Art catalogues
  • Fatma Bucak. So as to find the strength to see

    texts by Lisa Parola, Maria Centonze, Fatma Bucak, Kaya Genç, Gianmaria Ajani
    pages: 168
    format: 14,5 x 21 cm
    date of publication: April 2018
    binding: hardback
    language: Italian/English
    isbn 9788877572707


    The catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition So as to find the strength to see held at Fondazione Merz from 6th March to 27th May 2018. “Examining the work of Fatma Bucak is like looking down on a deconstructed map. Here we find trails travelled and then cancelled out, landscapes designed and then abandoned, a geography that continually redraws itself, intertwining facts and biographies, erased events and non-identities. In the artist’s recent work, these landscapes expand from Turkey to Syria and North Africa and then reach Europe and the United States with the aim of investigating a political framework that is particularly difficult to define. The artist’s research can be understood as a constantly evolving visual practice that refers directly to the etymology of the Greek verb prássein, the meaning of which is not limited to making or doing but also picks up the idea of travelling, walking, crossing.” (Lisa Parola, Maria Centonze) “The place [Fondazione Merz] has huge, white walls and the light travels from right to left; it smells of cement. It was cold, imperfect, and fascinating. Voices echo within it and join together to become a confusion. While I was walking within the space I thought of how the dominance of its industrial nature was meeting with different art, and each time giving a new identity to the place. It is a difficult, stubborn, and ravishing setting – that was my first impression of walking in it. On the industrial outskirts of Turin has its own industrial character, its relationship with the city through industrialisation and the working class movements that shaped it; the very fact that the space was once a thermal power station for a car company. Most importantly its relation to Mario Merz and arte povera made me think about a conceptual and physical place that is at once collective and individual, that has traces of its own imperfect self and historical memory, of war and fascism – those relationships that are strongly tied to politics and mediate between land and culture. The desire to look to this inhabited place and investigate the fragility and tension of history was inevitable for me. To resist to conventional narratives about an “open-ended” resilient place and this time have it become home to my art.” (Fatma Bucak)   “With characteristic buoyancy of spirit, Bucak called this exhibition So as to find the strength to see. Five years after the fall of the Turkish spring, she wonders if we can smell the roses of a country besieged by forces with conflicting agendas and a shared love of violence. Lands that today reek of gunpowder can once again smell of roses. This is the vision we are asked to find the strength to see.” (Kaya Genç)   The catalogue reproduces the photographic documentation of the exhibition at the Fondazione Merz and a selection of Bucak‘s works to nowdays. A conversation between the exhibition curators and the artist explores the site specific installation at the Fondazione Merz. The book also includes a specially commissioned text by Kaya Genç (a contributor to The New York Review of Books and the author of Under the Shadow, I.B. Tauris), and a short essay by Gianmaria Ajani (Professor of Private Comparative Law, University of Turin).
  • Carlos Garaicoa. El Palacio de las Tres Historias

    texts by Leonardo Padura and Claudia Gioia
    pages: 252
    format: 14,5 x 21 cm
    date of publication: January 2018
    binding: hardback
    language: Italian/English
    isbn 9788877572691


    The catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition Carlos Garaicoa. El Palacio de las Tres Historias held at Fondazione Merz from 30th October 2017 to 4th February 2018. “El Pensamiento as logos and affection, word and intention, memory and distance, history and attention, metaphor and irony; this is the common thread that Carlos Garaicoa has for years spun with his art. Critical space and enchantment are the prerequisites while the multitudes and the metropolis constitute the adventure from which to draw nourishment […] El Palacio de las Tres Historias focuses on this form of seduction and consensus emanated by architecture. Turin is an emblematic city for concatenations and historical events. Tied to a double tour of industry, he learned about the development and acceleration to slump and decommissioning of industry in the twentieth century and on to the current transformation. Changes in social structure and attitude have changed but history has not passed without trace, leaving tangible signs that identify memories and strains that are in many cases still open-ended. The architecture of the city is like a catalogue index and at the same time a summary of the themes to be developed. As already in Havana, Garaicoa begins to travel around Turin, following suggestions and gathering information and taking note of encounters, photographing abandoned factories and buildings from the rationalist period, finding himself by chance in working-class neighborhoods, where he observes the symbols, enters spaces intended for reuse, listens to stories. What is already known to him serves to establish coordinates but the real compass guiding him is what he does not yet know. The idea of the Palace takes shape from this collection of astonished moments, interrupted journeys, ambitions reduced, bets won and then reimbursed. The need to bring together the distant and the present pushes towards the creation of a new display containing all the information, where it is possible to go back to look at what seems all too well-known and note all the ‘ifs’, ‘buts’ and ‘thens’ of history that have survived to the present day. So what is needed is a building where it is possible to gain access to everyone, where information is available without the need for precise objectives, where one can stop, read, observe, listen, comment, enter and exit but above all walk to follow in the footsteps of Carlos Garaicoa’s adventure. A non-rhetorical building to talk about the constructive rhetoric on which modernity has been founded. The Palace therefore started to shudder. A suspended waltz of stairs, glass, steel to bite at the heaviness, vapourise matter and open to the immense reserve of questions and desires. It has become a square, an open space, an agora, a theatre; in short, a city.” (Claudia Gioia) The catalogue reproduces the photographic documentation of the exhibition at the Fondazione Merz and a selection of Garaicoa‘s works from the 1994 to 2017. A text by the exhibition curator Claudia Gioia enlightens the dialogue between art and architecture, exploring the site specific installation at the Fondazione Merz. The book also includes a specially commissioned text by acclaimed Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura.
  • Massimo Bartolini. Four Organs

    texts by Robert Schneider, Luca Cerizza, Massimo Bartolini
    pages: 144
    format: 14,5 x 21 cm
    date of publication: October 2017
    binding: hardback
    language: Italian/English
    isbn 9788877572684


    The catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition Massimo Bartolini. Four Organs held at Fondazione Merz from 3 July to 1 October 2017.  

    “It’s the first time that works planned individually are presented together and play together, like in a concert. There is a polyphony. The instruments of this quartet are four organs, called Otra Fiesta from a poem by Roberto Juarroz, Voyelles from a poem by Arthur Rimbaud, In a Landscape from a piece by John Cage and Three Quarter-tone Pieces from a piece by Charles Ives. Maracas, instead, comes along with the title of the Four Organs exhibition. I had been listening to a lot of Steve Reich for some time. There is a very good record (Four Organs): it seemed like a suggestion that I could not allow to go by. So I extrapolated Reich’s title. […] For me the organ has this pathetic component of tending towards something that cannot be reached, and that this is its purpose. So the innocent tubes tend upwards like the organ’s music, and once the supply of this air has been effected and the resonance produced, or the edifice constructed, both music and scaffolding disappear into nothingness.


    This forced geometric building with scaffolding, and the more mathematical and aerial one of music, are two ways of covering an extension. That’s why I came to associate at the Fondazione Merz, the interaction of the viewers consists in their moving within the space and thus perceiving ever-different acoustic relationships.” (Massimo Bartolini)


    The catalogue reproduces the photographic documentation of the exhibition at the Fondazione Merz and a selection of Bartolini‘s works from 1989 al 2016. A conversation between the artist and Luca Cerizza enriches the site specific installation at the Fondazione Merz.

  • Marzia Migliora. Velme

    texts by Beatrice Merz, Marzia Migliora, Alberto Salza
    pages: 152
    format: 14,5 x 21 cm
    date of publication: May 2017
    binding: hardback
    language: Italian/English
    isbn 9788877572677


    This catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition Marzia Migliora. Velme curated by Beatrice Merz and held at Ca’ Rezzonico in Venice from 13 May to 26 November 2017. “Attracted by the charm of the lagoon city, with its complex history and its most current contradictions, Marzia Migliora relates Venetian affairs and those of the world of labour through a series of legendary, literary and social implications, conceiving a project steeped in elements drawn from history and current events, making use also of some works conserved in the historic building. The artist accomplishes this by extrapolating some elements from the collection, making them ‘her own’, using them in installations and including them under a new guise: she starts with the crest of the Rezzonico family and the sculptures of the vase-holder 'Moors' by Andrea Brustolon, and then collects a series of stimuli, passing from the fresco of the ‘New world’ by Giandomenico Tiepolo (the Younger) to paintings by Pietro Longhi depicting scenes of daily and family life, from the workplace to occasional or exceptional moments. The works that result from this approach are marked by a strong ideological and emotive intensity and shift the visitor’s point of view back to our own times: upper-works, wetted area. Ca’ Rezzonico is thus transformed into a meeting place between old and contemporary, where the stories appear to us in all their complexity, packed with differing values: our gaze turns toward the horizon and accompanies the decline of glorious eras, like the one represented by the palazzo or that of today. The velma, which gives the exhibition its title, is the ‘place’ of conjunction between water and land, the symbol of something submerged that must never stop emerging, ‘an urgency of the present’ and a bridge that connects us with the past.” (Beatrice Merz) The catalogue reproduces the photographic documentation of the exhibition at Ca’ Rezzonico and a selection of Marzia Migliora's works from 2002 to 2016. The project drawings realized by the artist in preparing of the exhibition stands by the curator Beatrice Merz text. A conversation between anthropologist Alberto Salza and the artist enriches the site specific installation by Marzia Migliora, whom works are on display in several rooms of the Museo del Settecento Veneziano in the historic Palazzo Ca’ Rezzonico.  
  • Mario Merz Prize. Second Edition

    pages: 28
    format: 14,5 x 21 cm
    date of publication: March 2017
    binding: paperback with dust-cover and leaflet
    language: Italian/English
    isbn 9788877572660



    This catalogue is published on the occasion of the finalists’ exhibition of the First Edition of the Mario Merz Prize, held at the Fondazione Merz from March 8 to June 11, 2017. The Mario Merz Prize, created with the aim of launching a new project which, through the expertise of an extensive international network of experts, be able to identify new emerging exponents in art and, in parallel, enable young composers to present themselves for an innovative project of contemporary music, is now at its second edition. Francesco Arena, Petrit Halilaj, Gili Lavy, Shahryar Nashat and Suha Traboulsi are the artists chosen for the final and invited to exhibit the works they consider to be some of the most significant of their artistic practice and suitable for presenting themselves to the public in the context of collective exhibition. The finalists composers, Gabriele Cosmi, Geoffrey Gordon, Pierre Mariétan, Catherine Milliken have been invited to compose new pieces which are then performed in concert, enabling the final jury and public to choose the winner. The concert, which took place in the exceptional setting of the Villa della Tesoriera, home to the Biblioteca Musicale Andrea Della Corte in Turin, is available in the CD recording enclosed with this volume. Within the splendid settings of the Italian Cultural Institute in London will be announced the winners on 5 July 2017. During the event the presentation of the sound work I am Doctor Merz. A voice Opera on Mario Merz: a reading of a selection of texts by the artist, accompanied by electronic tracks will take place .  
  • Wael Shawky. Al Araba Al Madfuna

    pages: 14
    format: 23 x 27 cm
    date of publication: December 2016
    binding: paperback
    language: Italian/English
    isbn 9788877572653


    This booklet is the ideal complement to the catalogue of the solo exhibition that the Fondazione Merz dedicated to the Egyptian artist Wael Shawky, winner of the first edition of the Mario Merz Prize, an international biennial award for art and music. The exhibition ran from 2 November 2016 to 5 February 2017. The book collects the images of the spectacular staging of the exhibition at the Fondazione’s spaces in Turin. The site-specific exhibition project, conceived by the artist himself, focuses on the Al Araba Al Madfuna film trilogy, presented for the first time in its entirety. Wael Shawky invites us to go through the physical elements that make up the film: stage architectures and sculptures, set in an artificial landscape of sand. The scenography thus produced, together with the projections, offers the possibility of an immersive experience between dream and reality, creating an original atmosphere that takes up the historical, literary and cinematographic references through which the artist has imagined his stories.