press release

30 years of ARTEFIERA; 30 years of modern and contemporary art; 30 years of successes for the Bologna art show and the artists who have arrived on the international scene via the exhibition halls of ARTEFIERA, winning recognition among collectors, gallery owners and art lovers; 30 years of prestige events that have involved leading figures from the world of art and culture.

ARTEFIERA has grown steadily over these years, securing a leadership position in the sector and transforming itself into an event combining market and culture, graced by collections and curators from leading organisations in search of the latest international art trends.

ARTEFIERA stands out for its stringent selection of participating galleries, which has made selectiveness and internationalisation the leitmotif of the growth strategies conceived and pursued in recent years by the event’s artistic director, Silvia Evangelisti, and the international markets consultant Lorenzo Rudolf.

ARTEFIERA 2005 unveiled the event’s new ART FIRST moniker, which clearly underscores its mission: “first art show of the year” and among the first in “size and exhibits” on the international scene. Underlining the leadership of ARTEFIERA ART FIRST is the appearance at next January’s show of virtually all the foreign galleries that debuted in 2005, among them Ben Brown (London), De Noirmont (Paris), Karsten Greve (New York, Cologne, Zurich, Milan), Lisson (London), Haunch of Venison (London), Klüser (Munich), Ropac (Paris), Schulte (Berlin), and Sperone Westwater (New York).

Other prestigious international galleries - Arndt & Partner (Berlin/Zurich), Art of this Century (New York), Claude Bernard (Paris) Dabbeni (Lugano), Forsbolm (Helsinki), Mario Mauroner (Vienna), Museum 52 (London), Rothamel (Erfurt), Ruziska (Salzburg), Sollertis (Toulouse) – will be present at ARTEFIERA ART FIRST 2006, further enhancing the artistic line-up.

Emerging markets and young international galleries will be two key events at the 2006 show: EASTWARDS – EMERGING MARKETS, featuring a series of initiatives, will focus in particular on the artistic output of Eastern Europe, and particularly the liveliest and most dynamic of this region’s artistic communities. New exhibition areas will be dedicated to young galleries, for whom ARTEFIERA ART FIRST will be the perfect platform from which to establish a dialogue with a public of experts and contemporary art enthusiasts.

Exhibition spaces will also be a key feature of the thirtieth ARTEFIERA ART FIRST show, which will continue with the layout revamp initiated last year by transferring the show into new halls and the re-distribution of spaces. Large display areas, routes designed to maximise enjoyment of the artwork on show, and refined and elegant display structures will welcome visitors at ARTEFIERA ART FIRST 2006.

Initiatives staged in the exhibition centre and throughout the city, involving leading local institutions and the Bologna Modern Art Gallery, will help turn the four days of the show into a true celebration of modern and contemporary art: a mega-event spilling out into the city and turning Bologna into a “city for art” at the end of January 2006.

- ARTE: DIMENTICARE A MEMORIA A project by Achille Bonito Oliva for ARTEFIERA ART FIRST 2006 Bologna, 27 – 30 January 2006

This is the first time that an art fair has given a critic his own stand and programme alongside modern and contemporary art galleries.

ARTEFIERA ART FIRST 2006 will feature Achille Bonito Oliva, an original and offbeat voice on the international art scene who, as he himself says “has taken the figure of the critic from the wings to centre stage”. He has curated numerous shows (“Aperto ‘80” at the 1980 Biennale and the 1993 event, “Minimalia” 1997, “Tribù dell’arte” 2000, “Le opere e i giorni” 2002, through to the very recent “Il Bianco e altro e comunque arte” in Turin) and has written many articles on art theory, from Mannerism to the Transavangarde.

The project, conceived by the critic for ARTEFIERA ART FIRST 2006, includes the creation of a “stand” – the sign will read ABO critica ad arte – very similar to those of the exhibiting galleries, but instead of displaying artwork it will contain concepts expressed in words, the words of artists.

In “ARTE: DIMENTICARE A MEMORIA”, Bonito Oliva will invite internationally renowned artists to tell the public about a very special creation, namely a work that exists only in their imagination: a work they would have liked to produce but were unable to; a work they have been pondering but have yet to execute; a work they dream of producing but which is impossible to realise. In short, the dream of a work of art that lives only in the artist’s head and which would remain hidden there were he or she not given this opportunity to tell the public about it.

Enzo Cucchi, Braco Dimitrievic, Liliana Moro, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Ettore Spalletti and Sisley Xhafa – who will speak at meetings, scheduled for 12 and 17.30 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday – will thus produce a sort of original artistic performance and, at the same time, involve the audience in their secret world of desires and unrealised dreams.

The “stand”, equipped with a table and chair created by Alberto Garutti, will have seating for the public and photos on the walls of the critic at various moments in his professional life, starting with the famous photo showing him lying naked on a sofa that was published in the late 1970s in “Frigidaire”, as well as his famous “Aborismi”.

When there are no meetings with the artists, the “stand” ABO critica ad arte will show three films: the video of the 1993 Biennale, made by Mario Codognato for the French programme Arté (1993); “Il ritratto di ABO” by Paola Scremin for Raisat Arte (2001) and the film, curated by the critic, “Totòmodo: l’arte spiegata anche ai bambini” (1995), a paradoxical contemporary art history illustrated by the great actor Totò, a “Socrates with a derailed jaw”.

The project will also feature continuous link-ups with artists around the world, via R.A.M. (Radio Arte Mobile) and in conjunction with Associazione Zerinthya.

At the end of the three day event Achille Bonito Oliva will auction a project which the purchaser may execute. All the meetings will be recorded and will become a book, published by Allemandi Editore. This could become an annual feature: only at ARTEFIERA ART FIRST in Bologna is there a stand dedicated to criticism (or, rather, to the critic).

eastwards A look at the art and emerging markets of the new Europe. 28.01.06, 11.15 a.m. Arte Fiera Gallery Hall

The panel discussion Eastwards will bring together representatives of art institutions, critics and collectors from the countries of the new Europe. Topics of the talk will be the contemporary art systems in the respective countries, co-operation, networking and cultural promotion opportunities, art trends and art market peculiarities. Eastwards will also explore the role of art and contemporary culture as common language in a Europe facing radical changes and in search of its identity. The initiative aims to foster mutual understanding and networks between Italy and the countries of the new Europe.

Panelists - Ivan Mečl - Editor and publisher of the international art magazine Umělec, Prague - Minhea Mircan - art critic and curator at the National Museum of Contemporary Art/MNAC, Bucharest - Viktor Misiano - curator, theoretician and art critic / direttore /director Moscow Art Magazine, Moscow - Gregor Podnar - gallery owner and curator Galerija Gregor Podnar, Ljubljana - Zsolt Somlòi - contemporary art collector and expert, Budapest - Aneta Szylak - curator and theoretician, co-founder and director of Wyspa Institute of Art, Danzig

Moderator: Marina Sorbello, art critic and curator, Berlin The program is subject to change


only in german

Celebrating 30 years

Konzept: Achille Bonito Oliva
mit Enzo Cucchi, Braco Dimitrievic, Liliana Moro, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Ettore Spalletti, Sislej Xhafa, u.a.

Eastwards / Panel Discussion
A look at the art and emerging markets of the new Europe
28.01.06, 11.15 a.m. Arte Fiera Gallery Hall
mit Ivan Mecl, Minhea Mircan, Viktor Misiano, Gregor Podnar, Zsolt Somloi, Aneta Szylak
Moderator: Marina Sorbello