Nicolò Degiorgis (1985), Riccardo Giacconi (1985), Adelita Husni-Bey (1985), Diego Marcon (1985), Ruth Beraha (1986), Elisa Caldana (1986), Roberto Fassone (1986), Francesco Fonassi (1986), Petrit Halilaj (1986), Andrea Kvas (1986), Beatrice Marchi (1986), The Cool Couple (Niccolò Benetton, 1986 and Simone Santilli, 1987), Filippo Bisagni (1987), Benni Bosetto (1987), Lia Cecchin (1987), Alessandro Di Pietro (1987), Stefano Serretta (1987), Giulia Cenci (1988), Tomaso De Luca (1988), Julia Frank (1988), Marco Giordano (1988), Orestis Mavroudis (1988), Valentina Furian (1989), Parasite 2.0 (Stefano Colombo, 1989, Eugenio Cosentino, 1989 and Luca Marullo, 1989), Alice Ronchi (1989), Emilio Vavarella (1989), Irene Fenara (1990), Angelo Licciardello (1990) & Francesco Tagliavia (1992), Caterina Morigi (1991), Margherita Raso (1991), Guendalina Cerruti (1992).
The works on display at MAMbo, which include installations, videos, photography, sound art, sculptures, performances, paintings, works on paper, will be set in an open layout, with no barriers, that appropriates and contaminates all the areas of the Museum: even the big glass windows that visually connect the Sala delle Ciminiere to the permanent collections upstairs will lose their screens, for an easier interaction between the two areas, and the outer glass windows of the building will be used too.
So, the exhibition hall will not be the only place where these works will be seen: That’s IT! will spread into many areas of the Museum, among which the Education Department spaces and CorrainiMAMbo artbookshop, even outside of it, with art installations in the adjoining Giardino del Cavaticcio where, during the opening on Thursday 21 June, Lorenzo Senni will play the live set Persona at 10 pm. Furthermore a series of film works will be screened at Cinema Lumière, in partnership with Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna. The exhibition public program will be developed with further initiatives that will contribute to deepen the critical debate on the practices of young artists in our country.
at MAMbo, Bologna
until 11 November 2018