The Blank Conversation is a project dedicated to under 35 artists and it has been developed in two years, in 2014 and 2015, respectively dedicated to Italian and foreign artists.
For this project, the artists will spend a short time in Bergamo, as guests at The Blank Residence. During their stay, the artists are able to know the most important cultural realities of Bergamo and they can interface with The Blank staff.
Their residence is recorded with photographies and the whole collected material is then published in a small bilingual publication, that testimony the experience and the research of the involved artists.
The Blank Educational is a project born in 2015 addressed to high school students and it is aimed to enhance knowledge and passion for Contemporary Art. The programme includes a number of activities: introduction to the languages of contemporary art, talks and workshop held in class with artists, studio visit and guided visits to temporary exhibitions.
In partnership with
With the contribution of
In the context of the project
The Blank Hospitality offers to all art lovers, creative and cultural workers the opportunity to experience a very special staying in Bergamo thanks to a hospitality service offered by residence The Blank. The Residence is located in Via Quarenghi 50, two minutes far from the train station and the central Via XX Settembre.
The Blank is a Cultural Association made up of people involved in contemporary art and, on request, it is able to offer operators, curators and artists in order to discover the city as never before. A skilled team will plan the best itinerary in line with cultural interests of each person.
The Blank Hospitality is part of Art in Network, in partnership with the association That’s Contemporary, developed within the project fUNDER35 of Fondazione Cariplo.
coins for the ferryman
Porcelain and stoneware
Courtesy the artist and Francois Ghebaly Gallery,
Los Angeles CA
Photo credits: Pauline Shapiro
THE BLANK CONTEMPORARY ART
99 WORDS WITH GENESIS BELANGER
There seems to be a gulf between how little we understand what motivates our actions. Originally, I was fascinated by this unknowing and how it was – almost – weaponized against us by the advertising industry. More recently I have noticed how this inner disconnect affects us in a more intimate context: how we grieve. Loss is an inevitable part of life, yet we are so obsessed with living we have very little support for it culturally. This disincentivizes a present tense understanding of how we are affected by our grief. We mourn many things – a death being paramount – but the gravity of an ultimate loss does not negate the pain of lesser losses. We all mourn the big and small absences. It is time to pull all these messy feelings into the known.
Alejandra Hernández Studio, Bogotà, 2019
in the background
Alejandra Hernández, Andrea & Santiago, 2019
THE BLANK CONTEMPORARY ART
99 WORDS WITH ALEJANDRA HERNÁNDEZ
What I intend to do are basically portraits of our time, of different ways of living, more than a final painting I see it as a document of people who are walking this earth and whom I sometimes have the pleasure to meet and translate said meeting into a canvas. More than a painting I see it as a social construct, where both sides are in constant dialogue and all our baggage can just drop for a few hours while we share the experience and concretely render it into a painting.
Santiago Reyes Villaveces, Harp, 2019.
Courtesy The artist, The Blank Contemporary Art, Fondazione Amleto Bertoni
Installation view. Sacristy of Sant’Ignazio former church, Saluzzo (CN), Italy
THE BLANK CONTEMPORARY ART
99 WORDS WITH SANTIAGO REYES VILLAVECES
The Harp project consists in constructing an exploded copy of the Tópaga harp (1680) that occupies the architectural space of Sacristy of the Church of Sant’Ignazio.
The instrument’s design is deformed through the use of an elliptical structure with two foci-bridges.
Making use of the Sacristy’s open drawers, windows, and physical structure itself as resonance boxes, Harp fabricates a polyarchic harp (of multiple origins) as a flow of historical, architectonic, embodied, and decolonising frequencies that aim to destabilize the origin story delivered to the “new world” by the Jesuit harp.
Taking Possession of the Mediterranean for the Arts
100 x 140 cm
Courtesy of the Artist
THE BLANK CONTEMPORARY ART
99 WORDS WITH KLAUS RINKE
“I found that water was a sculptural material. In handling water, I concluded that filling up a sculpture with water takes time. A ton, how long to fill it up? How long to empty?” Rinke uses the element of water as a universal symbol of femininity and fertility, purification and flux, often focusing on the evaporation of water to depict its impermanence. In his art, he emphasizes water as an essential element focusing on its importance to life and human well-being. His work with water also serves to highlight his environmental concerns emphasizing the fragility, scarcity and interconnection of our global water sources.
Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg
Dark Side of the Moon, 2017
Stop motion animation
Ed.: 4, II
THE BLANK CONTEMPORARY ART
99 WORDS WITH NATHALIE DJURBERG & HANS BERG
One need not be a chamber
to be haunted –
one need not be a house –
the brain has corridors – surpassing
Far safer, of a midnight meeting
than its interior confronting –
that cooler host.
Far safer, through an abbey gallop –
the stones a’chase –
than unarmed, one’s a’self encounter –
in lonesome place.
Ourself behind ourself, concealed –
should startle most –
assassin hid in our apartment –
be horror’s least.
The body borrows a revolver –
he bolts the door –
o’erlooking a superior spectre
Studio of Paolo Icaro, Tavullia, 2019
in the foreground
P. Icaro, Racconto, since 1969, onyx, lead,
THE BLANK CONTEMPORARY ART
99 WORDS WITH PAOLO ICARO
I thought I had met in that ingot of common steel, commonly called iron, a proportion, a unit I would say” symbolic “of all the iron: that metal was all there inside in an atomic explosion. That ingot was not a form, it was not an object but a thing in itself. So I looked for other materials that were equally intensely appealing to me, and the only formal criterion that I imposed was the size of the first Racconto. […] The other criterion was intensity and the satisfaction of the various meetings, now echoes of memories now of nostalgia, of places and situations.
extract from Paolo Icaro. Faredisfarerifarevedere, curated by Lara Conte, Mousse publishing, 2016
watercolor on paper
29,7 x 42 cm
Courtesy the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana
Photo Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio
THE BLANK CONTEMPORARY ART
99 WORDS WITH JORGE MACCHI
The artist takes the hand of the visitor and leads him into the forest. He knows it very well (in fact he has planted all the trees). He takes the visitor to a clearing in the middle of the forest. They stay there for some minutes in silence. Taking advantage of a moment of distraction the artist disappears behind some bushes and runs until he reaches the limit of his forest. The visitor suddenly realizes that he is alone in an unknown place. He tries some paths to go out but all of them bring him to the very same place. He regrets having been distracted with those flowers.
SANTIAGO REYES VILLAVECES (Bogotà, 1986) IS THE WINNER OF THE 41ST EDITION OF PREMIO MATTEO OLIVERO
Santiago Reyes Villaveces (Bogotá, Colombia 1986) is the winner of the 41st edition of Premio Matteo Olivero, organized by the City of Saluzzo and Fondazione Amleto Bertoni with the aim of promoting the territory through art. Premio Matteo Olivero is placed within START / history and art in Saluzzo, the festival dedicated to all forms of art that takes place in the capital of the Marquisate from April 26th to May 26th.
The artistic direction has been entrusted to Soluzioni Turistiche Integrate, which relies on the collaboration of Stefano Raimondi for the curatorship of the Prize; Raimondi, formerly curator at GAMeC – Galleria di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Bergamo, is director of The Blank Contemporary Art, the main Italian network for promotion and valorisation of contemporary art.
Origin, intended as something at the beginning of something else, the fundamental cause, the matrix, the inspiring element of an event, is the theme chosen for the 41st edition of the Prize, which communicates with the theme chosen for START, i.e. Character, of which the Prize interprets the origin.
The international jury composed by Chrissie Iles, Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Nicola Ricciardi, Artistic Director at OGR, Turin, Arturo Demaria, Counselor at Fondazione Amleto Bertoni, Roberto Giordana, deputy manager at Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo and Stefano Raimondi, curator of the Prize, has unanimously decided to reward Harp project by Santiago Reyes Villaveces, created by the artist in collaboration with the composer Nicolás Jaramillo and the musicologist Daniel Villegas Velez: “for having been able to interpret in an innovative and poetic manner the Sacristy of Ex-Sant’Ignazio Church, presenting a work that has its roots in the Jesuits’ history and capable of dealing with a complex issue, such as colonialism, in a lyrical and original way. At the same time Harp interacts with Saluzzo’s traditions, such as music and craftsmanship, and presents itself in its monumentality as a body capable of interacting with the viewer “.
Forty-one artists of sixteen different nationalities took part in the Prize, invited by prestigious international advisors: Americans, Azeris, Brazilians, Britons, Colombians, Koreans, Cypriots, Filipinos, French, Iranians, Israelis, Italians, Netherlanders, Polish, Russians and Swiss challenged themselves by presenting original and innovative projects to value a suggestive location rich in history, such as the Sacristy of Ex-Sant’Ignazio Church, which has now become a room in the Town Hall of Saluzzo.
The idea takes shape in the form of a solo exhibition at the Sacristy of the Ex-Sant’Ignazio Church, open from April 26th, the opening day of START festival. The current shape of the hall – part of the architectural complex including the College, now Palazzo Comunale – dates to 1725, but since 1831 has served as an archive, without changing its structure. Inside, it is still possible to admire two frescos representing Sant’Ignazio on both doors and the coat of arms of the Jesuits, who inaugurated the Sacristy at the beginning of the 18th century. Harp project consists in building an expanded copy of the Tópaga harp (1680), that is meant to occupy the architectural space of the Sacristy. The instrument’s design is deformed using an elliptical structure with two focal points. Using the Sacristy’s open drawers, windows, and physical structure as resonance boxes, Harp creates a polyarchic harp, a historical and architectural flow, aiming to destabilize the original history. In 1725, the Order of the Jesuits inaugurated the Sacristy of Sant’Ignazio Church in Saluzzo. The same year, the Jesuit Father José Gumilla was directing one of the most ambitious territorial expansions in the conquest of the Americas in the Orinoquía region of the New Kingdom of Granada—a contiguous region shared today by Colombia and Venezuela. The practice of polyphonic European music was one of the main tools used to convey the system of European values during this period of Jesuit expansion and evangelization in the Americas. Among the instruments used to organize processes of territorial, cultural, and sensory colonization, the harp stood out for its portability and structural simplicity.
Using the harp as a symbol of its ancient Greek and Roman origins, Italian Humanism strategically deployed art’s mimetic capacity to (re)form communities in the “New World.” For the Jesuits, the Renaissance harp worked as a synecdoche capable to make the classical universe of European cosmology present and audible.
Harp uses the numerous drawers and lockers of Sacristy’s furniture, opening them and making the archive’s structure open, visible and resounding. The instrument will use a set of diverse resonance boxes: the building itself, the drawers and the windows. Created in collaboration with the composer Nicolás Jaramillo, a musical piece will be performed during the exhibition’s opening by a local choir, from the province of Saluzzo. Singing with their heads inside the open drawers, the performers will not directly play the harp, but will use the vibration of their voices to make the strings resonate through the space. The entire structure of Harp parasites the space it inhabits to sustain itself amidst a network of physical and discursive tensions to build a temporal and embodied experience connecting two dissonant spaces and historical experiences. This project renews and gives new meaning to the harp through an erratic process of sensorial counter-conquest.
One of the main innovations of the 41st edition of the Prize is a change in the mode of participation. Artists have been selected and invited to take part in the Prize by twenty-four major international advisors, curators and directors from international institutions including: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, MAMbo in Bologna, Whitechapel Gallery in London, Castello di Rivoli, Mambo of Bogotà, Heart in Herning, Mart in Trento and Rovereto.
Specifically, the advisors are: Lorenzo Balbi (Artistic Director at MAMbo, Bologna), Michael Bank Christoffersen (Head of exhibitions and External Curator at HEART, Herning), Andrew Berardini (writer, Curator), Ginevra Bria (co-founder of FutureDome, Milan), Andrea Bruciati (Director at Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este, Tivoli), Emily Butler (Mahera and Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London), Domenico De Chirico (independent curator), Julia Draganovic (Director at Kunsthalle Osnabrück), Fredi Fischli (Co-director of the exhibitions gta, ETH Zurich), Sara Fumagalli (Curator at GAMeC, Bergamo), Giorgia Horn (Curator), Denis Isaia (Curator at MART, Trento and Rovereto), Ellen Kapanadze (Curator and Co-founder of Why Not Gallery, Tbilisi) Lara Khaldi, (Curator and Director at the department of Media Studies al Alquds Bard College, Jerusalem), Sam Korman, (independent writer and Curator), Luca Lo Pinto, (Curator at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna), Simone Menegoi (Artistic Director at Arte Fiera Bologna), Bernardo Mosqueira (Curator, writer and researcher), Alberta Romano, (independent curator), Sona Sepanyan, (independent curator), Marianna Vecellio (Curator at Castello di Rivoli), Saverio Verini (writer and Art Curator, coordinator of the exhibitions at Fondazione Memmo, Rome), Eugenio Viola (Head Curator at Mambo, Bogotà), Xiaoyu Weng, (Curator at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York).
NATHALIE DJUBERG AND HANS BERG
Bergamo, March 9 – 31, 2019 | Sala alla Porta Sant’Agostino – Via della Fara
Saturday March 8, 6.30PM
Mon. – Fri. 3:30PM – 7:30PM | sat. – Sun. 11:00AM – 7:30PM
NATHALIE DJUBERG AND HANS BERG MEET THE AUDIENCE
Saturday March 9, 3.30PM | Cinema San Marco – Piazzale della Repubblica, 2
The section of BFM37 dedicated to the contaminations between cinema and contemporary art will offer a close-up look on the work of Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg, a Swedish duo awarded with the Leone d’Argento at Venice Biennale in 2009, for the first time in Bergamo.
The exhibition, curated by Stefano Raimondi and Claudia Santeroni, will bring the artists’ fantastic worlds in the Sixteenth-century spaces of Porta Sant’Agostino.
The partnership between Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg began in 2004; their work is presented in large immersive installations, bizarre landscapes populated by people, animals and plants portraying the impulses and contradictions of the human soul.
Playing with the historical meaning of Porta Sant’Agostino as a transit point, the exhibition develops around a large projection and, at the same time, shows the sculptural research carried out by the artists.
Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg will meet the festival audience on Saturday March 9, 3:30PM at Cinema San Marco. During the event, a selection of video works will be available, allowing visitors to learn, through the words of the protagonists, the main implications related to their work.
The exhibition is promoted by the City of Bergamo and is organized by Associazione The Blank, Bergamo Film Meeting and Lab 80 film.
In collaboration with Giò Marconi (Milan) and with technical contribution of Dielle Ceramiche and the partnership with La Torre tappeti.
Nathalie Djurberg (Lysekil, Sweden – 1978) and Hans Berg (Rättvik, Sweden – 1978) live and work in Berlin. In 2009, they participated in the 53rd Venice Biennale “Fare Mondi”, winning the Silver Lion. Their works were at the centre of solo exhibitions in the most important artistic institutions, including the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, the MART in Trento and Rovereto, the Tate Britain in London, the PICA in Perth, the Moscow Garage and the Walker Art Center of Minneapolis. Their works can also be found in public collections such as: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Kunsthaus Zuerich, Zurich; Malmö Konstmuseum, Malmö; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; MoMA – Museum of Modern Art, New York; Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Borås Konstmuseum, Borås; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
15 febbraio 2019, ore 18.00
via Quarenghi 50 – Bergamo
The Blank is happy to announce the Open Studio of Simona Andrioletti and Filippo Marzocchi, winners of the HIGHLIGHTS residency program 2nd edition.
On 15th February at 6pm, on the occasion of the award ceremony and the final Open Studio, the artists will present their artistic project, realized during their stay on the territory, at Spazio QUARENGHICINQUANTA.
Simona Andrioletti will present the project Google IT!, realized in collaboration with Giacomo and Pio Manzù high school students. This work is born by some reflections about Moravia’s oration at Pasolini’s funeral, by a YouTube video and by an Umberto Eco’s letter to his adolescent nephew, where he explains the importance of keeping the memory exercised and of knowledge. The artist invited the students to ask questions about topics that, in their opinion, is important to know. Questions linked to studied subjects, which are fundamental and should be passed on.
Filippo Marzocchi, during the residency stay, focused on his pictorial production, specifically in the “Icon” series, where he analyzes the relation between painting and technological devices through the iconic structure of the picture, highlighting the relationship between man and these objects. There are some fundamental features in this production: the construction of rounded-angle frames, a defined use of a precise color palette and research for signs and road signs as pictorial support.
HIGHLIGHTS residency program is realized in partnership with FARE, with the support of MIBAC and SIAE, in the initiative “Sillumina – Copia private per I giovani, per la cultura”, aimed at under35 Italian artists. Projects were selected by the international jury composed by Domenico De Chirico (independent curator and artistic director at DAMA), Stefano Raimondi (curator and critic) and Driant Zeneli (artist and artistic director at Mediterranea18).
Simona Andrioletti, born in Bergamo in 1990, lives and works in Munich. She graduated at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, studying with Gianni Caravaggio. She studied visual arts at Academie der Bildende Kunst in Munich with professors Gregor Schneider, Simon Starling and Olaf Nicolai. Simona has been selected among the finalists of the Talent Prize for two years and has participated in the related exhibitions at MACRO in Rome, in October 2016 and December 2017. She presented her work at Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan, at Nir Altman Galerie, Stiftung Federkiel and at Kunstverein München in Munich, at Réfectoire des nonnes and at Palais Bondy in Lyon, at Waterworks Falkenstein in Hamburg. Her first solo show “And there was evening and there was morning” was hosted in 2016 at Twenty14 Gallery in Milan. She is among the founders of Residenza d’artista Carloforte, an artistic residency on San Pietro isle in Sardegna.
Filippo Marzocchi was born in 1989 in Forlì. His practice is based on images and sounds, developd and deepened through painting, performance and site-specific projects. His work investigates human perception, developing research about reality’s structure and about how people perceive time and space as a continuous movement. His work has been shown in institutions, galleries and independent spaces such as: Zabludowicz Collection, London; PAV Parco Arte Vivente, Turin; Istituto italiano di cultura a Parigi, Paris; UCA, Canterbury; Piramidon Centre d’Arte Contemporani, Barcelona; MAMbo, Bologna; LOCALEDUE, Bologna; CAR DRDE, Bologna; Sale Docks, Venice; Gaffdabasso, Milan; Galeria Fran Reus, Palma de Mallorca. He participated in residencies such as: Cripta747, Turin; Progetto Borca, Dolomiti Contemporanee; ManufattoinSitu, Viaindustriae; Esecuzione di Santa Caterina, Viaindustriae. In 2016 he co-founded with Mattia Pajè the space Gelateria Sogni di Ghiaccio in Bologna. He has been represented by Galeria Fran Reus since 2016.
Special thanks to:
Prof. Enrico De Pascale
The Blank Contemporary Art
Via G. Quarenghi 50 – 24122 Bergamo, Italy
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