Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Un'Espressione Geografica
Curated by Francesco Bonami
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (Italy)
19 May - 27 November 2011

Artists and the Italian Regions they cover:

ABRUZZO: Michael Stevenson and Cornelia Schmidt-Bleek (New Zealand, 1964; USA, 1964; live and work in Berlin)
BASILICATA: Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs (collaboration started inSwitzerland in 2003; they live and work in Berlin)
CALABRIA: Roman Ondak (Slovakia, 1966; lives and works in Bratislava)
CAMPANIA: Gabriel Kuri (Mexico, 1970; lives and works in Brussels)
EMILIA ROMAGNA: Andro Wekua (Georgia, 1977; lives and works inBerlin)
FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA: Hugo Markl (California, 1964; lives and worksin New York)
LAZIO: Johanna Billing (Sweden, 1973; lives and works in Stockholm)
LIGURIA: Hilary Lloyd (UK, 1964; lives and works in London)
LOMBARDY: Ibon Aranberri (Spain, 1969; lives and works in Bilbao)
MARCHE: Markus Schinwald (Austria, 1973; lives and works in Vienna)
MOLISE: Ferhat Özgür (Turkey, 1965; lives and works in Istanbul)
PIEDMONT: Victor Man (Romania, 1974; lives and works in Cluj)
APULIA: Isabelle Cornaro (France, 1974; lives and works in Paris)
SARDINIA: Ulla von Brandenburg (Germany, 1974; lives and works inParis)
SICILY: Katerina Seda (Czech Republic, 1977; lives and works in Pragueand Brno)
TRENTINO ALTO ADIGE: Tobias Putrih (Slovenia, 1972; lives and worksin Boston)
TUSCANY: Gintaras Didziapetris (Lithuania, 1985; lives and works inVilnius)
UMBRIA: Ruti Sela & Maayan Amir (Ruti Sela: Israel, 1974; lives andworks in Tel Aviv \ Mayaan Amir: Israel, 1978; lives and works in Tel Aviv)
VALLE D’AOSTA: Sunah Choi (South Korea, 1968; lives and works inBerlin)
VENETO: Nathaniel Mellors (UK, 1974; lives and works in Amsterdam)

2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy. The Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo intends to celebrate this historical event withan exhibition realised in collaboration with Banca Fideuram (Gruppo IntesaSanpaolo). Un’Espressione Geografica [A Geographical Expression], curated by Francesco Bonami, will run at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo centre for contemporary art from 19 May until 27 November 2011. The works of twenty international artists will present the multi-faceted identity of Italy from an unusual point of view, highlighting the vast heritage and the peculiarities of each Italian Region. An unprecedented portrait of the social, political and cultural panorama of modern-day Italy will emerge,relating the marvels and the contradictions that characterise a country still today in constant conflict between tradition and innovation, history and contemporaneity.On August 2nd, 1847 the Austrian statesman Klemens Von Metternichwrote in a note addressed to Count Dietrichstein a famous and controversial sentence: “Italy is a geographical expression”. The sentence reappeared the following year in the Neapolitan daily newspaper Il Nazionale, this time with a markedly negative connotation: “Italy is nothing but a geographical expression”. As the revolutionary wave raged in 1948, Italian liberals provocatively embraced this definition and used it with a patriotic flair to stir up anti-Austrian sentiments among the Italian population. Historians mostly agreed in acknowledging that Metternich’s words were originally intendedas a mere statement or fact, rather than as political criticism: the Austrian statesman noted that, on the political front, Italy was “made up of mutually independent Sovereign States”.This definition, “A Geographical Expression”, inspired the FondazioneSandretto Re Rebaudengo to reflect on the fact that today, in a globalised world where cultural and economic exchanges have erased the ancient concept of borders and boundaries, the geographical dimension of a country is once again gaining momentum.

Un’Espressione Geografica will present the works of twenty international artists from different European Countries following their journey through Italy, each in one of the twenty Italian Regions. Each artist will be escorted by a local who will accompany the artist in the discovery of the regional territory, its identity and peculiarities. Like a modern-day Goethe, each artist will be called to investigate and to interpret, in his or her own personal language, Italy as it is today through the eyes of someone living elsewhere. Their journey will take them to the most representative sites of each Region and will allow the artists to get in touch with the rich heritage and the varietyof Italy. The peculiarities of each Region will provide inspiration for new art works, intimately related to the places visited by the artists. After completing their exploration, the artists will be commissioned to create a new work of art that will be presented as part of the group exhibition at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Torino. The works will become like pages of a journal, turning the visitors to the exhibition Un’Espressione Geografica into contemporary voyagers. All the experiences, the stories, the sensations evoked by each Region will give the visitors a chance to look at Italy from new and unexpected points of view. “With this project, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo builds on its tradition to promote innovative contemporary arts, while consolidating its institutional role in supporting the new generations of artists and the production of theirwork. I wish to thank Banca Fideurum for believing in this arts project and for making it possible.” Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, President, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.“Banca Fideuram’s aim was to contribute towards the celebrations marking the anniversary of the Unification of Italy by lending their support to an event which values the resources of our Country. The exhibition ‘Espressione Geografica’, featuring young international artists whose focus is on the Italian regions, has presented us with the right occasion to be able to confirm the importance of the values concerning our territory that have always been at the core of the activities of our Group.” Matteo Colafrancesco, CEO Banca Fideuram
Un’Espressione Geografica is under the patronage of Comitato Italia 150.

image below:

ferhat özgür, 'memorable things', installation view

fondazione sandretto re rebaudengo-turin, italy, june 2011

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