press release

With the three solo exhibitions of the Belgian collective Building Transmissions (Nico Dockx, 1974, Kris Delacourt, 1978, Peter Verwimp, 1974), Paolo Chiasera (Bologna, 1978) and Ryan Gander (Chester, 1976) the Galleria d’Arte Moderna of Bologna opens its 2006-2007 exhibition program entitled Coming Soon MAMbo: + Museum – Shows. This program will include in the next months the solo exhibitions of Ibon Aranberri, Adam Chodzko, Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda, Trisha Donnelly, Wade Guyton & Kelley Walker, Seth Price, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Bojan Sarcevic and Markus Schinwald.

In answering the question about what today’s museums are and what they are for - or what they are no longer for - these twelve projects will highlight possible new approaches in the contemporary artistic practice to the specific context represented by the institutional framework. In light of the competition from other forms of cultural entertainment which have come to the fore over recent decades, museums find themselves faced with the need to question and redefine their own format, their history and their ideology. In the contemporary museum's ‘arena’, this dynamic context leads to the emergence of a more fluid entity, while more contradictory than in the past, it is also more imaginative, and perhaps even more self-ironic, able to mediate between the various needs and devices of production, exhibition, documentation and invention as well as between those of marketing and research. Museums will find their own ground in the ‘in-between’ that these overlapping f ields bring about.

Despite or perhaps thanks to the provocations of the historical avant-garde (spearheaded by Futurism and Dadaism), which proclaimed the museum to be a hostile entity worthy only of destruction, museums have become one of the milestones in the formulation of Modernist aesthetics. After that memorable era, between the ‘60s and ‘70s, in which institutional critique was to analyse (or deconstruct) every last aspect of the ‘museum’ category, proposing even imaginary museums as valid alternatives (such as Marcel Broodthaers’ Musée des Aigles or Claes Oldenburg’s Mouse Museum, or Harald Szseemann’s Museum of Obsessions), today a new generation of artists, critics and curators is rising to the challenge to address the issue of the museum’s up-to-date/out-of-dateness. Given also the fact that over the last few years we have witnessed a huge increase of temporary exhibitions, biennials and time-based art events, a statement which calls for “more museums and fewer s hows” is a clearly provocative one. It means expressing the need to keep the museum debate alive insofar as it is, or it could still be - a space-time by which to redefine and reconsider the actual feelings of contemporary art as a whole.

Coming Soon MAMbo: + Museum – Shows is a series of exhibitions and an opportunity for critical comment, a one-year long workshop with the purpose of conceiving and questioning a new museum.

In 2007, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna will move to a new venue, a historic building - the Forno del Pane - restored for that purpose over the period of more than a decade within the Manifattura delle Arti, the city of Bologna’s new cultural centre. The museum will then adopt the new identity of MAMbo – Museum of Modern Art of Bologna. The twelve solo exhibitions held in the context of Coming Soon MAMbo: + Museum – Shows will in fact accompany this imminent move and investigate its every aspect, offering a unique and unrepeatable event in the history of the institution, which provides a rare occasion to look at the museum from the inside in the particularly delicate moment of opening and self-analysis. This institutional metamorphosis will also allow to seize the almost utopian chance to reconsider, even to reinvent the museum from the outlook of the artists themselves.

Through these twelve proposals for the future museum it will be turned into a platform for public presentations as well as meetings and learning activities, which transform the shows thanks to the exchange of formation and information that will take place between the artists, the institution and the public. Conceived more flexibly than traditional exhibitions within the white cubes of the museum, these exhibitions will reflect a great range of possible points of view and propose a variety of creative solutions aimed at favouring not only a wider participation in the future planning of the museum, but also at stimulating a broader debate on the theme of the museum today and the ways in which it reflects and elaborates contemporary aesthetics and the other key issues of contemporary culture. The exhibitions will be documented by twelve ongoing publications published by MAMbo, which will include the interventions of internationally-renowned museum directors and curators as well as free-lance critics and art writers to outline the very nature of a possible institutional critique of second, or third generation that contemporary museums and art institutions seem to ask for.

Building Transmissions

The project by the Belgian collective Building Transmissions, under the title, calls for the creation of an inscrutable ‘sound-area’ in the museum foyer. As happens with all buildings, this is the most crowded area of the whole museum, being host to a vast range of public services, from the reception area to the bookshop and museum cafeteria, which define the public identity of the building through their public services. Without performing any major modifications, Building Transmissions removes all these fundamental services from the entrance area, loading our first glance with a novel sense of tension, estranging it through the perception of ‘something strange’. The sound installation with which Building Transmissions entrusts this space is nothing less than an archive of various sounds recorded in ghost-buildings like the Galleria d’Arte Moderna of Bologna that in a few months wil l leave this building - sold to Bologna Fiere as a venue for trade fair events – and will move to its new venue. We might define this space as frameless sound architecture, for it rejects the notion of structure in favour of that of transmission (of sound or data) and of flow (of information, of radio waves) that reflects or adapts– with a de-architecturisation process - to the pending annihilation of the public identity of a purpose-built structure inaugurated in 1975 as the headquarters of the new Galleria d’Arte Moderna. In this progressive entropy, the museum space may be seen as a container of infinite alternative experiences, an ideal window open on a purely potential dimension.

Catalogue contributors: Building Transmissions, David Bussel, Elena Filipovic, Dirk Snauwaert, Andrea Viliani.

With the support of: Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna

With the contribution of: British Council for the Ryan Gander exhibition Flemish Authorities for the Building Transmissions exhibition


only in german

Building Transmissions
Building Transmissions (Nico Dockx, Kris Delacourt, Peter Verwimp)
Programm: Coming Soon MAMbo + Museum – Shows
Konzept: Gianfranco Maraniello, Andrea Viliani
Kurator: Andrea Viliani