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texts by Beatrice Merz, Marzia Migliora, Alberto Salza
format: 14,5 x 21 cm
date of publication: May 2017
€30,00This 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.
format: 14,5 x 21 cm
date of publication: March 2017
binding: paperback with dust-cover and leaflet
€15,00This 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 .
format: 23 x 27 cm
date of publication: December 2016
€5,00This 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.
texts by Abdellah Karroum, Beatrice Merz and Mohamed Mustagab
format: 23 x 27 cm
date of publication: November 2016
€35,00This catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition Wael Shawky: Al Araba Al Madfuna curated by Abdellah Karroum and held at Fondazione Merz from 2nd November 2016 to 5th February 2017. “Shawky is an artist who embraces the exhibition space in a gesture of giving and sharing fragments of a world that is impossible to translate into controlled physical forms. […] Wael Shawky: Al Araba Al Madfuna invites the viewer to walk through elements of the films and their processes of production – architectural artefacts, sculptures, and drawings on animal skins – placed inside a built landscape of sand. The viewer moves in temporal reverse, beginning with the last film, Al Araba Al Madfuna III, in colour, followed by three-dimensional elements taken from the storyboard, and then, finally, Shawky’s older films in black and white. Al Araba Al Madfuna II is second and then, in the last, and most claustrophobic room, Al Araba Al Madfuna I. This film is accessible only after descending twenty metres of stairs at a steep forty-five degree angle, as if entering a mastaba installed in the underground rooms of the museum. This path refers to a conceptual approach of inverted route, from the surface to the underground, from the evident to the mysterious. The inverted narrative was inspired by the inverse and all-too-human process of digging up that which is underground in the hopes of discovering ancient treasures or our own memories. The last film – Al Araba Al Madfuna III – emphasises the fundamental relationship between the artwork’s place of production and the site of its display: a landscape of sand and stones is created in the exhibition space to recreate the ‘temple’ architecture housing the reenacted story. The viewer is confronted in this last film, the most complex of the series, with a technical montage and conceptual visual vocabulary. The scale of the projection renders the characters – human figures – larger than life, and the inversion of the image creates disorientation. […] Al Araba Al Madfuna continues Shawky’s interest in using existing stories and histories that are part of our culture as points of departure for exploring the production of historical narratives and their far-reaching effects, reading official histories and myths through and against one another. […] Wael Shawky’s work is based on historical narratives, sociological interpretations, and fictional writing, from which he constructs his way of looking at past myths alongside the present. The artist’s films interpret political and historical narratives using an original artistic vocabulary and storyboards that scenically convey the subjectivity of all supposedly objective media or official propaganda. The particular storyboards that prefigured Shawky’s Al Araba Al Madfuna films were inspired by a journey taken in the early 2000s, an exploration of Upper Egypt’s history and contemporary context, where myths live among daily encounters, through ethnographic immersion and scientific lens. […] Mohamed Mustagab’s parables from Dayrut al-Sharif (1983) are a main source for Wael Shawky’s Al Araba Al Madfuna. Each of the films retell his short stories, The J-B-R’s, The Offering, Horsemen Adore Perfumes, and Sunflowers respectively. […] Connecting mythological perspectives of metaphysical visions with realities of the physical, material world, the film series ruminates on the ritual of oral communal storytelling which, through repetition and re-telling, transforms tales into mythical histories that themselves become new readings of progress and change in society. The entire Al Araba Al Madfuna project was inspired by a journey, a place within history, and a personal experience of that place. The storyboards, drawings, sculptures, and films that emerged were made between Abydos, the place of the artist’s site of expedition, and the exhibition spaces and museums where the artwork is later made visible. His journey to Upper Egypt is marked and made of places and encounters, of archaeological sites, of the people who care for the memory of the past, the people who wait, the people who dig, and finally, of those who write. It is this latter category, embodied by the work of the Egyptian novelist Mustagab, that is the most influential for Shawky in this project. In a way, the artist looks at humankind’s experience of history as his own experience, of both accountability for some pressing issues in the world and watching as older values die or mutate into other forms of life.” (Abdellah Karroum)
texts by: Mario Merz
format: 23 x 27 cm
date of publication: July 2016
€5,00This dossier is published on the occasion of the exhibition Mario Merz. La natura è l’equilibrio (Nature is equilibium) held at the Fondazione Merz from 4th July to 18th september 2016. After the Fondazione’s inaugural exhibition in 2005, and after three themed exhibitions about the drawings in 2007, about the paintings in 2010, and about his links with architectural design in 2011, and following a number of external collaborations, the Fondazione is now devoting an entire exhibition to present a careful selection of works by Mario Merz that are closely related to the theme of nature. This is a theme that is certainly not unusual for the artist who, with his watchful eyes, never overlooked the subject, either in private life or in his artistic development that saw him constantly asking questions. Have the fundamental elements succeeded in building a complex evolutionary sequence able to overtake us? An extreme desire, therefore, to observe the fundamental laws that govern the universe more closely because living on earth means observing and participating in its evolution. The exhibition foresees the display of works from the Merz collection, including some not shown for many years. The selection will include paintings, installations and drawings, and each work has a selected text alongside by Mario Merz. The idea is to focus the exhibition with a poetic tale of the earth as creator of life rather than exclusively on the concepts related to the work itself. As though it were a reading of forms, figures and words in an attempt to reorganise the pairing between culture and nature.
texts by Beatrice Merz, Maria Centonze
format: 14,5 x 21 cm
date of publication: March 2016
€25,00This catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition Society, you’re a crazy breed by Botto&Bruno held at Fondazione Merz from 9th March to 19th June 2016. “The exhibition in the spaces of the Fondazione Merz is the new stage of an artistic journey that starts as always with the history of the place, drawing the infinite possibilities enclosed in it. It is a place subjected to radical changes that time and man have impressed on it either deliberately or through neglect, but which continues to be a container of life and energy. Within this context, the reading of the new world brings with it a thousand fragments of various objects, both recognisable and unrecognisable, which daily appear before our eyes like the ruins of a past that appears to us all the more a lost eden the more time passes. The photographs pervade the exhibition space to the point of creating a new dimension, like a city of the future in which the remains of a civilisation mingle with the present, defining new possibilities of life. Starting from their own experience, Botto&Bruno have for years been bringing into play a personal vision of change, revealing the signs of a transformation that is already under way. Thousands of images collected everywhere, with almost nothing to differentiate between one place and another; coloured and deformed plastic, cement debris, rusty wrought iron, the parched earth that manages to gather nourishment even in these abandoned spaces and shows its strength through the flowering of native plants, the sort that are sometimes hard to cultivate. Botto&Bruno have produced an accurate sounding, a powerful lens open and responsive to every detail, as though with a wish to give back to these abandoned objects, these violated places the dignity impressed on them when they were born”. (Maria Centonze) This book reproduces the photographic documentation of the exhibition and it is enriched by texts by Beatrice Merz and Maria Centonze.