press release

On 2 December 2007 the MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna – is inaugurating its first cycle of one-person shows in its new premises. Planned especially for the interior and exterior spaces of the museum, the exhibitions of works by Adam Chodzko, Eva Marisaldi, Diego Perrone and Bojan Šarčević will for the first time enable visitors become acquainted with the “Ex-Forno del Pane” building, in which there are parallel routes for the discovery and inspection of the architecture of the museum and of its relation to its place in the city.

In their investigation of the changing relationship between museum and city, as between artwork and architecture, these exhibitions consist of a series of diverse practices and media, but taken as a whole they also they indicate how many are the possible expressions and interpretations of the contemporary museum, going as far as to define concrete, critical experiences and to give birth to “mythologies” which, by exploring the present function and identity of the museum, project it towards a dimension as yet imagined but potential.

In presenting the shows of Eva Marisaldi and Diego Perrone, the MAMbo confirms the central role played by Italian artistic research in its exhibition programme as in its collections, by means of the realization of new projects – sometimes in co-production with foreign museums – presented to the public in constant comparison with the international artistic scene and critical debate. Eva Marisaldi’ show, curated by Roberto Daolio – an independent critic and curator, teacher at the Bologna Academy of Fine Arts – follows ten years after the one he put on at the Bologna Gallery of Modern Art in 1998. The exhibition of Diego Perrone – co-produced by the MAMbo and the CAPC, the Musée d’art contemporain of Bordeaux – was conceived by the artist especially for the principal viewing galleries of the two museums in two site-specific displays which inter-react with their environment in almost contrary ways.

The shows by Adam Chodzko and Bozan Šarčević bring to the MAMbo exhibition programme a reflection upon the prospects of contemporary museums already set in motion with the cycle Coming Soon MAMbo + Museo – Mostre in the two years which preceded and accompanied the opening of the new museum headquarters. Rather than interrupting it with its inauguration, this meditation has been extended and included in the activities of the new museum, in the context of the new series initiated by Gianfranco Maraniello and Andrea Viliani, MAMbo Practices (No Dancing Lessons) with the purpose of setting up an lively comparison between institutional activities and the most up-to-date practice of contemporary artists and curators.

These four exhibitions provide the occasion for the presentation of the first four catalogues of the new series of monographs published by MAMBo and SKIRA.

Adam Chodzko M-path and Hole Curated by Andrea Viliani

Exploiting a vast gamut of media – from videos to performances, from installations to photography, from posters to design – the works of Adam Chodzko (London, 1965) call up the most recondite aspects of everyday life. Envisaged as openings, as passages between different dimensions – past/present/future; the real and the possible; document/fiction; public/private – Chodzko’s works appear before us as fragmentary gestures spreading out from the physical site of the exhibition to be lost in the more amorphous context of our experiences, memories and intuitions. The three initiatives of this artist both in the exhibition halls and the garden of the MAMbo provide us with an opportunity to test out the museum as an entity moulded not only by its interior but also by its outer appearance, by the dynamic relationship between people and their reciprocal expectations. After being requested to enter the exhibition “in someone else’s shoes” (M-path, 2005-07), in the video installation Hole (2007) the visitor is confronted with the genesis and further developments of a legend which in the near future will embrace the museum and a local woman, bound together by a hypothetical relationship fluctuating between complete identification and distrust. In giving birth to a possible mythical background for the new museum this artist contributes to the formation of the collective imagination of the museum itself – a newly inaugurated place of gathering and community – and he discovers and reveals its history and its destiny at the very moment in which he invents it. Showing us, by means of a mysterious short-circuit, the remnants of that myth already there in the walls of the museum, the artist brings to light the foundations of an event which he himself has set in motion and which, though hypothetically destined to come about in the future, is even now the hopeful catalyser of a more pervasive, flexible and accessible definition of the world and the ways in which it is represented.

MAMbo-Skira Catalogue: contributions by Alex Farquharson, Lisa Le Feuvre, Andrea Viliani, and an interview with the artist by Mark Godfrey.

Adam Chodzko (London, 1965) lives and works at Whitstable, Kent (UK).

Eva Marisaldi Jumps Curated by Roberto Daolio

Eva Marisaldi (Bologna, 1966) is interested in exploring creative and cognitive processes open to the observation of all that which, by being “lateral” to active life, makes imagination real, suggests different logical and linguistic systems, opening up alternatives of meaning that contravene the usual way of thinking and emerge as surprising though realistically imaginable and practicable possibilities. By involving the public in the convergence, rather than the use, of environments which trace routes of ‘discovery’ within the exposition space (“gymnasium of attention”), Marisaldi enhances the exceptionality of objects and everyday situations, while at the same time giving plausibility to unexpected happenings, sudden openings, unforeseen logical and linguistic deviations. In the MAMbo exhibition Marisaldi is presenting an installation composed of three brand-new works, which will be revealed to the visitor, as well as to the reader, only at the moment he/she comes face to face with them in fact. The journey through these three works is like a “do-able” obstacle course, a constant urging of the reasons for tackling the next obstacle… For which reason they have “left home”, their own intense indirect life, by entering a museum… Small wooden constructions resembling jumps at a gymkhana, but done on human scale, an L-shaped plinth like the Knight’s move in chess, what she calls a percussion band robot machine “sailing” on a wharf towards deep waters… ”Birthday Party”, a small portable theatre for birthday parties, in which it is hoped to involve the visitor “in the space-time of the work”.

MAMbo-Skira Catalogue: an interview with the artist by Hans Ulrich Obrist, an essay by Roberto Daolio and the programme ‘George’.

Eva Marisaldi (Bologna, 1966) lives and works in Bologna.

Diego Perrone Boccioni’s mother in an ambulance and the casting of the bell Curated by Charlotte Laubard and Andrea Viliani

Conceived expressly for the central gallery of the MAMbo, this show by Diego Perrone (Asti, 1970) comes to us as witness to a personal dimension within the public space of the museum. An invisible line – traced by the sequence of three works placed on a ramp – runs up through the entire space: “If I could do a show in a museum without the force of gravity, maybe I’d choose a point in the void. In this present case I’ve chosen a line, sloping upwards”. Taking no account of the pre-existing architecture of the museum the “three objects in line and sloping upwards” prompt the visitor to rethink his relationship to the space of the museum and suggest the possibility of remodelling aesthetic forms and meanings independently. The huge sculpture Fusione della campana (2007) is a translation into physical and spatial terms of the long process of casting a bell. The video installation Il primo papà gira in tondo con la sua ombra, la mamma piega il suo corpo cercando una forma, il secondo papà batte i pugni per terra (2006) shows us three distinct forms in the very act of taking form before our eyes. La mamma di Boccioni in ambulanza (2007), on the other hand, is an object without any single defined form, in which the face of the mother of Futurist painter and sculptor Umberto Boccioni is superimposed on an image downloaded from the Internet and reworked on computer, showing a simulated emergency in an ambulance. By giving life to material that is hybrid both in an iconic and in a plastic sense, the artist envisages a cross between image and form, to be thereafter refashioned by yielding to the possibilities suggested by the imagination, and also the uncontrollable potentialities afforded by the appropriation of digital technologies and by present-day industrial materials.

MAMbo-Skira Catalogue: studies by Luca Cerizza, Massimiliano Giono and an interview with the artist by Charlotte Laubard and Andrea Viliani.

Diego Perrone (Asti, 1970) lives and works in Milan and Berlin.

Bojan Šarčević Already Vanishing Curated by Andrea Viliani

Bojan Šarčević (Belgrade, 1974) is the creator of open and ambiguous forms born of the interaction between diverse modes of expression, the intersection between the various phases of the creative process and of sense experience. To think of the cinema medium as a “sculpture” – as in this exhibition which is the last chapter of a cycle presented at the BQ gallery in Cologne and the Centre d’Art Contemporain Le Crédac at Ivry – means conferring a physical, concrete presence on the exhibition space, with a view to the ‘liminal’ expressive possibilities both of the film and of the sculpture. At the same time as in the MAMbo’s new “white cube” Šarčević creates a progression marked by three distinct pavilions, he creates structures which are at one and the same time individual sculptural compositions, projection spaces and places in which is defined the indissoluble relationship between the work of art and its architectural setting. In this disintegration of the dividing lines between different entities, matter and structure are transposed into a narrative dimension, intangible and immaterial, while the form and its environment are reflected mutually in one another: the solidity of the architecture opens up to the dynamism of the image in motion, the skilfully measured changes of sound, colour and light, and real space intersects reciprocally with the metaphorical and two-dimensional space of the image projected. Into the unchanging tangibility of the museum building has crept the ephemeral and transitory nature of this project and experience, while scenes hovering between invention, sensation and reflection take on form in the here and now of the exhibition rooms.

MAMbo-Skira Catalogue: studies by Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith, Marcus Steinweg and Andrea Viliani.

Bojan Šarčević (Belgrade, 1974) lives and works in Berlin.

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Adam Chodzko, Eva Marisaldi, Diego Perrone, Bojan Sarcevic