“Italy”

Six exhibitions to see in Venice during the Biennale

From 13 May to 26 November, a dense programme has been scheduled at Venice for the 57th Biennale. From Xavier Veilhan’s “Merzbau musical” to Mark Bradford’s social project, we take a little look at the openings not to miss. This year, the Venice Biennale is being steered by a Frenchwoman, Christine Macel, curator of the department of contemporary and prospective creation at the Centre Pompidou. The event’s theme, “Viva Arte Viva”, covers the capacity of artists to “invent their own universes” and “inject vitality into the world we live in”, in the words Paolo Baratta, president of the Venice Biennale foundation. This faith in art and the future is a deliberate choice on Baratta’s part after a beautiful but austere 2015 vintage, curated by Okwui Enwezor (“All the World’s Futures”). The Italian city will be welcoming numerous exhibitions and national pavilions simultaneously. Much to see, to hear, and to reflect on…   French Pavilion: a new-generation recording studio This year, the French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is being overseen by Xavier Veilhan, and shouldered by curators Lionel Bovier (director of the MAMCO in Geneva) and Christian Marclay (artist and musician). Veilhan, as successor to Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, is setting up a project called “Merzbau musical” which plays on the volumes and decors of the French Pavilion’s space, drawing inspiration from a recording studio. The exhibition’s title is a nod to Kurt Schwitters whose “Merzbau” consisted of a habitable construction of variable dimensions, composed of salvaged objects. Schwitters’ project, initially intended to be named “Cathédrale de la misère érotique” (Cathedral of Erotic Misery), started in Hannover, then continued in Oslo and New York, throughout the artist’s life. In the French Pavilion, Xavier Veilhan places at the public’s disposal all types of musical instruments – some existing, others invented for the...

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Two earthquakes in central Italy

The crisis unit of the Italian ministry of culture is currently working to evaluate the damage caused by two earthquakes in central Italy on 26 October. The earthquakes, measuring 5.4 and 5.9 in magnitude, occurred near Visso, almost two months after the earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2, which destroyed the town of Amatrice and killed at least 295 people last summer. The San Salvatore a Campi di Norcia Church, already bearing strains from last August, collapsed as a result of the latest incident. The church contained important 15th century frescoes. The Sant’Eutizio Basilica in Preci and other historical religious buildings were also seriously affected. The clock tower of the Santa Maria Church in Via fell down on houses without causing any victims. Other damage has also been reported in San Ginesio, Castelsantangelo sul Nera, Ussita and...

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A collection spanning several millenia

On the occasion of the Parcours des Mondes fair, young collector Inti Ligabue draws up a portrait of one of the broadest Italian art collections, ranging from prehistory to modern paintings via tribal art. An inventory. Inti Ligabue, thirty-five years old, was appointed honorary president of the 15th edition of the Parcours des Mondes fair. This year, the event is drawing to Paris 80 international galleries specialising in tribal and Asian arts, from 6 to 11 September. Inti is the son of Giancarlo Ligabue, who passed away in 2015, and who gained renown as an archaeologist, palaeontologist and collector, as well as a political figure and businessman at the head of Gruppo Ligabue, a hundred-year-old family business dealing in food freight and services, present on every continent. This eminent Italian public figure left behind an incomparable legacy, including an extraordinary art collection covering a few thousand years. To carry on this adventure, Inti Ligabue launched, in January 2016, a foundation in Venice to support his father’s research and collection. You are this year’s honorary president at the Parcours des Mondes. From an international perspective, how is this event positioned? This event is doubtless one of the most important international meeting places for the tribal-art market and collectors. It gathers prestigious galleries from all over the world. It is an opportunity for specialists and enthusiasts to exchange their views and knowledge. I’m happy to have been chosen as honorary president of this year’s Parcours des Monde; it is a fine homage to the work of my father who built up his collection passionately over more than forty years. What is the core of your collection? In terms of the number of works, the collection mainly presents Pre-Columbian art pieces. In terms of cultural and historic interest, it is particularly distinctive...

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A few details on the 57th Venice Biennale

The 57th Venice Biennale is continuing to take form. Gal Weinstein will be representing Israel, Zad Moultaka will be representing Lebanon, while Tamara Chalabi and Paolo Colombo will be curators of the Iraqi pavilion. Born in Ramat Gan in 1970, Gal Weinstein lives and works in Tel Aviv. He took part in the Sao Paulo Biennale in 2002, and has held solo exhibitions in Israel’s largest museums as well as the San Francisco Art Institute. The curator of the Israeli pavilion, Tami Katz-Freiman, and Gal Weinstein, were selected by a committee comprising Mira Lapidot and Meir Aharonson. Through painting, photography, installation, sculpture and video, the artist turns his attention to research and scientific procedures relating to natural phenomena as well as chaos in the physical world. Meanwhile, Tamara Chalabi and Paolo Colombo will be curators of the Iraqi pavilion. Tamara Chalabi is president and cofounder of the Ruya Foundation, and Paolo Colombo, art advisor at the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition, called “Archaic”, will question the duality of the notions of history and antiquity, matching artefacts from the region with modern art works and productions by contemporary Iraqi artists. Turning to Lebanon, this country will be represented by Zad Moultaka. This artist and composer will be presenting a multimedia work in Santa Maria della Misericordia Church in the Cannaregio district. Emmanuel Daydé will be the exhibition’s curator. Zad Moultaka blends “musical invention with visual research in an approach where technology takes inspiration from the archaic,” says Emmanuel Daydé. His work explores the themes of separation, time immemorial and memory of the moment. The artist has given a few specifications on his project and ambition: “In these times when the Middle East is crumbling before our eyes, foundering in fratricidal wars, every act, every thought must be moved...

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Chagall retrospective at the Fort de Bard

From 25 June to 13 November, the Fort de Bard in the Aosta Valley,  is presenting a major summer exhibition on Marc Chagall, thanks to the Fondation Maeght’s loan of the painting La Vie (1964), one of the artist’s masterpieces. 180 works will be gathered around this masterpiece that will be making its first appearance in Italy. Due to its complex and monumental nature, most of the themes dear to the painter are represented in the work; this is why it will be the starting point of the exhibition. Olivier Kaeppelin, director of the Fondation Maeght has commented on this major exhibition: “This painting is crucial to the work of Marc Chagall as it revives all episodes of his life but also all the styles to which he took recourse in his different periods of creation. From cubism to popular imagery, via “free colour” expression, he uses, with both simplicity and mastery, the modes of expression essential for him to reach the greatest intensity and above all the greatest aesthetic...

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