contemporary art / history of art

ART CITY 2023: Highlights and more

Like every year, the accompanying program to the Arte Fiera (the Bolognese art fair) was very rich. Even though, taking place during ten days (from 27th January to 5th February) it was impossible to visit all venues. Besides the main program, once more many galleries and cultural institutions participated. Additionally, numerous studios, shops and temporary locations opened during the days of the art fair and especially during the White Night on Saturday 4th February. Several of the shows are still accessible. Here are our highlights and some impressions from other interesting shows:

LABS Contemporary Art: Greta Schödl – Il segno traccia del nostro vissuto

Ex Chiesa di San Mattia (Magma Gallery): Gonzalo Borondo – Settimo giorno

Palazzo De’ Toschi: Bettina Buck – Finding Form

Adiacenze: Carolina Cappelli – P.E.D.R.O.

MAMbo: Yuri Ancarani -Atlantide

Studio Cenacchi: Simone Martinetto – Cinema Interiore

Galleria B4: Guido Piacentini – DAL VERO

Paradisoterreste: LIMITED


Open until the 11th of March is Greta Schödl’s solo exhibition “Il segno traccia del nostro vissuto” at LABS Contemporary Art. On view are older works from the 1960s, 70s and 80s, but also the most recent creations from 2020 and 2022. Archival photos from performances in 1968 and 1978 complete the insights into the long-lasting career, where Greta not only refined her writings on paper with ornaments and gold leaf, but also worked on canvas, textile and most recently on marble. (LABS Gallery,

In another way, Gonzalo Borondo’s site specific video installation “Settimo giorno” in the Ex Chiesa di San Mattia appears ornamental and surprising. The enormous floating fire ring in the centre of the choir turns out to be human beings, who meander from one position to the other. Additionally, there are video and sound installations in the six side chapels, all in all over sixty films which superpose each other and invite the visitor to immerse into a fantastic world and discover it. Curated by the Magma Gallery, the show is visible until the 5th of March. (Ex Chiesa di San Mattia,

Significantly less agitated is Bettina Buck’s solo exhibition “Finding Form” in the Palazzo De’ Toschi. Sculptures made of industrial materials linger in the two show rooms. Stagged boxes, tile pillars or a wig wearing polystyrene block are likewise present as a sandwiched foam column and golden dog excrement. This research for forms is underlined by a central video, where the artist drags one of her foam sculptures through a green landscape, accompanied by a dog. Unfortunately, the exhibition is already closed. (

To another research one can participate until 23rd March at Adiacenze, where another stage of Carolina Cappelli’s long term project P.E.D.R.O. (Parassitare Eventuali Disastri Ripetendoli Ovunque) takes place. Inspired by Peter Brooks film “Lord of the Flies” from 1984, the artist invited different social groups to workshops, to reflect on the possibilities after a catastrophic scenario like in the film. The arisen artefacts and videos are on view. Moreover, during the Art City, Carolina Cappelli invited to a performance, which pretended to be impossible. (

Also, the show in the Sala delle Ciminiere at the MAMbo refers to a film: Atlantide by Yuri Ancarani. Besides a projection of the complete movie, visitors can see numerous videos turned during the research to the in 2021 in Venice premiered film. Included are sequences, which had not found their way into the final cut. Nevertheless, during the visit there is the growing impression to have seen the or at least some movie. (MAMbo, until 7th May,

Unmoved pictures, but also cinema related are the photos by Simone Martinetto at the Studio Cenacchi. In “Cinema Interiore” are two photo-series united as one exhibition. “Unexpected Cinema” shows a kind of making-off, where the persons and objects, which are animating the film sceneries are visible. Whereas “I Shut my Eyes in Order to See” has a more meditative character. Simone Martinetto envisages three persons living in the agitated Manhattan. However, the images are characterised by tranquillity, well balanced compositions, and harmony of colours. (Studio Cenacchi, until 18th March,

Guido Piacentini captures also silent moments. The photos show objects, architecture, urban and sometimes natural landscapes, rarely people. There is a wide range of motives, which could be caught figurative as they are or close to abstraction. This might be owed to the long period of origin. However, most of the pictures are timeless. (Galleria B4, unfortunately already closed,

Historically easier to locate are the displayed items at the Galleria Paradisoterreste. On view are pieces of design from the late 1960s to contemporary works. They all have in common that they are available as limited editions, in contrast to unique pieces or serial production. Some objects recall interiors from those days, others appear surprisingly fresh even though they have accomplished their half century. The following artists are represented: Marina Apollonio, Augusto Betti, Alberto Biasi, Calori & Maillard, Xavier David, Hugo Demarco, Angel Duarte, Novello Finotti, Pierre Gonalons, Allen Jones, Edoardo Landi, Manfredo Massironi, Roberto Matta, Andy Picci, Paola Pivi, Tobia Scarpa, Kazuhide Takahama (until 25th March,

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