press release

Mart – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto and Fondazione Galleria Civica-Center of Research on Contemporaneity of Trento as promoting institutions are proud to announce the participation of Stefano Cagol at 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia with the solo show CONCILIO at San Gallo Church.

'Between the pyramids as symbol for eternity and power and borders as a symbol for inclusion/exclusion and power, the interior of the Church of San Gallo in Venice becomes a perfect context for religious background and intellectual power. In the world-between the terrestrial, the political and the religious-spiritual power is not enough.' Gregor Jansen

In Stefano Cagol's solo show curated by Gregor Jansen, new oxymorons are triggered – through video and installation – by signaling and dialoging actions that hit political borders, natural borders, mental borders. Developed through the joining of opposites, the splitting of like entities, through 'parallel convergences' that generate a liminal landscape and a territory on borders, the solo show CONCILIO ideally starts from Stefano Cagol's place of birth, 'a territory marking the passage between South and North, Rome and Wittenberg, between Italy and Germany: Trento, Trentino South Tyrol.' The very first reference to his city of origin is to be found in the title which draws back immediately to the Concilio di Trento, the Council of Trient. So sense of belonging, identity and history correspond to a site and to an historical landmark, to what is nowadays defined as a very 'unpredictable event' – i.e. an event with a controversial influence reaching our daily complexities from a very distant past – that brings also the opposite idea of tension towards the unknown and the unforeseen. Within the frame of San Gallo Church of the 15th century, there is a symbolic presence, a complex pyramidical structure that connects different faces to a unique apex, evoking the idea of synergy, of coincidence, of 'parallel convergence,' the not univocal idea of 'council.' It refers also to the permanent public art intervention just realised by Cagol for the new A22 gate of Trento: a monumental installation of 16 tons of steel. In the video installation, other oppositions are protagonists – atmospheres of ice and snow, wind and water, of ethereal flames and of light. The artist has gone beyond the Polar Circle, in a place which is also characterized by a convergence of dissonances: in the Barents region, the meeting point of the Norwegian, Finnish, and Russian borders. Chosen in the moment in which the short sun becomes pallid like the snow of the mountains that it licks. The artist has given life here to a series of 'actions on the border:' signals that underline a border, but at the same time they shake it, they cross it. Actions of signaling and communicating, of control and passage.


On the occasion of exhibition CONCILIO, a mid-career monograph dedicated to Stefano Cagol is launched. It is titled PUBLIC OPINION. It contains essays by Iara Boubnova, Gregor Jansen, Michele Robecchi, Andrea Viliani, and contributions by Andreas F. Beitin, Francesco Bernardelli, Stefan Bidner, Cis Bierinckx, Shane Brennan, Achille Bonito Oliva, Alfredo Cramerotti, Blanca de la Torre, Giacinto di Pietrantonio, Bruce Elder, David Elliott, Micaela Giovannotti, Luba Kuzovnikova, Veit Loers, Esther Lu, Trevor Smith, Pier Luigi Tazzi, Nicola Trezzi, Kamila Wielebska, June Yap, Raúl Zamudio.

The monograph, edited by Andrea Viliani, has been produced by Fondazione Galleria Civica-Center of Research on Contemporaneity of Trento in the context of the project Opera Civica (TN), for the years 2010-11, which has been made thanks to the support of the Provincia autonoma di Trento. The book (232 pages, paperback, 30 x 23 cm, ISBN 978-88-8158-820-6) is bilingual (Italian/English), is published by CHARTA, Milan, while its graphic design is by Thomas Desmet, Ghent.

Curated by: Gregor Jansen Scientific Direction: Gabriella Belli, Andrea Viliani


Stefano Cagol was born in Trento, Italy and lives and works in Trento and in Brussels, Belgium. He just ended an artist in residence at International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York and an artist in residence at BAR International by Pikene på Broen in Kirkenes, beyond Arctic Circle in Norway.

Gregor Jansen is director of Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and former head of department at ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art Karlsruhe.

only in german

54th International Art Exhibition la Biennale di Venezia
Collateral Event:

Stefano Cagol. CONCILIO
Kurator: Gregor Jansen
Organisation: Mart Trento e Rovereto; Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, Trento
Ort: Chiesa di San Gallo, Venedig