press release

The Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Bologna is pleased to present the first solo show in an Italian museum by the American artist Christopher Williams (Los Angeles, 1956). In a unified architectural project, specifically designed for the spaces of the Gallery, Williams will directly intervene in the structure of the building, to rediscover in part its original appearance at the time it opened in 1975. Around forty works, some created specifically for the show, will be on display in the entrance, halls, corridors and service areas normally closed to the public, giving the spectator a journey “backwards through time” that will document the progressive transformation of the exhibition space originally designed by the architect Leone Pancaldi. Through the dialogue between his works and their institutional context, the artist will reconstruct the relationship of the museum to the economic, political and cultural climate of the city of Bologna and to the wider system of contemporary art. In this way, Christopher Williams’ project develops a critical and historical analysis of the evolution and destiny of the germs of social reform which originated in the 1970s in Bologna, then a testing ground for social experiment. Williams investigates the inheritance of the long period of reforms and experimentation that made Bologna an international reference point, from the opening of the DAMS, to broadcasts by the first independent radio stations, such as the famous Radio Alice, to the involvement of intellectuals and students in a debate that stretched beyond the walls of their institutions. In this sense Christopher Williams’ show, set up to mark the imminent transfer of the museum to its new location in the Ex Forno del Pane, can be seen as an act of conscious dismantling, not only of a space but a cultural project destined to be postponed and taken up again elsewhere.

A radio broadcast, conceived as a sound platform for the exhibition and created by the artist and the American critic and curator John Kelsey, will go out on local radio station Città del Capo - Radio Metropolitana for the duration of the show.

In addition, a monographic catalogue will be published in conjunction with the exhibition, which will contain, alongside plates of the works, a full photographic record of the preparation of the exhibition, essays by both curators and by the critics Mark Wigley and John Kelsey, together with detailed documentation.

Christopher Williams, born in Los Angeles in 1956, lives and works in Los Angeles. The artistic experience of Christopher Williams, one of the most influential artists of his generation, is situated at an ideal connecting point between the Conceptual Art of the 1960s and the 1970s, seeking to deconstruct critically the tools and the very context of artistic activity, and to capture the neo-conceptual strategies of the most recent generation, which has been emerging since the 1990s. Videos, films installations, sculptures and performances are used to analyse the complex and stratified mechanisms by which contemporary communication and aesthetic conventions construct our way of perceiving and understanding reality.

Solo shows include: For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons Sur La Société Industrielle (Revision 4), David Zwirner Gallery, New York (2006); SECESSION. Christopher Williams, Wiener Secession, Vienna (2005); Program. For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons Sur La Société Industrielle (Revision 1), Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig (2005); For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons Sur La Société Industrielle Archéologie, Beaux-Arts, Ethnographie, Théatre-Vérité, Couleur Europeénne, Couleur Sovietique, Couleur Chinoise Variétés, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2005); 332 Min 17 Sec, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne (2004). Group shows include: Los Angeles 1955 - 1985, The Birth of an Art Capital, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2006); Day for Night, Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2006); Before The End, Le Consortium, Dijon (2004); Adorno. Die Möglichkeit des Unmöglichen, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt (2003).


only in german

Christopher Williams
For Example: Dix Huits Leçons sur la Société Industrielle (Revision 5)
Kuratoren: Gianfranco Maraniello, Andrea Viliani