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with a selection of texts by Mario Merz
format: 23 x 27 cm
date of publication: July 2018
€5,00On the 50th anniversary of the protest movements of 1968, this exhibition provides food for thought concerning a period full of creative ferment, which triggered new processes of transformation and renewed vision of the future. The artist experienced this period as a protagonist, together with many of his travelling companions, with the aim of redefining the cultural and ideological canons. The exhibition presents a dozen works created by Merz between 1966 and 1973. This change involved all the arts, from literature to music, theatre, cinema and, of course, the visual arts, which have seen such significant movements coexist such as minimalism, arte povera, land and conceptual art, simultaneously contrasting the then emerging American art with the European scene. It has generated a climate rich in extraordinary sensitivity, a new existential model based on a constant commitment to the concept, presentation and distribution of the art of one’s own time: breaking through the object, a constant and direct control at all times, a shift of art into life, a passionate, multi-faceted and supporting art. The exhibition becomes a story, therefore, suspended between the historical, the political and the poetic, a narration that starts from the words of Mario Merz himself and presents some of the most important works of those years that have become icons of his artistic career. Continuing the Fondazione’s ongoing programme dedicated to the work of Mario and Marisa Merz, this exhibition, Sitin by Mario Merz is the latest in the series of thematic presentations of his work. Previous exhibition themes include: drawing in 2010; pictorial production and its link to architectural design in 2011; and most recently, in 2016, La natura è l’equilibrio, which focused on the relationship between nature and culture. This publication offers a view of the exhibition at the Fondazione together with a selection of texts by Mario Merz on show.
texts by Valentina Bruschi, Clara Schulmann, Ignazio Mortellaro
format: 9 x 12 cm
date of publication: July 2018
€10,00The second booklet in the RADICETERNA series is dedicated to Katinka Bock. For the programme of research and the promotion of contemporary art that sees its first realisation in the Botanical Garden of Palermo, the German artist proposes a series of new works, especially conceived for the space of the Calidarium. Popolazione (lines and straight lines), is a composite sculpture inspired by and derived from residual natural elements of the Botanical Garden, collected and used as a base for forms designed by nature itself. The Calidarium in Palermo’s Botanical Garden, originally a heated greenhouse to allow certain plant species to survive the rigours of winter, takes on a new value as a place of care and an incubator of ideas thanks to the artists involved in the project, suitable for sheltering thoughts, experiences and narratives.
texts by Valentina Bruschi, Allora & Calzadilla, Ted Chiang, Beatrice Merz, Ignazio Mortellaro, Anne Palopoli
format: 9 x 12 cm
date of publication: maggio 2018
€10,00The first volume of the series inaugurating the collaboration between hopefulmonster and RADICETERNA – a series bearing the same name as the cultural association responsible for the creation of exhibitions and events, curated by Valentina Bruschi, Ignazio Mortellaro and Vittorio Rappa, in the Botanical Gardens of Palermo – is dedicated to the work of the artistic duo consisting of Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla. The installation called The Great Silence, a complex video work capable of narrating the relationship that human beings have with nature and the world in an original way, maintains a dialogue with the space of the historic Calidarium or hothouse in the Botanical Garden, transformed into a place of study and meditation by the project through the presence of works of art relating to the theme of nature and of a library open to the public entirely devoted to texts on works by contemporary artists who have been inspired by nature.
texts by Lisa Parola, Maria Centonze, Fatma Bucak, Kaya Genç, Gianmaria Ajani
format: 14,5 x 21 cm
date of publication: April 2018
€25,00The 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).
texts by Leonardo Padura and Claudia Gioia
format: 14,5 x 21 cm
date of publication: January 2018
€35,00The 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.
texts by Robert Schneider, Luca Cerizza, Massimo Bartolini
format: 14,5 x 21 cm
date of publication: October 2017
€28,00The 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 them.here 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.