Monographies
  • Kara Walker. A negress of noteworthy talent

    texts by Olga Gambari, Luca Morena, Richard Flood, Rebecca Walker, Rebecca Harris-Perry, Jennifer Richeson, Roy Sorensen
    pages: 207
    format: 14,5 x 21 cm
    date of publication: September 2011
    images: 83
    binding: hardback
    language: Italian/English
    isbn 9788877572516



    €30,00

    This volume collects the documentation of the solo exhibition that the Fondazione Merz dedicated to Kara Walker, curated by Olga Gambari, from 25 March to 3 July 2011. The exhibition project included a review of films – a field of expression to which the artist is strongly attached – an international conference on the political and psychological dimension of racial stereotypes and a workshop with students from the Accademia Albertina and the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy at the University of Turin. In addition, the participation of journalist and writer Rebecca Walker enriched the debate on the concepts of race, class, culture and gender. Kara Walker, confronting the post-industrial space of the Foundation, presented cut papers in free evolution on the walls, a video-installation, drawings, collages and tempera paintings. The project that involves the artist and that the book illustrates with a vast photographic and textual apparatus, is centred on the mythical memory that takes shape in her work, a memory in constant metamorphosis in which the biographical dimension is placed in connection with collective experience. A historical event such as the birth of the Afro-American community in the United States, linked to centuries of slavery and the subsequent difficult racial integration, becomes a material on which Kara Walker can draw for her figurative stories, playing on shadows and silhouettes. Her black silhouettes move in a visionary and metaphorical land, between day/night and light/dark. Fiercely realistic stories, allegories of black humour are represented in installations, videos, stage sets, puppets, kinetic shadows, wall drawings, collages on various supports, from wall to canvas. But also drawings, tempera, miniatures and large dimensions for dynamic stories that hover in a dimension where the grotesque verges on the dramatic. Kara Walker’s stories become myths, fairy tales, and although they have precise roots, they become universal narratives.
  • De Serio. No fire zone

    text by Francesco Bernardelli
    pages: 120
    format: 14,5 x 21 cm
    date of publication: December 2010
    images: 45 col.
    binding: hardback
    language: Italian/English
    isbn 9788877572493



    €30,00

    This book documents the exhibition no fire zone held at the Fondazione Merz in Turin from 10 March to 18 April 2010. The project was commissioned by the Fondazione Merz to document the great event that closed the Wolfgang Laib’s exhibition in June of 2009, when the German artist brought forty-five Brahmins from the Indian region of Tamil Nadu to celebrate the Hindu fire ceremony at the Fondazione. Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio take the Mahayagna – the fire ritual that is celebrated for the wellbeing of the entire world and all living creatures – as the starting point for their reflection upon the Sri Lanka Civil War and its implications for the Tamil ethnicity, which the Brahmins belong to. The two artists were struck by the strong contrast between the two contradicting situations: on the one hand the religious ritual and man’s quest for harmony and on the other, the oppressive abuse of power that causes unbalanced situations and overwhelming human distress. Their installations interact with Laib’s work: they juxtapose the images of Laib’s exhibition with the harsh images of the war, and the reality of the Tamil’s Diaspora as if trying to find the way to a possible dialogue in this clash. The exhibition features a multi-video installation that unfolds through the Fondazione spaces according to a circular path. It ends in the lower level where it begins again with Soul diaspora, the pivotal work around which the entire project no fire zone revolves.   Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio are twins and they were born in Turin in 1978. They live and work in Turin. Massimiliano graduated in History of Art Criticism, and Gianluca in Film History at DAMS, in Turin. They have been worked together since 2000 and during the years they have produced numerous films among which: Zakaria, My Brother Yang, Maria Jesus. Their works have been selected for various film festivals among which: Oberhausen Film Festival, Edimburgh Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival. In 2010 they had the solo exhibition Bakroman at Arge Kunst in Bozen; they also participated in the group exhibitions at Galleria Comunale d’Arte Contemporanea (Monfalcone), Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea (Trento), Maison Rouge (Paris), Centre d’Art Nei Liicht (Dudelange, Luxembourg), Participant Inc. (New York), Annet Genlink Gallery (Amsterdam), MAXXI (Roma).  
  • Ottonella Mocellin and Nicola Pellegrini. Messico famigliare (Domestic Mexico)

    text by Francesca Pasini
    pages: 160
    format: 14,5 x 21 cm
    binding:
    date of publication: February 2010
    images: 40 col.
    binding: hardback
    language: Italian/English
    isbn 9788877572479

     



    €30,00

    This book documents the exhibition Messico famigliare / Domestic Mexico held at the Fondazione Merz in Turin from 19 January to 28 February 2010. The title, Domestic Mexico, is evidently a play on words (in the original Italian Messico/lessico) referring to Natalia Ginzburg’s Domestic Vocabulary, published in 1963 and which centered upon the expressed internal relationships of families. Mocellin and Pellegrini, through their own parenting experience, take a look at the family at the present time and its paradoxes: it is no longer considered to be a closed entity, but it’s difficult to think of it as open; it still functions as a traditional screen in the name of which to remedy conflicts and organize consensus. The artists weave fragments of their family memories together with the experience of being new adoptive parents and the widespread diffidence towards a family that proposes to differ from the scheme of the classic patriarchal model. Joining the personal with the political has raised discussions about the concept of neutrality in the lives of men and women, claiming personal responsibility as one of the factors necessary for renewing social relationships. The artists examine the nature of their “mixed” family within the country’s social contest, which seems to show a growing fear and a general mistrust for diversity. The photos published in the catalogue are stories in and of themselves, at times accompanied by recorded texts, and where the complex link of affective structures emerges.   Ottonella Mocellin and Nicola Pellegrini were both born in Milan, respectively in 1966 and 1962. They lived in London from 1984 to 1993, where they studied Public Art and Architecture. They spent the year of 2001-02 in New York, as representatives from Italy in the P.S.1 International Studio Program. Their works, including installations, videos, photography and performances, have been exhibited in museums and galleries in Italy and abroad. They are represented currently by the Lia Rumma Gallery, with locations in Milan and Naples.
  • Wolfgang Laib

    texts by Federico Squarcini, Guy Tosatto, Wolfgang Laib, Klaus Ottmann
    a selection of mantra
    pages: 136
    format: 23 x 29 cm
    date of publication: February 2010
    images: 70 col.
    binding: hardback
    language: Italian/English
    isbn 9788877572431

     



    €45,00

    This artist’s book records the project of the show by German artist Wolfgang Laib at the Fondazione Merz from 9 April to 7 June 2009. A sense of the balance and harmony that governs the world and the work of man, essential guardian of the universe, lies at the base of the artist’s thinking. An installation of hundreds of small rice mountains, a line of small mountains of pollen and a great mountain of beeswax Ziggurat fill the entire space of the Fondazione. Furthermore, from 1 to 7 June, and for only seven days, the Fondazione was host to a special event that was part of the artist’s project: fortyfive Brahmins priests, from one of the most important temples of southern India, officiated at the rite of fire, which has been part of Indian tradition for millennia.

    “A long story lies behind the genesis of this event. For Documenta 1987, Mario Merz invited me to exhibit a vase of pollen on a spiral table. That was the beginning of a beautiful and very precious friendship between two artists with – I believe – different lives, different ages, but sometimes a very similar way of looking. We were both fascinated, something that has much enriched our lives… So it will be much more than an exhibition of different objects and works; not an exhibition for an individual artist, it will concern the whole world, the universe and also our very existence. I have had this dream for the whole of my life, since when I tried to be a doctor, realising very quickly that that meant only dealing with the physical body, whereas our life and existence cannot be reduced simply to matter. The pollen recalls the beginning and creation; the rice mountains and the beeswax Ziggurat (pyramid and steps) nourishment and the bond of the sky with the earth; in the end, fire recalls destruction and the possible renewal of the world, the transformation of what is physical to a new cycle, to a state of change” (Wolfgang Laib).

  • Luisa Rabbia. In viaggio sotto lo stesso cielo

    texts by Chiara Bertola, Giorgio Guglielmino,Beatrice Merz, Luisa Rabbia
    pages: 160
    format: 14,5 x 21 cm
    date of publication: January 2010
    images: 50 col., 17 b/n
    binding: hardback
    language: Italian/English
    isbn 9788877572448

     



    €30,00

    This catalogue is published on the occasion of the show of the Italian artist Luisa Rabbia at the Fondazione Merz from 19 June to 20 September 2009. The exhibition evolves around three central works, consisting of a video and two installations, with traveling as the main theme, through an intimate, imaginary and surreal journey. Luisa Rabbia combines her own world of loneliness, fear, anxiety and personal memories with images taken from other people’s lives. The result is a sort of diary, a narrative that develops through a net of drawings: endless roots, fragments of the artist’s work and clips from her previous videos that are all like blood vessels of a life journey. The video Travels with Isabella. Travel Scrapbooks 1883-2008 was conceived during the artist’s residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Luisa Rabbia was inspired by the photographs collected by Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924), during her journey through China in 1883, to create an entrancing animated trail: a scenario of images from ancient China on which she composes her personal diary made of drawings, video footage from her previous works and works from the museum collection. In the installation The Following Day, No One Died, placed on one of the large walls of the Fondazione, the porcelain marks interact with her father’s ECG as if extending the past into the present, to let that distant moment in time live on. Finally, among the main works is Under the Same Sky, based on the encounter between the different cultures emerging nowadays in Turin: Italian, Moroccan, and Rumanian. It is a photographic work that blends the images of these three different countries to create an imaginary landscape on which the artist draws, according to her interpretation of the word “immigration” and to her personal experience as “immigrant” in the USA. All photographs are downloaded from the Web, which has actually become the ultimate source of information for all travelers.

    From January 23 to February 27 2010, the exhibition will be hosted by the Fundación Proa in Buenos Aires (Argentina).

  • Matthew Barney. Mitologie contemporanee

    texts by Matthew Barney, Arthur C. Danto, Gian Luca Favetto, Richard Flood, Olga Gambari
    pages: 200
    format: 14,5 x 21 cm
    date of publication: May 2009
    images: 80 col.
    binding: hardback
    language: Italian/English
    isbn 9788877572356



    €30,00

    The book collects the multi-faceted project that Matthew Barney developed in 3 days in Turin and documents the different parts of it: the solo exhibition at the Fondazione Merz (30 October 2008 - 11 January 2009), a workshop with the students of the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti and University of Turin, a public meeting between the artist and Richard Flood, opened by a paper written for the occasion by Arthur C. Danto, and a series of films screened at the Cinema Massimo.

    Matthew Barney is one of the most important American artists of the new generations. In the international survey he is an original and many-sided author, his work crosses many cultural branches – sculpture, photography, architecture, design, fashion, cinema, music etc. – creating a very special artistic language. His conceptual and aesthetic work mixes parts of all mithologies produced in the history of mankind, from the ancient and classical until the most anomalous and mysterious ones. His hybrid and omnivore artistic research is a sort of great and new cosmogony. His movies are famous all over the world: the epic Cremaster Cycle, Drawing Restraint and De Lama Lamina.

    Matthew Barney was born in San Francisco in 1967 and was raised in Boise, Idaho. He attended Yale University, receiving his BA in 1989, then moved to New York City, where he lives today. From his earliest work, Barney has explored the transcendence of physical limitations in a multimedia art practice that includes feature-length films, video installations, sculpture, photography, and drawing. In his first solo exhibitions, Barney presented elaborate sculptural installations that included videos of himself interacting with various constructed objects and performing physical feats such as climbing across the gallery ceiling suspended from titanium ice screws. In 1992, Barney introduced fantastical creatures into his work, a gesture that presaged the vocabulary of his subsequent narrative films. In 1994, Barney began work on his epic Cremaster cycle, a five-part film project accompanied by related sculptures, photographs, and drawings. He completed the cycle in 2002. Matthew Barney: The Cremaster Cycle, an exhibition organized by the Guggenheim Museum of artwork from the entire project, premiered at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, in June 2002 and subsequently traveled to the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in October 2002 before its presentation in New York.